Royal Enfield Bullet. What are the first things that come to your mind when these three words are uttered? Slow? Lazy? Cruiser? Yeah, the Bullet is for lazy rides on the highway at a sedate 8okm/h or lugging tens of kilos of luggage and riding up to the Himalayas. But the way you think about the good old Royal Enfield changes after you see a couple of Bullet wheelie videos on YouTube.
Now, we do get to see this kind of action daily on Pulsars and Karizmas but all this on a bike meant for cruising? These stunters are a part of a group of fearless bikers from New Delhi and Punjab for whom the lazy trail and rake set up and the heavy weight of the Bullet is of no bother at all. Pumping the front suspension a couple of times, using the clutch and arms to lift the front and then carrying the bike on a single wheel for a good distance before landing back on the road is something that astonishes us.
We have never seen the Royal Enfield do all this. If this ain’t enough, you will notice that in a few videos, the biker actually goes onto scrape the number plate while carrying the bike on one wheel! These guys can be seen quite often on the streets of West Delhi once it gets dark, and more so during the religious ‘Nagar Kirtan’ processions of the Sikhs. This has become a habit in this regular procession, where not only Bulleteers but riders on scooters and the usual breed of Indian bikes can be seen performing stunts in the middle of the road, which is almost entirely occupied by pedestrians. Dangerous, very dangerous!
When I spoke with them about their skills and riding gear or the lack of it, their faces were beaming and their replies were all about pride and attitude rather than safety. On one hand, the bikers seem to have skills to do all this but on the other (and most important) hand, they are completely devoid of any safety gear. To say the least, all it will take is one tumble to break a couple of bones and drill some lessons into their head.
Till then, may god be with them to take care of them and to help them ameliorate their crazy art of lifting the bikes. Of course, I respect their religious sentiments that hinder them from wearing a turban although I personally do know at least half a dozen Sikh bikers who wear good quality helmets when riding a bike. I have also seen and ridden some real fast Enfields that are modified to compliment the big lump of engine they carry along.
Yes, generally, a Royal Enfield will be made to eat dust by any good 150cc+ bike in India but this particular one, from down south truly goes like a Bullet. The bike is owned by a famous biker, who works for a two-wheeler manufacturer. His doped bike manages to show a clean pair of heels to even a 27bhp odd Hyosung Comet 250. The new breed of 500 LB models are quicker and within a year or two, the fuel injected twin-spark models will also be here in India but in the meantime there is a lot that can be done to make these bikes go faster.
According to various sources on the internet, the most important changes that should be carried out on a regular Bullet are upgrading the carburetor to a 32mm Mikuni Carb, replacing the filter with a performance one and changing the restricted silencer to a semi-free flow one. These three things alone with make a drastic change to the performance and if you’re still not happy, you can always opt for more alterations like a high compression ratio piston, stronger CH valves and springs etc, higher lift camshafts, Samrat rockers (much lighter than the standard items), better quality push-rods, stronger connecting rod, high capacity oil pump feed and return, heavy duty clutch and the works.
Plus there is the Hitchcocks’ 612cc conversion kit and if you still want to be really extreme, pick the Tollgate Classics 750cc conversion kit. Of course, you will have to shell out a ton of cash for all this but then, who says it’s cheap to own a Bullet that goes like one!