7 reasons why I love my Royal Enfield Bullet

In India, there are bikes, and then there is the Bullet. There are bikers bound to their rides by reason, and there are the ‘Bulleteers’ bound to their ‘bulls’ by emotion. I belong to the latter category. I own a Bullet.

I have had to push the damn bike to the nearest petrol station under searing heat many a time. And of course, I have got stuck in traffic many a time due to the engine overheating. But I still love my Bullet and believe this is my bike for life.

Here are my reasons:

1. My past and a childhood romance:

My love for the bike started at a very early age – around 9, if my memory serves me right. This family friend of ours used to visit us often – a very broad, heavyset professor who always dressed in whites – a white shirt and white dhoti. He used to ride a black, classic Bullet. It had a rear-wheel mud-flap wide enough to be used as a road sweeper and had stringy leather strips coming out of its handles. The sight of this professor riding towards us – an over-proportioned man in whites riding an equally over-proportioned black beast – always mesmerized me. That was probably the beginning of my romance with a Bullet.

Plus, look at the contenders when I was growing up (in the ’80s in India): There was this pregnant looking Bajaj scooter and a lean but ordinary Lamby (Lambretta scooter). So how could I not be drawn to a Bullet that stood headlamp, cylinders and mud-flap above the rest?

2. My heroes always rode a Bullet:

heroAnother big reason for my emotional bond with the Bullet was probably the movies. The hero of our movies (Malayalam) always rode a bullet. The movies always had a gang of thugs creating a ruckus and a Bullet riding hero kicking their butts. The scenes used to go like this:

  • Villains cause ruckus
  • Grand entry of our hero: quite contrary to the laws of physics, the thump of a Bullet always preceded the sight of our hero (a blur, initially) coming into the scene.
  • Blur got clearer and bigger as the hero came closer.
  • Sometimes he beat up the thugs while riding the bike; sometimes, he leapt off the bike onto a thug (thug bites the dust). And sometimes, he takes his time to park the bike, place a cigarette on his lips, borrow a lighter from the villain, light his cigarette and then proceeds to do some serious ass-kicking.
  • A Bullet was always the hero’s companion.

You see, it was difficult for a kid growing up in the ’80s in Kerala not to be enamoured by the Bullet.

 3. Ride a Bullet – Be a man!

Where I come from, owning a Bullet increased your macho-ness. A Bullet and its rider are looked upon with fear and respect. While in college, my friends with Bullet were treated like royalty (they always got an extra parippuvada or 2 free from fans) while we, the lesser mortals, languished in the wilderness of dark college corridors.

 4. The ride is good.

Make no mistake: a Bullet offers a good riding experience as well – I remember when I switched from my Splendor to a Bullet, 3 things I immediately noticed were

a) the fullness and firmness offered by the …(hmm…stay on topic here buddy) … grip
b) the seating comfort and
c) the thump.
I felt surer and ‘steadier’ riding the bullet. (Re-read this para – who said Bullet isn’t sexy?)

5. Not high-maintenance (unlike some of my other human friends).

I have owned an Electra (not the best of Bullet models, I know) for 7 years now, and I haven’t had to spend much money on maintenance. The spares aren’t costly either.

6. Being part of a clan; owning a conversation starter

As a Bullet owner, I feel special to be part of a clan – I haven’t seen this kind of brand loyalty for any other vehicles in India. Plus, my bike has been a good conversation starter; I sometimes get total strangers coming up and talking to me (about my bike) just like we are long-lost friends!

7. A Bullet isn’t an inanimate machine.

A Bullet isn’t just all iron and steel put together. Bullet for me (and I suspect, for most of us Bullet owners) is a living, breathing, loyal friend. When I go on aimless rides with my son, he asks me where I am taking him. My reply, almost always, is: “I don’t know. Let us go where the ‘Bullet Man’ takes us”. Then I switch to a hoarse voice and detail out a route plan to him. When the Bullet Man takes over my body, I feel different – I become more adventurous and offbeat route plans come to me automatically. Plus, I sound cool. I love being a Bullet Man!

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You go now. Do you love a Bullet? Are you a Bullet owner too? What are your reasons for loving a Bullet?

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3 Comments

  1. Orval August 17, 2014
  2. Darrel September 6, 2014
  3. Joy March 10, 2015

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