by adil jal darukhanawala , Photography : kunal khadse |
December 1, 2009 20:26 IST
Royal Enfield is whipping a storm in khaki and chrome, with two new variants based on the hard-hitting Classic 500. Ever since its roll-out in November 2009, the Bullet Classic has quite clearly made an impact on motorcyclists' psyche, and the two new models promise to take the same effect forward. It's not just a paint and lipstick job though. We welcome the Desert Storm and the Classic 500 Chrome into the thumping Royal Enfield family!
Embellishment, thy name is what sells Auto Americana by the millions, be it on two, four or 16 wheels! Custom craftsmanship, swathed in chrome and adorned with slick paintwork to make newer versions of regular production models has long been the magic mantra to spice things up and shift countless Fords, Chevys, Cadillacs, Harley-Davidsons, Caterpillars, Macks, etc out of showrooms and this practice continues unabated to this day. Of course when it is wheeled tradition which is being peddled, this line of customization at the factory level holds some esteem and residual values to the product.
So if you are thinking this is pretty much the line of thought being borrowed and adopted for India by Royal Enfield you would be both wrong and right – to varying degrees! Fact one is that Royal Enfield never believed in what it could do and spent much time fretting over who their customer was – the Machismo type, the dudhwala, the lone ranger type of long distance rider, the evolved rider, the born again biker or maybe even the young dude who wants to typify cool on the move. The key to their muddled thought process was just going with gut feel as a biker and the rest would pan out. Hesitatingly the firm worked on tweaking its staple product since inception (in India of course), the Bullet but then it had to for the simple reason that emission standards evolved and the need to stack up on technology to meet legislation saw the old push-rod lump get a sizeable makeover. The separate gearbox was junked and the unit construction engine incorporated a new 5-speed constant mesh cluster within the crankcase. From this substantially revised bottom end, the scene shifted to a twin spark plug top end job along with electronic fuel injection and the resultant 500cc motor that emerged set the new standard for what many wanted from a Bullet.