Royal Enfield vs Harley Davidson
Having a vintage cruiser is the dream of most biking collectors. However, classic bikes do not come cheap. Royal Enfield has been taking on the turf previously controlled by Harley and in the article we tell you why.
Harley has a long history producing cruisers and this has generated a loyal community of fans from across the world. Competition between this two biking brands is close to a David-Goliath battle.
Not to be underestimated, Royal Enfield has been making great inroads into the motorcycle segment hence gaining lots of new followers.
What are the differences between Harley Davidson and Royal Enfield?
|Comfort||Luxurious design||Economical spare parts|
|Price||high end market||Moderately priced|
|Bike category||Classic cruisers||Super bikes and cruisers|
Harley Davidson vs Royal Enfield – How do they compare?
Harleys have largely dominated the vintage segment. They produce high quality cruisers that are primarily marketed in the US.
It is this market that Royal Enfield has been trying to cannibalize through affordable quality cruisers that are manufactured in India.
When it comes to quality it is hard to beat a Harley. You will find most Harleys coming with well adorned chrome frames with titanium valves while the leather is often of higher quality.
In fact if you take a closer look at the pricing you will notice that the cheapest Harley will not come close enough to the Enfield most expensive model.
However, for those seeking a moderately priced vintage bike the Enfield becomes a better option.
Harleys are known for their high performance engines. A close comparison between the Enfield interceptor and the Harley street 750 clearly illustrates some of this differences.
The Harley is capable of a displacement of 749cc while the Enfield comes in at 648cc. The horsepower for both bikes is the same but the Harley generates more torque.
It also has a larger bore at 85mm and higher compression ratio. Harleys have more displacement when compared to the Enfield.
Nothing beats a Harley when it comes to comfort. The seats are all leather and very comfortable. You will find some models sporting additional passenger seats which is quite cool when you are riding long distance.
The chrome on the body frame in most Harleys is high quality and this contributes to its high price. Royal Enfield also have some high vintage models meant to compete with the Harley but the quality of the equipment and accessories does not match that of the Harley.
Harley Davidson vs. Royal Enfield – A Comparison overview
Royal Enfield –Overview
Royal Enfield is an Indian motorcycle company that is best known for its Enfield bullet motorcycle as well as other single and twin cylinder motorcycles. The company traces its roots to the first production model the “bullet” manufactured in 1901.
This makes the motorcycle maker one of the oldest in the world. The bike maker is currently headquartered in Chennai, India.
The journey to create the bullet begun as a result of the Indian government looking for a suitable bike model to use in service delivery. The Royal Enfield Bullet 350cc was introduced and the police ordered some 800 units.
Later, in 1990 the company joined hands with the Eicher group to venture into production of automotive and gears. One of their most innovative and recent bikes is the interceptor and continental GT.
This bike comes with a 650cc engine; it has gained popularity in the US. Royal Enfield has made some changes to its production line so that it now features new color schemes and a redesigned company logo.
Royal Enfield Continental GT 650
This has become one of Royal Enfield iconic bike models. It features a parallel twin, fuel injected 648cc air/oil cooled engine that is capable of generating 47HP at a torque of 52Nm.
Power is delivered to the bike tires through a chain drive six speed gearbox. The Continental GT 650 is quite sporty looking and it is easy to confuse it with one of the Harleys brand models.
The seat is positioned in such a way that you can enjoy leisurely cruises with ease. The bike weighs in at 198kg and is available in ventura blue, black magic, Dr. Mayhem, Mister clean and ice queen colors.
As for braking, you get some 320mm singles discs for the front and 240mm at the rear. Suspension is average with front conventional forks and preloaded adjustment gas charged shocks for the rear.
The tires are 18 inch rims. This makes the continental an ideal bike for city rides especially where there are potholes.
The instrumentation combines both digital and analogue dials. For the speedometer and tachometer you get analogue dials while the digital screen offers you information about the odometer, fuel level and two trip meters.
For a better riding position the continental GT comes with low handlebars and rearset fotpegs. The only downside we noticed is that the headlights are not LED – which has become standard in most motorcycles.
Royal Enfield Classic Stealth Black
If you are looking for something more distinguished and that clearly stands out from the crowd then the Stealth black is a bike of choice. As the name suggests the bike is painted in stealth black and comes with a 499cc engine that is capable of delivering 27.2 HP @rpm of 5,250.
For braking you get standard anti-lock braking system from Royal Enfield and front and rear discs. The bike weighs 194kg and uses a single cylinder engine that ensures smooth handling and acceleration. The pricing is fair and this makes it a popular choice for many people residing in India.
Royal Enfield Classic desert storm
If the stealth black is not to your liking due to the dark shades then you can opt for the desert storm. This classic motorcycle is adorned with a unique sand color that gives it a classical look from the 1950s.
The bike is something the older generation would be in love with as they reminisce on the good old times. The desert storm comes with an engine that is quite similar to the stealth black.
You get a 499cc engine that delivers 27.2HP @rpm of 5,250 and this enables you to hit a peak torque of 41.3 Nm. The single cylinder engine is supported by a five speed gear box. The bike is lighter than the stealth black and weighs 187kg.
The fuel tank and the bikes exterior are all finished with some post-war graphics that gives the bike that awesome vintage look. The engine is fuel injected and handles well during regular commutes.
The front tires are 19 inch while your get 18 inches for the rear. The desert storm comes with ABS but it is not modified for off-road capabilities besides it looking the part. Overall, this is an excellent bike for someone who is still stuck in the World I and II era.
Harley Davidson –Overview
Harley Davidson is one of the most renowned motorcycle maker in the world. The bike manufacturer traces its history to 1903 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
It is here that it survived the great depression, World I and II and become one of the best cruiser bike makers. The company has had such huge success over the years that today it is into merchandise and antic museums.
Harley 1990 FLSTF Fat Boy
Almost anyone who is into bikes has some point encountered the fat boy. The cruiser rouse through the ranks from its introduction in 1990 to become one of the most loved cruisers by Harley Davidson.
Part of its iconic design is that it comes with large front and rear 16-inch wheels. The body frame is all silver with some dash of yellow on the sides. This gives it a distinguishing classic look.
Flared fenders are added to accentuate its looks. Manufacturer for the fat boy continued till 2017 when it was replaced by FLFBS/FLFB.
The Fat boy comes with all chrome components and Milwaukee 1745cc engine that is capable of delivering 144 NM of torque. Transmission is through a six speed gear box with easy shifting gears.
The fat boy is massive and weighs 322kg. The 19.1 liter fuel tank comes in handy when you are doing long trips outside your city. While the bike is a classic it does come with some upgraded electronics like semi-digital electronics to display the fuel level, odometer, tachometer, clock, low battery voltage and a low fuel indicator.
The seat and tank are all leather and you get a stylish FLH-handlebar. Since the fenders are chopped off, you can easily view the iconic disc wheels. At the front you get a 160mm tire with 240mm at the rear.
Harley Davidson Street Glide Special
The cruiser looks like something from a 70s movie. It comes with everything that represents the classic Harley Davidson look. It is a low slung stance that has some similarities from the standard street glide.
When it comes to power, the glide special boosts a massive 1,745cc engine that is capable of delivering 65HP at a torque of 150 NM. To enable smooth transmission of this double cylinder bike it comes with a six speed manual gearbox.
Also, you get both front and rear disc brakes. The street glide special is quite heavy at 376kg and you can choose from any of the 7 available colors during purchase.
Some components of the glide special are blacked out for aesthetic appeal like the fuel tank console, front forks, exhaust system, and handlebar.
The stretched saddlebags are ideal for those long distance travels. While the street special gives the vibe of an old fashioned motorcycle the instruments on the cruiser are up to date as you get a GTS touchscreen with Bluetooth functionality.
This enables you to control stuff like phone functions, navigation, and music from the comfort of your phone.
Harley Davidson CVO Limited
The CVO stands for custom vehicle operations division and is one of the luxurious cruisers by Harley Davidson. The bike is quite exclusive and fans from across the world are trying to get a taste of it.
The first variant was the softail convertible that saw entry in 2010. The bike was a huge success and this led to the manufacturers to come up with a CVO in 2012.
Now you get a passenger seat that is loved by women, a windscreen and a removable backstreet. The bike is massive at 431kg and comes with rugged looks that men riders love.
The CVO comes with a large engine that has a displacement of 1,868cc and this helps it deliver 168Nm. In fact the twin cooled Milwaukee-eight engine is one of the most powerful by Harley Davidson.
Transmission is through a six speed manual gear box and you get additional anti-lock braking system.
At the front you get full LED headlights that work exceptionally well at night and some latest electronics like cruise control. The assumption some riders make is since the bike has a classical look it may lack on the electronic side.
But the CVO comes with an intuitive 6.5 inch display screen that allows you to view all your instrumentals at the touch of a button. You also get heated hand grips, hard panniers and a solid security system. Overall, the bike comes with three colors and is something you should add to your biking collection.
Now let’s compare 2 popular Harley Davidson and Royal Enfield
|Model||Harley Street 750||Enfield Interceptor 650|
|Max power||47 HP||47 HP @rpm 7,250|
|Max Torque||59 Nm @rpm 3,750||52 Nm @rpm 5,250|
|Ignition||CDI||Digital spark ignition|
|Cooling system||Liquid cooled||Air/oil cooled|
|Transmission||Belt drive||Chain drive|
When it comes to luxurious vintage bikes then the most common name in the market is Harley Davidson. The bikes come with chrome plated frames and have high capacity engines that announce their presence.
Royal Enfield has joined this category of cruisers by developing vintage bikes for the general public that are both affordable and high quality. However, the Harleys still command an edge on the high end of the market.