March 07, 2021 By C! Magazine Staff Photos by Royal Enfield

Made like a Gun since 1901 – Royal Enfield celebrates 120 years of the brand

From humble beginnings at the Redditch factory in 1901, Royal Enfield, the oldest motorcycle brand in continuous production, has been a preserver of the legacy of building simple, pared-down, authentic classic motorcycles. Holding true to an uncomplicated design philosophy that propounds purposeful longevity, Royal Enfield has spent more than a century traversing some of the toughest terrains in the world,  and creating memorable experiences and legendary tales.

Redditch factory

Continuing on its journey of encouraging and kickstarting the active, lifelong pursuit of exploration, Royal Enfield is gearing up to celebrate 120 years of being fiercely unique, riding ahead with undeterred grit and resilience and building pure motorcycling culture since 1901.

1901 Royal Enfield

To commemorate this milestone, Royal Enfield will mark the year 2021 with several initiatives across the globe to celebrate the legacy and the journey of motorcycling with riding enthusiasts and communities.

Douggie Alexander 1914 TT

The values of resilience, inclusiveness, and being accessible, Royal Enfield is the world’s oldest motorcycle brand in continuous production and has demonstrated creativity, adaptability, endurance, and agility across generations. Not only has the brand-built products which have played an integral role in people’s lives over decades, but have also been instrumental in building a culture around riding.

1933 Cycar

Commenting on this milestone, Siddhartha Lal, Managing Director of Eicher Motors Ltd, said, “120 years is a long legacy for the brand, and we are very happy to have made it count. Royal Enfield is not just a motorcycle brand, it is a symbol of resilience and exploration and has been able to build a thriving culture of leisure riding around the world. Through these years we have endeavoured to stay authentic to our roots, continued to remain unique and distinctive, established a genre of leisure motorcycling that is accessible, inclusive and absolutely enjoyable, and stayed relevant through the decades. Our goal is to strengthen Royal Enfield’s position as a truly global brand and we will continue to challenge ourselves to develop products and experiences that will give wings to our desire to go further and experience new frontiers”

Flying Flea Parachute Cradle

Royal Enfield has a rich cultural heritage which transcends International boundaries. These timeless motorcycles have stood the test of time and help create many motorcycling records and memories. One of the prime examples is Winifred Wells, a motorcycling pioneer and Royal Enfield Legend. In 1950, she rode a 350cc Royal Enfield Bullet from Perth to Sydney and back – covering over 5,500 miles in just 22 days. Less than 2 years later, accompanied by her father, Winifred then circumnavigated the entire Australian continent, covering almost 10,000 miles in 65 days, battling temperatures of up to 44°C.

WW1 6hp machine gun outfit

Royal Enfield is not new in South East Asia as well. Royal Enfield dealerships existed in Singapore before and after the Second World War. The brand enjoyed great popularity in the 1950s, with Singapore serving as the distribution hub for the whole South East Asia region. Seen here in 1947 is one very satisfied customer, stunt rider Lan Send Fook, who bought his 350cc Model G from the Singapore distributor. “I have never ridden anything better, the machine is practically vibrationless at high speed. It’s stable and corners well,” he proclaimed. All essential qualities if you got your kicks from riding hands-free at 30mph while standing on the petrol tank!

Mr. Fook, Singapore 1947, Model G Stunt Rider 1947

Adding to this, Vimal Sumbly, Head – International Business – APAC, Royal Enfield remarked, “It is a proud moment to achieve this milestone of 120 years of unbroken legacy. Not many brands have stood the test of time and enjoyed the privilege of journeying  for over a century. It is a very proud moment for all us at Royal Enfield, and for everyone who has been associated with the brand. We are fortunate to have the support, endorsement and encouragement of our customers, partners, and most importantly, of our riding community. It is their journeys and adventures that has made this brand legendary. This year in the APAC region, we will have a host of engaging  activities for our communities as an ode to their support that have made us reach this remarkable milestone. ”

Johnny Brittain in the 1952 Scottish Six Days Trial

These 120 years have been a journey of undying resilience. Through it all, Royal Enfield has remained true to its core principles of making simple, accessible and engaging motorcycles. Riding through two world wars, surviving near shutdown in 1967 and 1977 and emerging victorious in rides that have tested the endurance of man and machine, Royal Enfield has remained relevant and desirable through the ages.

Indian Army Bullet 1952

Today a leading global player in the middleweight motorcycle segment (250cc – 750cc) with an ambition to grow and expand that market, a strong and diverse product portfolio and more than ten million riding enthusiasts across the world, Royal Enfield is 120 years old and only just getting started.

1965 Continental GT Female Rocker

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