DIsclaimer: Yes I own a Royal Enfield, Desert Storm 500 and love riding it. This article is an outcome of the journey so far with my Royal Enfield.
Disclaimer 2: Its a serious topic, so the sarcasm would be spared.
So how does it all start:
To buy or not to buy: The dilemma start pretty early when you see the bike for the first time at a traffic signal, you roll down the window of your car and ask the guy/ girl on the bike, “Kitne ki padi, on road. Waiting time kitna hai?” . The appreciation continues for a couple of months whenever you hear the unique sound of a Royal Enfield or you see one at a traffic signal and you smile and bow slightly in respect or now in approval or day dream that one day you would also be riding one. The dilemma then changes to: to buy now or next month.
The visit to the showroom: So you fight all odds, convince your wife and others in the house that you will indulge in a bike and take that much anticipated visit to the showroom (holy place for most of the owners). You open the door and you enter the world of Royal Enfield. Things are not easy here. The next step is…
The Confusion: Which one to buy? There is the Bullet, the Electra, The Thunderbird, the Classic, The Desert Storm and the Chrome version and then there is the confusion of 350 cc or 500 cc and then which colour is better. Next step is the most exciting.
The Test Ride: So you finally get to sit on the bike and ride, albeit a test ride but the feeling is exhilarating. You are super excited that you would be riding one soon and then very soon the dream ends when you reach back to the showroom.
The Wait: You find out the hard way that the wait is 3-4 months. You ask what if you pay upfront but nothing changes. You pay the advance, you book and then you keep waiting. Calling the showroom every second day to check if the bike is here. Trying to find a jack/ source/ connection to move you up the waiting list but nothing works. The appreciation for other Royal Enfields at traffic signal continues but the wait also does.
The Day: Finally your phone rings and you can’t stop smiling. If you are in office you leave early, if you are at home you leave in your shorts and slippers and you land at the showroom. The Royal Enfield is here, which you would ride and be addicted to for the rest of your life. Pictures are clicked, sweets distributed and then you are liberated. You ride solo, your first ride with your new life partner and the ecstasy continues. You park the bike carefully and blow kisses before leaving it for the night with the excitement of riding it to work or to show off to friends next morning.
The Kick: Early morning, the self won’t work (It can happen, it’s a machine), so you try to start it with the kick but wait, you don’t know it yet. You find yourself standing on top of the kick but it won’t budge. You call friends and the service advisor but nothing helps. Then the dude next door who owns a Royal Enfield helps you out and you move on.
The Nods: Now you are on the bike and at the signal the car next to you rolls down the window and asks, “Kitne ki padi etc.” and you smile and give all the answers. Now you are the one getting all the approval nods from other aspiring Royal Enfield owners. Enjoy the attention, respect and drive on.
The Accessories: Now to complete the look and the experience the jacket, the gloves, the helmet, the goggles, the buff, the boots, the knee and shin guards have to happen only then would the rides and the look be complete. Either from the showroom or from the local market(Karol bath in Delhi). Its necessary and is mandatory, buy those.
The Rides and Brotherhood: Next step is to join the biking groups. Its easy these days with Social Media. Join one and go out for rides, meet fellow bikers, like minded individuals and ride on. There is no fun comparable to a group ride. Enjoy.
The Weather: You would hate rains and summer and you would totally fall in love with winters as you would enjoy riding. Enjoy as much as you can during winters. Not safe is rains but a true biker never hates any weather. Ride safe though.
The Leh/Ladakh Trip: On the bucket list for me but a must for every Royal Enfield Owner.
Enjoy the journey, happy riding and ride safe.