Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Enfield Robin Diesel

The Enfield Robin is a lesser known cul de sac of the Indian Royal Enfield story in the UK. The Enfield Robin was a collaboration between arch diesel motorcycle enthusiast Ernie Dorsett (who had already built several specials and a short run of Matchless engined diesel machines), Redbreast - the importers of the Japanese Fuji Robin diesel motor, and the UK Enfield importers - Bhavana. The model name DR400D stood for Dorsett Robin 400cc Diesel. The machine went on sale in 1992 (or 1993 depending who you believe) and somewhere in the region of 100 were made.

The Robin motor was 412cc and pushed out 8.5bhp. Of course power was not its selling point, fuel consumption was and in this it excelled at 150mpg though one could uncharitably point out that riding a Honda Cub slowly might give similar figures. 

Diesel motorcycles of course have a staunch following and the Enfield Robin is perhaps a best of breed in the traditional single cylinder industrial motor conversions. Personally I rode an Enfield Taurus diesel at an Enfield dealer in Rajasthan some years ago and find it hard to say anything nice about it. It was brutally slow, vibrated monstrously - something akin to riding a two wheeled version of an old fashioned dumper truck and gathered speed at the pace of a mobility scooter with a flat battery. That said an Enfield Robin green laner appeared on eBay recently and I kick myself for not buying it. If it is yours and you are reading this would perhaps like to sell it to me!

A few interesting Royal Enfield Diesel links:

Enfield Robin brochure front side.

Enfield Robin brochure rear side.

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