A new one on me – how about this 1960’s effort from Royal Enfield India – The Royal Enfield Fantabulous (or maybe Fantabulus). Now, it would be tempting to say the best thing about this scooter was the name… but, give it a look over, and it’s not a bad looking scoot. It sits a ‘little funny’ seeming have quite a nicely designed body riding ridiculously high on it’s wheels. This is particulary obvious at the front of the scooter, where tge (Lambretta style) fixed front mudguard looks like it’s been bolted on far too high up the legshields! The front wheel suspension system looks clunky and overly complicated, too, especially when you compare it to the set-up of a classic Lambretta or Vespa.
On the positive side, I like the fact that they haven’t just gone down the tried and tested design route of (often badly) copying a Vespa or Lambretta. I like the squared off look of the side-panels, and I really like the way they end up in Cadillac-esque style tail-fins, a nice period design touch! Reminds me of the 50’s aesthetic of this Cushman I posted back in 2011 (blimey, this blogs being going a while, hasn’t it!).
Powered by a 175cc 2-stroke Villiers engine (producing 7.5hp with a top speed of 60mph) with a heel and toe 4-speed gearbox, it also had an electric start using a Siba Dynastarter (although from the featured ad, there was a kick-start option), a chain drive with Earls forks and rear swinging arm controlled by Earls dampers.
Production started in 1962 and went on into the 1970’s. The cost in India was the equivalent of £175. You’d be hard-pushed to find a decent example today, although I suspect more than a few will exist on the Indian subcontinent.
Royal Enfield are still trading, and in fact claim to be oldest motorcycle brand in the world still in production. Licensed from Royal Enfield by the indigenous Indian Madras Motors, it is now a subsidiary of Eicher Motors Limited, an Indian automaker. The company makes classic looking motorcycles Royal Enfield Bullet, Classic 350, Meteor 350, Classic 500, Interceptor 650, Continental and many more. Royal Enfield also make adventurous and off-roading motorcycles like Royal Enfield Himalayan. Their motorcycles are equipped with single-cylinder and twin-cylinder engines.
These pics and the technical details were supplied to me by regular contributor, Darrin Slack, and appear to come from Team BHP, an Indian Performance Car site. Hopefully, they are ok with me using the pics here, in return for a link. Here’s the link: Team BHP.