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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Royal Enfield Bullet factory visit

Visiting Royal Enfield Factory in Tiruvottiyur in Chennai was on my wishlist for considerable time. They do allow visitors on Saturdays (Costs Rs 600, includes a Royal Enfield T shirt) We’d planned a visit couple of times earlier, but for various reasons it didn’t materialize.
enfield-bullet-robo  another early variant of Royal Enfield
Last week when Srini alerted me about a tweetup happening there, I opted in. Subsequently last Saturday me and few other twitter users who opted in were given a brief overview of the 60 years old Royal Enfield (aka Bullet) factory…
an early variant of Royal Enfield bike
This post shares some photos taken during the factory visit and some related information.tweeps
I was at their reception some 30 minutes ahead of schedule, killed time reading the books and magazines at the reception. What caught our attention was two dolls made up from Royal Enfield bike parts, image below. Also in the racks was a book which outlines Royal Enfield history and tradition. Couple of photos of early Royal Enfield bikes are interesting to watch…
500-cc-re-engine royal-enfield-logo 
We met Pravin, who handles most of Royal Enfield’s media activities. After a brief intro we were taken inside the factory. Visitors are allowed to photograph in only select areas, so that none of the confidential information (intellectual property of RE) related to Royal Enfield bikes get into public  domain.

We walked through an area where reworking was being done (If the bikes fail to satisfy the engineers during various tests, they are sent back to this section for fine tuning). Next to it was the engine assembly area. In that small area, an engine block which is nothing but a piece of metal gets lot of components into it, through the trained hands of Royal Enfield engineers and gets converted into a powerful 350 or 500 cc engine which makes the heart of a powerful bike passionately known as Bullet.
royal-enfield-trademark 350cc-royal-enfield-engines
We had a quick walkthrough inside the Engine assembly area, where workers were adding various components to the engine block and at the end of it a completed engine would come out, which were allowed to click. Because the assembly process is not fully automated and engineers manually add and configure parts, each engine gets a distinctive beat.
speed-testing-a-bulletnicely-stacked-petrol-tanks
The engine which comes out of this assembly area is tested on a dummy chassis by Royal Enfield supervisors. They fill petrol into it, fire it up, run it at various acceleration levels and listen to the engine beat. By listening to the engine noise (beat),  they detect any malfunctioning or shortcoming. After they’re satisfied with the engine, they would attach a green sticker on it and pass it on for further assembly.

Other sections we visited was painting section. Most important aspect in this section was hand painting of signature stripes. This work is done by two brothers, who work in shifts and hand paint the golden stripes on bullet’s fuel tank and other parts. Mr Jai Kumar in the pics below- it was nice watching him paint the tank...
 hand-painted-golden-stripe one of the two legendary painting brothers

Adjacent to paint section is a section where metal parts are chemically treated. These treatments ensure that the parts survive in toughest weathers and last for decades. Have a look at the gold plated mud guards- it is only for a few seconds it stays that way- turns back to chrome in next dip into a chemical chamber…
chemical-treatmentafter-treatment 
Finally we were taken to final assembly area, where engines are mounted on the frame, wheels, silencer, seat and other components are attached here. End of this line a complete bike rolls out on its wheels.
We’re not done yet. Once completely assembled, the bikes are tested on a stationary rotor at all speeds. Here engineers ride the bike till its top speed, without moving an inch in reality. Helps them identify any unusual noise or beat. Final phase is the road test, where bikes are ridden on a test track, to ensure that its clutch, brakes, suspension and everything else works to perfection in real life scenarios (sharp turns, speed breakers etc)

Finally the bike is sent to dispatch section, where remaining petrol and engine oil is drained out, bikes is wrapped in thermocol and shipped to the showroom near you…

There’re some bullet models which you can see only in the factory and not on roads, as they are made either exclusively for Army or Export market..
royal-enfield-military-variant
Overall it was a great time spent there in the factory, learning more about the legendary bike that everyone admires. Some key information about Royal Enfield factory and its bikes will be shared in next post.

You can follow Royal Enfield on twitter, facebook or their blog...

Related: Bajaj Discover long term ownership report * Yelagiri Bike trip * New Honda Unicorn Review (2007) * Commuting to work by Cycle- pros and cons * Satyam Computers Bike Parking Sticker *

17 comments :

ಸುಬ್ರಮಣ್ಯ ಮಾಚಿಕೊಪ್ಪ said...

ಗುಡ್ ಇನ್ಫಾರ್ಮೇಶನ್

magiceye said...

that was interesting..

NAMA TULUVER said...

Good information on legendary Bullet which we all are fan of.....

Team G Square said...

Nice post and info . Want to visit this place in future .

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Subramanya, Deepak, NT and TGS

Namratha said...

Wow.. I din know those stripes were hand painted..Niiiice...

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Namratha

Ms S said...

The video is good but who is that joker who shouts "Can I sign it?". So disrespectful of the artist at work. What a jackass!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

hmm.. didn't notice who said that...

Nagesh Kumar said...

ನಿಧಿಯವರೆ, ನಿಮ್ಮ ಬ್ಲಾಗ್ ಓದಿ ನನಗೆ ತುಂಬಾ ತೃಪ್ತಿಯಾಯಿತು..ನಿಮ್ಮಂತ ಪ್ರತಿಭಾವಂತ ಯುವ ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರು ನಮ್ಮ ನಡುವೆ ಚೆನ್ನೈ ನಲ್ಲಿರುವುದು ಬಹಳ ಅಭಿಮಾನ ತಂದಿತು.

ನನಗೆ ಕೆಲವು ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳಿವೆ..ನಿಮಗೆ ಇ -ಮೈಲ್ ಮೂಲಕ ಪತ್ರ ಬರೆಯ ಬಹುದೆ? ನಿಮ್ಮ ಇ-ವಿಳಾಸ?

ಮೊದಲಿಗೆ ನಂನಮ್ಮ ಹೆಸರಿನ ಬ್ಲಾಗ್ ( domain) ಪಡೆಯುವುದು ಹೇಗೆ?..ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಬ್ಲಾಗರ್ ಗೆ ಹಣ ಪಾವತಿಸಬೇಕೆ? ಅದು premium feature ಎ?

ಇತಿ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಸವಿನಯ

ನಾಗೇಶ್ ಕುಮಾರ್,
ಚೆನ್ನೈ-೨೦

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Nagesh:
Costs about 10$ per year... you can migrate from Blogger dashboard (settings-publishing)

Domain names subject to availability

You can mail me on admin at enidhi dot net

Best wishes

vinayak hegde said...

I was hoping to go and was looking for a first hand report on the experience.

Enjoyed the article. Thanks a lot

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Vinayak

Royal Enfield Bullet said...

I am a huge fan of Royal Enfield bikes and their thump.Its a great information about Royal Enfield Bullet shared here.Royal Enfield is India's pride in heavy bike segment.

sumit verma said...

sir why are you not made bullet 4s standard i do not purchase bike for this reason sir pls remake bullet 4s left side brake

sumit verma said...

sir why are you not made standard 4s left side break we are 4 friend wait for that kind of bullet

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Sumit: Hope RE answers your question