Like many British bikes, the American market enjoyed Royal Enfield’s Constellation (badged as the Indian Apache) a year before it came to the home market in 1958. Launched as “A motorcycle for real enthusiasts only” the solidly muscular Connie oozed raw power. Royal Enfield’s Constellation and Super Meteor were, for several years, the largest British twins available. An interesting alternative to Triumph and BSA’s 650cc twins, the Connie’s 692cc motor offers plenty of grunt, with bags of torque and brisk acceleration, proving an extremely fun ride with plenty of usable power on tap throughout the rev range.
Marketed as one of the fastest roadsters in production, the Constellation featured special cams, high-compression pistons, machined induction tracts, special valves and valve springs. Claiming a maximum speed of around 115mph, adverts suggested “You need a Constellation to enjoy modern motorways!” Designed to give as much weather protection as possible, Royal Enfields “Airflow” fairing could be fitted to boost performance, with the advantage of increased top speeds and reduced petrol consumption.