It's the Journey

Look good (and have more fun) along the way

Sep 5, 2008
Outside Magazine
Royal Enfield 500cc Bullet Deluxe Motorcycle

   Photo: Mark Wiens

BULLETPROOF BIKE Ever since 1955, when Royal Enfield opened its Chennai, India, factory, the rugged, easy-to-repair Bullet has been the go-to Himalayan touring motorcycle. (In 1997, after adventurer Renata Chlumska summited Tibet's 26,289-foot Shishapangma, she rode her 500cc 1963 model 6,200 miles back home to Sweden.) But the last time Royal Enfield updated a bike was in '55, which is why the arrival of the 500cc Bullet Deluxe, only a few hundred of which are available in the States, is reason to bust out the champagne and leather. In 2006, emission laws required the 107-year-old company to either stop production or revamp the powerhouse, which it did, switching to a more efficient, 80-mpg AVL Lean Burn engine—and leaving the rest as it's always been. $5,000;