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Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Royal Enfield Motor Bike and India * 65

The Bullet is a vintage model that is loved by the public even in the 21st century.



The bike with which I am concerned is the Classic Bullet. This bike first made an appearance in 1939. The bike was further refined in 1948 and the 500 cc twin spark bullet was introduced. This developed 25 BHP power.The original Royal Enfield Company folded up in the UK and shifted to India. The bullet is now manufactured at its Chennai plant.The Royal Enfield is a marquee name in the field of motorcycles.lt traces its lineage to 1893, when it was founded by George Townsend to manufacture sewing needles and fishing hooks at the "Givry Works" in Redditch, Worcestershire, UK. From needles the proprietors went on to manufacture bicycle parts and later digressed to manufacturing of motor cycles.

It is a 350 cc bike which has a classical look of the fifties. A 500 cc version is also manufactured, but it is costlier and gives a lower mileage per liter of petrol. The 350 cc is thus more popular. The 350 cc Bullet is powered by a 4 stroke engine with a single cylinder having a 4 speed gear box. It develops 18 bhp@5000 rpm. In contrast the Royal Enfield Classic 500 also has a single cylinder, 4 stroke engine but delivers a power output of 27.2 BHP and 41.3 NM torque. The 500 cc bullet has a maximum speed of 130KMPH. The bike is available in Blue, Red and Black colors.

The Classic bullet generally comes with a kick start but the new ‘thunderbird 'model the Enfield have a self start option. The bike is very good for all types of roads and can be even used on the village trails so common in the sub continent. The bike has a front telescopic fork and sturdy rear shock absorbers which help in giving a smooth ride. The bike is excellent for long drives where it cruises on the highways with power and a good road grip.An improvement is made over the earlier models with interchangeable wheels and disc brakes. This makes for a smoother ride on the road. An innovation in the bike is aneutral gear foot lever which allows you to select neutral directly from second, third or fourth gear by pressing this lever with your foot.

The Bullet has a lower pick up and acceleration compared the newer Japanese bikes. However Fuel economy is reasonable with the bike giving about 30-35 km on a liter of petrol city driving conditions. On the highways you can get over 40 km to a liter.


One advantage of buying a Royal Enfield in India is the easy availability of spare parts with an extensive dealer network. In addition all models meet emission and noise requirements as specified by the government. The Royal Enfield Bullet 350 is essentially a rugged motorcycle that has proven itself for over forty years in the toughest of conditions. In India it is priced at about 100,000 rupees and for its price is a good buy.

 The Madras plant manufactures about 25000 bikes a year and a lot many are exported to England. In addition the Police and Army use this bike extensively. The bullet is vintage material and in case one has the desire to drive a vintage and sturdy bike the Royal Enfield bullet is your best bet. The best part is that you can hit a pot  hole at 80 KM an hour and you will be none the worse for it. It is certainly a bike for all seasons and roads.