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Ride the Bullet

The Enfield Bullet has established itself as a stalwart in India’s motorcycling Hall of Fame. It was not all bouquets however, at the crowning ceremony, since we know all too well that owning one meant ungainly calf muscles and oil slicks. However, for those who really loved them, there was no alternative to that iconic thump that sent jitters down the spine of their two-stroke colleagues during a nonchalant pass on the open road.

Royal Enfield has come a long way since those unreliable machines, constantly honing and trying to improve their reliability and image, with the launches of the short-lived Lightning 535, the Electra and the Thunderbird more recently. While they were certainly a huge leap forward in the right direction, there were still niggling problems mainly due to a design that hadn’t changed much in more than 50 years. Victor Lazaro, owner of a Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350, says, “Straight out of the factory, the bike needed some maintenance, since it initially required constant replacement of parts and fine- tuning, but I am very happy now with the UCE (Unit Construction Engine) especially, and its reliability now is unmatched.”

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