On the weekend of March 13th/14th, W+K Exp will host a two-day exhibition that celebrates The Art of Motorcycling. Motorcycle exhibits will range from the brand new Classic 500 to an exotic variety of customized Enfields from all over India...
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The 1st edition of the Royal Enfield Tour of Tibet shall be flagged off from Lucknow on the 12th of October 2013. There are numerous thoughts that come into one's mind when one thinks of Tibet, "The Roof of the World", "Where Eagles Dare" and many others. This September the first Royal Enfield ride to this mystical land will have 25 riders from across India will set off on this epic journey to Lhasa and back.
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Royal Enfield Classic Desert Storm 500

The Classic Desert Storm comes to you with a “sand” paint scheme reminiscent of the war era, a time when Royal Enfield motorcycles proved their capabilities and battle worthiness by impeccable service to soldiers in harsh conditions of the desert
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It is a blend of post world war II motorcycle and gen next bike. Several things remained the same as a vintage motorcycle such as 'Roar of engine', deep and wide design of front and rear fender, covered headlamp, seating, fuel tank, silencer, spoke wheels, tail lamp and air filer box. , ...
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Royal Enfield Classic Chrome 500 launched

The Royal Enfield Classic Chrome is based on the Classic 500 with a rather generous dose of chrome on it. Like the Classic 500, the new Classic Chrome retains the quintessential classic British styling of the 1950s: simple, harmonious, well proportioned."

Bullet C5 Military

The iconic Bullet has seen extended duty on several fronts and is now a prize for military enthusiasts and collectors the world over.
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Royal Enfield Rider Mania 2010

The biggest biker bash in the country is courtesy Royal Enfield, and hundreds of zany Enfielders. Here's what the 2010 edition of the Royal Enfield Rider Mania was all about....


Royal Enfield has finally launched the highly anticipated Continental GT in India with an on-road price of Rs 2.05 lakh on-road Delhi and Rs 2.14 lakh on-road Mumbai. The Continental GT is the same bike that Royal Enfield had displayed at the Auto Expo 2012 by the name of Café Racer.

'Handcrafted in Chennai'

Royal Enfield announces the release of a new ad film created and produced by Wieden+Kennedy, Delhi...

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500

The all new Royal Enfield Thunderbird now with a powerful 500 cc engine, a 20 litre tank, digital meter console, LED tail lamps and in three striking shades of black gives a new definition to Highway cruising. ...
click to read more is the blog for all Royal Enfield enthusiast where we live, breathe, and eat Royal Enfield Bullet . We not only keep you informed of the news about Royal Enfield originals, but also give custom bikes and historical bikes a lot of attention. You can also find with us the best Enfield related movies and crazy stunts etc. We are testing and reviewing new models of which a complete relief will be shown on our site. Finally, we have technical tips, for example, how to properly get engine through the winter.
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  • classic 500 review

    A comprehensive Road test done by Zigwheels

    Cleaning your Royal Enfield

    article about cleaning and maintaining your royal enfield

    EFI Made Easy

    Everything you need to know to take care of the new EFI system

    Royal Enfield Bullet-The Indian Cult ?

    Royal Enfield Bullet-The Indian Cult ? Find out !!

    Actor John Abraham buys himself a Royal Enfield based board track racer

    Bollywood heartthrob John Abraham has got himself a new set of wheels to add to the two existing superbikes in his garage namely the Yamaha YZF-R1 and Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa. The Mumbai-based actor has gone ahead and got himself a custom bike made by Jaipur-based custom bike firm Rajaputana Customs.

    The design of the bike has been inspired by the American ‘Board Track Racer’ from 1910. The bike is the only one of its kind in the world and has been built to suit John’s taste and to his required specifications.

    Vijay Singh, Rajputana Customs Co-Owner to Mid Day -
    The bike we have built for John is an extension of his personality and taste. For instance, the bike is subtle, simplistic, and a complete stand-out much like John’s calm and uncomplicated demeanor but amazing presence
    The design and specifications of the bike were discussed with John in great detail, as he is a great bike connoisseur and knows his machines very well inside out. The bike is a completely hand built masterpiece and took 50 days to complete. The price of John’s new customized ride has not been disclosed and is said to be extremely confidential.

    Tech Specs:

    • The new RE 500cc engine
    • Girder front suspension (Original 1948 BSA 500 Spring)
    • Internal throttle assembly
    • Hand engraving on all brass parts
    • Hand wrapped & stitched leather for the 2 exhaust guards, hand levers, grips, footrests, & battery box
    • Custom milled hub and spokes to support the 21″ front.
    • Single side drum brakes to keep with the old school aesthetics
    • Leaf spring seat perfectly tempered to support 90Kgs (Johns weight)
    • Charcoal gold highlighting on the mat black paint

    Engine Specs:

    Engine: Single Cylinder, 4 Stroke, OHV, SI Engine, Air cooled, and Fuel Injection
    Displacement: 499 CC
    Bore x Stroke: 84 mm x 90 mm
    Maximum Power: 27.2 bhp @ 5250 rpm
    Maximum Torque: 41.3 Nm @ 4000 rpm
    Transmission: 5 Speed (left foot gear shift)
    Ignition: Electronic Ignition

    Source – Mid Day

    Specs source – Motoroids

    Royal Enfield is the 'best value' ?

    "The Royal Enfield without question is the best value on the motorcycle market today." Did you ever think you would read those words? That's the claim made by U.S. importer Kevin Mahoney on his blog.

    Sure, you'd expect someone who markets a product to consider that product the best there is, and say so. But Mahoney isn't given to fluffy claims.

    And he knows the history of Royal Enfield in the U.S. He has been with the motorcycles through the years when they wet sumped, rattled off parts and destroyed their own starter sprags. Horn brackets always broke. Electrical connectors routinely disconnected themselves at random. The factory tended to put paint on a key grounding point. The factory-supplied fuse looked like a part from a novelty store gag.

    Mahoney patiently helped owners through the teething problems. His demeanor, expressed on message boards and on his web site, suggested the best way to own a Royal Enfield: "First, keep your sense of humor," he seemed to imply.

    He's not joking when he says, now, that "Royal Enfield without question is the best value on the motorcycle market today." He makes the claim in connection with the new "ultra reliable" Unit Construction Engine.

    "The new bike is so reliable that we have doubled the warranty to an industry leading two years," Mahoney writes.

    That's outstanding. However, "value" has many components. Perhaps, like Hyundai, Royal Enfield has a better warranty. But Hyundai builds cars that are just as fast and cost no more than competitors. Royal Enfield still competes against motorcycles with lower price tags that go faster. So how can it be "the best value"?

    The answer, for me at least, is that Royal Enfields are not Hyundais. They are not just an alternative to taking the city bus. They inspire passion and reward enthusiasm. They have a history and a long tradition. In this, I would compare them to Jaguar -- in more ways than one.

    For instance, warranty or not, hydraulic lifters, fuel injection and all, I suspect you will still want to keep your sense of humor. Or, maybe I should say, your sense of joy. That's where the real value is. Money can't buy you love.


    Old Bullets turn dear after product revamp

    It’s not only wine. Even iron becomes valuable over time, especially if it rolls on two wheels and has ‘Royal Enfield’ stamped on the fuel tank. Thousands of biking aficionados across the country are discovering to their dismay that the world’s oldest motorcycle in production has become more expensive, not only in showrooms but also in the large unorganised pre-owned domestic two-wheeler market.

    Sample this: Twenty-three-year-old media executive Abhimanyu Chakravorty wanted to buy his first Royal Enfield bike. After scouting for a few bikes in Karol Bagh, the capital’s dingy pre-owned automobile hub, he had to shell out Rs 40,000 for a 2001 Standard model. “A few months ago, 10-year-old Royal Enfield bikes were selling for around Rs 15,000-Rs 20,000, depending on the condition of the machine. But now, suddenly, prices have gone up by almost 100 per cent,” he says.

    According to Royal Enfield dealers, this trend was noticed a few months ago when Chennai-based motorcycle manufacturer, Royal Enfield Motorcycles, started offering an advanced all-aluminium united constructed engine (UCE) on all its models, starting with the much talked about 500-cc Classic variant that it launched here last year. The company had invested around Rs 80 crore in developing the new engine and claimed that it offered the much-needed reliability and fuel efficiency that Royal Enfield motorcycles earlier lacked. But it came at a price.

    The Classic was priced well over Rs 1.2 lakh, pricey by Indian two-wheeler standards, and even the 350-cc Standard model, which earlier retailed for Rs 72,000 now comes for Rs 93,000 with the new UCE mill.

    But hardcore Royal Enfield enthusiasts are not amused. Saurabh Deb, a Royal Enfield owner for nine years, feels that the new models lack the classic Royal Enfield charm. “The characteristic thump is missing,” he points out.

    Scores of Bullet owners that FC spoke to second Deb and argue that the cult value of Royal Enfield motorcycles lies in their niggling mechanical faults and the now discontinued long bore iron-cast engine, which produced the distinguishing beats, akin to Harley-Davidson’s ‘potato-potato’.

    So, it comes as no surprise that all existing Royal Enfield bikes in the pre-owned market with iron-cast engines have unexpectedly become prized collectors’ items. Says Mohd Alam who has been selling only Enfield motorcycles in the capital for the last 20 years: “The first thing that all Bullet buyers look at before purchasing a Royal Enfield bike is the sound, the characteristic thump. Iron-cast engines produce something that the new crop of bikes can only dream to emulate. So, old bikes have suddenly become the toast of town and ‘real’ Bullet lovers will settle for nothing less.”

    It’s difficult to estimate the number of Royal Enfield motorcycles on the road now since the bike has been around for more than half a century. But, by the look of it, there are enough “iron-willed” motorcycles to keep fans from taking a bullet (pun intended).

    But the manufacturer of the world’s oldest motorcycle in production seems unfazed. National marketing head at Royal Enfield Motorcycles, Shaji Koshy, is optimistic about his company’s new move and feels that the new engine will help spread the company’s footprints across the globe.

    Incidentally, Royal Enfield Motorcycles is the only Indian two-wheeler company in the country that exports its products to developed markets while the rest of the breed is still trying to find a footing in the developing ones.

    Says Koshy: “Last year we sold 60,000 bikes. We are investing another Rs 60-70 crore to increase our production capacity to one lakh units in the next two years. Latin American markets are next on our agenda.”

    It still remains to be seen whether ‘royal’ beats can replace salsa, but what the heck, it seems well worth a ride.

    A new Royal Enfield club revs up / Julian Motorcycle Club

    Motorcycle clubs restricted to a single marque have greater staying power. Madras Bulls (Royal Enfield) and Roaring Riders (Jawa & Yezdi) are examples. In contrast, groups open to multiple marques disintegrate faster. 

    Julian Motorcycle Club (JMC) takes the more slippery route. It rolls out the red carpet to anyone with a motorcycle. Interestingly, the club is the brainchild of a diehard Royal Enfield enthusiast. During an all-Bullet expedition to the Himalayas, Joseph Julian started tinkering with the idea of an all-inclusive biker club. 

    JMC has today evoked positive response from motorcycle majors in India. “Most motorcycle majors are committed to inculcating values of safe and ethical riding in young bikers. Despite encouraging clubs dedicated to their bikes, they don't achieve their objective. Lack of regular rides is the reason. As we share their values and aim to make biking a part of every week, a few bike manufacturers have extended support to our initiative,” says 34-year-old Julian. 

    JMC, which has been around for a year but officially kick-started on May 30, plans a ride a week. That is generally the aim of almost every biker club. The core group at JMC thinks they are in a better position to attain it than most other clubs because of the group's structural strength. 

    Student strength
    “We are going to run it along corporate lines,” says Dilip Francis, vice-president, JMC. “We are not seeking to make money from the biking club. Most of the 120 members on the roll now are college students. The club is supported by gains from automobile-related commercial pursuits.” 

    Julian, who runs Sperm (garment retailing), also customises vehicles. “We're going to take this activity to a higher gear. In addition, we'll hire out super bikes and sports cars.”
    Given these factors, JMS seems destined for a great journey.


    Visordown Motorcycle News

    Nothing is ever as simple as it once was, as obvious as it might have been or, indeed, there to clearly figure out in black and white. Some answers don't come easy, the questions only with a little less difficulty. Which leads us, in a crisp CGI-focused digital world to the first point to ponder: why, when everything on two wheels is getting faster, lighter and better, would you want a motorcycle that is antiquated, slow, heavy and quite plainly not brilliant? 
    Part of that answer we'll get to after a fashion. First a bit of history, which is what the Ace Cafe serves up as well as steaming mugs of tea and monumental fry-ups. The Ace is situated on what is now a bypassed backwater of a road that was once the arterial heart of London, the A406 North Circular. It was a transport cafŽ, and back in '50s and '60s Britain it existed to dish up tea and fry-ups to lorry drivers. It, and many like it, had a jukebox, which played rock 'n' roll records - a big deal at the time, because you couldn't get rock 'n' roll on the radio. 
    Teenagers invented themselves about then, horrifying the morass of grey-faced post-war adults - and teenagers wanted to listen to rock 'n' roll. And some of these teenagers also discovered that motorcycles, far from being poor man's transport, were actually exciting methods of getting around with a glamour and danger that added instant sex appeal. Obviously an important point, too. So heading to places like the Ace, listening to records, chewing the fat and simply hanging out with like-minded people became a way of life. The CafŽ Racer - the term, the man and the machine, was born. 
    It's a movement that's long since been relegated to the history books - the horrific death toll among the ton-up boys led to a tabloid war that thrust bikers into the public spotlight. Those that survived grew older and moved on, but while cafŽ racing (as a verb) has disappeared the bikes never really have. And here's the first irony - a cafŽ racer was actually a race-replica, mimicking the stripped down essence of the racers of the day by adding clip-on handlebars, rearset footpegs and engine tuning to standard machines. Rather than buying your race-replica you made your own, and as there weren't track days you raced it on the road. 
    So here we are, in 2004 with three motorcycles available to buy that look very much like they come from another time. One - the Triumph Thruxton 900 - is a cod reproduction of one of the original Triumph factory's racing bikes from 40 years ago. The first Triumph Thruxton was a hand-built racing legend, produced in limited numbers. Seeing one on the road then would be akin to seeing a Ducati 999 Corse running up to Saino's now. The Kawasaki W650, in yet another little twist of irony, is a more faithful visual copy of a '60s Brit Triumph than the Thruxton. Less ironic is the Enfield Bullet Sixty-5 Sportsman - built by Watsonian-Squire 30 miles from the original Royal Enfield plant in Redditch. Using components produced both in India and the UK, the Sixty-5 has perhaps the most direct connection with the past it purports to represent. 
    All three could easily be categorised in the 'old shite replica' bin of modern motorcycling but curiously, while they all might look the same, they individually dish up a very different experience. The fact they exist at all (ignoring the Enfield's lineage for a minute) is testament to the fact that sometimes simple is good and, while bikes are much faster, lighter and better now, boiling their component parts back down again and re-using an old recipe can work. 
    Taking them to the Ace Cafe, which re-opened in 2001 after a long sojourn as a tyre depot, was a little clichŽd, but also fitting, dealing as we are in post-retro-modernist-ironic-chic. As was running down the A23 to Brighton for a pint of Olde Foaming Fox Piss. 
    While the Ace has a ton of history riding on its tail it's also a good cafŽ. Good grub, good people and a crammed souvenir booth to satisfy punters' desire for a bit of Ace CafŽ to take away. We certainly did, and the hectic urban ride from south west to north west London was soon forgotten in a blur of egg and bacon butties, mugs of tea, bandanas, stickers and sew-on patches. 
    Motorcycling now is a leisure pursuit. Back when the Ace was packed with cafŽ racers for real, motorcycling was a more serious business. As we left its cosy portals, pockets and stomachs bulging, I wondered what the lads staring out of the mono-chrome pictures, with their black leather jackets, bare-boned bikes and bad attitudes, would make of us and our trio of faux-classic machines. Not a great deal, I reckoned. 
    That was then, this is now. And now for the three of us was London's suburban sprawl and snarling traffic. Which was okay, because these bikes make good town tools, particularly the twin-cylinder Thruxton with its skinny flanks and steeply raked clip-on bars. Urry, because he was a wearing a Triumph jacket and for some reason looked like he should be on it, was, and judging by the rodent-up-a-drainpipe way he was dispensing with queues was quite enjoying himself. Oh, and the big grin on his plug-ugly mush was a giveaway. 
    Jim, who more than anyone I know has been born out of time and should've been riding like a twat in the '60s, fitted the Sixty-5 like a glove. He didn't just look the part, he was the part. The only problem; like the rest of us he's used to modern levels of performance from engines, brakes and suspension, none of which his chosen tool offered. Did he care? Did he bollocks. He was basking in the racket from the Sixty-5's thumping great cylinder and and ignoring the fact that if he wanted to stop quickly he needed to give written warning to his front drum brake which, he reckoned after a near miss at a set of lights, "appears to have been knitted out of a combination of wool and rolled up milk bottle tops..." 
    I had the W650, not a bike you'll find in every Kawasaki dealer. Ours came from D&K, along with eccentricities added by a previous owner including an alarm, which ensured a constant flat battery. Fortunately the Kwak comes with a delightfully period kick-starter. With its high handlebars, rack and squashy seat it felt like a tourer. Its gentle, harmless twin-cylinder engine was nice and easy to get along with, but I had my work cut out to keep up with the others. 
    Urry without doubt had the 'performance' machine, with its 865cc engine and fettled suspension and brakes - all a major improvement over the standard Bonneville set-up. Jim on the wheezing, clanking, bellowing Sixty-5 had no such advantages, but did have the spirit of the cafŽ racers blessing him with extra speed and daring. 
    Rushing the W650 wasn't on. Where the Thruxton needs a good thrashing to make it come alive, the opposite is true of the Kwak. The W650 was best left to drift along of its own volition. Sit back, relax and watch the world slip by, with the odd stiff-edged salute to passing motorbicyclists. 
    But while these things are great around town, on the open road they ain't so bright. And while the M25 didn't exist 40 years ago, it certainly does now and we had to deal with it. The best bike, again, was the Thruxton. It's got the legs to keep up with 80mph motorway traffic, and a riding position to tuck into. I was strung out on the W650, aching to knock 20mph off my speed and settle back into that sweet 60mph zone the bike inhabits so well, while Jim had his chin under the paint of the Sixty-5's tank, hunting out every scrap of speed to stay with Urry. By the time we made the A23, our warm nostalgic glow had been ever-so-slightly frazzled by the frenetic pace. 
    We had to stop. Searching out another greasy spoon, more fried dead animal was the order of the moment. As the buzzing in our heads subsided and calm restored, the frenzy of the previous half-hour ebbed. By the time we saddled up and headed for the rolling South Downs, we were back in the mood for retro action. 
    And for the next hour, that was what we got. Plugging along, not desperately quick but fast enough to enjoy the ride and with the scenery rolling by, we wove our way south. We were, of course not riding this route for real - the cafŽ racing lunatics of yesterday would've, hell for leather, taking chances and risking all. Not us. If we want to get our adrenaline kicks now we'll ride a fast, competent bike on a nice safe racetrack in our highly protective clothing and helmet. 
    So the three of us just cruised to Brighton. And you know what? It wasn't half bad. 
    And roaring around Brighton's trendy streets was fun too, although not for the Sixty-5's clutch, which soon started playing up. But it was fun for us. People seemed to like the bikes and pointed, waved and stared. By now, we liked the bikes too, more so than we had previously. From the old-school cool of the Ace to the liberal funkiness of Brighton via the hell of the M25, we'd experienced something we hadn't before. Time for a pint. 
    We all had our views. Jim was convinced of Sixty-5's worth: "If I'm having a bike like this I want it to make a noise, be awkward, not have any brakes and be genuinely different to a modern bike. The Triumph looks the part from 20 feet away but when you get up close it's a low-resolution replica. The Sixty-5 is the real deal. It's slow, needs constant attention and doesn't do anything well. That's why I like it." 
    Urry wasn't convinced. He's a bloke in his twenties and, while he liked the Sixty-5's look, was more turned on by the Thruxton's performance. "You might as well buy a real classic bike as buy the Sixty-5," he reckoned. "For me the Thruxton has got the look just right and, more importantly, it works. What it's begging for is a set of loud pipes, but that's all. The engine's got enough grunt to make it fun and it handles, stops and steers well. I want the look without the classic bike experience and that's what the Thruxton gives. It's a modern motorcycle with enough style to make it different." 
    The W650 is the forgotten Kawasaki, but look hard at its handsome yet modern-feeling 675cc engine. The Thruxton outperforms it, but minus some charisma and - oh, yet more sweet irony - authenticity. At least Kawasaki were making twin-cylinder bikes like this sometime back then... even if they were copies of British bikes. Whatever. It's not a thrilling ride, it hasn't the primeval essence of the Sixty-5 or the crisp edge of the Thruxton, but it's got charm in its own unassuming way. But really, apart from its looks, knob-all else. 
    Why then, would you want a motorcycle that wasn't on the cutting edge of technology? The truth is you wouldn't. You just might want something different. Once, each of these bikes would've been absolute marvels, now they're eccentric sideshows. But that doesn't mean they don't have a place in modern motorcycling. The fact that bikes are so good now secures their place. 
    And it all boils down to this. If you want a real classic bike that'll leak oil, break down and underperform in every possible way, get the Sixty-5. It'll do all those things, but you'll form an empathetic bond of care and love. And it comes with a warranty. 
    If you want to buy a little piece of cafŽ race style without any of the hassle (or commitment, for that matter), the Thruxton's the bike for you. There's plenty of aftermarket bits available to make it the bike Triumph wanted to build but couldn't and somewhere a real motorcycle is begging to get out. Which leaves the W650. As everybody has, it would appear. If you want a gentle, classically styled brand new old bike this one's it. Kick start included. 
    PRICE NEW - £5190
    POWER - 49.6bhp@7000rpm
    TORQUE - 41.3lb.ft@5500rpm
    WEIGHT - 195kg
    SEAT HEIGHT - 800mm
    TOP SPEED - n/a
    0-60 - n/a

    PRICE NEW - £4250
    POWER - 23bhp@5500rpm
    TORQUE - 26lb.ft@5500
    WEIGHT - 150kg
    SEAT HEIGHT - 790mm
    TOP SPEED - n/a
    0-60 - n/a

    PRICE NEW - £5999
    POWER - 58.6bhp@6900rpm
    TORQUE - 48.4lb.ft@2800rpm
    WEIGHT - 205kg
    SEAT HEIGHT - 790mm
    0-60 - n/a

    by Alex Hearn

    The Royal Enfield Beer bike

    Yes, that's right, beer bike. A bike made from beer? Not quite, but Hobgoblin are in on it ...
    There's something appropriate about an independent British beer brand linking up with, well, let's just call it a British bike brand, shall we? We reckon the bike looks pretty and, if for no other reason, we're giving it space on this here website. The story is simply that Wychwood Brewery's Hobgoblin has teamed up with Royal Enfield to create an exclusive 'Hobgoblin Bullet' model. And here's the press info:

    "The craftily crafted Hobgoblin beer brand features on the unique machine, which will be given away free in a prize draw.

    Ian Ward,
    brand manager at Wychwood, said: "The Hobgoblin Bullet is a great 'one off' with a unique blue paint job and legendary graphics of the Hobgoblin, there was no way we could put a price on it. So we've chosen to give it away to one lucky beer and bikes fan."

    Royal Enfield Hobgoblin Bullet is a 500cc single cylinder motorcycle, designed in a classic 1950's style but suitable for today's modern roads thanks to fuel injection, indicators and electric start. Look out for the bike at this year's Great British Beer Festival and the NEC Bike Show.

    The prize draw will be open until November 30th 2010 and entrants can put themselves forward to win by texting HOBGOBLIN ENFIELD to 60300 or through the Wychwood website For information on Royal Enfield motorcycles go to  Winners will be notified by post following the prize draw.

    Royal Beasts

    You can love them or hate them, but you just can’t ignore them! Started on April 6, 2002, by two friends, Kartik Krishnan and Ajeet Hundal, with an aim to forming an exclusive club of Bullet enthusiasts, the RoyalBeasts have today grown to a huge 202 members. 
    In fact, so rapid has their growth been that within one-and-a-half years they have became the third largest group in India. Yes, RoyalBeasts is part of a nationwide phenomenon of Enfield bikers coming together to enjoy their bikes. Similar Enfield bikers’ groups are running in cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and even Aizawl.

    And, if you think that RoyalBeasts would essentially be young-dudes-showing-off-their-muscles-kind of people... think again! The group boasts of a presence of the fairer sex, albeit in a very small number. Talk to the youngest member of the group and you know that biking is no longer a male thing... 18-year-old Mahima Nijhowne, owns a Royal Enfield, and joined RoyalBeasts the day she turned 18. Ask her about the reaction she gets from fellow motorists on roads, she says, “I get a lot of thumbs-up signs from people. Sometimes they clap or smile or just look at me in amazement.” Does she face uncomfortable moments? She says, “Not really. But then, who would mess with a girl riding on a Royal Enfield?”

    The other Royal Enfield gals include 28-year-old Ellinor Nordstron from Sweden, who works in a call centre in Gurgaon. She joined RoyalBeasts a couple of months back. She says, “I recently went on a ride with the group to Sattal. Being on a Royal Enfield away from the city gave me an amazing sense of freedom.”

    As for the hunks in the group, they have terrific tales to narrate too. Says Kartik Krishnan, who incidentally owns four (believe it or not!) Royal Enfield bikes, “We’ve been to all kinds of places on our bikes, and I’ve broken almost every bone in my body!” Adds Sachin Chavan, an automobile journalist, “Last time we went to Ladakh, we had to cross this stretch which was very close to the China border. It was a dirt track and we had no map to help us navigate. That was a real tough one.” The group goes on two big rides every year, one to Ladakh in summers and to Goa in January. Besides, the group organises short trips to Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, etc. When in town, the group meets every Sunday evening at Qutab Institutional Area, opposite the Fore School of Management.

    Take a look at them and you know that this is a wide variety of people brought together by one passion, Royal Enfield. There are doctors, lawyers, students, marketing guys, journalists, entrepreneurs... and many others, who are part of this group. Says Sachin Chavan, “There’s this unbelievable camaraderie amongst us. We are together because of our love for bikes, and we are willing to go that extra mile to enjoy the ride.”

    So, if you’ve always wanted to don your leather pants, leather jacket and leather shoes, and ride ‘peacefully’ into the sunset on your Royal Enfield... ride into the RoyalBeasts. There’s no entry fee, no joining procedures... all you need is a ‘thumping’ love for the Royal Enfield! Happy cruising! 

    Those magnificent men and their flying machines

    Nasty people may refer to them as bicycles with engines attached, but say the word ‘motorcycle’ aloud and most guys (and girls) will stop, stare and begin to salivate. Just what is it about these machines that turns us all on?

    Bandanna wound around his face, cap on his head, scarf around his neck… None of these precautions ever helped Dino Morea arrive for his shoots in anything less than grubby condition, his face absolutely black with grime.
    Yet, the then-new-to-Mumbai model refused to get a car or even a cab to ferry him about the city. He’d always ridden a motorbike in Bangalore; he saw no reason why moving to a more polluted Mumbai should change that.
    “There’s something about bikes that attracts me,” says Morea ruminatively. “Maybe it’s the feeling of oneness you get when you’re on a bike. Maybe that’s what makes all the difference between a bike and a beautiful car. But I have never given up my passion for these machines. And I never will.”

    Free as a bird-

    Ever wondered what it is about a motorcycle that turns people on? After all (as nasty people would say), it’s nothing but a bicycle with an engine attached. Yet, just say the word ‘motorbike’ out loud or hear the roar of one as it passes, and you’ll see men (and not a few women) turn, stare and either give a long, appraising look, or begin to salivate.
    “Bikes are men’s alter ego; they keep that part of the soul alive that can whoosh into the heart of the city at night, they give men wings as the air rushes by, and they make men’s hearts throb as they race time,” says Sameer Parikh, psychiatrist and chief of mental health department, Max Healthcare. “Moreover, men think that riding a bike is a definitely male thing to do. Men are loud, boisterous, and always challenging. So are bikes. It is as if two similar souls meet when a man rides a bike. He sees himself reflected in the chug and roar of the engine, and catches every eye as he whizzes past.”
    In other words, motorcycles offer men (and not a few women) a sense of freedom that even the sexiest car cannot.

    Motorbikes have always been an integral part of city life. They are relatively easy to maintain, look exciting and manoeuvre well in traffic. No wonder, as Sanjay Tripathi, division head, product planning and brand management, Yamaha, says, motorcycle companies “see an upward swing in their demand on a regular basis.”
    But convenience has nothing to do with a passion for bikes. In fact, this passion can often be inconvenient. What we’re looking at are bikes that have acquired cult status, bikes for which men are ready to go to any extreme, bikes that are perfect for long rides, winding roads and speed.

    “These bikes, such as the Harley-Davidson or our very own Royal Enfield, are revered for their looks, their style and that ultimate feeling of power and freedom they provide,” says auto enthusiast and vintage car and bike collector Diljeet Titus who owns three vintage bikes including a 1936 BMW R12. “On these bikes, you feel like you’re riding a horse. Taming a beast used to give men a great deal of satisfaction earlier, and when you ride something as powerful as this kind of motorbike, you get the same feeling.”
    Gurmukh Singh, restorer and owner of 71 bikes including vintage bikes, cruisers and superbikes, agrees. “It’s the passion for owning something so powerful as well as beautiful that drives men to buy these beauties,” he says.

    Hot wheels-

    Bikes are generally classified into categories such as street bikes, cruisers or touring bikes, choppers, sports bike and superbikes. “While cruisers are generally retro styled, untouched by the march of fashion and technology, superbikes are powered by engines with a capacity ranging from 750 cc and above that can provide you with the thrill of speed,” explains Titus. “Almost all the major brands like Harley-Davidson, Suzuki, Ducati, Yamaha and Kawasaki manufacture bikes across all categories.”
    Till a few years ago, superbikes had to be imported. So you had to cough up the cost of the bike as well as the duty of 134 per cent. Now, with international brands like Suzuki, Yamaha and Harley-Davidson entering the market, fulfilling your dream of owning a mean machine has become easier – though you still pay the same amount of duty.
    “Superbikes are technological marvels just like gadgets like the iPod or the iPhone,” says Tripathi. “Today, the profile of bikers has changed. They are well-travelled, keen, knowledgeable, and usually follow the Grand Prix and other bike related programmes. Superbikes are the new man toys.”
    Yamaha was the first to launch a superbike in India in 2007. Its legendary R1 – the Formula One bike – was the first, followed by the MT 01. In the first year, says Tripathi, 130 superbikes were sold.
    Other brands like Suzuki followed and today roughly 600-700 superbikes are sold all over the country. “There may not be enough good roads to ride these bikes at the moment, but with development, we may soon get better roads,” says N K Rattan, operating head, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt Ltd. “Plus, biking as a tourist culture is also evolving. People are willing to take their bikes anywhere. Coimbatore and Chennai have good race circuits and the idea is to promote the culture of using these bikes for fun. We have had an amazing response since we launched two models of our superbikes and we look forward to selling a hundred bikes a year.” 
    Easy rider-

    Bikes are often referred to as toys for big boys, but it’s usually small boys who fall in love with them – with a passion that never dies.
    Entrepreneur Navin Ansal was 16 or 17 when he got a Royal Enfield that he rode till he was about 21. “I love feeling the wind on my face and the thrilling sense of freedom,” says Ansal. “The experience has nothing to do with speed. It’s more like a romantic adventure.” As he began to ‘settle down’, Ansal gave up his bike. But the passion never subsided and years later, his wife Raseel presented him with a 500 cc Royal Enfield.

    “Now I have a couple of bikes, all cruisers since I love bikes with an old world feel about them,” says Ansal who has a 1300 cc customised Yamaha and a modified Bullet. “I love to ride my all chrome 2300 cc Triumph Rocket with a friend who has similar interests. My favourite area is behind Faridabad in the Aravalis. There is no proper road and you can only take a big bike there. I have been on several long trips to the hills in Kasauli on these bikes. They are not just comfortable but safe for long rides.”
    Vintage bikes are fashion designer Arjun Khanna’s passion. He has been collecting and restoring them for the last six years. “I never owned a bike in school or college but the Bullet was imprinted on my mind,” he says. “Its great sound and design kept me excited about bikes. Now my collection consists of a Norton’s Triumph, a 40-year-old Harley and my favourite, the Royal Enfield.”
    For Khanna, who dreams of owning the Brough Superior, the joy of collecting vintage bikes lies in putting them back on the roads. “And they can easily compete with any of the newer bikes,” he says. “Though there is little space to ride these bikes in Mumbai, I go for a ride every Sunday. Otherwise, I have biked from Mumbai to Pune and Goa. But I really want to do a trip to Ladakh on one of my bikes. That’s the great thing about these oldies – they can take you on a long trip without trouble.”
    Royal ride-

    Over the years, the Bullet has grown to become the ultimate Indian cult bike. The Bullet, say its fans, gives its riders a sense of power and freedom that is incomparable. “I have always been fascinated with the sound of the old Bullet,” says Dilip Kapur, owner of the Hidesign brand of leather goods. “In comparison to it, the Japanese bikes are kind of flimsy.” 

    Kapur lives in Pondicherry and has travelled all over the South on his Bullet. For him, a bike is the best vehicle there is. “I seem to have developed a dislike for four wheelers,” he says. “I think they are social disasters that have separated people from their environment. When you are on a bike, you have the brute power of the bike below you and a complete connection with nature.”
    It’s exactly the combination that Kapur describes that prompted Royal Enfield, makers of the Bullet, to promote its annual Himalayan Odyssey. As Shaji Koshy, head, sales & marketing, Royal Enfield says: “In June when we organise the Himalayan Odyssey, the true pleasure of riding takes over Royal Enfield. As a motorcycling company we feel it is our moral responsibility, and as a cult brand, our role in society is to not only promote safe riding but also leisure motorcycling.”

    Soon, the company will launch a Nepal Odyssey, a Southern Odyssey and a Rajasthan Odyssey. “These will be team trips in different geographies so more people can get hooked on to riding,” says Koshy.
    Graphic designer Pranab Dutta doesn’t need to be told about the spirit of motorcycling. A bike, he swears, gives you far more freedom than a four wheeler, and Pranab enjoys his daily ride from Gurgaon to his workplace in Defence Colony on his Triumph Rocket 2300cc bike.
    “The kind of excitement you feel on these bikes can never be felt in a car. Besides city driving, I have also enjoyed long trips with a set of riders to Jaipur and to Ranikhet,” he says. “However, most of these bikes are huge and very heavy, and most people are not trained to handle them. So the risk factor is always there.” Dutta has had bad accidents on his bike himself, but usually, he says, big bikes are safe. They just need mature handling.
    Speed kings-
    But there is another aspect associated with bikes – speed. Bikes are also meant for zipping around at great speed, and that’s where superbikes come in.
    It was the thrill of speed that made former rally driver Rajeev Khanna opt for superbikes years ago. “The biggest draw for me was the sense of adventure,” recalls Khanna, the proud owner of a Harley. “I started with racing bicycles and then graduated to these bikes. Later I did move on to cars, but bikes always remained a big interest. In fact, these days my latest passion is off-roading.”
    Speed is usually associated with the young, but its fascination can strike later in life as well, as Dr Arun Theraja, head of the ENT unit at Maharaja Agrasen Hospital in Delhi and a superspecialist in head and neck cancer, found out. Dr Theraja’s passion for superbikes struck out of the blue in 1985 when he was just through with his MBBS.
    “I happened to see the RD 350 cc bike that Yamaha had just launched and was bowled over,” says Dr Theraja, president of a biking group called GODS (Group of Delhi Superbikers) and owner of a 1000 cc Yamaha R1, a 1200 cc Zx-12R Kawasaki Ninja, a 1300 cc Suzuki Hayabusa, a Royal Enfield Bullet, a Hero Honda Karizma and a Yamaha 350. “I have been on several biking trips to Leh and Ladakh on my Bullet and my Karizma, but riding a superbike gives you a different kind of high altogether. It’s a great combination of beauty and power and when you go from 0 to 100 in a mere 2.8 seconds, you feel like God. But you need a mature mind, otherwise these bikes can go out of control.”
    Dino Morea’s first and last love remains the Yamaha RD 350, but he also loves the superbikes made by Suzuki and Yamaha. His dream list includes the Yamaha V Max and also the Harley, and there’s nothing he likes better than taking his bike on roads trips from Mumbai to Pune. 
    Sex and the gritty-

    Bikes are a man thing – or so men think. You can’t blame them for thinking that, of course, since aside from offering power and freedom, bikes are also great at generating interest among women, as restaurateur Riyaaz Amlani of Saltwater Café, Mumbai, Smokehouse Deli, Delhi and the Mocha chain, suggests. 
    “Whether you like it or not, men definitely get an ego boost when women turn around to admire them and their bikes,” he laughs.
    And his premise is confirmed by 22-year-old student Shamita Verma who says: “I think men look best on a bike. Even a decent looking guy on a sexy bike would make me go wow immediately.”
    But what about a decent looking woman on a sexy bike? It sounds offbeat, but there are more women bikers than you think. “I don’t agree with all these notions about men and bikes,” says model Gul Panag. “I have been riding a bike since I was 16 or 17 years old and it gives you a sense of freedom that can never be felt in a car. I have also had falls and minor accidents but that is part of the game.”
    Many of the men we’ve quoted dream of biking to Ladakh. Panag has been to Ladakh on her bike five times. “I go on my Enfield as it is a fun bike to ride and is very reliable on long trips with bad roads,” says Panag who also owns a BMW 650. 

    Model Lakshmi Rana began fiddling with her father’s old scooter when she was in class VI, and then tried out her older brother’s bike before deciding that this was what she wanted to do. “Women look much better than men on a bike,” she grins. “And I’m sure men love watching a woman on one of these speed monsters too. For me, riding a bike was first like taking up a challenge. Then I got hooked to it. The thrill of speeding is something I thoroughly enjoy.”
    Lakshmi started riding with a Hero Honda, and has since tried everything from a Yezdi to a Suzuki to a five-gear Enfield. “I have been on road trips from Delhi to Mussoorie and am now looking forward to going on a long trip to Ladakh,” she says.

    So like many things in life, bikes turn out to be something to which gender is no bar. The only thing necessary is a certain bent of mind. As Pranab Dutta says, “Whether you love the lazy ride of a Bullet or a Harley or the excitement of a Hayabusa, you just need to be in complete sync with the machine to get that ultimate high!”

    Royal Enfield Bullet Woodsman EFI road test / review (2010-current)


    Engine- 3/5

    Making a relaxed 28bhp, the Woodsman EFI isn’t a thrasher’s dream, but it makes big handfuls of torque right from tickover in a charismatic, lumpy fashion. The alloy-construction engine revs better than older Enfields, but it’s happiest using the low and mid range torque. 70mph cruising is comfortable, 85mph possible flat out. It feels best at 50-60mph on country roads.

    Ride and Handling- 3/5

    The Woodsman handles better than it’s dynamically similar Trials brethren, thanks to running decent Avon road tyres instead of knobblies. It’s not sharp, and being brutal will tie it in a knot, but smooth use of the wide bars results in a respectable ability to maintain momentum through bends. Suspension quality is low, crashing over potholes and such, though it’s merely slightly bouncy over better maintained surfaces. Just keep in mind what it is, and it’s fine.

    Equipment- 3/5

    Equipment is good compared to Enfields of old – the fuel warning light, fuel injection, electric start (plus a kicker for those of burly leg) and disc brake make life simpler. There’s a luggage rack behind you for strapping your sarnies to. That’s about your lot – it’s simplistic motorcycling. There’s not even a trip meter.

    Quality and Reliability- 2/5

    All Enfields are built in India these days – fit and finish is crude in places. Reliability is better, and they’re dead simple to maintain, but still expect to have to get hands on once in a while. The Woodsman is a model created in the UK, adapted from a standard Bullet EFI by the importer. The conversion parts are well made.

    Value- 3/5

    It’s not ludicrously expensive, but neither is it cheap. It’s cheaper than pseudo classics like the Triumph Bonneville, but then it’s not quite as able. It is, however, genuinely descended from classic British machinery from over 50 years ago, and remains the most authentic way to get the classic biking experience on a zero-mile machine.

    Model History-

    1955-1959: Original Indian Woodsman sold in USA, based around British-built Bullet. 
    2010: New EFI model based around current Bullet sold in UK only.

    overall verdict- 4/5

    The Royal Enfield Bullet Woodsman EFI is a modern take on a bike produced by the 1950’s USA importer, who turned Bullets in to scramblers and branded them as Indian Woodsman. The 2010 bike shares a name and basic layout, but has welcome modern touches including electric start, fuel injection and a disc front brake.



    Top speed85mph
    1/4-mile accelerationsecs
    Seat height825mm
    Fuel capacity14.5 litres
    Average fuel consumption80mpg
    Tank range250 miles
    Insurance group
    Engine size499cc
    Engine specificationAir-cooled four-stroke single, pushrod valve actuation, 2v. Five gears
    FrameTubular steel cradle
    Front suspension adjustmentnone
    Rear suspension adjustmentPreload
    Front brakes280mm disc, twin-piston caliper
    Rear brake152mm disc
    Front tyre size100/90-19
    Rear tyre size100/90-19

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