Friday, August 8, 2008

Royal Enfield: Mystical motorcycling

I've never told this story to anyone but my wife. I don't think she believed me. But I bet fellow Bulleteers will understand.

Around mid-life I started having this persistent vision. I'd be walking from one room to another in the house and, in my mind's eye, I would imagine looking to my side and seeing my shadow on a motorcycle, moving along a road on a sunny day.

I could not see myself or the motorcycle: just our shadow on the ground. I couldn't tell what brand of motorcycle it might be, but I knew that it was old fashioned, had one cylinder (!) and I could "hear" its chug-chug sound.

Let me stop you right there: no, I am not given to visions. That made this unique. Even stranger, I'd only been on motorcycles three times in my whole life, and one of those was as a passenger.

This vision came to me over a period of weeks. Then The Miami Herald's automotive column ran a review of the Royal Enfield Bullet. I knew this was the one for me.

I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course, got my motorcycle endorsement, convinced my wife we "needed" another vehicle, and bought my 1999 Bullet.

What brought YOU to motorcycling in general, or to Royal Enfield in particular? Leave a comment here.


  1. I am from India. Here motorcycles are very popular and Royal Enfields are most respected. I inherited the love and respect for Royal Enfield from my father when I was 12 years old. Since then I wanted to ride and own one. Later in 2004 I saw Royal Enfield's Thunderbird, it caught my eye too. In 2010, I had a job and money, so I took a test ride of RE's Thunderbird and bought it. Finally a 12 year old dream of owning an Royal Enfield came true. I am so happy to have one.

  2. I was in college in a sugar village near Shirdi.

    A friend had a Bullet with a Bull actually painted on the tank, I now understand the significance :D

    We went for a ride on the bike once, with another friend riding, and the only thing I could think of, after I got off, was "Thunder up my ass!"

    After that, I dreamed of buying one for years, saying even a year of owning it would do, as long as I could just ride. I finally bought a '97 standard 350 in 2005, for the horn and the sound, and rode it for 5 years, all over the country.

    Glorious times!

  3. Anonymous10/04/2012

    A trip to India -07. I was astonished, what were all these beautiful bikes here! Checked the name from the tank and rushed into first internet cafe to find out why there was so many around, and learned the history. When I got back in Finland, I had to buy one myself.

  4. Anonymous10/04/2012

    I bought a "dead" 250 BSA as my first bike, taught myself how to make it run. Then when I got a decent job bought a new 500 single Yamaha (it was far cheaper than a multi). Sold it later to buy a Guzzi. Missed the joys of a thumper, but couldn't bother with forever fixing an old one. Then an Indian-made new RE Bullet came along with -- oh yeah! -- a one-year guarantee on all repairs added a bargain price which clinched the decision for me. Eight years later, with perfect reliability and dirt-cheap routine servicing done by the dealer, it proved to be a very good buy for daily chugging to work on, come rain or shine. Plus a meander on weekends, when in the mood.

  5. After a 30 year hiatus in riding, I discovered this beautiful motorcycle on eBay....I had heard of RE, but knew they were long gone. This bike was a 2015 and I was mystified as to how an old bike could be titled as a 2015. I decided to try, and got the full history. So many people in the US have never heard of RE. Anyway, I wanted a small manageable bike for not a lot of money because I didn't know if I would still like riding anymore. I bought a 2014 with very low miles, and I am so in love with this thing. it's perfect for me. What sealed the deal for me was their company slogan..."Made Like a Gun". I am in the Gun business. Now, I am a Royal Enfield man for the rest of my life.....By the way, my Bikes name is Priya. :-)


Follow royalenfields on Twitter