Welcome to - How to Buy a Used or Second Hand Enfield Guest Book
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NameRajdeep Anand (m)
Your comment on this blog, Jean Paul - "Personally I think the Bullet is an overpriced, outdated technology on wheels." I don't think millions of Bullet lovers across the World would agree with you.
Thanks for all the info in the blog real help for beginners.
Reaction : your very welcome!
Hello! Great blog, thanks! I am travelling to India in late January and will be there three weeks. I recently got stuck on the notion of purchasing a motorbike to travel from Mumbai to Trivandrum. Is this a ridiculous idea if I do not have any experience with motorcycle maintenance or repair? From what I am reading, the Enfields seem to always need some kind of fixing. It just seems that biking throughout India would be much more satisfying that sticking to a bus or train route.
Thanks for any advice!!
Reaction : Hi Jessica. If you only plan to use the motorcycle for 3 weeks I would suggest renting a motorcycle rather than going through the hassle of purchasing one and then selling it again. Indeed Enfields are prone to mechanical problems and they are heavy bikes. If you are short in height and/or you donít have alot of motorcycle riding experience this would make an Enfield that much more challenging/unsafe and thus hiring a local motorcycle such as a Honda or Bajaj Pulsar would be more suitable. For sure having your own wheels in India is so so so much more fun and free than sticking it out with the public transport system.
NameJames Harper (m)
Fantastic blog! Very detailed. Thanks for pointing out the petrol scam - I realise now I've probably lost a little money there!
I bought a beautiful 2008 silver Electra 350 last month. I made a fun, entertaining podcast about it:
https://audioboo.fm/boos/2004923-how -to-buy-a-royal-enfield-motorcycle-in-in dia
It's a light-hearted alternative to all the intimidating blogs out there.
- The buying process explained, step-by-step
- The place to go in Delhi to find bikes
- Tips for negotiating
- The arguments for buying rather than renting
- Who to trust in this crazy market
- Catchy songs
- An irritating co-host
I'm selling my Enfield in May/June 2014. Please email me at email@example.com if you're interested in buying it off me.
All the best,
NameJordan Jones (m)
VERY helpful blog post. I've done lots of digging around online and this was the best site I found for info about Enfield touring.
So, hate to ask for even more help but maybe you can point me in the right direction. I bought a 2006 Bullet Standard. I am going to drive it from India to Spain. I am in India on an employment visa so I have residence status. Im trying to find someone who knows all that must be dont to register it as a foreign resident AND what I need to take it out of the country. Do you know about this or can you direct me to someone who would?
Feel free to follow my trip at www.thescenicroutethroughlife.com
Thanks for everything, hope all is well on your side of the world.
Reaction : Glad you appreciated the blog, thanks for the positive feedback.
Unfortunately I can not help you any further with your question. All the best with it and enjoy the journey.
This has been essential reading, thanks for sharing the information.
Today I have spent at Lalli Singh's and I test rode 4 bikes on offer to compare. A 2004 Thunderbird 350 - 2004 bullet 500 - 2011 Electra - 2009 Machismo 500
I liked both the Electra and the Machismo - we are going to Ladakh and Nepal, after reading your blog prefer the 500. He wants to buy the bike back and thus I guess it would basically be a lease - Rs70,000 for the electra and Rs115,000 for the Machismo. He has offered a buyback price of 45,000 less as we are wanting to travel for over a year. He said maybe a better price for Electra. (In Aussie dollars currently makes it $2090 initially and return of only about $1270 - cost of about $820) This is ride away with luggage racks spares, tool kit etc.
Does that translate into a fair deal in your opinion? or could we do better among other dealers and fitting out outrselves?
om and blessings
Reaction : if your in Deli you can easily walk to the other dealers and get a feel for the market. Also I would compare the new showroom prices for said bike.
Secondly I would seriously question the ages of the bike for touring. I would not be confident of having a "reliable" bike if it was 8 years old. The 2009 & 2011 sound more promising.
Ofcourse you don't need to sell it back to the dealer, as long as you keep all the paperwork with you. This gives you greater flexibility with your trip/plans. I have had many Indians offer to buy my bike, except most of them were quite out of touch in regards to the price of an Enfield. When I told them how much I paid for my Enfield they nearly always told me I "paid way too much". For sure having a buy back option is a nice feeling as it saves all the hassle at the end of your trip, allowing you to quickly plan your departure from India. Also during high season and in certain areas of India (Goa,Manali etc) you could easily sell your bike onto a tourist. This was how I sold my Enfield.
Remember bargaining is very acceptable in India and given your a tourist the prices would be inflated anyway. You would be amazed with the results of simply asking "what is your good luck price today?"
Finally, in terms of price, I suspect that you could do better by other dealers and fitting out yourselves, but this will take time and patience [something that is always helpful to have in India ].
hope this helps,
Om Shanti Om
This has been really informative and interesting, thank you!
I am planning to do a trip over a month or two from Jammu to Leh and then the Spiri falley. Have a bunch of time so wont be pushing the bike too hard.
I want to go for a lighter Honda (or something similar) as I have neither the patience nor skill to deal with an Enfield.Do you think they can handle the trip?
Reaction : Hi Tom.
Back in 2009 I had met an Indian man traveling on a Honda Unicorn 150cc to Nubra valley, thus traveling over India's highest road just outside Leh. I have also met an Indian man traveling to Manali from Leh on a new Bajaj Pulsar (180cc?).
So in short yes the bike can handle the trip, you might just have to be a bit creative/economical with the luggage. Having said that, I can strap my backpack onto the back of a scooter in Thailand so for sure you can do the same on these bikes.
NameDheeraj Rinwa (m)
Hey Jean Paul,
I can say nothing but THANK YOU so much for such an excellent informative blog. I got to know a lot about what to check before buying the old Bullet. I was searching a lot over the internet, and this was the best place where I got most useful information about the bike and from where to buy it.
Reaction : Hi Dheeraj.
Your welcome. Thanks for writing your message too.
Hi Jean-Paul van Buul,
Thankyou! very much for the valuable information. I from long time was planning to buy an enfield, And your information has helped me a lot, to what factor to consider and check the information before buying an enfield.
This is a reply to some questions from Benedict in the UK.
Reaction : **** Firstly, what did you generally wear?
Actually I just wore travellor clothes (as in the photos on the web); cheap copy of a NorthFace Trekking jacket and ski goves for when it was cold. I almost never wore my helmet unless I was in a big city or it was raining. I only had one pair of shoes and they were gortex lined trekking shoes (but not water proof because they had too many holes in them...)
I bought a pair of plastic overpants in India and they leaked around the crutch on the first time I wore them. Eventually I bought a 'better' pair from Nepal which leaked a little less.. I used trekking gaiters to cover the top of the shoes and my socks. Basically all the water proof gear I had wasnt; it just helped me to keep warm.... Everything I had I bought in India or Nepal.
Before I use to always wear good protection clothing. But then in the West the speeds are higher, and the police/laws are strict! Actually when I came to India I never expected to buy a bike thus I had no gear with me. (All my motorcycle stuff is in storage in Australia.)
So what to bring? I guess that depends on how you travel. If you are just comming to India and then flying back home again, brining some motorcycle gear is practical. If you are planning to goto the Himalayas (and I mean above 2000m) I would bring winter gloves and a good, light weight, warm/waterproof jacket. Also a decent light water proof over pants too.
I would also bring some face masks! Keep the sun off your face and stop breathing that polution. In Thailand I use a washable face mask.
For the rest of India anything is too hot. Keep it light weight, light in colour to reflect the sun and long enough to cover your arms and legs. I often wore sandals when it was hot.
**** Secondly, did you travel without insurance?
I didnt have any. Hospitals in India are very cheap. When I saw doctors in India (always about my stomach and food poisoning) I paid about 30 Rs per visit. A Course of anti biotics costed 50Rs. Remember a prayer to Geneisha and or Vishnu helps too...
Your information is very out of date. You also should consider thinking about reviewing it and updating it to realistic pricing.
Reaction : Well geez sorry about that (Which is why I was very clear about the dates in reference to prices quoted. Ofcourse it will change. Still I am sure they are an ok guide for many.)
Writing this blog was a jesture of goodwill for other riders. Hence no adds or other BS.
Now that I live in Thailand and teach full time in a High School; I dont have the time, energy, or resources to keep this website updated. Maybe you would like to help??
Good Service to many...Peace.
NameSanjib kumar (m)
Nice experience you shared. i am looking forward to buy a Bullet 350. After reading your blog I have decided to buy a new one rather than a 2nd hand.
Nice work here....I do get lot of people asking how to buy a second/used bull...I will direct them to your site...
Reaction : glad it helps..
Hi , Great stuff and a lot of usefull info aspecially for new riders..your blog helped me a lot...thanks again..
Myself Ananth B.E student looking for a good priced ,used enfield.I must say your article on the enfield is highly comendable!You should have got a phd degree on bikes for all your experience!
I still havent read your full article,no surprise,going by the size of it but i will for sure.My dream is to ride to manali and ladhak on a bike,I have found a new role model in you!
i am very happy to see people sharing their experience. i have been in laddakh last summer and i am going back this summer. my flight leaves tomorrow from bangkok and i can't wait to get there. this time i will try to get a sweet 500cc bullet 5 speed. i hope i will find one in delhi...
thanks, be good and have fun
Namejephin george (m)
hye it was nice to read ur blog. it was informative but i've seen some points that u have gone wrong..
1. its always better to buy an old bullet350 than a new one. coz the enfields made before 1994 have more crank weight than the later ones. so they are capable of going at lower speeds even at a higher gear, without knocking.
2. thunderbird and machismo have alloy engines which if not properly maintained, gives a very bad sound like that of grinding iron. but bullet350 becomes smoother by time.
i use a 1989 modle royal enfield n it works danm good. iam in real love with the machine.
please feel free to reply if iam wrong.
i really enjoy reading your site
i have two question:
1) where is the best place to buy an enfield (delhi, kulkata, mumbai, etc).
2) do you recomend buying the bike from another tourist or from a dealer?
if you can specify the prices it would be help full.
i wish you all the best you have done an amazing job and it was a pleasure reading it
Reaction : Most Excellent.
1) I think the bigger cities in India are a better place to buy an Enfield because they should have a number of Enfield dealers- this means you can shop around and get a good deal on a bike. Plus there should be a number of shops where you can buy accessories if needed. I guess the answer to your question would depend on where you want to travel first; For example- Kolkata for Darjeeling, or Mumbai for Goa etc.
From personal experience, Deli, in the area called Karol Bagh, is a good place for buying and selling Enfields and getting accessories like luggage racks, helmets, water proof cover etc. Many foreigners start here.
The only problem with buying a bike in a city is that it is hard to really test ride a bike.
2) I donít think it really matters who you buy it off per se. Whats more important is the condition of the bike and if it has a logbook history, ie- if you can see if the bike has been properly maintained. I think some people feel safer with foreigners because they wont be cheated from them. Maybe, maybe not.
I met a couple who bought an Enfield from a Dutch guy who told them the bike was great etc. They had to push it back down hill from Leh and it almost burnt more oil than petrol!
3) Sorry no idea on prices
Enjoy the adventure Eran
thanks for the details
This was positively an elaborate, in detail & valuable feedback for me or rather for anyone who is a layman planning to buy an RE. I was planning to buy a Machismo 350 but was in 2 minds, mainly for the city ride. Secondly, I am not much into tech specs. Unicorn is a good option you have suggested. Infact, few of my friends have suggested me the same & probably I may go ahead to buy that one as the feedbacks are zeroing on to it. Ladakh is beautiful place, had been in '06. Especially the Lamayuru, Diskit, Pangong & the robust Lachalungla & Zing Zing bar !
I just wanted to thank you for the information about buying an Enfield in India. I will be printing out these pages and taking them with me, as they are written so well, especially for a novice such as myself.
I do have one question for you, or for someone who you know who has some experience in border crossing. I am planning to go Nepal and Tibet with the motorcycle as well. From my research, I've found little issue with the Nepali border, but whatever lack of difficulty I experience there is compounded much when I reach the Tibet border. Do you have any advice, or have you heard of anyone making this crossing successfully?
Thank you again.
Reaction : Very happy you found the website useful.
As for crossing into Nepal, I heard its no problems per se. Basically its a matter of paying so many Nepalese Rupees per day for the duration of your stay with your motorcycle in Nepal. Pay when you leave Nepal again.
I did hear Enfield parts are really expensive in Nepal and Enfield Mechanics are few and far between, but for sure in Pokhara and Kathmandu. Maybe you want to take some essential parts, again see my website for suggestions.
I havent heard of anyone crossing into Tibet by bike. The Tibet with Nepal border is a funny one because of the sensitive nature of China in Tibet. Its was impossible to get an individual visa for China in Nepal (2007), you could only travel into Tibet (ala China) with a group visa and be part of a tour group. Its difficult to get more than 1 month. Travelers I met in Lhasa were catching a train to Chengdu in the hope they would get a Chinese visa extension.
People who wanted to do individual travel in Tibet would fly to Hong Kong, get a 3 month visa for China, fly to Chengdu, get a travel permit for Tibet and then catch a train to Lhasa. This might have changed a little since the Olympics in Beijing but I have heard for years that Chinese Visas obtained in Nepal were very limited.
all the best
NameManveet Singh (m)
the stuff you have written is really useful... all of it.
i m not sure if you already know this, but people here go for the Right side gears just to get the feel of th ENFIELD. you can say it holds sentiments that way, dont ask what kinda sentiments, cant explain. thats the reason why i went for Electra 4S model. Also as yo said, going for the basic stuff is the best option, so dont have to look for a specialised mechanic in a village. you would know what it feels like
but anyways, do let me know if you plan any trips this side again as in Chandhigarh and HP side, would love to ride along.
I dont have any fellow bulleteers to ride here, even no Honda ones!
P.S. Hope you know petrol prices have gone down.
good to read such an extensive research done.
I am interested to tour around Nepal/India by myself on a motorcycle. As you recommended a Honda, which model would be best?
Reaction : Hi Pete. As yet there doesnt seem to be so many different Honda models in India.
The people I met touring had a Unicorn and it looks and rides great. (did a short test ride myself). Its a 150cc with single mono shock suspension. Comes with all the good stuff like electric start, trip & fuel meter and disk brakes. And its a genuine Honda, not a collaboration with a local company.
Very nice, very thorough blog on how to buy a Royal Enfield in India. I was suprised by your advice to buy the newer bike and save money in the end. That's great. I disagree a bit on points ignition. It's usually good enough and anyone (even I) can set it anywhere. But, all in all, very interesting. All best.
Reaction : Thanks David for your review.
Good to hear you disagree on some things. Helps give the reader a better informed view.