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Author Topic: question to British Bullet riders  (Read 1391 times)


  • Grand Gearhead
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question to British Bullet riders
« on: January 17, 2008, 01:09:28 am »
    I started riding back about 1963-1964 when British built bikes were at the head of the motorcycle industry.I owned about a 1964 BSA 500 twin as a high school student and rode that bike to school and as my only transportation.I remember the beautiful BSAs, Triumphs, Nortons and Royal Enfields.In the US it was mostly Triumphs and BSAs. Then between about that time and 1979-1980 it was all over.My biggest regret was not buying a brand new 1979 Triumph Bonneville.
    Anyway, we all know what came next.The Japanese big four. Our own Harley-Davidson lasted through all of this and still survives today.
    It has to be a little bit strange(and sad) for riders from England to buy a Royal Enfield Bullet made in another country when their own Royal Enfield company dissapeared long ago.Nothing against the Indian Bullets-if it wasn't for them we wouldn't have an authentic 1950s or 1960s new motorcycle available to all of us.
    And what about the Bloor Triumphs? As an American I was very happy to hear about the new Triumph. I was amazed it took them so long to build the new Bonneville, and in fact, I rode my motorcycle at that time to a dealer and test rode the new Bonneville as soon as it came to the US. I also wonder how British riders feel about the new Triumph in general.
    For now, I am happy to have a new RE Bullet and will certainly keep it for a long time to come.It won't be my only motorcycle though.

    jon in Puyallup, Wa. USA
Jon in Keaau, Hawaii


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Re: question to British Bullet riders
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2008, 07:33:14 am »
 I had a BSA A65's (650), RE 750 and  a few smaller British bikes (175,250 etc) back in the late 60's and early 70's. I think it is great that RE is still around and amazing that the story has gone full circle- exporting to India, India surving and exporting back to the UK. Long may their success continue.
IMO the modern Bonny is a mere shadow of the 60's version and not the star of the Triumph range. The Speed Twin & Speed Triple are more poular in the UK. The Rocket Three is huge and looks good on the road but sitting on one it seems as big as a truck (IMO) but I would say that being a BSA man (you were either BSA or Triumph, Nortons were for those more flash).
I also own a 1000cc Fazer which turns out 150bhp and as you can imagine is quite different but I get as much pleasure out of each one of them but for different reasons.
As long as motorcycles are made, whatever the model, I'm sure someone will enjoy riding them.


  • Grand Gearhead
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Re: question to British Bullet riders
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2008, 05:04:00 pm »
The 'Bullet 500' is my first 'British' bike although I have resided in the UK for all of my 48 years and been riding bikes since I was 16.
In my youth Brit machinery was just seen by us teenagers as leaky machines held together with jubilee clips and generally bodged up with lots of orange Hermatite showing around seals trying to retain oil!!!! You bought a Brit bike 'cos you were too poor to own a Japanese 'Pocket Rocket'.  :o

I am pleased that if 'we' can't make the design work in this country (with the Redditch factory closing around 1971) then at least another country has the sense to keep it going. It is ironic to be buying back-in 'our' technology but I'm glad the Indians make it or I would have missed out on riding one of the most smile inducing machines it has ever been my pleasure to ride let alone own!!!!!  ;D

I suppose the flip side is that surely the worlds greatest technically advanced country (as in US of A) must be embarrassed that their motorcycle industry is basically Harley Davidson. Now that Triumph have the Rocket III that out Harleys a Harley surely they must feel like giving it all up and shutting the factory door eh?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2008, 05:07:14 pm by LotusSevenMan »
If it ain't broke-------------------------- fix it 'till it is!

Royal Enfield Miltary 500cc  (2003)
Honda VTR FireStorm (SuperHawk) 996cc 'V' twin
Kawasaki KR1 250cc twin 'stroker
Ducati 916 'L' twin


  • Grand Gearhead
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Re: question to British Bullet riders
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2008, 10:29:26 pm »
there are other smaller manufacturers in the U.S. but essentially they are only producing Harley inspired bikes.