The Royal Enfield Bullet, in its present form, was first introduced in
Britain in 1949 as a 350cc bike. It incorporated an innovative design element: swing
arm suspension. This feature along with its extremely strong single cylinder
engine allowed it to excel as a trials bike. The 500cc model was introduced in
Britain during the 1950's, winning hundreds of races. This brought the Bullet
international recognition and orders came into the factory in Redditch, England
from all over the world.
In 1954 the Indian government placed an order for 800 Bullets for "immediate service" on the Pakistani border. This order placed an incredible burden on the factory, but it was met. The Bullet proved very successful in India, and the government placed orders for 1955 and 1956 of a similar magnitude. This caused the home factory to make the decision to set up a factory in India.
In 1955 an Indian partner was found and trainees were sent to Redditch to learn the production methods. At first, knock down units were shipped to Madras where they were assembled. By 1956 a full factory had been established in India and the Enfield India, Ltd. began producing the Enfield Bullet in its entirety. In India they produced the machine they had been trained to make, the 1955 Bullet. They made the same bike in 1955, 1966, 1976, 1986, and 2006! The demand for this great old motorcycle has never stopped. Every year they have produced over 30,000 motorcycles, all a 1955 Bullet.
The Bullet is made today in the same manner it was in 1955. However over the years improved metallurgy, modern machining methods and the passage of time has produced stronger, more durable parts, making the Bullet superior, in some ways to the same bike made in 1955.
Here's the kicker: you can also get a Bullet with a sidecar!
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