If you're not a motorcyle rider it's a bit hard to explain but there's something special about British bikes. I've owned Italian, Spanish and Japanese bikes but it's two vintage Triumphs and a BSA that I remember most fondly. And while it's been some time since the epic trips of my youth across Canada, or from France to Turkey, I have to admit to sometimes pondering the purchase of yet another British roadster. But this time I'd go for a brand new one, because back then the reliability of English two-wheelers was, shall we say, somewhat less than optimal.
The good news is that now you can experience the best of the vintage British cycle experience while benefiting from advances in manufacturing. So while current models from Triumph and Norton have maintained a classic aura, they can be counted on to actually get you to where you are going. The same would also seem to be the case for the less well-known — but also cool — Royal Enfield. Founded in 1893, the firm cranked out a wide range of models with the motto of "Made like a gun, goes like a bullet." And in fact it was the Bullet model that Enfield of India began assembling in 1956, moving on to complete manufacturing in 1962. This proved to be a good thing, since Royal Enfield itself went bust in 1970. It was left to the Indian branch to carry the torch, which rather remarkably it has done to this day. Royal Enfield is now the oldest motorcycle brand in the world still in production, with the Bullet model enjoying the longest motorcycle production run of all time.
Apparently the first quarter of this year was the best ever for Royal Enfield, due in part to the opening of a state of the art facility in Oragadam, which saw the quality of the bikes improve dramatically. Along with that came a new logo (shown above), which certainly differs from the classic approach, notably with the use of a curious Ro combination, but somehow it's not extreme enough of a departure to be annoying. Also shown here is the new monogram and fuel tank badges, which also keep the vintage flag flying. And just for good measure, below are some logos from other British bike manufacturers, most now just a distant memory.