1968 Royal Enfield Bullet
Royal Enfield has quite a history, starting with the fact that it is the oldest and currently still, building motorcycles company on the planet. And, even though there have been a good number of technological improvements, it is still the same classic British single motorbike.
Enfield started off as a bicycle company, making guns (that is where the moniker, “Built like a cannon, goes like a Bullet” came from and the cannon in their old logo design), Enfield also made lawnmowers over a century ago. They continued making bicycles until 1965.
In 1911, prior to world War One, the company added ‘Royal’ to the name in part because the company was the main supplier to the British Defense Department and to the Imperial Russian Goverment. Pretty impressive.
In the UK Royal Enfield stopped motorcycle production in 1970 but, back in 1956 licensed an Indian company, Madras’ to assemble Royal Enfield 350cc Bullets then in 1962 The Indian company was sold the tooling and designs to build the complete bike.
Since that time Enfield India has continued to build the ‘Bullet’ model cycles in both the 350 and 500cc sizes. They have gone from cobby 1950’s to really quite modern motorbikes that maintain the classic look we all love but have modern amenities like electric start, disc brakes, fuel injection and best of all…they don’t leave a puddle of oil everywhere you park!
As a side note and a plug for a friend of mine’s movie, Guarav Jani in India made an incredible journey on a Royal Enfield 350 Bullet. The documentary is called ‘Riding Solo to the Top of the World’ It is available at http://www.dirttrackproductions.com. This one of the most amazing adventures I have ever seen on film, it puts ‘Long Way Around’ to shame.
I found a truly beautiful 1968 Bullet on ebay this morning. It has gone through completely and has nice upgrades, like a 12volt electrical system! The bike is stunning and if you’re in the market for a truly classic British single (remember India was a British colony…) check out this beauty.
Click on the pics below for more pictues and a good list of all the upgrades. This is a ready to ride classic.