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Enfield Indian Trailblazer

The Motorcycles made by Royal Enfield in England and sold in the USA as Indians


The RE Indians:
Fire Arrow
Hounds Arrow
Patrol Car

US Royal Enfields:
The Unit 250's & 350's
The 500, 700 and 750 Twins

Clymer Indians:
Indian Enfield
Indian Velo

More Foreign Indians:
Indian Brave
1970's 2-strokes

Enfield India
The 2-strokes: Crusader, Sherpa, Fury, Mini-Bullet, Fantabulus etc.

Alternative Enfields:
Carberry Enfield V-twin
Musket V-twin
Norcroft V-twin

The Parts Pages
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Enfield Indians - The Indian & Royal Enfield Connection - A Very Short History

Several years before production finally ceased at the Springfield, USA factory of the Indian Motocycle Company, an English firm, Brockhouse Engineering, took a substantial financial interest in the Indian business. Subsequently, Indian was divided into completely separate manufacturing and sales divisions, with Brockhouse taking full control of the Indian Sales Corporation, which for several years was the US distributor for the products of a number of English manufacturers, including Royal Enfield.

The manufacturing side of Indian closed in 1953. A year later, following the finalisation of an exclusive arrangement with Royal Enfield, the Indian Sales Corp. announced the introduction of a new range of Indians for the 1955 model year. There were four models initially: a 250cc (15 cubic inch) single, a 500cc (30.5 cu. in.) single, a 500cc twin and a 700cc (42.5 cu. in.) twin. Though prominently adorned with the traditional Indian script logo, the machines were basically Royal Enfields, albeit variously modified and styled to suit the American market. The agreement continued until September 1959, by which time the number of different models in the range had reached double figures, including a re-introduction of the flagship Indian Chief, though this was a parallel twin, not the iconic V-twin of old. Total production of all models over the five-year period is estimated at being a little more than 7000 units.

For the 1960 model year onwards, Royal Enfields were once again marketed in the US under their own name. Control of the Indian Sales Corp. passed to another English company, Associated Motorcycles Ltd. (AMC), well-known as the makers of several brands of machine, including Matchless. Various Matchless models were given some of the 1950's Enfield Indian names and sold as part of a range advertised as Matchless/Indian. However, unlike the Enfield-built machines, these models did not wear Indian badges, and were always identified as Matchless. During 1960/61 a slightly bizarre situation came about whereby, with remaining stock to shift, Matchless/Indian advertisements were also offering Enfield-built, Indian-badged machines for sale. Unsurprisingly, no mention was made of their somewhat unusual heritage. The AMC connection lasted for three years.

The final chapter in the story of the Enfield Indians came in the late 1960's, when the American arch-enthusiast, publisher and entrepreneur Floyd Clymer attempted to revive the Indian marque. Some of the promised range did go into limited production, including the Indian Enfield 750, which was actually built in Italy by Italjet, with a Tartarini-designed frame and Italian cycle parts housing a Royal Enfield 736cc (45 cu. in.) Series 2 Interceptor engine and transmission. Unfortunately, Clymer passed away unexpectedly in January 1970, thus bringing to a sudden and final end the curious connection between two of motorcycling's best-known manufacturing names. In a strange quirk of fate, Royal Enfield production in England ceased later the same year.

Some confusion can arise today, because Royal Enfield machines are still being made, in India. Although commonly described as Indian Enfields, these models have in fact always been badged either Enfield India, just plain Enfield, or Royal Enfield. Enfield operations in India had no business connection with Brockhouse or AMC, nor any of the various US-based Indian organisations.

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