Royal Enfield is the oldest surviving motorcycle brand in the world, which has been in constant production. While the company may not enjoy a very high brand value like Harley Davidson among others, it is still quite a known and respected brand. Originally a British brand, it is now owned by Eicher and is based in India.
Talking about the famed Bullet bike series, it is the oldest continuous produced bike series in the world. Why we are telling you all this is because today, we have brought you a restored example of a 1978 Bullet 350 which has been restored to nearly mint condition. Seen below is a picture of the scrap bike which has been restored.
As you see, the bike was in a really bad condition with many essential parts missing and rust overgrowing on the body. The restoration has been done by our reader, Shaik Saief Ali, who hails from Madanapalli in Andhra Pradesh. He bought the bike for Rs. 35,000 from scrap and it was in a pretty bad condition. The full restoration, as seen in the picture below, took about 10 days in with a total capital investment of Rs. 25,000. As apparent from the pictures, the bike has been worked upon beautifully and looks like new.
The original 1978 Royal Enfield Bullet 350 had a 346 cc, single cylinder, four stroke engine that produced about 18 Bhp of power and had a top speed of around 110 km/h. The engine and other mechanical components have been kept same during the restoration.
This motorcycle retains the gearshifter on the right hand side, along with the neutral finder. The brake lever – in vintage British bike tradition – is in the left hand side. Drum brakes on the front and rear wheels have also been retained.
Changes and replacement on the bike include a new tool box, front and rear mud guard, air filter cap, headlight assembly and front suspension housing/fork set. The scrap bike had been modified by its original owner so many of the stock parts were missing on it.
The handle bars along with switchgears and grips were also replaced. The bike has now been painted in a shade of dark green with golden detailing on it. the Royal Enfield logo is now the designed like the one found on the original model. A single saddle seat, front and rear tires along with rims, tail light, exhaust pipe etc are among the various among changes made to the bike. The whole wiring system had to be replaced and same is the case with the Carburetor, which is now a new unit.
It is actually never easy to restore such old bikes due to various factors. Chief among them is the non availability of parts along with use of complicated older technology which many people don’t understand now. However, since the Bullet has been in constant production, its part are much easier to obtain than say some other obsolete bikes. Hats off to Shaik Saief Ali to have the grit and passion for giving this vintage beauty a new lease of life.