They’re not exactly of-the-moment, but that’s the point when it comes to buying a Bullet. One for the technophobes…
The brilliant and budget Royal Enfield Bullet, now just £1500 used.
SIMPLY PUT, ENFIELD’S Bullet is an honest bike without pretensions. ‘Everyone who’s ridden it has come back smiling,’ says Mike Armitage after five months of living with one back in 2016. Those smiles certainly aren’t due to its impressive performance – peak power has always been in the twenties, and the current model pushes out 27.2bhp at 5250rpm. No, those smiles are because of the Bullet’s refreshingly laid-back ride. It’s economical, too – 80-100mpg is the norm. In 1999, sidecar manufacturers Watsonian Squire started importing Indian-made 350cc and 500cc Enfields for the UK. The earliest models to arrive were simply branded Enfield, Royal returned to the company name in 1999. 2002 saw the introduction of electric starts as an option on 500s, and new models in the shape of the Sixty-5 and Electra followed. Current machines retain the characterful handling but add much improved build quality over early arrivals. ‘Fifties looks without the fifties grief,’ said Bike’s production editor Mark Graham in 2016. ‘No longer Royal Oilfield.’ Long term ownership is common which means used opportunities should be seized upon. A good early 2000s Bullet 350 or 500 sells for 100% of its original sale price: £2400 and £2700 respectively. Prices will most likely start creeping up so act now.