View Full Version : Royal Enfield Bullet, still in production

07-14-2012, 02:36 PM
Royal Enfield, a company that has been in business producing motorcycles since 1902 is still producing motorcycles.
Although the British arm of the company went out of business in 1962, 7 years before this date in 1955 another branch was established in India to supply the 350cc Bullet single to the Indian government.

This branch not only stayed in business but they continued to produce the Bullet to this day.
They started selling to the public in India back in the 1960's and in addition to the 350cc version of the motorcycle they added a 500cc single.
Their current production is over 70,000 per year and they are about to open a new facility to increase their production to over 130,000/year.

Although some Royal Enfield Bullets were exported to England and the United States in the 90's, prior to 2009 they decided to redesign the engine to meet the European and US emission requirements.
To accomplish this they added fuel injection, hydraulic valve lifters, automatic compression release and an electric starter, all rolling element bearing crankshaft and connecting rod and catalytic converter in addition to the traditional kick starter in a 5 speed Unit Construction engine.
They kept the overhead valve design which limits the max RPM so the power output is around 28 horsepower, similar to the original British 500cc motorcycles.
The frame and externals are still straight out of the 1950's complete with its light responsive handling.

I've owned my 2011 G5 Deluxe model for a little over 1 year and now have over 6000 miles on it with no major problems.

Here's a few photos of the new Royal Enfield.
It's a blast to ride and it draws the attention of everyone who sees it to such an extent that I add 15 minutes to my ride time to the store because I know people are going to be telling me about back in the days when they owned a motorcycle just like it.

With my revised exhaust system"

07-15-2012, 11:29 AM
I've been tempted by one of those a few times. We (briefly) had a dealer here in Utah, and I had a chance to look them over before the dealership closed. Great lines.

07-15-2012, 11:52 PM
Saw this a couple of summers ago at a car show.

07-16-2012, 06:11 PM
The Royal Enfield you show is one of the slightly older ones affectionately called an "Iron Barrel".
It was most likely made sometime between 1995 and 2008.
Rather than having the engine and transmission all in one housing like the new design, the engine and transmission are bolted together.

One of the features most obvious is the way the side cover extends up behind the cylinder above the transmission. The original English bikes installed a magneto there which was replaced by ignition points in the later versions.

Some of these older Royal Enfields transmissions had a lever just above where the kick starter enters the transmission. By pushing this lever the transmission would be placed directly into neutral from any other gear position it happened to be in.
Rather a nice feature if you needed to rapidly restart the engine with the kick starter.

Simon TR4a
08-01-2012, 11:00 AM
I owned a Matchless 500 single, a G80CS back in the late 60's, while in university.
No electric start and although it had compression release the 50 weight oil made it tough to kick over. Have to point out I weighed less than 150lbs back then, (even now only 156lbs.)
I like the disc brake and turn signals, both very worth while updates!
Nice bike!