• Mar 11th 2011 at 5:58PM
  • 6
Royal Enfield Bullet – Click above to watch the video after the jump

Royal Enfield started out as a English motorcycle builder way back in the late 1800s. The company soldiered on well into the second half of the 20th Century in England, before finally succumbing to financial woes and closing up shop.

The name, however, survived through Indian-built versions of their bikes. A factory in Indian began churning out Royal Enfield Bullets in 1956, using parts sourced from the factory in England. By 1962, nine years before the English shop closed down, Enfield of India was building bikes from scratch using the original English design.

The Indian brand soldiered on after Royal Enfield officially died, and, in 1995, bought the rights to use the Royal Enfield name. Royal Enfiled Bullet 350s and 500s are still produced en masse in India, making Royal Enfield the oldest motorcycle brand still in production. Now, the Indian bike maker offers fully modern machines that only add to the brand's desirability.

To celebrate its history and the perseverance of the Indian arm of the company, Royal Enfield released a video touting its Indian heritage. Check it out after the break.

Photos copyright ©2011 Jeremy Korzeniewski / AOL

[Source: YouTube via Faster and Faster]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I love the Bullet Enfield. I've been a fan of Enfields ever since I bought my '65 Interceptor back in '66. But to describe any 500cc. bike with 27 hp. as "fully modern" strikes me as a bit of a stretch.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Love these bikes. Nice retro looks and feel.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Loved the part where they paint the fuel tank by hand, nice touch.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So weird to see this on autoblog. I literally just got back from India a couple hours ago. Ofcourse one of the first things I do is check autoblog. I has the chance to ride a Bullet 500. I was admiring a complete strangers bike and he just offered me a ride! Reminded me a lot of my Norton Commando but with less power and vibration and that awesome thumper sound. Put into the context of India, Bullets are a premium motorcycle. Indians really take pride in this brand. There is a six month wait list for Bullets and the factory is expanding with plans to double production. Very cool to see.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They look really cool. I like that there is a dedicated maker of modern yet old school bikes around that are still practical and affordable. Do they sell them in the US?
      • 4 Years Ago
      27 hp for a 500 cc single actually isn't that bad. The Suzuki S40 is 650 cc and only make 36 hp - and that is with a much more modern head.

      The Enfield is a nice looking bike, but it is also about a grand more than the S40 and you have to wonder how an Indian motorcycle is put together. Maybe as a toy.... I wonder what the rumored twin will have to offer?
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