The wild west has its Harley-Davidsons. In the relatively tame east we have the Royal Enfields. The motorcycling legend celebrates its golden jubilee in the land of the Mahatma this year. The first indigenously produced batch of 163 Enfield Bullets rolled out of the assembly line in 1956. But actually it was back in 1949 that the 350cc Bullet debuted on Indian roads. Its 1901 establishment in England makes it the oldest surviving motorcycle brand in the world!
This legend is ubiquitous on the Indian landscape. The milkman to the policeman, the soldier to the sophomore, all can be seen astride a Bullet. The advent of Japanese bikes may have dented its mass appeal. But the fact remains that the late arrivals are Boys’ Toys and the Enfields will remain Men’s Machines (though this bastion has been breached of late by a few woMEN).
Supposedly still made the way they used to be, these single cylinder timeless classics have accelerated their way into the hearts and minds of motorcycle enthusiasts across the Indian subcontinent, the United States, Europe, Japan and also the lands down under.
Enfield is not only about the power, it is also a tradition backed by a century old history, it is a way of life.