Hey guys, I am starting with my Royal Enfield Classic 500 ownership experience post. This is going to be a long post. So I will be breaking it in 3 parts. This is the Part-1 (Pre-booking/Test drive experience) with a bit history about me and bikes I have had experience of riding. I hope you enjoy the post and find me unbiased. Here we go:
“My history with 2-wheelers”
So, bike is one of the machines which has always intrigued me a lot. I started riding on my Dad’s Bajaj Chetak some 8 years ago (yes, those things were a rage back then). Dad taught me to ride it and I used to take it for a spin inside society only(Minor alert). Shortly after that, my dad sold off the Almighty Chetak and got a Black TVS Victor. It was a leap forward compared to the former. TVS was light, quick throttle response, 125cc 4-stroke engine with one-way 4 speed gearbox which was easy to use and it used to run like a dream on our crowded roads (remember, Metro didn’t have such expanded network and how can we forget Blue-line buses). Plus, how can we forget that 60kmpl of fuel economy. 😉
I learnt to ride bike in a week and used to take it for a spin often when dad used to come home from work. I sometimes used to wake up early in the morning just to sneak up the bike for a ride. Soon I got pretty good with it and found that it use to wobble quite a lot while speedo reading in north of 90kmph. It was still a new avenue for me as it was a big upgrade as compared to my Hero Siren bicycle, haha yes, the one with indicators: P
In 2008, while I was appearing for my CBSE 10th Class Board exams, I asked my dad for a bike and he somewhat agreed. After my exams were over, my dad surprised me with a new Bajaj Pulsar 150, the new all black model with Digital Speedo and LED tail lamps, which was first for the 150cc segment. Surely it was a dream come true in form of a Black Beast. 14 horses of pure power was a fresh boost for me. The pickup was like blazing fast and 0-60 used to happen ~5 seconds. It could touch the magical figure of 100kmph with ease.I used to ride it everywhere, from small local market shopping to friends place to far places for no reason.
I used to tease my crush for its ride(Oh Teenage!). But, this golden phase didn’t last long as my dad’s bike got stolen from his workplace and as I was bed-ridden due to dengue hit in 11th class, he decided to take up my Pulsar 150 for the time. But little did I know that I may never get a time to even ride that bike again as studies got hard along with coaching classes in Punjabi Bagh, preparing for IIT-JEE(still don’t know why 😛 Lol) and coping up with CBSE syllabus side by side. Suddenly life was very busy and got a bit career-centric. 🙁
In 2010, I appeared for my 12th class CBSE Board examination and planned to get a new bike in new college itself now. But to my worst nightmares, one of my cousin had a terrible Bike accident on DND (Delhi-Noida-Direct) flyover with a truck and he got injured pretty bad and was on a bed rest for 3 months. Anyways, I gave my entrance exams and was not qualified for IIT-JEE (Captain Obvious?) 😉 But I got a decent rank in GGSIPU (Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University) and got into Computer Science engineering. I tried to talk my dad into for a new bike, I was eyeing Bajaj Pulsar 220F, but both the parents didn’t agree. As college was pretty near to my Home(~7kms), I started commuting via DTC bus after many failed Car-pools with my college friends.
After my continuous pestering for a vehicle after 2 years of my travel in DTC buses, Dad got an idea to upgrade the Car, and it led to arrival of Sparkling white Toyota Etios (2011 model). Oh man! This CAAAAR, so much of leg space and awesomeness laden boot space (595 liters goddamnit). This sedan was equipped with 90 horses powered by an 1.6lt Petrol engine and a torque of 132nm, it was an experience at a whole new level. It used to run super smooth and did the job of getting me from Home-College-Outings-Parties-Home pretty well. Pickup was like never before with plethora of space for my friends to share a drive with. I enjoyed riding the Etios for my whole B.Tech and I do it till now.
Toyota has a reputation of 0 maintenance engines and after 3 years I can bet my life on the fact that it is actually true. This car has never ever given us any trouble (24k km till now) *touch wood* 😀
Why I felt the need for a bike?
Soon, after my engineering I started with the Job search and got an offer from Bangalore in July and went there. It was only 3 months there, and here I was finding myself back in New Delhi with an Kickass job (read Bio) in Noida. Now came the Final problem (Sherlock much?). Bangalore spoiled me as my office was like 10mins walk from my place (read: Rented flat) and here in Delhi, the office was 40-41kms ONE side from my Home. I revved up my Toyota Etios and started commuting as I know my parents won’t like me staying at Noida in some PG that too after coming back from Bangalore. It was painful, initially as I was never used to drive the car from 80-85kms a day. My left knee used to jam with continuous depressing of clutch lever. The problem with Rohini-Noida route via Outer Ring Road is that it takes only 50-55mins to reach the office but on the way back it takes 2 hours easily (a lot of construction and expansion plans going on in Delhi, so traffic jams). But in a week or two I got used to it and it became very smooth.
If it was smooth, you may ask what happened to motivate me for Classic 500?
Royal Enfield Test Drive? How?
Well, I am living at my society home since my childhood (read: 1995), so I have my share of great childhood friends (chuddy buddies) in the Society. One of them, Shivam Agarwal, met one day(somewhere in October’14 end) and told me that he just booked a Royal Enfield Classic 350(Silver) with a waiting period of 4 months. Prior to this, I never imagined riding a Royal Enfield as I had that image of RE bikes being Clunky, Heavy and Noisy. So, me and Shivam had an argument about same and he somehow persuaded me to just take a Test drive once. So, next day I went with another buddy, Harpreet Singh (who just went to book the CL350 black, no shit!) to North Delhi Motorcycles, Saraswati vihar to test drives and see what’s the fuss is all about. After all formalities for TD, first I rode a Classic 350, and I was pleased to see how awesome it was looking standing there inside the showroom with protruding metal. It was simply a beaut. Gave the self button a little push and engine came roaring to life immediately. I applied the first gear, left the clutch level with bare minimum throttle and bike plunged forward like a beast going for prey. I was impressed with the pickup and how easily it was to ride being a ~190kg metallic beast. I came back with a huge grin on my face.
Then, I saw a Black Classic 500 standing there waiting to be ridden. I asked the showroom guy about it and he told me about the New Fuel Injection technology with which Classic 500 comes. I asked for a test drive and MAN-o-MAN! This machine was like even meaner and swift (thanks to extra 9bhp over CL350). I started riding and in no time I was on 70kmph and bike felt like it was just starting to run with so much of power and throttle left. I also rode the Thunderbird but I was never keen of riding a highway cruiser, so didn’t like my sore arms in 5mins of TD. I loved CL500 just because it felt perfect for City and that ample power to be rode on Highways.
At that point of time I knew “I AM FUCKED”. As the saying goes, “If you ride an Enfield, You are fucked for LIFE!”
I asked for the waiting period as I knew RE is notorious for long waiting periods (ranging from 3-9months). Surprisingly, every other model had a waiting of 3-5months but for Classic 500 he said he can get it delivered in less than 2 weeks. Awesome! I thought about and then took the price quote for the Bike, it was ₹1,71,000 (including leg-guard). Holy smokes! I could buy a Tata Nano for the same price, but that time I was clear that I want a ride not a car. I got home with the quote and I knew my awesome Mom always had a soft spot for Royal Enfield bikes (she even suggested me to buy that in 2008,*cough*Pulsar150*cough*. I told her that I took a TD of Classic 500 and I want to buy it and wow, she became super happy. I told her the price and she said “Royal bike hai to price to royal he hoga na bete!” and she was positive and gave her permission for the RE. Now the most difficult task was to persuade my Dad, as even when I was in Bangalore, I asked to buy a bike and he refused.
So, this is where I will end this post.
Wait for next part where I will share my Here is the second part- Classic 500 ownership experience: Part 2 (Booking/Waiting), along with how my dad agreed to let me buy a Royal Enfield Classic 500. I will also share the details how I started doubting my decision and was even sure to go for Honda CBR 250R/KTM 390RC.
Do you also have an awesome story associated with how you got acquainted with Royal Enfield? Feel free to share below in comment section. 🙂