Harley’s, Triumphs and Indians may come and go and Dominar may try to usurp its place but the Bullet still reigns supreme. Now available in several avatars, the legendary 350 cc Bullet with British lineage but now with upgraded genes has a distinctive beat that even Harley’s cannot match. It is the perfect, reliable, power horse of a cruiser for cross country touring across any terrain.
The Royal Enfield company started operations in England in 1893 and established manufacturing in India with its lone ranger 350 cc the mainstay of people looking for power and for the army as well. The Japanese onslaught and poor quality (oil leaks, costly and frequent repairs) left the company in doldrums. It was not until Eicher acquired it and began a turnaround that the Bullet re surged triumphant with better engines, looks and models. Those who would not want to be seen dead on a Bullet now dumped their puny wheelies in favor of the mighty warrior.
Under Eicher, Bullet reinvented itself and there are various iterations of the legend, ranging from 350 cc to 500 cc with more powerful bikes in the offing. The 410 cc Himalayan Tour, the favorite of chuggers who choose to navigate steep roads in the Himalayas, puts out 44 NM torque from its 28 BHP mill with a tuned suspension, EFI and advanced carburetor. The beat has been modified from the leisurely chug-chug of the erstwhile kick start 350 cc to a more urgent, deep note that resounds reverberating in the hearts of Indians looking to take on nature’s challenges.