Monday, July 19, 2010

An Ode to the Enfield of India by Gregory David Roberts in 'Shantaram'

Gregory David Roberts, author of the international bestseller 'Shantaram', has in this book written a beautiful tribute to the Enfield Bullet.

As a loyal Bullet afficiando, it is my proud privilege and honour to reproduce the relevant portion here. 

The Enfield of India 350cc Bullet was a single-cylinder, four stroke motorcycle, constructed to the plans of the original 1950s' model of the British Royal Enfield. Renowned for its idiosyncratic handling as much as for its reliability and durability, the Bullet was a bike that demanded a relationship with its rider. That relationship involved tolerance, patience, and understanding on the part of the rider. In exchange, the Bullet provided the kind of soaring, celestial, wind-weaving pleasure that birds must know, punctuated by not infrequent near-death experiences. 
 This paragraph can be found on page 501 of the book and very simply and succinctly sums up the Bullet and it's rider. 

This blog, incidentally, started as a result of the new Enfield Thunderbird Twinspark that I purchased last year. Prior to the Thunderbird, I had a 1979 Standard Enfield 350cc. Read my blog posts about the bikes and also how I trained my Labrador to ride on the older Bullet.

[Note: The snap has been taken from]


  1. sounded greek to me! poor ignorant me!

    do we really need word verification for comments???

  2. Hi Restless,

    no we do not need word verification for comments - any idea how to turn it off?

    Let me elaborate a bit on the bike then - The Enfield Bullet is a bike with a cult status in India and abroad. It is not a perfect bike - it has flaws and one of it's most notable flaws is that it has a mind of it's own! It has a temperament and it takes time for the owner to understand it. It is like a horse - almost. Still it is loved and revered and worshipped.

    The paragraph in red in the post above has accurately brought out our sentiments for the bike.

    I hope I have been able to kind of explain. I could write pages on the bike and yet not run out words.


  3. so passionate about the mean machine! a bike which is like a horse!

    go to comments settings in postings, and uncheck from the word verification. its irritating and take long time.