A cult motorcycle from India takes on the world
News from NDTV:

Continental GT, a midsize ‘cafe racer’

New Delhi: The Royal Enfield Bullet, often described as the oldest continuously produced motorcycle in the world, is a cult product for enthusiasts who love it for its vintage feel as much as for the thrum of its engine.

Muscular and pliant, the Bullet – an Indian-made avatar of an old British brand – has found renewed popularity over the past few years, as leisure motorcycling in India has blossomed. Its manufacturer, Royal Enfield Motors, sold almost 175,000 motorcycles – Bullets as well as three other brands – in 2013.

Royal Enfield’s newest model, a midsize “cafe racer” called the Continental GT, was introduced at an elaborate event in London in September.

“It’s the first bike that we’ve developed keeping the world market in mind,” said Siddhartha Lal, who is credited with turning Royal Enfield around.

Lal, 40, is the chief executive of Eicher Motors, a manufacturer of buses, trucks and tractors that owns Royal Enfield. Uncommonly for an Indian executive, he sports sideburns and wears jeans and a bomber jacket to meetings. He was riding a Bullet when he was in university, well before Eicher, under his father’s management, bought Royal Enfield in 1993.

The sale price was “just pennies,” Lal said. Eicher reported revenue of more than $ 1 billion in 2012.

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