Royal Enfield is one motorcycle manufacturer which in recent years, has emerged out to be one bike maker which truly understands the needs and wishes of the modern day bikers and makes motorcycles as per their requirements. Easily the oldest motorcycle manufacturer of India, the company has evolved a lot in recent years, from a company which was in doldrums due to loss in sales to a company whose each and every model commands a substantial waiting period. This arising success of Royal Enfield is majorly credited to the vision of its head honcho, Mr. Siddhartha Lal, and the varying kinds of motorcycles it is offering today.
Speaking of the latter reason, the company has a wide range of motorcycles which cater to different kinds of needs and people. While all of them have a nostalgia factor attached to the previous generations of motorcycles which Royal Enfield used to produce, all of them are modern enough to make themselves as a motorcycle which can hold all the actions of today. The longevity and reliability too has improved a lot in recent years, which is why many enthusiasts are now beginning to show trust on the brand.
Following is a list of all kinds of motorcycles which Royal Enfield makes for the Indian market. All of them have different approaches to the world of motorcycles and enthusiasts related to them, but the one thing common between all of them is the pure passion with which they have been crafted. Here you go:-
The series of motorcycles which started it all, the Standard Street of motorcycles, which in Royal Enfield’s words is known as ‘Bullet’, is the range which actually established the name of Royal Enfield not only in all the markets across the world, but also in the hearts of true and loyal fans of the brand. Royal Enfield initiated its journey many decades ago, and even today, the quintessential old school feel and design of the original Bullet has been kept intact, making it the oldest motorcycle which is undergoing continuous production run. One of the most special bits about the Bullet is the fact that the pin striping job done on the fuel tank of it is done by bare hands, and not any machinery or robot, thus raising its emotional appeal even more.
Currently, Royal Enfield has two kinds of standard street motorcycles in its portfolio – Bullet 350 and Bullet 500. Both of them have retained the original design of their ancestors, however, much have changed under the skin. While the Bullet 350 comes with a single cylinder, air cooled, carbureted, 346cc engine which produces 20 PS of power and 28 Nm of torque, the more powerful Bullet 500 is powered by a single cylinder, air cooled, carbureted, 499cc engine which puts up 26.3 PS of power and 40.9 Nm of torque.
Best used for – Only in-city duties
Do you feel that the Bullet is too old and very mature for your new generation taste, but you still want to have the nostalgia of the previous generation Royal Enfields in not much abundance? Royal Enfield has taken care of you guys as well, as the company came up with its Retro Street range, popularly known as ‘Classic’ towards the end of the first decade of 21st century. Based on the new range of ‘Bullet’, the range of Classic possesses the retro design of the Bullet, but in a very slightly more modernized way. Compared to the Bullet range, the Classic comes with few differences such as body colored front and rear fenders, side tank pads, ovular blackened side body cowls, slightly upswept exhaust, split seats (single seat is there as an option), a more contemporary tail lamp cluster, fatter tyres and smaller wheels, which make it look modern yet has that necessary retro feel to it.
Like the Bullet, the Classic too is available in two versions, Classic 350 and Classic 500. While the Classic 350 comes with a single cylinder, air cooled, carbureted, 346cc engine which generates 20 PS of power and 28 Nm of torque, the more powerful Classic 500 is powered by a single cylinder, air cooled, fuel injected, 499cc engine which pumps out 27.5 PS of power and 41.3 Nm of torque. In addition, the Classic 500 comes with four more unique variants, all of which have different and interesting paint schemes – Classic Desert Storm, Classic Squadron Blue, Classic Battle Green and Classic Chrome.
Best suited for – In city duties with occasional highway runs on weekends
After having a successful run with its old school Bullets, Royal Enfield intended to expand its production and portfolio, which is why they thought of and came up with its all new cruiser range in the early 2000’s. Christened as ‘Thunderbird’, the new range of cruisers was originally based on the Bullet series, and ran on the same cast iron engines of the former. However, with the passing time, Royal Enfield came up with the unit construction engine for the Bullet and Classic ranges, which was plonked on the Thunderbird as well. And in 2012, the company revamped its Thunderbird lineup by making it feature rich and contemporary in terms of design.
The new generation Thunderbird, available in two variants – 350cc and 500cc, comes with many new age features which are absent on the old-school Classic and Bullet, such as projector headlamp with LED corona ring, part digital instrument console with tachometer, rear disc brake, aluminium pillion grab rail with foamed backrest, split seats and gas charged shock absorbers (the last two are there are on the Classic though). The engines have been completely lifted off from the Classic range – The Thunderbird 350 sources its power from a single cylinder, air cooled, carbureted, 346cc engine which oozes 20 PS of power and 28 Nm of torque, while the more powerful Thunderbird 500 comes fitted with a single cylinder, air cooled, fuel injected, 499cc engine which thumps out 27.5 PS of power and 41.3 Nm of torque.
Best suited for – Long distance touring
Royal Enfield came up with retro roadsters, it established as a unique manufacturer becoming the only maker in the entry level segment to do so. And when it launched the Thunderbird in the Indian market for the first time, it was the first two wheeler major to launch a cruiser in the entry level segment – a category which is usually confined only to bigger engines. And then, it did something unusual once again, when it launched the Continental GT café racer back in 2013. Launched as the first ever café racer for masses, Royal Enfield intended to bring some European flavor to the Indian motorcycling scene. And when it arrived, from that day to today, the Continental GT continues to be the most beautiful looking motorcycle in the lower end of the motorcycles, thanks to its pure European café racer stance, with round headlamp, aluminium fenders, elongated fuel tank, clip-on handlebars, single piece seat, rear seat cowl and bar end rear view mirrors.
There are many things on the Continental GT which make it the Royal Enfield of today’s times. The firsts in a Royal Enfield such as clip-on handlebars, bar end rear view mirrors, Paioli shock absorbers, Pirelli tyres and Brembo disc brakes at both the ends, make it a high quality and premium motorcycle. Powering the Continental GT is Royal Enfield’s biggest engine till date – the single cylinder, air cooled, fuel injected, 535cc engine is a bored out version of its 499cc engine, which here on the Continental GT generates 29.3 PS of power and 44 Nm of torque. However, as expected, the single seating configuration has reduced the practicality of Continental GT, and the focused and sporty ergonomics with rear set foot pegs make sure that it is not so comfortable to ride for long distances, which makes it a very niche motorcycle with limited audience. But for those who want to make their ride a unique one out of the sea of normal looking motorcycles, the Continental GT is a sure shot way to capture second glances, and that too, the impressing ones!
Best suited for – Fast in city runs, especially the ones which head to coffee shops
The lower end of the Indian motorcycling scene did saw almost everything, but was deprived off from one particular segment which happens to be the most fun filled yet practical one, that of adventure tourers. However, Royal Enfield sealed that gap as well, by introducing the all new Himalayan for the Indian two wheeler market. Tailor made for Indian conditions, the Himalayan is not at all a pretty motorcycle to look at, but each and every bit on it is scream functionality and makes sure that it can handle all the tantrums thrown at it. Apart from the bare bones design and light kerb weight, the mechanicals of the Himalayan, such as front telescopic suspension and rear monoshock (first for a Royal Enfield) with longer travel, large 21-inch front wheel and 17-inch rear wheel, high mounted handlebar with lowered seat height, high ground clearance of 220mm and disc brakes at both the ends ensure that the Himalayan is ready for each and every terrain it is headed to.
Like the Continental GT, the Himalayan too comes bolstered with an all new generation engine from Royal Enfield, as the single cylinder, air cooled, carbureted, 411cc engine is actually a bored out version of the 346cc engine of the Classic. On the Himalayan, this engine produces a maximum power output of 24.7 PS and a peak torque output of 32 Nm. Want to get lost in the horizon or the hills? The Himalayan is one perfect tool for you.
Best suited for – Almost all kinds of broken sections of tarmac, or no tarmac, coupled with long highway runs