Hello, folks! If you are already following my fellow author and friend, Jatin Kumar Malik’s Classic 500 Ownership Experience series, you might be knowing that I was a proud owner of a Royal Enfield Classic 350 (Black). I was very happy with my bike even though it lacked the sheer raw power, but still it was awesome being my first cruiser. I even got a custom SANS Goldstar Exhaust for my ride due to which it sounded like pure heaven.
But one grim day everything changed. On the morning of 18th September 2015, my bike was stolen from right in front of my home. I even heard my bike getting started and driven away but by the time I could come out, they were long gone. It literally shattered me. It was mere 6 months old and in top-notch condition. Anyways, I did inform the Police and lodged an FIR but you know how it works.. 🙁
The robbery of motorcycles is on all time high and every reader should definitely keep a check on their vehicles, especially Royal Enfield bikes. In my knowledge, the thieves are easily able to make a duplicate key of your vehicle. Now that I know of this, I think I should have been more careful with my bike. Even though my society is totally secured with gate(s) and CCTV camera(s) at every corner, apparently one of the gate was left opened by a guard, which cleared the path for the thieves.
CL350 again or something new?
Well, nothing could be done about it, so being an RE fanatic, I again booked a Royal Enfield Classic 350(Black) after the Insurance agent confirmed that I’ll get my claim money within 2-3 months. Since the waiting period for CL350 is usually 4-5 months, I thought this would be the appropriate decision so that I don’t have to wait when the claim arrives.
So, fast forward to January 2016, I still didn’t get reimbursement from my insurance company. On contacting and probing them, I was promised that I’ll get the claim by the first week of February. Cool enough, but now something was changed!
Between all these months from September to December, I got attracted to another Royal Enfield. The Standard Bullet 500.
This was a surprise to myself too, as I always was a little partial towards the Classic stable of Royal Enfield. But one day, I was reading a review of Royal Enfield Standard Bullet 500 on Topgear India and I gained some interest in this one. The more I started to research on the Bullet 500, the more I felt inclined towards it.
So, finally, I broke the news at home and decided to visit the showroom to take a test drive for this bull. The test drive was such a bliss that I felt like this was it and I decided that this was going to be my next ride!
Bullet 500 – Test Drive impression(s):
- The pickup was too good to be true. I’m not a pro-biker but still I was able to detect that there’s a big difference between the 350cc and 500cc. The sheer amount of torque you get with the 500cc spec’d engine is crazy.
- The step seating arrangement felt good and the curved shape ensured to provide more comfort to the pillion. The saddle seats of Classic are great for the rider but not nearly as comfortable for the pillion as you will expect them to be.
- This cannot be considered as a slow lousy motorcycle. The 60 Km/hr was attained in practically no time in a couple of gear shifts.
Upon finalizing the Bullet 500, I asked showroom management that if my Classic 350 booking could be transferred to this beast and they agreed to it. I booked the Forest Green variant which I found to be really appealing. This time, my Dad decided that we should be getting it financed this time, which leads to the next section.
Financing Experience with HDFC BANK!
Before sharing my experience, I’ll be quoting from Jatin’s experience with HDFC bank from Part 2 of his Royal Enfield Classic 500 Ownership Experience:
We decided to opt for HDFC bank (Sec-9, Rohini branch) for 2 wheeler loan as private banks have a reputation for fast processing and transparency. Little did I know that I was so wrong about this, well we went to the bank next day and we met the Loan accounts manager and he welcomed us and discussed the loan. Bank said that loan up to 70% of the bike’s price will be provided, so for my Royal Enfield Classic 500 costing ₹1,68,000, 70% came out to be around ₹1,17,000. So 2 years/24 months of Loan tenure, the EMI came to be around ₹5,950/month.
We had some negotiations over the processing and filing charges and the manager assured us that loan will be processed in 3 days and he will send Mr. Rahul, the executive tomorrow, to collect the papers and all the documentation required. we had Mr. Rahul at our doorstep next day to collect my ID, xerox and what not and gave me a form to fill which I did. He promised me that he will submit the form with documents by the end of the day, once again, LIES! From here, the whole Loan processing tenure was a Nightmare for me. Nothing happened for 3 days. I called up Rahul again and he said there was some technical problem and again came with a form to fill via which we came to know he made some error while filling the former form. Come on, you can’t expect such mistakes from bank executives. But, no problem, I filled it again and he again committed to getting it done ASAP. Since it was Friday, nothing happened and my dream of riding a bike on that Sunday was broken. I patiently waited on Monday and then called him on Tuesday, he stopped picking up my call which was strange and super unprofessional.
This was the first thing that I told my Dad when he first suggested about taking a 2 wheeler loan. But still he decided to go for this option. So, I contacted Mr. Nitin, who was in charge of Finance at the North Delhi Motorcycles. He quoted me 11.5% of interest rate but later he added that it will be reduced to 10.5% if it was from HDFC bank. He gave me a list of documents that will be required. So, next day my father and I visited the showroom to submit the documents and my father even got him to reduce the file charging costs and all.(That’s what happens if when one has a very good knowledge of Accounts and possess great bargaining skills.).
The executive promised to submit the documents immediately and ensured that they will try to deliver my bike on the same day but even I knew that was impossible.
But to my surprise, the loan got cleared the very same day, but he said the verification process was not completed. After 2 days, I contacted him and he said that all the paperwork is completed and I could get my delivery today if I wish to. This was it.
Pro-tip: In my opinion, it’s better to finance your vehicle from the Dealer itself as it saves you from a lot of fiasco(s). But, you should be beware of the various hidden cost as filing charges that bank executives may apply without your knowledge. If you can do that, this process is preferable. I was definitely on the better side of Loan Process.
Finally, the highly awaited moment arrived. I reached the service center by the noon on January 17th. The bull was standing in the midst of the crowd ready to be mounted. After some basic pre-delivery inspection and getting the leg guard fixed, I officially got the delivery of my Bullet. It brought me immense joy to finally be able to own and ride a Royal Enfield, yet once again.
The Forest Green variant definitely was a good choice and was admired by everybody. The best part about this color is that it transforms itself into a calm black shade in the night, much like one of my favorite Marvel’s superhero. Any guesses?
Here you can check some more shots of my Royal Enfield Standard Bullet 500 aka HULK:
(Yeah! That’s the name.)