Friday, September 8, 2023

Royal Enfield Bullet translates as Life

 Siddhartha Lal drove the new 2023 Royal Enfield Bullet off the factory production line Sept. 1, a wide smile on his face. 

Royal Enfield India's newest motorcycle is its latest take on its first product, the single-cylinder 350cc Bullet. 

It was a proud moment, both for Royal Enfield and for Lal personally, as the man whose vision of practical, mid-size motorcycles for real people has inspired Royal Enfield's surge in popularity. 

Riding motorcycle off the production line.
Siddhartha Lal rides a 2023 Bullet off the production line.
(Times Drive)

 The slogan Royal Enfield used in video and on stage was in Hindi: "Bullet Meri Jaan." An emotional motto, it translates as "This Bullet Is My Life." 

It's nostalgic as well as emotional, as it harkens back to a Royal Enfield India television ad from 1985 that you can watch here

Lal pledged that the slogan Bullet Meri Jaan will go, untranslated, with the Bullet as it's introduced across the world.

"That's what it's all about," he said. The genuine pride and emotion behind this gesture will likely need no translation.

As usual at Royal Enfield new-model introductions, the design definition came when Lal handed the stage over to Mark Wells, manager of Royal Enfield design.

Wells opened by reading an actual definition of an English word: "Totem."

"Regarded as being symbolic or representative of a particular quality or concept."

As Wells put it, so well:

"There were visual elements that were sacrosanct to the design direction. Clearly, number one was the proportion or stance, that riding position, that straight-backed, proud, defiant riding position. It was those visual cues that you immediately know a Bullet soon as you see it, you can see it down the road and you know that bike is a Bullet straight away.

"We're talking about things like the tiger eyes, the headlight cassette, the teardrop tank, the pin stripes, the bench seat, the thump. All those things are what the Bullet stands for. And with this new bike all those things are retained."

"However... this is an all-new bike."

There's the new engine with less vibration and harshness, the confidence inspiring new chassis with better handling, and really plush ride.

"This bike represents a leap forward in terms of refinement, in terms of quality," he said.

The 2023 Bullet may look very much like Bullets of the past. But it's better.

Wells pointed admiringly to the Royal Enfield badge on the tank side panels, which now incorporates a small crown above the words Royal Enfield.

Man stands in front of projection of badge.
Mark Wells describes his pride in the 2023 Royal Enfield Bullet.
(Times Drive)

"It's almost like the jewel in the Bullet's crown," he said.

You can watch Wells' definition of the 2023 Bullet on Times Drive.


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