Royal Enfield is the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the 350 cc range in the country
You may own a Royal Enfield motorcycle or at least have noticed them on the streets with their signature exhaust note. Sure, these RE motorcycles are quite heavy and mastering them can take some time. But what many people are certainly not aware is that there’s quite a bit of uniqueness about each of these motorcycles.
Several parts are handcrafted and there’s some artwork (golden pinstripes aka ‘Madras stripes’) as well done by skilled artists. These factors ensure a unique DNA for every Royal Enfield motorcycle, even though it may not be noticeable to the untrained eye.
We can get a better idea when we take a look at the manufacturing process of Royal Enfield motorcycles. A video posted by YouTuber ‘Autospinn Channel’ is helpful, as it captures a detailed walkaround of RE’s manufacturing facility in Oragadam, Chennai. Auto manufacturing utilizes automated processes as well as human labour, something that is clearly evident at RE’s manufacturing facility.
RE manufactures its engines in-house, which are known for their rugged performance and simplistic, air-cooled design. However, next-gen BS6 engines are far more advanced in comparison to their predecessors. Once an engine is completely assembled, it is independently tested on an engine test rig. Various parameters such as emissions, sound and vibrations are tested to ensure that they are within the specified limits.
The assembly line is where the products are given their final shape, starting with fitting the engine inside the chassis. The other parts are added next such as front and rear tyres, fenders, electrical wiring, fuel tank, instrument console, headlight, seat, front and rear indicators, and tail lamp. When the motorcycle is ready, it is put through another round of testing that includes checking acceleration, brakes and exhaust. The motorcycles are also tested at an outdoor test track.
It is worth noting that Royal Enfield has started production at its Oragadam factory after certain restrictions have been lifted in Orange and Green zones. However, operations are currently being carried out in a staggered manner in single shifts and with minimal staff. The company is strictly following social distancing and sanitization norms that are critical for controlling the spread of coronavirus.
RE has two other manufacturing facilities in Tiruvottiyur and Vallam Vadagal, which are yet to start operations. RE’s dealership network is also partially operational as of now. The company is hopeful that around 300 of its dealerships will be functional by mid-May. For the benefit of its customers, RE has launched special initiatives such as home test rides and extension of service and warranty for two months.