50 year-old Snehasis Kar, from Cuttack, Odisha, has been celebrating the birthday of his Royal Enfield motorcycle every year, and this time around, it was no different. Mr. Kar invited a whopping 1,200 people for his Royal Enfield’s birthday, and we’ve never seen anything like this before. The Royal Enfield Bullet in question is from 1961, which makes it older than him, at 58 years.
Currently, Mr. Kar owns no less than 16 Royal Enfield Bullets, most of which were restored by him from near-scrap condition. His favourite though is the 1961 Royal Enfield Bullet 350 Cast Iron, which he bought as a used motorcycle, in 1993. Also, this Royal Enfield Bullet 350 happens to be Mr. Kar’s first motorcycle. The other Royal Enfields in his garage are of multiple vintages.
Apart from his first Bullet, the others are of the following vintages: seven models from 1962, one each from 1974, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1995, and the latest one from 2003. Meanwhile, here’s what he has to say about celebrating this motorcycle’s birthday every year.
I was upset when my father sold a bullet that he rode. Later, I bought my first Royal Enfield in 1993 (1961 model).For the past few years that I have been celebrating the birthday of the Bullet. I want to display all the models with adequate information about them by setting up a small museum in the city so that people can know more about these machines.
Notably, all of the Royal Enfield Bullet 350s that Mr. Kar owns hold vintage value, for Royal Enfield has stopped building the cast iron Bullet 350. The motorcycle, until its production ceased a few years back, used to run a 346cc, four stroke long stroke engine. The engine made 18 Bhp of peak power and 32 Nm of peak torque. The bike ran a separate gearbox and clutch case, which is quite unlike the 346cc unit construction engine the latest Bullet 350 comes with.
The older engine also used solid valve lifters (tappets), a 4 speed gearbox filled with grease and not oil, and also CB (contact breaker) points ignition instead of the modern day ignitions such as CDI (capacitor discharge ignition) and TCI (transistor coil ignition). Another unique thing about the Bullet 350 CI was that it has the gear shifter on the right and the rear brake lever on the left hand side. The gearbox also featured a neutral finder, which allows a rider to come back to neutral from any gear instantly. All in all, the Royal Enfield Bullet CI 350 was a very unique motorcycle that was in serial production for over 5 decades.
Currently, the Royal Enfield Bullet 350 sold in India features a 346cc unit construction engine, with 19.8 Bhp of peak power and 28 Nm of peak torque. The new engine runs hydraulic lifters and gets a 5 speed manual gearbox. The bike even features disc brakes on both wheels with ABS as standard. All in all, the new Bullet 350 is a much more modern motorcycle but one that is styled similar to the vintage model.