Royal Enfield, the oldest motorcycle brand in continious mass production, is known world over for its evocative classic motorcycles. Royal Enfield's production capacity is nearing a million units per annum, a farcry from the 25,000 bikes that it manufactured in 2005. In the 2000s, the company turned it around with its Bullet, Thunderbird and Classic motorcycles. Royal Enfield today is the most profitable motorcycle company in the world.
That said, Royal Enfield did manufacture quite a few lesser known motorcycles, which were iconic in their own right. Here is a list of the Top 6 classic Royal Enfield bikes, which includes the Royal Enfield Continental GT 250 to Royal Enfield Interceptor 750.
Royal Enfield Constellation 700
The Royal Enfield Constellation 700 was a product that was specific to the North American market. The bike was on sale from 1958 to 1963 and was described as the first Superbike of its era. The engine on the bike was not known for its reliability and received a lot of updates.
The Royal Enfield Constellation 700 paved the way for the Super Meteor 700 and the Interceptor 750. The 692 cc, parallel-twin motor produced 36 bhp of maximum power and ran on a single Amal TT Carburettor. The bike had a top speed of 110 mph. In 1959, the racing carburettor was replaced by twin Monobloc units.
Royal Enfield Super Meteor 700
The Royal Enfield Super Meteor 700 was introduced in the US market in 1952 and was on sale till 1962. The motorcycle was discontinued after the launch of the Royal Enfield Interceptor 750 Series II. The Super Meteor 700 had a top speed of 100 mph (161 km/h).
The Royal Enfield Super Meteor 700 was equipped with a 692 cc, twin-cylinder, OHV (Over Head Valve), air-cooled motor that was capable of producing 36 bhp of maximum power at 6,000 rpm, mated to a 4-speed gearbox. The Super Meteor 700 later received a power bump with a maximum output of 40 bhp.
Royal Enfield Continental GT 250
The Royal Enfield Continental GT 250 was launched in the UK market in 1965. The motorcycle came with a tear-down fuel tank, clip-on handlebars, single café racer-style seat, rear set footrests, and upswept exhaust. The race-styling and fly-screen helped the motorcycle in garnering decent sales.
The Royal Enfield Continental GT 250 also received an optional Avon 'Speedflow' full sports fairing in the red and white factory colours. Powering the GT 250 was a 248 cc, single-cylinder motor that pumped out a maximum power of 21 bhp at 7,500 rpm, mated to a 4-speed transmission.
Royal Enfield Interceptor 750
The Royal Enfield Interceptor 750 was mainly manufactured for the North American market and was in production from 1960 to 1968. The motorcycle came with two engine options – 692 cc and 736 cc. The Interceptor 700 was introduced from 1960 and was available till 1961, which was followed by the Series I and II models (Interceptor 750).
The Royal Enfield Interceptor 750 Series II was available from 1962 to 1968 and came with a 736 cc, twin-cylinder motor. The air-cooled engine was capable of producing 52.5 bhp of maximum power at 6,000 rpm, mated to a 4-speed gearbox. The Interceptor 750 had a top speed of 105 mph (175 km/h).
Royal Enfield Lightning 535
The Royal Enfield Lightning 535 was a cruiser motorcycle, which was later replaced by the Royal Enfield Thunderbird. The bike used the same engine from the Bullet 500, which was bored-out to 535 cc with an 87 mm bore. Royal Enfield also produced a rare Lightning 350 in India that pumped out 18 bhp of max power along with 26.9 Nm of peak torque.
The Royal Enfield Lightning 535 featured an electric starter and two-tone paint scheme and was an India-specific model. The 535 cc, single cylinder motor was tuned to produce a maximum power of 26 hp at 5,400 rpm while developing a peak torque of 38.40 Nm at 3,000 rpm, mated to a 4-speed tranny.
Royal Enfield Taurus 325
The Royal Enfield Taurus 325 was the first and the only mass-produced diesel motorcycle to be sold in India. The Taurus 325 used a Greaves Lombardini-sourced 325 cc, single-cylinder diesel motor with indirect injection. The engine was capable of producing 6.5 bhp of maximum power and 15 Nm of peak torque, mated to a 4-speed gearbox.
The motorcycle had an enviable fuel economy of 85 km/l, while it got a top speed of 65 km/h. The Royal Enfield Taurus 325 had a kerb weight of 196 kg. The bike was on sale in India from the late 1980s till 2000 and was exported to some international markets.