Tuesday, June 12, 2012

1938 Royal Enfield Bullet took a beating in high style

This Royal Enfield Bullet got a grueling test. 
The 1938 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 motorcycle was a "Machine of Faultless Performance."

This was the somewhat giddy conclusion of an unnamed writer for The Sunday Times of Perth, Western Australia. He got his hands on one in time to write about it for the issue of Dec. 26, 1937.

With the heavy demands of journalistic integrity weighing upon him, the open road before him and somebody else's motorcycle to ride, he headed for the hills to put the Royal Enfield to the test.

And what a machine it was! He wrote:

"The cradle type frame suggested strength and rigidity; all working parts were enclosed, the high polished crankcase made it obvious that the model would be easy to keep clean. It was also noted that there was a complete absence of oil leakage.

"Upswept pipes, tubular silencers and attractive fishtails, plus chromium-plated guards, tank and headlamp combined with pleasing lines gave to the machine an air of distinction."

It was not too distinguished looking to avoid a good thrashing, however.

"Kalamunda hill was climbed in FLYING STYLE."

Then it was on to "an old bush track" for a real beating. After banging to the bottom, the writer pointed his Bullet back at the top.

"Second gear was quickly engaged, and the model literally charged up the hill. The high ground clearance was appreciated on this section for it was unnecessary to worry about rocks trying to crash into the crankcase."

Unnecessary, too, because, after all, it wasn't his motorcycle.

Next came ploughing through 200 yards of heavy sand.

"It was easy, and the task was satisfactorily repeated in the opposite direction."

The article closed with the helpful note that buyers could seek further particulars from Boans, Ltd. Sounds as though there might have been a good deal to be had on their low-mileage demonstrator.

This item was discovered by my friend, screenwriter and wit Douglas Kalajian, at the National Library of Australia web site. As a writer for The Miami Herald, Doug used to "test" new cars. I doubt he gave any of them the treatment this Royal Enfield received.

1 comment:

  1. I seem to recall that a few years ago, Honda didn't want to give the motorcycle.com guys any bikes to test, but I don't know what precipitated that reluctance... maybe they had a similar experience!


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