FOR YOU, OH THE ROYAL (ENFIELD) RIDER!
Automobiles are not just a means of reaching from a source to a destination at a relatively lesser time than the conventional modes of transport; they are more than that. They give a sense of accomplishment, pride and prestige and make one independent suddenly while riding the vehicle on-road.
While cruising in a car maybe a kind of thrill and enjoyment, riding bikes are always a different type of experience. Unlike cars, there are no enclosed cabins to protect the rider from the wind gushing through the jersey, no air conditioners to isolate the ecosystem from the external world. Driving a bike has an indescribable eternal connection between the vehicle, the driver and the nature; all these three entities go hand-in-hand, and are quite inseparable from one another.
While bikes have been looked on two main aspects of aesthetics and ergonomics, there is one other important characteristic that makes the rider feel proud – majesty. Got the drift? Yes, it is the Royal Enfield. Right from the gigantic kerb weight (weight of the motorcycle when no external load like a person or some baggage is being placed in the body of the vehicle) to the mere appearance of the front axle, everything about the Royal Enfield series thrills the riders with infinite goosebumps. It is not an understatement to reiterate that the noise emanating from the silencer is just enough to express the sheer audacity of the bike, sending chills to the human body.
So is it all just about the physical nature that creates a lustful feeling towards the bike? No. There is always more to Royal Enfield. The sturdiness of the two-wheeler and its adaptability to all kinds of terrains from the flat highways to the rocky surfaces in the steep slopes of the hilly regions with utmost ease is one aspect that needs to be underlined with a dark lead.
With two disc brakes for a 350 cc or a 500 cc vehicle, it looks like a dangerous asking but the rigid tyres make the vehicle highly stable despite sudden braking. Moreover, the fork braces in the front axle provides a well-balanced front suspension in addition to the coil suspension for the rear wheel.
What is it that makes the Enfield special?
Different kinds of stylish race bikes and sporty beasts may come in but there are certain unique aspects that make the Royal Enfield series to stand out from the rest of the crowd. Some of them may be trivial yet tantalizing, while some others might really be mind-blowing and overwhelming. So here they are:
The Chennai connect:
First and foremost is the nativity. Raise your hand if you already have an idea that the Royal Enfield is manufactured here at #NammaChennai way back since 1955. Whoa, that counts to almost 60 years. Enfield Motors started partnering with the Madras Motors eight years after our Independence; by and slow, they got defunct and the Royal Enfield has got our own taste of soil.
The Army’s (P)ride:
Next time when a Kollywood or a Bollywood movie shows the protagonist cop riding a Royal Enfield, feel that sense of pride because those are not just reel scenes; the inspiration behind this “Cop and Enfield” saga dates back to 1949. Confused?
Has any company been endowed with the privilege being asked by the Indian army to manufacture its bikes to suit their needs? Oh wait. There is one manufacturer, and only one. And, it is none other than the Royal Enfield. Probably, the question can be reframed as “Has any other company been endowed with the privilege of…. ?” In 1949, the military personnel had asked for a set of vehicles to be utilized by them for patrolling purposes on the borderline and also difficult terrains that could not be scaled by any other vehicle. This pride vests only with the Enfield and no other brand. Fist pump, Enfield owners!
The Bullet Brand:
There are certain brand names that get etched in the mindsets of the people owing to the quality and the reach it has/had created. Guess what? Brand X or Brand Y unveils a cruiser vehicle or a superbike and it would still be called a Bullet by a common man. Such is the effect created by one of the products of the brand. With Royal Enfield producing Bullets now in three models – 350, 500 and the Electra – it is not just about people mentioning the name. Bullets do exist with the same firepower.
Unit Construction Engine (UCE):
There is always an attraction quotient that is attached to the Enfield bikes just because of the machismo look of the engines. This is attributed to the unit construction of the engines. Unit Construction Engines (UCEs) are the ones in which the transmission system (the gear box) and the engine block are enclosed in a single casing.
In the earlier stages, a pre-unit construction engine was used, where the transmissions and the engine would be built as two separate units and then joined by means of chain drives with sprockets. While they had the advantage of rectifying the misalignment between the engine and gear box by adjusting them accordingly in a suitable fashion, the two-unit manufacturing was not going to be a time-efficient process.
The UCEs that form a part of today’s Enfield reduce the distance between the engine and gearboxes thereby making the vehicle compact (since the distance is reduced, the wheelbase can also be sized down to a considerable extent), while also providing the gutsy feel of the ride.
Now this is truly a drift. Pierre Terblanche is one of the world’s most looked up, renowned automobile designer, who has penned down miraculous biking wonders like the Ducati Hypermotard and the Ducati 999, apart from the brilliantly crafted Confederate X132 Helicat Speedster; he has been inducted into the Royal Enfield design team from 2014. Vroom it and rev up!
The majesty and dominance of the Royal Enfield is not just due to the robustness and the physical attributes. It is a well-crafted mechanical marvel in the field of automobiles that stands out as a proof to the exemplary engineering designs in the vehicular world.