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Monday, August 23, 2010

Old Royal Enfield carries load of memories
from Chennai, India to Winnipeg, Canada

Winnipeg man and his Royal EnfieldRoyal Enfield Bullet motorcycles are for sale now in Canada, but at least one made its way from India to Winnipeg thanks strictly to its owner.

The Daily Hindu of Chennai, India, tells how S. Balakrishnan and his father "Mani" put together an old Royal Enfield, bought at an Army auction in 1970. Balakrishnan rode it all over Chennai, before moving to Canada. In later years, his father kept the old Bullet running.

“My father and the bike were inseparable," he told The Hindu. "By the sound of the approaching Bullet, friends and relatives knew Mani had come to visit them!”

Mani died in 1996. Eventually, Balakrishnan's own son began to encourage him to bring "grandpa's bike to Canada."

And he did, after first having it restored in India.

"As my son and I spent a considerable time together in the garage to watch the bike being put together, I was flooded with memories of the bike's first restoration carried out by my dad and I,” he said.

From there it was just a simple matter of having the motorcycle imported into Canada as a pre-1975 "antique."

Of course, it wasn't simple at all, and the story details the difficulties Balakrishnan had just getting the motorcycle OUT of India.

You can read the full saga in The Hindu. I am grateful to reader Ranjith Anand for pointing out the story to me.

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