Royal En­field Bul­let


BE­FORE YOUR TIGERS AND YOUR MUL­TIS, and your Im­pulses and Hi­malayans, there was the one mo­tor­cy­cle that could lit­er­ally do it all. And it still is the go-to mo­tor­cy­cle that one opts for when head­ing to the Hi­malayas. The Royal En­field Bul­let has been the faith­ful steed of the wan­der­ing soul who sought to ex­plore In­dia. Tra­di­tion­ally a Brit bruiser, the Bul­let’s charm and charisma won In­dian hearts over. And thanks to it be­ing so easy to ser­vice, one lit­er­ally does not have to think twice as to what mo­tor­cy­cle to take up to Leh. You have to give RE some credit for the tourism boom in the Leh-Ladakh re­gion. Royal En­fields are so pop­u­lar there that there ex­ist ren­tal com­pa­nies that have a huge fleet of only En­fields and that is thanks to the trusty Bul­let. The con­nect is so strong that the phrase ‘Time to get Leh’d’ is the Bul­let rider’s equiv­a­lent of ‘Let’s go to Goa!’.

For decades, Indians have bought the Bul­let and with some good ol’ In­dian in­ge­nu­ity (read ju­gaad) one was ready to tackle any ter­rain. The off-road friendly sus­pen­sion setup, spoke rims and a com­fort­able rid­ing pos­ture, even when stand­ing on the pegs, is a good foun­da­tion for the peeps who chose the Bul­let as their dirty dancing part­ner. Part of the rea­son for the Bul­let’s rise was the easy avail­abil­ity of spares and easy ser­vice­abil­ity no mat­ter where you are in In­dia.

The mo­tor has such tremen­dous torque lower down the rev range which helped its cause even fur­ther. And you had the thump-thump beat for com­pany, a sound as­so­ci­ated with bravado and mas­culin­ity. The ground clear­ance was also enough to get over pretty stub­born ob­sta­cles.

The com­pany recog­nised the ad­ven­ture spirit of their fel­low Bul­leteers and sev­eral new mod­els as well as des­ti­na­tion rides soon came into be­ing. The Thun­der­bird, the Clas­sic and the Hi­malayan are just re­cent it­er­a­tions of what the Bul­let of­fered, right from the start.

For decades, Indians have bought the Bul­let and with some good ol’ In­dian ju­gaad it was ready to tackle any ter­rain

The Bul­let took part in sev­eral ral­lies and off-road com­pe­ti­tions held in the country. At the an­nual RE Rider Ma­nia, you have these very same off-road spec Bul­lets that race against each other in a dirt track com­pe­ti­tion.

The Bul­let is hardly an off-road ve­hi­cle and should not ideally qual­ify to be an OFF ROAD Icon but when young riders as­pired and read about the stuff that for­eign riders did off road, they em­u­lated them on the Bul­let. And she took it with a smile. So, re­gard­less of the fact that the Bul­let wasn’t built as an off-roader, it still went on to be the bike that riders more of­ten than not chose for their ride up the moun­tains. ⌧

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