'Royal Enfield' was my first love in those days. All my friends learned driving on bikes like splendor, passion etc. but I learned to ride bullet first and then other bikes. It was strange for all because those who could drive bikes easily never found riding bullet an easy task. Whenever they tried to start my bullet they got hurt really bad due to back-kick. As it was my brother's bullet only he and I, we both knew how to start it without getting hurt.
I was kind of shy and introvert person till Y2K and didn't had any passion for gadgets till then. I was in love with 'dot com' world that time but didn't had any connection with bikes or biking. In the year 2000, my brother bought his first (second hand) bullet from one of my relative who has his own garage. It was ROYAL ENFIELD bullet of 1981 model.It was the first connecting cord between both of us that we both were born on 1981.
Royal Enfield was really royale in its appearance. It was quite heavy for me that time. But once you understand how to handle it, you forget it's weight. Nowdays bullets are of lighter weights as people seek for good averages. It was not the case in 80s models. I learned riding bullet from my brother. My big B is healthy individual and whenever he used to ride bullet, he would look like some Police Officer due to his overall personality. I was frail yet whenever I used to ride bullet I felt being 'Macho Man'.
My learning days were really hilarious. There are two-three instances which I can't forget about my 'Bullet days'. The first was about handling bullet. In my learning days some times I didn't bother about petrol in it and also ride it on 'Reserved' position. One fine day when I was roaming in our colony on my bullet,it stopped after some hick-ups as it was running on few drops of petrol. It was quite difficult task for me to bring home the heavy-weight bullet by walking by holding its handle. I was quite exhausted by its weight,but somehow I managed to push it for longer.
Whenever I used to practice riding bullet I would prefer someone on my back-seat. Those days I used to wake up early in the morning to learn bike as roads were all clear and risk free for learning bullets with 'L' board on it. One of my friend always accompanied me in the morning and we used to play badminton game once my bullet practice is over. I still remember the neighbors of my friend complained his family against me as they used to wake up at 5:30 - 6:00 a.m. due to big noise of my bullet. Silencer of bullet was never silent. It also attracted stray dogs. Dogs would run barking behind my bullet as if they wanted to ride it. But there was some advantages of this big sound of bullet. Children playing on streets, people walking on roads always showed respect to me by giving me and my bullet way. They used to get away of my way long before I reach them, so was the power of bullet.
There was one friend called Ryan Miranda who always visited me in those days just to take 'ride' of my bullet. He was the one who taught me to ride other bikes. We used to exchange our bikes. I would ride his Splendor and he would enjoy 'feeling' of riding bullet. Yes, the 'experience' and 'feeling' of riding bullet always attracted other bikers to my bullet. I learned Hero Honda,Yamaha, Suzuki and other kinds of bikes in similar ways; as all my friends had special attraction for bullet. I learned bullet first and scooty last which was exactly opposite to all the other bikers.
When I became expert in riding bullet, I started to carry it out of colony. Riding out side was kind of adventurous for me. But it was risky too as the machine was old. Specially on signals I would face some problems as it would take 3-4 kicks to start. Even controlling the speed was quite difficult when I used to ride other bikes. Due to habit of riding bullet I would accelerate normal bikes more than what was needed.In bullet one has to apply brakes by pumping it slowly by legs and in other bikes there are urgent brakes sometime disk brakes which would confuse me. The morale of the story is I was expert in riding bullet but would find very difficult to ride other bikes due to over-riding of the bullet.
Upto 2003-2004, our bullet was in good condition, what else you expect from a second hand/third hand machine.But after 2004 it started ailing. Some times the battery would automatically discharge. It needed servicing on more frequent basis which would make us annoyed. Till then I was good rider but always had to depend on mechanics for small small technical problems. My brother could troubleshoot some of the problems but I was illiterate on that part. After some months we shifted to Virar from Santacruz. We scrapped many old things while shifting and our bullet was one of them. Two wheeler was gone and Four wheeler had took it's place in our new home. But it never attracted me. As I was in love with riding two-wheeler, and specially bullet. Unfortunately I don't have any affinity towards the new generation bullets. I am still in love with those heavy-sturdy machines and whenever I come across such bullets I start cherishing my 'bullet days'.Seriously when it comes to bullets; 'OLD IS GOLD' holds true. New generation bikes are more about style and speed but I always loved the masculine appearance and sturdiness of the old bikes. Wow...those 'bullet days' were really amazing !!!