Policymakers in Bangladesh have begun a process to withdraw the cap on engine capacity of two-wheelers to allow motorcycles up to 350cc from the existing 165cc.
If high-capacity motorcycles finally get the nod, riders will be able to go for vehicles that can provide better safety and investors will have incentives to pour new funds into the industry to manufacture products for local sale and export.
Most recently, India's iconic motorcycle maker Royal Enfield signed an agreement with local automobile group Ifad to enter Bangladesh.
Let's look at the history of the motorbike company
In November 1891, entrepreneurs Bob Walker Smith and Albert Eadie bought George Townsend & Co of Hunt End, Redditch. Townsend's was a well-respected needle manufacturer of almost 50 years standing which has recently begun manufacturing bicycles.
The duo won a contract to supply precision parts to the Royal Small Arms Factory of Enfield, Middlesex. To celebrate this prestigious order, they renamed their undertaking the Enfield Manufacturing Company Ltd and called their first Bob Walker Smith designed bicycle, the Enfield. The following year, their bicycles are renamed Royal Enfields and the trademark 'Made Like A Gun' is introduced.
Royal Enfield delved into motorsport when one of its quadricycles entered the inaugural 1000 Mile Trial. Following a torturous cross-country route from London to Edinburgh and back, the event did much to convince the British public of the viability of motorised transport.
The first Royal Enfield motorcycle was produced. Designed by Bob Walker Smith and Frenchman Jules Gotiet, it had a 1 1/2 hp Minerva engine mounted in front of the steering head. The rear wheel was driven by a long rawhide belt.
Royal Enfield's first V-twin, using a 297cc Swiss-made Motosacoche engine, was launched at the Stanley Cycle Show. The model achieved numerous competition successes the following year, including in the John O' Groats to Lands End Trial.
Royal Enfield's first 2-stroke motorcycle went into full production. As Britain became embroiled in World War I, production of the company's biggest motorcycle, the 770cc 6 hp V-twin, took precedence. During the conflict, the company supplied motorcycles to the British, Belgian, French, United States and Imperial Russian armies.
Continuous development resulted in a range of 8 models, including the launch of the Sports Model 351, the first Royal Enfield 350cc OHV 4-stroke motorcycle with foot operated gear change. A unique 225cc 2-stroke step-through 'Ladies Model' was also introduced.
A major fire broke out at the 18-acre Redditch factory. The company's own fire brigade managed to fight the flames which threatened to engulf the entire plant.
Royal Enfield adopted saddle tanks in place of outmoded flat tanks. It was also one of the first manufacturers to change its front fork system from a Druid design to centre-sprung girder forks.
The decade began with a diverse eleven model range, from the 225cc 2-stroke Model A to the 976cc V-twin Model K. New 350 and 500cc side-valve and overhead valve machines with dry-sump lubrication were also produced.
The legendary "Bullet" motorcycle is born. It was first displayed in November 1932 at the Olympia Motorcycle Show in London. Three versions were produced: 250, 350 and 500cc, all with inclined 'sloper' engines, twin-ported cylinder heads, foot operated gear change and high compression pistons.
Founding partner and joint Managing Director, Bob Walker Smith, passed away. His son, Major Frank Smith, who had been joint Managing Director with his father for a number of years, assumed full control of The Enfield Cycle Company.
The groundbreaking Model Z 'Cycar' went on sale. Aimed at commuters, this 148cc 2-stroke featured a fully enclosed engine and legshields to protect its rider from the worst of the elements.
The 500cc Bullet was radically changed with the release of the Model JF. It featured an upright engine with a 4-valve cylinder head. A sports version, with a bronze cylinder head, was available to special order.
Royal Enfield produced large quantities of military motorcycles, bicycles, generators and ant-aircraft gun predictors during the Second World War. The most iconic model from this era of the company is the 125cc 'Airborne' motorcycle known as the Flying Flea. These 126cc 2-strokes could be loaded into specially fabricated parachute cradles and dropped with paratroops behind enemy lines.
The post-war 350cc Bullet prototype, with radical oil-damped swinging arm rear suspension, was previewed in the Colmore Cup Trial of February 1948. Two Bullets formed part of the victorious British Trophy team in the 1948 ISDT (International Six Days Trial), held in Italy. Both their riders won gold medals.
The new 350cc Bullet and 500 Twin models launched in the UK. Both bikes shared the same frame, swinging arm suspension, telescopic front forks and gearbox. KR Sundaram Iyer launched Madras Motors to import British motorcycles into India, including Royal Enfields.
Royal Enfield's star rider, Johnny Brittain, won the prestigious Scottish Six Days Trial on his 350cc Bullet, HNP 331.
Madras Motors received an order from the Indian Army for 500 350cc Bullets the same year. The motorcycles arrived from Redditch in early 1953 and proved to be a great success, being both hardy and easy to maintain.
The Redditch company partnered Madras Motors in India to form 'Enfield India'. Work commenced on the construction of a purpose-built factory at Tiruvottiyur, near Madras.
The Tiruvottiyur factory opened and Bullets began to be manufactured under license. Initially, these machines are shipped from England in kit form then assembled in the Madras plant. A total of 163 Enfield India Bullets were built by the end of the year.
Johnny Brittain won the Scottish Six Days Trial on a Bullet for the second time and also finished top of the British trials championship. The 250cc Crusader model was launched in Britain. Producing 13 bhp, the motorcycle featured a unit construction engine and alternator electrics with coil ignition.
The iconic Continental GT café racer was launched to great acclaim when a team of journalists rode one from John O' Groats to Lands End in under 24 hours, including 8 laps of the Silverstone circuit. The GT featured a fibreglass racing petrol tank, clip-on handlebars, rear sets, a humped race seat, rev counter and a swept-back exhaust.
With only two models left in production at the start of the year – the 250cc Continental GT and the 736cc Interceptor – Royal Enfield's Redditch facility closed and the site sold to developers. Production of the Interceptor continued at Enfield's underground facility at Upper Westwood, near Bradford on Avon, until its closure in June 1970.
Enfield India began exporting the 350cc Bullet to the UK and Europe. Sales grew rapidly as the bike developed a following amongst classic motorcycle enthusiasts.
A new 24 bhp 500cc Bullet was released. The bike was primarily aimed at export markets where it was available in Classic, Deluxe and Superstar trim.
Enfield India produced the world's first and only mass-manufactured diesel motorcycle. Known as the Enfield Diesel, it used a highly fuel efficient 325cc power unit installed in the standard Bullet rolling chassis.
Commercial vehicle and tractor manufacturer, The Eicher Group, acquired Enfield India Limited. Eicher had roots in India dating back to 1948. It renamed the company Royal Enfield Motors Limited.
Forty Royal Enfield motorcycles climbed to Khardung La, the world's highest motorable pass, setting a precedent for epic rides across some of the world's most difficult terrain and creating a blueprint for the annual Himalayan Odyssey ride.
Utilising the design skills of Austrian company AVL, production of a revised 350cc all-aluminum lean-burn Bullet engine, known as the A350, began at a new Royal Enfield plant near Jaipur, Rajasthan.
The Daredevils, the motorcycle display team of the Indian Army Corps of Signals, Jabalpur, formed a human pyramid of 201 men on ten 350cc Bullets. They rode a distance of more than 200 metres to set a new world record.
The Thunderbird, a stylish lean burn cruiser, was launched. It featured the first 5-speed gearbox used on a Royal Enfield since the 1960s. More than a 1000 Royal Enfield motorcycles of all ages descended on Redditch for the Royal Enfield Owner's Club 'Redditch Revisited' event.
The Electra X, an export Bullet with a 500cc version of the all-alloy lean burn engine, went on sale. The retro-styled 'Bullet Machismo' was rated the 'No 1 Cruiser' in a TNS Autocar survey.
Royal Enfield celebrated its 50th anniversary in India with the release of commemorative Thunderbird and Bullet Electra models and 'The Legend Rides On' coffee table book.
The Thunderbird Twinspark was launched in India with the new Unit Construction Engine (UCE). Royal Enfield began exporting the Classic, India's first 500cc EFI, Euro III-compliant motorcycle, to European markets.
Royal Enfield riders around the world were encouraged to go for a ride on the inaugural 'One Ride' event. It became an annual ride, taking place on each first Sunday in April, The company acquired 50 acres of land at Oragadam for its new plant. A factory organised trip crosses the Nepalese border for the first time with 'Tour of Nepal'.
Royal Enfield launched its first highway cruiser, the all-black Thunderbird 500. Work on the new Oragadam factory continued briskly while the Tiruvottiyur plant set a new production record to meet 113,000 motorcycle sales.
Manufacturing commenced at Oragadam, Tamil Nadu. This state-of-art factory included a robotic paint facility, announced as the nucleus of Royal Enfield's future global ambitions.
Forty-eight years after developing its first production café racer, Royal Enfield rolled out the all-new Continental GT on 2013. Featuring a cradle frame designed by Harris Performance and a 535cc UCE engine, this new café racer became the starting point for numerous custom builds.
Royal Enfield introduced a new retail experience in India with the opening of the first-of-its-kind exclusive gear store at Khan Market, New Delhi.
The company acquired Harris Performance, a renowned British motorcycle design and fabrication firm, to enhance its engineering and product design capabilities.
Royal Enfield North America was established the same year. With headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it's the company's first direct distribution subsidiary outside of India.
Royal Enfield debuted the Himalayan, its first adventure motorcycle. With an all-new 411cc SOHC engine and long reach suspension, it's designed to give adventurous riders the right tool for all roads and no roads.
The new Royal Enfield Technology Centre opened at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, near Leicester in the UK. A team of over 100 engineers, designers and testers began work on research, development and long-term product strategy.
Production commenced at the company's third plant. Located at Vallam Vadagal, near Chennai, this world-class manufacturing facility is dedicated to producing Royal Enfield 350cc machines.
Also, the new 650cc Royal Enfield Interceptor and Continental GT twins unveiled at the EICMA Motorcycle Show in Milan, Italy, and at Rider Mania in Goa, India. The company opened its first café, called the Royal Enfield Garage Café, in Baga, Goa.
The Royal Enfield Classic 500 Pegasus, a homage to the WWII Royal Enfield Flying Flea, was launched at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, UK. Limited to just 1000 individually numbered motorcycles worldwide, the Indian market allocation of 250 machines sold in under 3 minutes.
Cayla Riva, an 18-year-old racer from California, set a new land speed record of 157.053 mph during Speed Week at the Bonneville Salts Flats. Her bike, a Continental GT 650 twin, was specially prepared for Bonneville with S&S Cycle engine tuning and a Harris Performance frame.
With design cues taken from the 1140cc KX V-twins of the late 1930's, the 838cc KX Concept V-twin demonstrated the capabilities of the design team at the UK Technology Centre. Featuring girder forks with an integrated headlight and a single-sided softtail rear, it was the star of the show when unveiled at EICMA.
All the relevant information for this article have been collected from the official website of Royal Enfield