The Fury of a bygone Era Riot Engine

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Royal Enfield Fury

The Fury of a bygone Era

For those motorcycling began in the first of the new millennium the only kind of known are ones that a four … engine. all motorcycles are either Japanese or  Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and are here.

 The last is a very minute niche while Yamaha and Suzuki are to gain traction in the Indian  Honda is the one player who has made its felt, thanks mainly to the start it had with the Activa and on the Unicorn but still as things it is only the fourth biggest in the Indian market.  Its partner who still depends on it for Hero, is the numero uno but all their are essentially Hondas.

 Bajaj and TVS carved good positions and reputations for themselves while Enfield who is the oldest manufacturer of in India is confined to selling of the 1940s vintage to a market is steeped in nostalgia.  That too is a market.  But there was a when Royal Enfield or we actually say Enfield India had ambitions as well, those did not reach fruition.

 In fact, story is about one model of which was to have catapulted into the main stream but sadly did not.  But motorcycle has a pedigree which is interesting to look at and one wonders may have been had its story scripted otherwise.  The motorcycle goes by the name of and is a legend in its own right albeit a small bunch of people.

 To this story it is necessary to to the 1980s and that is what we do.

The 1980s are to Indian motorcycle what the 1960s were to in general.  In Europe the 1960s all about revolution, change and new society, a spirit well by Jean Luc Goddard in one of his films. the motorcycling enthusiasts and for the general the same was happening in India.

 In the societal revolution that wanted never happened but in India in the 1980s a revolution across changing everything in its  To understand the success of that one has to understand what was happening in the of the country then.

Years of rhetoric and dysfunctional industrial controlled by the Government had meant the Indian economy was beginning to the ability to generate sufficient wealth for the people to enjoy. was the time when the Prime of India, Rajiv Gandhi to introduce a new regime that do away with the licence Raj in sectors and open them up for new to emerge.

 It was also the first dose of that opened up possibilities of new and allowing foreign manufacturers to an investment as long as it did not cross a limit.  One of the sectors was opened up was the two wheeler sector and there was a restriction on the engine of the motorcycles that could be with foreign collaboration – a of 100cc.

 The first to avail of this opportunity was Motorcycles Limited (later to TVS Suzuki) which collaborated society to form a company Ind-Suzuki motorcycles and it launched the two AX 100.  The next was company called Hero that made the all conquering … 100cc called the CD 100 later spawned the Splendor, the and the various 100cc motorcycles Hero still makes.

third player was Escorts the of the venerable Rajdoot who tied up Yamaha to make the Yamaha RX 100 yet two … 100cc.  The of Escorts is interesting because it made the now famous and then RD 350 under licence from but owing to pathetic fuel the motorcycle died a very sad and ….  The fourth in the market was Bajaj who brought the name into the market a technical collaboration.

This that the old Indian bike Enfield India and Ideal the makers of the Jawa (later to Yezdi) were left any collaboration.  Of the two the position of Enfield was precarious as the Bullet 350cc it made was notoriously unreliable and to maintain.  It was but natural that it was the to feel insecure since the of the Bullet began to plunge.

then was under the control of the Group/family of Madras (now and they decided to do something it.

The Viswanathan family or the Enfield of knew the weaknesses of its product-the  They had therefore tried to with another product was a 200cc two … motorcycle was called the Mini Bullet.  It in reasonable numbers but not enough to any of the old players leave alone the new

 If you have been reading story so far, you would noticed that with the of Hero Honda nobody did with four …  The reason being two were more reliable and more easier and economical to since those engines had moving parts. Also, a two engine fires once revolution of the crankshaft, whereas a … fires every two

Also every alternate in a two … is a power … in the four … where for four strokes you have a …. This meant two strokes were more delivered the power faster and in a sort of way.  The of the Bullet did nothing for the cause of strokes and therefore, wherever the partner had the way, it was two ….

in the case of Hero Honda the was different since Hero had no of motorcycles but more importantly willing to listen to what had to say and Honda has always favoured strokes.

But to come back to our Enfield India decided it needed more two strokes to be to withstand the new pressures brought by the new  By the time they decided to do like that the Japanese had been snapped up already and they looked towards  In Europe, thanks to the Japanese, motorcycle manufacturers had disappeared and included England the original of the Bullet.

Italy had a few manufacturers but they were teetering on the of collapse and they made large capacity sports  Enfield somehow managed to the German manufacturer Zundapp had shut shop and was willing to not only its technology and designs but its production line itself. the Viswanathan group decided to them all.

But in what can be considered a “difficult to understand” Enfield decided that it take a bottom up approach and to start with 50cc the step through Silver and the motorcycle Explorer, then up to 100cc with the Enterprise and to the 175cc Fury.  This was the middle years of the decade was the 1980s.

 Amazingly for that all the vehicles were to come things such as alloy and in the case of the Fury, even a brake. The company released that gave the launch to the people.  Some of these were also displayed at the ever Auto Expo in the of 1986 (there was a break of 6 before the second edition of the Expo happened).

 Enfield had a bizarre strategy of the capabilities of their motorcycles by test riders.  But to credit it must be said at people got to see the bikes turning wheels while in the case of LML and Pradesh Scooter Ltd people got to see pictures of their scooters placing money for bookings the XE and the PL 170 respectively) and the other manufacturers of the new motorcycles only displayed models while some dealers actually started the

 The Silver Plus had a good start in Southern and it is not uncommon to see some of them on the even today since sold well into the A lesser success but a success of nevertheless was the Explorer and that too the Silver Plus sold the mid 1990s.

Grease nipple for the cable, Fury switchgear

by the time the Silver Plus and established themselves, it was obvious the 100cc space had become too thanks to the four Indo-Jap the AX 100 (TVS Suzuki), the CD 100 (Hero the RX 100 (Escorts Yamaha) and the KB100 Bajaj) and in what can only be to be good thinking Enfield to postpone the launch of the 100cc and advance the launch of the 175cc  When it entered the market the was an extremely interesting motorcycle.

were certain things set it apart from others. engine capacity was different only the Rajdoot had an engine of 175cc among motorcycles from the Lambretta Mac scooter also had that capacity).  It was much later that Jawa launched the 175cc exhaust model with the Bajaj KB 100 parts bin providing the indicators and certain rubber

 The Fury was also the exception of the Bullet 350cc) the powerful motorcycle with a out put of 14 PS.

The way its engine was mounted was also  It was in a traditional double cradle but rubber bushes were in between the engine and the frame. was done apparently to minimize from being transmitted to the and the rider and what is interesting is due to the rubber mounts the engine to appear to sway a little bit idling, something that disappear once the engine up speed.

 This led to some wild stories about how the bushes were not simply bushes but that they had a viscous fluid contained in  Another interesting feature of the was the exposed frame that as a design detail. The people’s to the Fury was not exactly lukewarm.

 It was after all the only second after the Explorer, its own stable to sport a bikini fairing, a (the first was the Explorer but it was optional, the KB 100 being the only to come with a tachometer as alloy wheels, and it was the first to sport a disc brake on the wheel. It sold pretty initially before traditional gremlins came to the fore.

The problem was the gear box and inconsistent quality accounted for other such as front fairing  Perhaps the gear box of the Fury a story, one about why most manufacturers disappeared once the onslaught of the Japanese began in earnest.  It was obvious that the just did not bother to strengthen motorcycle engineering since the World War II, the motorcycle was no longer as mode of transport.

 It became a of recreation and the car took over as the of transport.  The electricals of the (and those of the Explorer) considered to be not as good as say those of the  The Fury though a handling motorcycle, could not the market due to its unreliability and expensive which were highlighted by its gear box.

 Gear was more about providence than riding skill and along with a dealer that was not properly trained to the problems and also competition other manufacturers meant the numbers of the Fury began to quite alarmingly.

What did not was the unfortunate tinkering with the troublesome gear box by Enfield. in the case of the Explorer, Enfield the number of gears from to three (due to the preconceived that Indian riders of capacity bikes did not like too gears) and therefore reaching and third gears was more due to than due to intent.  Enfield’s with the Fury’s gearbox was typically a case of the cure worse than the disease.

this tremendously negative hit Enfield they went to IIT (the mechanical engineering there actually) for support. mechanical engineering department at the IIT worked diligently for sometime on the but could not do something radically and the problems did not entirely disappear we say that teaching is one thing and doing something is another?). then decided to revamp the and achieved another first.

 They launched the motorcycle a two tone colour scheme.

motorcycle was called the Fury GP or Prix.  The two tone scheme used two very colours such as black and or deep red and silver.  The company that used a scheme was TVS Suzuki on its Supra  Enfield also tried to a leaf out of the Ind0-Jap motorcycles by a heel and toe shifting mechanism to gears, this to alleviate the of riders.

 Sadly however, the box was not entirely cured even the heel-toe mechanism offered convenience while locating the  The people however had used to the bullet proof of the Indo-Jap motorcycles and anything was increasingly becoming unacceptable.

for the first time in their took to advertising very  They advertised the Fury as the with “Guts For Glory”. they also asked to choose from bike would serve for years or up soon.  By doing this were trying to build on a misconception that existed in the then, that the Indo-Jap were flimsy and would not long.

 Their advertising “The quick pick up or the pack up” and asked the customer to  Suddenly it also dawned on that they had a disc on their motorcycle and decided to on that.  While the usual in those days harped on the taken to reach 60 km/h zero, Enfield decided to the stopping power by saying in certain number of metres.

Royal Enfield Fury

as they may, the Fury GP did not sell.  Examples of that are rare, but those who have like to keep them, that means that are keeping a certain piece of Motorcycle history with  Some others which are if found, are rescued by the likes of Mr. Kumar Kanakachalam, who has done glorious restoration of the Fury you see in these pictures.

 No matter the Fury is an important player in the history of Enfield in India and in the history of the Indian motorcycle  Its story tells us why the motorcycle market went in the that it did.  For fortunate people such as author, the Fury is reminder of a of power and pretty good despite the troublesome gearbox.

 If you ever find a Fury ask for a it will be something different and worth remembering.

P.S: Now bit is like the thing that you see in when the credit are being  What happened to the characters in the is also shown.  So imagine you are seeing the credits, even in this case the credits show only the name of Mr.

Kumar Kanakachalam.

In the 1990s the family sold Enfield to the Group.

Somebody in Enfield realized that since the British Company, Royal Motors was …, the rights to name could be bought by India.

The Eicher group that there was no point in the Zundapp range of motorcycles in the

The Enterprise was never launched and it was seen in the second edition of the Expo at New Delhi.

The Explorer was the motorcycle, after the Fury, to its last.

The Silver Plus for a while before it too went to the silently and without ceremony.

Eicher, Royal Enfield decided to become a niche and cater only to those who the Bullet.

Consultancies such as AVL used to make the Bullet a more Bullet proof.

The was launched.

The Bullet spawned versions such as the Electra and

Most recently Royal created a new Unit Construction of 500cc and 350cc.

The Classic 500 and the 350 were launched to resounding (by Enfield standards).

If you want to more, Mr. Muthu Kumar is the man for

The story is over, now what are you for.

If you read this it means that you really motorcycling history and failure nothing to you.

And if you have properly you will see that the has not been proof read.


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