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The AMAZING stories of Harley Davidson and Royal Enfield

Last updated on: July 14, 2012 10:40 IST

The AMAZING stories of Harley Davidson and Royal Enfield

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Rajpal Singh, Bike Dekho.com

One is brattishly American, the other exudes British elegance. And yet the contribution of both Harley Davidson and Royal Enfield remains unparalleled. Rajpal Singh takes a look at the history of the two iconic bike manufacturing companies.

Royal Enfield India and Harley Davidson are the two most prominent and acclaimed bike brands in the world. While, the Royal Enfield is the fantasy of every Indian biker, the other one rules the hearts of bikers all over the world.

Both are known for massive and sturdy cruiser bikes that possess everlasting veteran looks. The classy Thunderbird with powerful engine has been thundering the roads worldwide for decades now.

Harley Davidson has brought an all new culture of touring. The bikes not only have a legacy of being world class but in fact they form an entire culture. Whereas, Royal Enfield has also been ruling the young hearts since their inception and they in fact can provide the similar riding pleasure that a Harley gives to its riders.

Royal Enfield bikes are as famous in India as Harley Davidson bikes are in America. When Harley Davidson came to India in 2009, everyone was expecting a royal clash between these two legendary icons. Fortunately, both brands have kept their glories intact.

Courtesy




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The AMAZING stories of Harley Davidson and Royal Enfield

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The story of Harley Davidson started with four bike crazy students. These were William A Davidson, Walter Davidson, Sr, Arthur Davidson and William S Harley. These four made their first bike in the year 1903.

This 405cc bike is from where the journey of success started for Harley Davidson as a company and as one of the most famous slogan of Harley Davidson -- The road starts here, it never ends -- goes, HD never looked back.

They launched the legendary and most successful 880cc V-twin engine of the all time, in February 1907 at Chicago Auto Expo and after this they officially started the production of their bikes in 1908.

Harleys with this great engine were able to achieve a top speed of 100 kmph. They had left their closest 'Indian' competitor, which was the most famous motorcycle brand of America at that point of time, far behind. The craze of these legendary bikes was skyrocketing during the world war era. The stressed and depressed people needed something to explore their feeling and freedom.

HD provided this to them with their bikes that had immense riding pleasures and sheer touring abilities. Today, there are innumerable fans and fan clubs that exist all over the world who have followed the legacy of this bike and thus have contributed to the Harley Culture. There are a number of thrilling bikes that are present in their portfolio which have been made with as much precision as their very first bike.




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HD's British counterpart, Royal Enfield, has its own story as well. The legendary bike manufacturer started its legacy in 1893in England and it was brought to India by the Indian government in 1955. The Indian government was looking for suitable bikes for the Indian army for patrolling purposes.

The company had to supply 800 350cc bikes and because of this huge number, they made an alliance with Madras Motors of Chennai.

Later in 1962, the English company stopped the production in England. Thereafter, the Madras Motors started the production and established the Royal Enfield Motors in India.

The Bullet and Classic models have been sold for over 57 years now and the basic design of the model hasn't been changed ever since. Royal Enfield bikes are known for their everlasting design and performance.

As is the case with Harley, there are hundreds of fan clubs of Royal Enfield especially in India. The Indian tourer bikes were the first ones to bring in the craze of touring in the country; in fact Royal Enfield is what taught and defined the meaning of touring for Indians.

These bikes have always been seen as the riding treat and with so many manufacturers coming in and going out, yet these bikes have had their loyalists and these are ever growing.




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Both, Harley and Enfield are known for their veteran styling, riding pleasure and immense power that they deliver.

Moreover, what makes these bikes so special is the feel that the rider gets while on the bike, a feel that no words can define and a feel that can only be felt.

The India-based Enfield is known for the cruiser bikes at comparatively affordable prizes, while owning a Harley bike requires you to dig deep in your pockets.

Enfield models available in India at present are Classic, Bullet and Thunderbird. There are two engine options of 350cc and 500cc which are available for the Bullet and Classic, while a 500cc model for the Thunderbird will be launched shortly.

There are variants of the Bullet and Classic available which are Classic Desert Strom, Classic Chrome, Classic Battle Green, Classic 350 and 500, and the Bullet Electra, Bullet 350 and 500.




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On the other hand, Harley Davidson was the most awaited brand in India for a long time till it was launched in 2009. Harley Davidson India was established to assemble and sell Harley bikes in the country.  Assembling of the Harley bikes has helped the legendry bike maker avoid high import tariffs and lower the prices of its motorcycles in India by an approximate 20-25 per cent in 2011.

Harley Davidson range starts from Rs 5.60 lakhs with Harley Davidson Superlow model and goes up to Rs 35.45 lakhs for Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide marquee.

The other models available in the country are Iron 883, Forty-Eight, FatBoy, 883 Roadstar, XR 1200X and Superglide Custom. All these superbikes have the cruising abilities which help riders to glide over the roads, and make the riding pleasurable in both off-road and on-road conditions.




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Harley Davidson is planning to set up a manufacturing plant in India so they can reduce the prices further, which will surely be a treat for the Harley fans...

Both the legendary bike manufacturers have a great legacy behind them. While Harley Davidson was one which brought the touring culture worldwide, Royal Enfield initiated it in India. Harley is known for manufacturing massive bikes with really huge engines worldwide and Royal Enfield does the same on Indian standards. Enfield does not just manufacture bikes rather it sets the standard of biking for Indians. Whatever said and done, these bikes have same qualities but they are just on different scales, they are both perfect for riding and synonyms for touring, whether in India or across the world.




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