Project Origin: The Forefather Of All Royal Enfield Motorcycles Brought Back To Life - story fullscreen Fullscreen

Project Origin: The Forefather Of All Royal Enfield Motorcycles Brought Back To Life

Project origin is a glimpse into how Royal Enfield began and how far the brand has come after more than a century

Royal Enfield, a brand, which is older than any other motorcycle brand in the world including Harley-Davidson has brought back their first Motor-Bicycle to life.

The tagline of Royal Enfield ‘Since 1901’ is a testament to the brand’s heritage. The Indian brand, which originated from Great Britain recreated the first-ever motor-bicycle that Royal Enfield ever manufactured. Royal Enfield has now recreated a working example of its first bike under “Project Origin” to celebrate its 120 years of manufacturing motorcycles.

What is Royal Enfield Project Origin?

Project Origin: The Forefather Of All Royal Enfield Motorcycles Brought Back To Life
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Most of the parts are handmade including the brakes, handlebars, engine and even the chassis

In 1901, Frenchman Jules Gobiet and Royal Enfield’s co-founder and chief designer, Bob Walker created the first motor-bicycle of the brand. It was showcased at the Stanley Cycle Show in London. This was the first-ever two-wheeled Royal Enfield powered by an engine and displayed to the public.

Since there were no working models were found and all the original blueprints got destroyed no one knew how the original motorcycle was constructed. Royal Enfield’s team looked at the pictures and promotional advertisements to gather clues on the construction of the motorcycle.

Project Origin: The Forefather Of All Royal Enfield Motorcycles Brought Back To Life
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The original Royal Enfield motor-bicycle was nothing like what we get to see in today. For example, the mounted position of the engine was clamped on the steering head above the front wheel.

Construction of Replica Royal Enfield Project One

Project Origin: The Forefather Of All Royal Enfield Motorcycles Brought Back To Life
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Bringing back the motor-bicycle to life was sure a difficult job as it is completely different from modern day motorcycles

With all the information at hand, the Royal Enfield ‘Project Origin’ team started working on building the motorcycle. The highest amount of expertise was needed to manufacture certain parts of the motor-bicycle. The most complex design was of folded fuel tank made up of brass. It is recreated using a single piece of brass metal sheet.

The tubular frame is constructed by Harris Performance and they provided hand machined brass levers and switches as well. The engine is built from scratch with no reference to blueprints.

The wooden handles, band brakes, and the carburettor are built from scratch as well. The team then sourced parts like the paraffin lamp, horn, leather saddle, wheels and reconditioned them with nickel plating!

Royal Enfield Project Origin

Project Origin: The Forefather Of All Royal Enfield Motorcycles Brought Back To Life
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All the Royal Enfield that followed the first motor-bicycle carried the same "slow-revving" engine that makes a unique exhaust note

After 120 years, the Royal Enfield brand has come a long way. It changed ownership multiple times to finally become an Indian brand. The Project Origin is kind of time travel to the days when no one knew about the slow-revving Royal Enfield motorcycles.

Shantonil Nag
Shantonil Nag
Often living out of suitcases, driving one car after the other to bring you the latest in terms of reviews, opinions and photographs, this man even holds a Guinness record for the longest drive in India without repeating the route. If you don't find him reviewing a car or motorcycle, you'll spot him heading to the hills. An in-house Himalaya expert, putting a car through its paces on desolate mountain roads is what thrills him the most.  Read full bio

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