Royal Enfield Taurus: India’s First And Only Diesel Motorcycle

Royal Enfield Taurus India's First & Only Diesel Bike
Royal Enfield Taurus India's First & Only Diesel Bike

There are some vehicles that have a cult of their own. And then there is a company like Royal Enfield whose every product becomes a part of the RE Cult. There are some well known RE bikes: Classic 350, Bullet, Thunderbird and so on. But, there is one forgotten Royal Enfield from the past, that was one of its kind. India’s first and only mass-produced diesel bike, the Royal Enfield Taurus. Yes, you read that right, there was a diesel bike. So, let’s go back into the past and know more about the Taurus.

1993: Royal Enfield launches Taurus

Royal Enfield Taurus India's First & Only Diesel Bike
Royal Enfield Taurus India’s First & Only Diesel Bike

Royal Enfield has been around since India got its independence. What started with the Indian Army ordering REs for border patrolling soon turned into a cult. During the 1990s, RE had no rival in the market that could challenge the hold of it. To strengthen the already strong presence, RE decided to launch a diesel engine powered bike. And that is how Taurus came into existence.

RE Taurus: What was so special about the bike?

Taurus Diesel Engine
Taurus Diesel Engine

If you take a glance at the Taurus, it’s just another Bullet. But, another Bullet with a diesel engine. It was a 325cc air-cooled single-cylinder diesel engine capable of producing 6.5hp of power and a peak torque of 15Nm. The peak torque used to come at just 2500 rpm making it a mean machine for sure. The engine was mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox.

This bike had a top speed of around 65kmph and used to give a fuel mileage of around 80kmpl! This 196kg Taurus was really a menace to start and control, especially for the weaker ones. The vibrations and the sound of the diesel engine were enough to shake the weak.

So, why don’t we see Royal Enfield Taurus today?

It was a good bike, though not as powerful as the petrol counterpart. Diesel used to be cheaper at that time and RE planned to offer a cheaper alternative. But the black smoke emissions were trouble for the Taurus. it was not able to pass the emission norms by the government. So, it had to be discontinued in 2000. It used to cost ₹65,000 at that time. You might come across a Taurus these days in some village but that’s it. The best-selling diesel motorcycle in the world was not able to capture a lot in the Indian market. Would you prefer the diesel Bullet over the petrol one? Do let us know in the comments section below.

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