Friday, August 24, 2018

Custom Royal Enfields perform multiple good deeds

Royal Enfield Bullet customized in India carries a special message.
Dan Sollitto, a Florida motorcyclist, was head of a local chapter of a national church ministry called the Faith Riders when he arranged to purchase a custom Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle from India.

His faith played a big part in that.

It started back in 2013 when an unusual request came from the host of that week's Bible study class in Umatilla, Fla.: Make sure members ride their motorcycles to the meeting.

Dan explained what happened next in a letter he wrote soon after, to the ministry's national director. Here's a brief excerpt:

"Standing there was a young man with a long black beard named Ravi Landge (JoJo as we then called him) and his young bride Caitlin....

"Godspeed," an appropriate sentiment for this Royal Enfield Bullet.
"Caitlin then started to tell us that she grew up in Umatilla and her father was one of our Faith Rider members and a deacon at our church....

"About two years ago the Lord led her to India on a two-year mission trip for a youth ministry. She met Ravi — her husband now for about six months — the first day she arrived in India... She said she would let her husband Ravi tell us the rest about them.

"Ravi spoke with passion in his voice about how he was raised and grew up in India and that his father has a ministry called Cooperative Outreach of India (COI). They do outreach ministry work, building farms, putting in water wells and helping people all throughout India all at the same time spreading the word of Jesus Christ and helping educate young and old alike...

Ravi Landge of Vintage Thumper with Dan's Royal Enfield Bullet.
"Ravi has a special type of motorcycle ministry: he restores vintage motorcycles in India. Along with doing outreach ministry work for COI he has a company called Vintage Thumper. They will restore a vintage motorcycle; bikes like Royal Enfields, Triumphs and Nortons.

"What makes this motorcycle ministry something special is that when they restore a vintage motorcycle and sell it the proceeds then go to the purchase of a motorcycle for a pastor in India for travel while he is on his ministry trips to villages throughout India."

Dan was impressed and moved by what he heard. He asked Ravi to find and build a Vintage Thumper for him in India, one with a sidecar.

Tool box acknowledges Dan's ministry membership.
"I really liked the idea of my bike's proceeds going to a pastor in India to help him get a bike to do his ministry work," Dan told me in an email.

Dan himself ended up with two Royal Enfields. The one equipped with a sidecar was destroyed in shipping. So Ravi found another for him, the one with custom paint. (Dan has since been putting the Bullet sidecar outfit back together a little at a time.)

"Vintage Thumper and family have continued to be life-long friends and family," Dan told me.

Vintage Thumper, based in Delhi, had the custom paintwork on Dan's Bullet done by EIMOR Customs of Hyderabad. Proud of its work, EIMOR directed me to Dan and his Bullet as an example of a U.S. customer.

Other toolbox is a tribute to Rocky, a favorite dog.
EIMOR Customs painted the motorcycle's bodywork.
I particularly liked the tank, with its subtle take on the American flag. Of this, EIMOR commented: "Not radical, not simple, a clear balance between too much and too little."

I like the bike but I like Dan's inspirational story just as much. Photos here are courtesy of Ravi Landge and EIMOR Customs.

Tank is red-white-and-blue with stripes.
Stars appear on the left side. Royal Enfield appears on the right.

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