Current generation motorcyclists might not recognize this, but the veterans among us definitely will. Meet the Zündapp Fury made sold in India by Enfield India Ltd. as the Enfield Fury before Enfield India became Royal Enfield. This crotch rocket was manufactured from 1985 to 1992 in a plant setup by Enfield at Ranipet near Chennai in collaboration with Zündapp. This plant also manufactured 2 other licensed Zündapp products- a 50 cc moped called the Silver Plus & a 50 cc 3 speed motorcycle known as the Explorer.
The Fury was based on the Zündapp KS 175 and came with a rubber-mounted single cylinder 163 cc 2 stroke engine putting out 18 Bhp in stock form. However, considering Indian fuel conditions it was detuned to 15.8 Bhp for India. The India spec model was a trendsetter but lost out on the originally provided liquid cooling system and had to make do with air cooling. This was done to keep costs under control and also to keep things simple. Power was transmitted to the real wheel via a 5 speed transmission via chain drive. This transmission however was the Fury’s Achilles heel- it was unreliable and known to slip of out gear. Since it was based on a pull-cotter system, a relatively complex and uncommon system, the gearbox needed to be handled with kid gloves. Any rough usage and banging through the gears would result in you slipping out of gear.
Available in 3 variants- GP, DW & DX the Fury came equipped with the following features, all of which were class leading at the time.
1. 18 inch aluminum alloy wheels
2. Front disc brake by Brembo
4. Electronic Ignition
5. Flasher Facility.
6. Induction Resonator
7. Electronic Tachometer which also happened to be digitally governed
The Fury was also a proven performer, having run circles around much bigger bikes participating in th 1997 Iron Butt Rally in the USA. While it was the runt of the lot being the smallest capacity bike and the only 2 stroke motorcycle entered in the rally, it finished well ahead of the bigger capacity bikes. And bear in mind this bike was a model manufactured in 1973 & owned/piloted by Martin Hildebrandt from Germany. Enfield India put up a very strong marketing campaign highlighting the 5 speed box with slogans like “Four gears for the city and one for the highway”.
Unfortunately since Enfield was unable to provide a reliable service network and lack of reliable & affordable spares, the Fury was unable to sustain itself in the market and eventually production stopped. Enfield did gamely try to iron out the major gearbox issues and also made some changes and called it the Fury GP 175, but it was fighting a losing game and sales and production eventually tanked.
While we mourn the demise of this legendary icon, the spirit still lives on with a number of dedicated owners, enthusiasts & specialists dedicating themselves to sourcing & restoring these bikes back to their former glory.
Image courtesy: Team-Bhp