The scene is a busy street. Traffic piling up. Suddenly there’s a familiar thumping sound down the bikes, turning people’s heads. Everyone recognizes that familiar sound like it was dialled into the inner cells of every human’s brain. Rumbling over the tarmac, matching the Hear beat of every onlooker out there. It was, and can only be a Royal Enfield.
My Beast. Mine.
The Royal Enfield holds a special place in the heart of every Indian. It has been the symbol of power throughout the generations. In the earlier days owning a Royal Enfield was related to a higher social status. It translated to social power and dominance, much like what the actual bike showed on the road. People move out of the way when they see the bullet plunging towards you.
RE has been producing bikes since 1901 which they brand on every key very proudly. After all, it is the oldest bike manufacturing company. They have served us during wars, gave strength to our armies then captured that essence and brute strength with a dollop of reliability to the Indian roads. It was referred to as ‘The Bullet’. Its influence on Indian motorcycling is so strong. Every Indian would have experienced a Royal Enfield at some point in their life. It was RE which gave birth to leisure riding in India. The ‘bullet’ possessed an inherent sturdiness and relatively simple mechanicals, which meant they could be taken anywhere without much trouble. Earlier, the company only had a few models in their range, which was bought by only a certain slot of customers. But now they go beyond the classic ‘Bullet’ to cater to a wider fan base. They now have four models, the quintessential ‘Bullet’, the retro-awesome ‘Classic’, the modern ‘Thunderbird’ and the sporty café racer ‘Continental GT’.
It’s in the details
But what makes you fall in love with it? This question has so many different answers and they vary from people to people. Everyone has a different story with their bike. That’s what makes this bike unique. It offers you with amazing experiences, that you could talk about and cherish forever. If you ask me, it is a part of your life, a member of your family. You take care of it, connect to it on a personal level. You feel the engine while riding. You feel the miles being munched by its effortless engine, with its creamy smoothness. Somehow you feel like it is a part of you. The story doesn’t stop there.Just looking at it first thing in the morning makes you fall in love with it. All over again. It carries the same timeless design that it has been sporting since its inception. It exudes an air of grandeur and evokes a sense of nostalgia.
Bike and I
The nostalgia that you haven’t experienced ever before. That’s the aura of Royal Enfield. Little details like the hand-painted gold pinstripes on the fuel tank, the chrome headlamp shroud and the amazing shade of colours that it offers is unique to RE only. Details like the single speedometer, the ‘Tiger’ lamps on either side of round headlight and the spring loaded solo rider seats gives the bike a retro but still a timeless feel. It doesn’t even have a fuel gauge, which gives a sense of just wandering into the unknown. When you sit on the saddle it immediately instils you with a sense of infallibility. It gives you the reigns to rule the roads ahead.
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Firing up the bike is a whole another treat. My dad and I still stand in awe every time we start the bike. It starts with a mechanical grunt of the motor spinning the crank which then settles in with the meaty thump. At the mere spin of the throttle, the motorcycle surges for a take-off like no other Indian bike ever did. It moves like a coiling tiger ready to devour its prey when the engine pushes the bike forward with power that belies its massive weight. The sheer torque of the engine thrusts you ahead with ease, regardless of what gear you are in. This addictive rush of torque available right at the twist of your wrists is what makes it fun to ride anywhere.
The relationship is like no other
The Royal Enfield enjoys a huge cult following that’s in millions. All the things I’ve said above are felt by us all. The Royal Enfield bike owners are one of the most loyal ones. We preserve our rides like our girlfriends. You don’t leave your girl when she needs you, just like that we never leave our bike when it needs us. We repair it, modify it keep it up and running no matter how tedious it can get. Some people even have bikes dating back to 80s and 90s. We invest our time, money and attention in the bike to keep it going year after year.
As someone brilliantly put “only lazy riders buy bikes every three-four years”. Famous celebrities have owned and rode an RE, most notably Brad Pitt. Another famous customer of the brand is the Indian army. It entrusts the Royal Enfield for its operations, and when Indian army uses it there’s no need to seek approval from anybody. The most mind-boggling thing is that the company hates advertisements. You’ll never see any Royal Enfield ad on TV. They prefer to build the marketing around actual experiences of riders rather than conventional ads.
While most bikes fulfil the requirement of moving from point A to point B, a Royal Enfield goes miles beyond transporting you physically. It transports your soul too. You get an emotional fulfilment, unique to the legendary brand that is hard to miss. It’s been here for generations and you’re darn right it’s going to be here for more. It was my father who was fascinated by the Bullet, whose passion and flair rubbed onto me. This just shows the effect this bike has had in my heart.
It truly is ‘MADE LIKE A GUN’ and it most certainly ‘GOES LIKE A BULLET’.
When you take your bike out, look right. Be safe.: