Royal Enfield, a brand under the Enfield Cycle Company, started selling their motorcycles since 1901 even before the Harley Davidson launched their first motorcycle. The Royal Enfield is the oldest motorcycle manufacturers in the world. The British motorcycle manufacturers also sold bicycles, lawnmowers, and stationary engines till they closed in 1967. The Enfield Company made a tie-up with the madras motors for selling motorcycles in India in 1955. After the original company went bankrupt, the Enfield India has been selling the Royal Enfield Bullet since then. In 1994, after merging with Eicher group, the Enfield India changed its name to Royal Enfield.
Since then the Royal Enfield motorcycles are being produced, sold and even exported to many countries. The Royal Enfield Bullet has become the longest-lived production motorcycle design that has been under production since 1939. In India, Bullet has been sold since 1949 and was chosen to aid police and military in patrolling the border. A factory was set up in Madras, India top manufacture Bullet in India under the name Enfield India. The Enfield India has kept the original Bullet design and they even refused the new design from the main British Enfield company. Thus, the British and Indian Bullet evolved in two different ways.
The Royal Enfield Bullet has enjoyed a stable increase in the motorcycle market in India and has survived the tough competitions from the Japanese motorcycles too. Nowadays, the Royal Enfield Bullet along with the other models has a cult following in India. The Royal Enfield India has preserved the traditional British look in Bullet. The feature that made Bullet A hit in the Indian market was due to its unique right side shift gearbox which became the traditional bullet engine. The company also suffered the loss of market when they first tried to change this to left side 5 shift gearbox. But the introduction of new pollution norms in the country, the Royal Enfield could not continue making these engines and thus new UCE engines were used in all new motorcycles including Bullet.
The move has become a boon to the company as people who were skeptical of the unconventional right shift gearbox are also attracted to bullet due to left shift. Thus the falling market of Royal Enfield that suffered due to Japanese motorcycles has once again started to improve and again Royal Enfield has the most popular motorcycle in the present generation.
Royal Enfield has started exporting more than 50 countries including England, USA, Australia, Indonesia and South Africa. In 2015, an announcement by Royal Enfield Motors was made regarding the establishment of its first American Headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They also surpassed the Harley Davidson in global sales. Especially in India, with the introduction of the Classic 350/500, Continental GT and Himalayan, The company has attracted many buyers that want to feel the old classic look with the latest technology used in new motorcycles. The Royal Enfield has become a popular choice among the youngsters that want to enjoy the traditional heritage of the former British company.