harley davidson vs royal enfield

Harley Davidson vs Royal Enfield – Comparison of Two Iconic Manufacturers

In a battle for domination, two of the world’s most renowned motorcycle companies—Harley Davidson vs Royal Enfield—are in constant competition to gain loyal customers. Royal Enfield has long been revered as the bike of choice throughout India while Harley Davidson continues to earn an international fan base. Let us take a closer look at how these iconic manufacturers compare and contrast with one another.

History of Harley Davidson vs Royal Enfield

Established in 1903, Harley Davidson is a classic American motorcycle brand with over 100 years of heritage. During World War I, the US government purchased 15,000 motorcycles from Harley Davidson for their war efforts – illustrating its iconic status and power to withstand any challenge.

With a global presence, Harley Davidson is an acclaimed brand of motorcycles and proudly offers six distinct model families, such as Touring, Softail, Dyna, Sportster Vrod and Street. The company’s ability to tailor its bikes to the needs of all riders makes them unparalleled in quality and design.

From its beginnings as Enfield Manufacturing Co. Ltd in 1893, Royal Enfield has flourished into a company producing motorcycles, bicycles, lawnmowers and stationary engines. After experimenting with the fusion of a heavy bicycle frame attached to a Minerva engine on its downtube, this innovative brand created their first motorcycle – one that continues to be celebrated for its quality and craftsmanship today.

The Enfield Cycle Company had the honor of outfitting the British War Department with motorcycles in both WWI and WWII. In 1955, they made history by teaming up with Madras Motorcycles to form “Enfield of India”– assembling a fleet of 350cc Royal Enfield Bullets in Madras.

In 1971, the British division of Royal Enfield sold their possessions and authorization to use its name to India’s Enfield. Nowadays, Royal Enfield offers nine different models of motorcycles all over the globe such as Bullet, Electra, Thunderbird, Classic Desert Storm Fury Forest Green/Black and Continental.

Size and Weight

Harley Davidson motorcycles are renowned for their stature and heft. These bikes have been engineered to sustain an impressive top speed on the highway, while remaining solid as a rock for optimal safety. With its low center of gravity and seemingly tailored chassis design, you can enjoy clear cruising on level highways without worry.

Unpaved roads, potholes and rough terrain are no problem for the Royal Enfield – unlike Harley Davidson bikes which cannot take these treacherous paths. Not only can the Royal Enfield handle these terrains but its service cost is also far more affordable than that of a Harley Davidson– with an average cost around 3500 compared to 8000.

Royal Enfield’s highest displacement is 535cc, while Harley Davidson’s lowest engine displacement sits at 500cc and even has a learner-specific model. When it comes to weight, Royal Enfields typically weigh around 200kgs while Harleys are much heavier with most models weighing over 400kgs; making them more stable for cruising on the roads.

Model Variations

Harley Davidson provides a variety of model groups for its motorcycles. By contrast, Royal Enfield is more restricted in the number of models it offers. Aspiring to become established in North America, Royal Enfield has declared intentions to set up their headquarters and dealership in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They will be introducing 3 bikes – Bullet 500, Classic 500 and Continental GT 535 Cafe Racer – with this expansion venture.

The Royal Enfield collection is designed for touring at a leisurely pace, yet still with plenty of power. Their timeless beauty commands admiration from riders and onlookers alike.

Riding Experience

The riding experience of Harley Davidson vs Royal Enfield bikes varies significantly. Not only do HDs provide a smoother suspension that brings a car-like feel, but the padding on the seat and excellent riding position alleviate back pain frequently experienced during extended rides.

When you ride a Harley, the power delivery is virtually instantaneous and the bike remains stable when overtaking even at higher speeds. The road grip and braking of HD bikes are simply astounding due to their tires with robust treads, as well as powerful discs. On the other hand, Royal Enfield bikes have much skinnier tires which may not be suitable for everyone’s taste.

Royal Enfield bikes have an unmistakable old-school allure, and not only are they designed for comfort, but the riding experience is unparalleled. Moreover, these vehicles can manage gravel roads or bad conditions much improved than Harley Davidson motorbikes. Plus, in terms of general mileage performance – Royal Enfields exceed HD Motorcycles every time.

Build Quality and Street Cred

Harley Davidson bikes have earned a legendary reputation for their stellar build, resilience and street cred. Of course, they come at an elite price point because these bad boys are built to last. Not only that; Harley Davidson has created an expansive range of merchandise specifically tailored towards true fans of the brand.

On the flipside, Royal Enfield is an iconic and distinct brand that has a devoted fan base of motorcyclists. Since it was once owned by Britain, many people still adore this marque with unconditional loyalty.


As two of the most renowned motorcycle manufacturers worldwide, Harley Davidson vs Royal Enfield bring a unique flair to their respective markets. While the former has an expansive selection of models crafted in America, the latter is deeply rooted in India with its more limited array of bikes.

Harley bikes are distinguished for their sturdy frame, impressive power output, and superior size whereas Royal Enfield motorcycles stand out with their classic look, cozy ride quality and exceptional ability to tackle difficult terrain.

Harley Davidson motorcycles are renowned for their robustness and status, whereas Royal Enfield bikes have a dedicated cult following because of their iconic design.

Ultimately, the choice between two brands comes down to what fits your unique preferences and riding requirements. Each brand has its own merits and flaws that give it a distinct biking experience not seen elsewhere. As someone who loves cycling, it is imperative to carefully evaluate all factors before deciding on the one that best meets your needs.


Below are some FAQs on Harley Davidson vs Royal Enfield:

What is the history behind Harley Davidson vs Royal Enfield?

For over a century, Harley Davidson has been the quintessential American motorcycle manufacturer, established in 1903 by William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson. Before them however was Royal Enfield who had already developed its first motorbike back in 1901 as part of their company that crafted bicycles, lawnmowers and stationary engines since 1893.

What types of models do Harley Davidson vs Royal Enfield offer?

Harley Davidson presents its customers with an array of six bike models to choose from, such as the Touring series, Softail range, Dyna selection and more. In comparison to these offerings, Royal Enfield offers nine unique motorcycles that vary in style and performance from their popular Bullet line up to the Fury model.
Whether you’re a Harley enthusiast or venturing into motorcycling for the first time with Royal Enfield’s Desert Storm edition – there are plenty of choices available.

What is the difference in size and weight between Harley Davidson vs Royal Enfield bikes?

With some models tipping the scales at over 400kgs, Harley Davidson motorcycles are renowned for their heaviness. On the other hand, Royal Enfield bikes stand in stark contrast as they typically weigh around 200kgs.

What is the riding experience like on a Harley Davidson or Royal Enfield bike?

If you’re looking for a smooth, high-speed ride, Harley Davidson bikes are the way to go. Alternatively, Royal Enfield bikes provide comfort and nostalgia that make each journey unforgettable. No matter what kind of biking experience you seek out, these two brands offer something special for everyone.

What is the average service cost for Harley Davidson vs Royal Enfield bikes?

A basic service for a Royal Enfield bike costs roughly 3500, whereas that of Harley Davidson would be around 8000.

Are Harley Davidson vs Royal Enfield bikes better for long distance touring?

If you’re looking for a bike designed to cruise the countryside, both Harley Davidson vs Royal Enfield bikes are perfect choices. Nevertheless, when it comes to long-distance touring capabilities, Harley Davidson machines offer an edge with their high-speed performance while Royal Enfields will help you savor every moment as they roll along at double digit speeds.

How does the build quality of Harley Davidson vs Royal Enfield bikes compare?

Harley Davidson motorcycles are renowned for their robust construction and enduring quality, while Royal Enfield bikes boast a charm that captivates fans with its quirky yet unique style.

Which brand has a stronger brand image and street cred?

Harley Davidson is widely revered due to its iconic reputation and signature street style, with a variety of products made especially for Harley fans. Royal Enfield has an incredibly ardent fan base and is celebrated for its distinctive charm.

What is the difference in cost between Harley Davidson vs Royal Enfield bikes?

Compared to Royal Enfield motorcycles, Harley Davidson’s are generally more costly.

Which brand is better for handling bad roads and gravel?

When it comes to off-the-beaten track and challenging terrain, Royal Enfield bikes are undoubtedly the superior choice. Conversely, Harley Davidson motorcycles offer a luxurious journey on paved roads with no bumps or unexpected obstacles in sight.

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