There is something about putting on a leather jacket, heavy duty boots, gloves and a helmet and riding a motorcycle, which is indescribable. Many men have tried to put this experience into words, and they have failed miserably, even inevitably. Riding a motorcycle is more than just transportation from an origin to a destination. The road calls out to you, with open skies lighting the way, and the swishing and swooshing of the wind providing the background score. Nothing makes a person more alive than the pure joy of being able to ride a motorcycle on open roads with no destination in mind. And when the motorcycle is a Royal Enfield Bullet, then opinions, criticisms and questions get buried deep within the crags of the earth. Riding a Bullet is liberating to the point of insanity, yet captivating to the point of rapture.
The roar of the engine and the majestic thump of the silencer make the Bullet a unique motorcycle in India. You can get off a Royal Enfield and be sure that people will tend to take notice. This is why the Bullet is such an exclusive vehicle, with waiting periods almost up to a year for some of the models. Owning and riding a Bullet also places one into an elite club of Bullet enthusiasts who have relished riding one for decades and generations. The brotherhood that develops between two men riding a Bullet is unparalleled and binds them for life.
In India, owning a Bullet has become akin to having taken a road trip to certain destinations, the foremost of these being Leh-Ladakh. People expect you to have ridden there on your Bullet, and having taken the customary selfie. But that is not the essence of being a Bullet rider. A Bullet is not only meant for trundling only the roads of the Leh-Ladakh region, but also for grinding it through waterfalls that crack up roads, for pushing it through dense forests, for cruising on it on open highways and for riding it into the sunset. Any person who rides a Bullet understands that it is not about the destination on a Bullet, it is about the journey.
A Bullet is a beast that is not tamed. It has a mind of its own. It is moody and irritable. Sometimes, it may start with the first kick even after lying idle for a month. But sometimes, it doesn’t even start despite the engine being warm. You cannot explain why a Bullet does what it does. While a Bullet is famous for its thump, weight, overall build quality and stability, it is also known for the vibrations during the ride, its infamous back-kicks and surprise breakdowns. It is like a lover who needs your constant care and attention, and yet can still inexplicably be upset at you for no reason at all. But like any lover on earth, you do not give up on a Bullet.
No, it is not the fastest motorcycle, it is not affordable by all, and it also does not give the greatest mileage in the motorcycles segment in India. But once you ride a Bullet, every other motorcycle seems like a moped in comparison. When you ride a Bullet, you are no longer a mere mortal. You rise above the vagaries and vicissitudes of life, and see life from afar. Your own petty despairs, joys, agonies, and ecstasies feel like emotions suiting only a child. Your soul rises above the shanty rooftops of the limitations of your mind, and unlocks a world of serenity and tranquility.
If you have ridden a Bullet, you know exactly what I am talking about. If you haven’t ridden one yet, do so now and thank me later. I guarantee that it will change your life.