The Enfield Bullet (is not a bike)

The Bullet

I have more or less made up my mind about what bike to buy after a long time of totally redundant data search. The decision is such that it can never be made rationally. I had decided to buy the Bullet Machismo 500 LB.

I shared this information with few good friends and the instant reaction was so stark and contrasting
Reaction 1: “Wow”

Reaction 2: “Get a car for that money”

With a bullet you can only fall into two categories. It is a subject which evokes strong response from the people.

As somebody ( that means I don’t know who) said,

” A bullet chooses it’s owner and not the other way round”

My memories of the bullet go a long way back. My father used to work with a company actively involved with cane procurement and my father had a lot of travelling to the outback. He used to do it in a brand new Enfield Bullet (classic 350) and he also used to recount tales of how he used to fill up the tank and speed to this native place (a small town near the city of Madurai). He used to make me feel envious by telling me that he used to easily hit 130 kmph on the highway. Without going into details, it used to make me wonder. I was not even driving a cycle then and I had no idea of speed. But it used to sound so magical. My father is a stocky man and I used to imagine him sitting on a bullet and thundering away.

So the seed was planted in my mind. I had never ridden a bullet for 27 long years of my life. I only used to listen to the thump of bullets passing by. Nobody in my family, near and far, had owned a bullet. None of my friends had a bullet. It was like I could not, even if I wanted to. The nearest I ever got was through sheer coincidence when Varun’s 1992 classic 350 was with me for a week’s time.

One ride on the bike and you know it is something else. Think about it. It is unwieldy. It is difficult to start. It used to have right side gears (which can spoil your footwear). It is noisy. It is expensive. Yet, it has survived decades.

It is essentially because all that I have stated against it, can be rephrased depending on which side of the line you are in.  It has got enormous stability. It is not for everybody for the simple reason that not everybody can start a bullet and the right side gears add to the exclusivity. It has got a classic thump which might probably be the first thing that comes to anybody’s mind when the name is evoked. It lasts and lasts and lasts making it value for money in the long run.

Beat that.

The experience starts from the moment you start the engine. Nothing can beat the idle of a well tuned bullet engine. It is like the engine is about to die. But it never dies. It just keeps going on. So sublime, yet so strong. Only a person who has ridden a bullet can relate to the strong sense of control that one feels when riding a bullet. You feel connected to the road and you can literally feel the piston moving in the engine. The reverberation of the silencer make you forget everything else. The rev of a bullet engine is so majestic. A bullet rider does not drive past, he thunders past.

An anecdote, if u mind.

Yesterday, I was at a traffic signal on Varun’s classic 350, waiting for the signal to turn green. The engine was in idle. The beat was gentle and periodic. The engine then went silent. The signal turned green and I charged the engine. I then kicked it alive. Oh, what a beat it made. Among all the people who turned heads, A person seated in the front seat of a car, beside the driver, turned a full 180 degree and looked at me. I could literally see the desire in his eyes. I wished him luck and thundered away. Me, my bullet and the road.



3 Responses

  1. So have you made your purchase yet?

  2. A new world calls across the ocean
    A new world calls across the sky
    A new world whispers in the shadows
    Time to fly, time to fly

    Congratulations for finding somebody you’ll always believe in.
    Something I wanted to buy…..but I never did.

  3. @Madhuri: Yes, I have been acquired

    @Soumak: You should before it dies a slow death inside you

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