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Royal Enfield

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Royal Enfield motorcycles made in England were being sold in India from 1949. In 1955, the Indian government looked for a suitable motorcycle for its police and army, for patrolling the country's border. The Bullet was chosen as the most suitable bike for the job. The Indian government ordered 800 350 cc model Bullets.[1]

In 1955, the Redditch company partnered with Madras Motors in India to form 'Enfield India' to assemble, under licence, the 350 cc Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle in Madras (now called Chennai). The first machines were assembled entirely from components shipped from England. In 1957, the tooling was sold to Enfield India so that they could manufacture components. By 1962, all components were made in India. The Indian Enfield uses the 1960 engine (with metric bearing sizes), in the pre-1956 design frame.

An independent manufacturer since the demise of Royal Enfield in England, Enfield India still makes an essentially similar bike in 350 cc and 500 cc forms today, along with several different models for different market segments.[2] In 1986, UK civil servant Raja Narayan returned to India and organised an export arm for the company to market the Bullet in England. Starting with a Bullet 350 in 1986, he was soon giving feedback that led to improvements. By 1989, the Enfield Bullet appeared in UK motorcycle shows.

In 1994, Eicher Group bought into Enfield India.[3] In late 1995, the Enfield India firm acquired the rights to the name Royal Enfield. Royal Enfield of India now sells motorcycles in over twenty countries.

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