Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Part 1: Ownership experience of Royal Enfield Bullet classic chrome 500

It has always been a dream to own a Bullet. Since the first time I rode a bullet while I was around 20 years of age, the feel stuck with me. It has been with me ever since. I always turned around on hearing the thump. For various people it is just awe or a longing. For me it has been a long wait to own my very own bullet. And then there came an opportunity to to buy one at my work place itself. One of the colleagues wanted to sell his classic 500 black. Was given a test drive at the end of the day. Looked at the bike and was very clear that it was not maintained well. Lots of loose wires taped all along and I did not like the look on my colleague's face while he was showing it to me. I just saw it in his eyes. It is like snatching away a kid's favorite toy by wringing it out of his hands. Immediately gave up the idea of buying it. But the other people around were forcing me to buy it. Then I understood that he owed money and he was in urgent need of it. I just told every body of them that the bike would definitely be sold and truly, within that week, the bike was sold.

Discussion was going on in the home with wifey and my son about owning one. I already owned a Bajaj pulsar 150 Dtsi and I definitely loved it. My son, as is obvious is a KTM kinda bike fanboy. But, everybody agreed on one thing, that is a new bike is to be bought. After a lot of discussion and convincing it was decided unanimously to go for a bullet. But the biggest question was which style.

Next day visited HSR enterprises on Dr. Rajkumar road. For bike enthusiasts, This road plays host to all the bike manufacturers in India. If you start from one end of the road and reach the end of it, you would have visited the showrooms of all the manufacturers of bikes in India. This road also has all the service centers of their respective brands. So, now you know.

After entering into the showroom, there was not a single smiling face. It was as though royal enfield motors had gone bankrupt and all the people working in the showroom will be relieved of their duties that very day. There was one color of every variant on display. Wifey initially liked the Thunderbird, but seeing the amount of time I spent at the classic version, she also changed her mind. Now, we asked whether we could see the other color variants. And, you know what we were shown, Lo and Behold, the website of Royal enfield on a 15" Laptop. We wanted bike that big and we are being shown the variants on a puny laptop. Maybe this worked out before the present Internet generation, but at this time, this strategy, is totally lacklustre.

Wifey insisted that we have to see how the classic chrome looks in other color variants. So we went to the jayanagar showroom. Here the staff were a lot better. The sales rep took us to a cellar where plenty of bullets were stocked and explained the pros and cons of all the variants and the properties of various paints being used. Here we decided that the graphite variant was less flashy and was subdued though there was a generous amount of chrome.

Decided on the Bullet classic 500 chrome edition, the graphite variant. Was asked to pay an advance of INR 5,000/- which was done immediately. Now, the sales tech asked me when would i like to buy the bike and what would be the mode of payment I clearly told him I would pay by cash/cheque. Then immediately he started to make a flurry of phone calls to various people regarding the availability of the bike in that color. I interrupted him after about 3 calls and told him that I am not having the time to listen to all this enquiry thingy and requested him to call me once he found out that a bike is available. I told him to take his own time and not continue the flurry of calls. Here, I would like to make a note. There is no concept of checking up the inventory at various showrooms. They don't have a centralized inventory. Bikes are hand made, that doesn't mean that sales also have to be done the old fashioned way, that too, after royal enfield gave profit among all the endeavours of Eicher. The more interesting thing would be what the sales rep wrote on his copy of my advance receipt. This will be revealed, if you still have the time and patience. All this happened on 23/10

And I am not alone. See a post on Team BHP regarding the same.

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Nobody can deter me away from "free as in freedom" concept seeded by Sri RMS. See to it that u dont make fun of my belief. If u think otherwise, no need to comment.