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Royal Enfield limited-edition Classic 500 Pegasus | Manufacture News | News

Royal Enfield and paratroopers design a little beauty

Royal Enfield has revealed a tribute to its World War II ‘Flying Flea’ paratrooper motorcycle, the limited-edition Classic 500 Pegasus.

Based on the stock Classic, the Pegasus is named after the flying horse symbol of the British Army’s Parachute Regiment, which it bears on its tank.

Designed in co-operation with the Paras, it pays homage to the lightweight 125cc WD/RE (War Department Royal Enfield) dropped into combat in Britain’s biggest airborne operation in 1944.

Military chic may be the latest inner-city cool, but don’t try throwing the 500cc Pegasus out of a plane. It’s much heavier and larger than the Flying Flea.

Just 1000 will be produced, 190 for the UK market and 810 for the rest of the world.

Royal Enfield CEO Siddhartha Lal explained the new Pegasus: “The story of the Flying Flea is both remarkable and inspiring, and it has a history like no other motorcycle. Rugged military motorcycles have been – and continue to be – an integral part of Royal Enfield’s heritage, as we endeavour to build classic, simple, enduring motorcycles.

“Our machines have played an important role in both World Wars, earning a reputation for endurance in the toughest conditions.”

Mark Wells, Royal Enfield’s head of global product strategy and industrial design, added: “It was really important to work closely with the Ministry of Defence, so we approached the Parachute Regiment about 18 months ago and the collaboration has been great.

“This is something only Royal Enfield could have done. Many brands have military motorcycles in their past, but only Royal Enfield has the Flying Flea.”

War hero

The original bike made its name in Operation Market Garden, when paratroopers were dropped into occupied Holland in an effort to enter Germany’s industrial heartland via a string of captured bridges. It culminated in the Battle of Arnhem, where outnumbered Paras held off German forces for a week, with the little two-stroke ‘Flying Fleas’ providing essential transport.

Pegasus 500, Flying Flea

By Ben Purvis