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.

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