Iconic motoring brand sets up shop in St Helens

Royal Enfield have opened a store in Thatto Heath
Royal Enfield have opened a store in Thatto Heath

The world’s oldest continuously-manufactured motorcycle has launched its first British store outside of London ... in Thatto Heath.

Rejuvenated Royal Enfield now has a spacious showroom presence at the heart of Millennium Motorcycles based at Aspinall Place.

One of the great automotive survivors, the world famous single-cylinder machines are now built in India and are enjoying such a revival that the company is on schedule to build more than 670,000 bikes this year, including the archetypal 500cc Bullet models.

Enfields finished being manufactured in the UK in 1970 when the original Royal Enfield Company, trademark Built Like A Gun, went bust along with most of the rest of the once world leading British motorcycle industry.

But amazingly enough a subsidiary established near Madras (now Chennai) in the 1950s supplied with original Redditch tooling has continued to this very day, producing the venerable machines which were trials world champions of their time at the hands of works star Jonny Brittain.

They are now totally updated boasting fuel injection, electric start and transistorised ignition.

The store concept, in Aspinall Place next to the Station, is based on Royal Enfield’s globally replicated retail identity, which includes its latest clothing range and a handful of iconic Enfields on display in a relaxed environment.

The store will sell Royal Enfield’s full range of motorcycles including the Continental GT, the Bullet and the Classic 500.

Head of international business at Royal Enfield Arun Gopal, said: “We continue to develop the mid-size motorcycle segment here in the UK, and we have expanded our retail presence in the North West for the first time to reflect this.

“The UK is Royal Enfield’s spiritual home and we are confident that we have a strong product pipeline that will help us to continue to expand our footprint across the country.”

Dealer principal Alan Pollard said that its new Royal Enfield store is a “unique concept” that is “very different” to how motorcycle dealerships usually look and feel.

He said: “We are looking forward to flying the flag for Royal Enfield in the North West and we’re confident the dealership will resonate well with new and existing customers.”

To mark the opening of the dealership, Millennium hosted a 100 mile cavalcade syle ride out to the Royal Airforce museum in Cosford near Telford to celebrate Royal Enfield’s roots.

The bikers were then treated to a cream team on arrival back at Millennium.

Steve Oliver, general manager at official Royal Enfield distributor MotoGB of Adlington, said: “St Helens is a great location for the Royal Enfield brand.

“It will cover the North West market, one of the UK’s most prolific areas for motorcycling.”