The legacy of royal enfield is no doubt the bullet. A bike which is bigger than the brand itself. My first impressions of bullet were Jats, haryanvis and punjabi punks owning one. They had these annoying modified silencers which were exactly opposite of what they were meant to do. Increased the rough sound of air leaving the exhaust. That classic thump of bullet became an irritating noise. As time grew, I started to hate the bullet more and more. Why?
1) It’s slow. Indeed it is. I own an Yamaha FZ and although it’s not supposed to be a fast bike, it’s still faster than bullet.
2) It’s heavy. With a weight north of 190 kg, it is fucking heavy.
3) It’s too loud. I want my bikes to be discreet.
4) It’s unreliable.
5) It’s over rated.
BUT IS IT?
I got a bullet of my own. It’s a long, sad story which warrants a separate post for itself. Just to make it clear, I did not buy it. It was sort of a gift. And no it wasn’t stolen. It’s the classic 500 in tan colour and looking at it is delightful. I am filled with a slight charm whenever I see my bike. The sturdiness, the shape of headlight, curves from 1950s, all reminiscent of post war era, it’s not a feeling I can describe in words.
But that’s it. Looks only. I hated the thought of driving it. It’s an inefficient machine that has been glamourised mostly by testosterone deficient males who have tried to supplement their protruding bellies and greying hair with a bike slow and inefficient much like them.
I have compiled here a list of problems I have had with it ever since I got my hands on it. And this is only a period of 3 weeks, I am talking here.
1) It’s a 2017 classic 500 twinspark EFI model which had done 350 kms barely in one year. I brought it with me here to Delhi and it’s been with me for only 3 weeks but the problems with bike do not seem to cease at all. The first major problem was the fuse. The fuse blew twice within 2 weeks. Cheap electricals? I think too complicated electricals.
2) Handle jammed up. It may have been due to tyre pressure but in my case I found it due to lack of proper lubrication in the handle joint. It’s been one year since it was serviced and I shouldn’t blame the company. But I have Yamaha FZ and it has never shown such unreliability.
3) After 150 km long trip the bike gave out. It started missing on low revs. Throttle response decreased. Due to engine overheating? Maybe.
4) Poor service. Normal mechanics do not even touch bullet. So you have to find a bullet specialist and that’s a huge problem if you’re stuck in a remote location.
5) Vibrations. Bullet vibrates a hell lot. So much that you won’t be even to make out anything of the rear view mirrors if you have them. After 90 km/hr bullet handle vibrates precariously.
6) The seat although feel comfortable but after a long ride I am pretty sure your tail bone is going to hurt. On my FZ, my thighs and shoulders hurt. What would you rather have hurt? Tailbone or other parts of the spine?
7) At high speeds, you feel air drag. It becomes so much that you sometimes feel like you’ll fall off from bike. So poor aerodynamics.
These are my first hand problems of bullet. But what I am about to say is nothing short of crazy.
I am in love with the BULLET.
It’s true. With all these problems and years of hatred has somehow just converted into a respect and love for the machine all on its own. The clanking of metal when you first power up your ride, coincides with the beating of your heart. Dhak- dhak-dhak. The metal feel , the sturdiness, the retro look....you’re not riding a bike, you’re riding THE BULLET. And you can only understand it once you’ve driven the bike for yourself. You don't care about speed, you don't care about mileage. In fact you don't care about anything in this world. You're the free bird while riding the bull.
They say bullet is a bike that doesn’t love you back. I think bullet is a princess that needs caressing for time and again, and it shows you its love when you’re cruising on a long highway where the man and his bike become one. When you’re all alone but the magic of bullet is such that you want to be alone. It gives you that freedom, that sense of a getaway, a sense of respect which is called ROYAL ENFIELD BULLET.