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-   -   Buying Enfields in India (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/southern-asia/buying-enfields-in-india-59736)

Esquire 17 Oct 2011 06:44

Buying Enfields in India
OK Guys so I have 6 weeks free from Mid December to End of Jan for much needed break, but the finances will be sort of tight, and my sister thinks that for the money India is great value, is full of great sights and most importantly you can acquire a cool Royal Enfield cheap and direct from the source.

For the money side of things I have been told that $50 a day for India is a good starting point for forming a budget, then airfares on top, another (up to) $500 for a motorcycle. I would love to get a Bullet 500 to travel on, knowing full well all the pros and cons, but hey their the soul of the motorcycle community over there.

My main concern is when I am traveling over should I plan to get all the motorcycle specific gear back in Australia, or can I buy some of it in India when I land, for example panniers and small mods to take the bike from a everyday thing to a tour capable bike. Secondly if I can grab these things in India what sort of budget should I allow for to purchase the spare parts I would need, a simple tool set, panniers (I have helmet and apparel gear already). Do people camp in India, or is accommodation every day the done thing for travelers?

And thirdly is one of the Indian cities better for this than the others (I’m thinking of the big three to fly into: New Deli, Chennai and Mumbai) for both buying an Enfield and doing some simple mods. I will be selling my Vespa GTS250 to partly fund this trip, so I wont mind spending a bit more for a good bike that is suitable to come home with me once I am done.

To export the bike back home with me I have a whole separate group of questions, but since its off point I posted a separate thread http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...735#post352722

Thanks Guys

palace15 17 Oct 2011 10:31

Personally I would just take my own helmet, and possibly gloves and kneepads, many would say decent boots, but in Asia I only used a helmet and hired small cc bikes.

Just ride defensive and enjoy, I would say $50 per day budget is a little excessive, but someone else will have a more up to date view.

chris 17 Oct 2011 21:37

A lot has been written on the topic of Bullets in India. Use Google with the criteria

site:horizonsunlimited.com word1 word2 word3

and you will have a lot of good stuff/opinion to refer to.

In Dec/Jan go south. Rent something down there (Goa?). If going north, do so in July/August. Delhi is best for accessing bikes for the Himalayas (and whole of India IMHO, but will be quite chilly in December).

Visit lalli singh.com and Soni Motors (does export also?) both in Karol Bagh area of Delhi and recommended. These will rent/sell you the bike, panniers and tools/spares(if renting, spares are on sale or return). You could also source your bike in Delhi, then put it on the train south and set off riding from somewhere warmer. Bike on same train as you costs the same approx. as a passenger ticket.

Bring all riding clothes/helmet from home. Indian stuff is substandard/too small/both. All tools/spares/panniers can be found locally.

I believe your budget ideas are excessive. I was on about 20us$/day incl food/fuel/accom (nobody camps). The bike rental cost me 5us$/day.

A couple of links:
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...28-august-1469 (crap that I was spouting when in India) and Indian Himalayas TBSdotCom (some words/images/vids that might inspire) and 60kph - Motorcycle Travel Club, India (a great bunch of blokes: I think they have a forum)



PS. There is only one road rule on the Indian Subcontinent: Might Is Right. So on 2 wheels you're virtually at the bottom of the food chain. If you have a problem with "bad" driving, then stay on the bus/train/at home. If you understand the rule and that everybody drives worse than you've ever seen before at home, and you can see the funny side, then you'll be fine.

Esquire 18 Oct 2011 04:37

HAHA, i know what you mean about Might is Right. I have been (but not ridden) through lots of Asia so I know what the likely road conditions will be like (how much worse can India be to Vietnam?).

The plan in my head was fly in and out of New Delhi, but catch a train south to Chennai and start riding around to Mumbai trough Goa then train back to New Delhi. Need to do more research on it however.

Yes palace15 i already have my own helmet, jacket and gear etc, which i would bring with me. What i am wondering is how easy it is to get lockable panniers fitted for all the bike stuff and some food, as i will have a 45l backpack that i will likely strap to the back seat and take off with me for day trips etc.

Dan.sequeria raised some good points in a PM, saying that only new Enfields would be suitable for transport back to Aust because of emission standards, but there is also a loophole for those bikes that are considered vintage.

Secondly he said that 500's are pretty expensive in comparisons to 350's. Do you think that the extra power of a 500 is worth it for the money? (i am a big guy of 110kgs).

Finally its cools if the budget of $50 is too much, i just don't want to go over there an find that i run out of money, so if i put $3000 aside for 6 weeks of travel and only spend $2000 then i should be a happy camper.

OB-1 21 Oct 2011 14:09

Just had a read through some of the information on Lalli Singh's web site that may scupper your plans to ride then export:
"According to Indian legislation, motor vehicles are sold and registered in the name of Indian residents only. These persons must possess proof that they pay income taxes and are permanent residents in India.

"The Indian Customs authorities have agreed to ensure that vehicle entries and exits are efficiently recorded so as to avoid unjustified customs claims.

"According to Indian legislation, only those persons who reside in India and are in possession of proof of their residence - are eligible to purchase and register vehicles in their name.

"Foreigners are, however, permitted to purchase vehicles in India for direct exportation abroad through regular "Import Trade Control Policy", but these vehicles may not be registered in India.

"Any individuals who may have succeeded in the past in purchasing and Registering motorcycles or other vehicles in India have done so illegally and may be held liable under Indian law.

"Under no circumstances may a CPD be issued (outside of India) for a vehicle purchased in India or bearing Indian registration plates.
The issuing clubs are asked to bring this information to the attention of members traveling to India."
I suppose that you could buy a Bullet, ride it in India, sell it and then buy another for export...

chris 21 Oct 2011 15:42

In support of OB-1's post above and also discoverable if searching the HUBB (which the OP should try to do, IMHO), the only way people in the recent past (+/-10 years) have exported a Bullet from the Indian Subcontinent was to buy a Nepalese bike in Nepal, get a CdP for it from their local AA and then export it by riding/shipping it from Nepal, through India (maybe have it customised there?), Pakistan, Iran, Turkey to Europe. In Europe you would then have to pay import tax and VAT on it to register it legally in a European country.

Unless you specifically want to ride a Nepalese Bullet from Nepal to Europe/ ship it to somewhere else, it would make more sense IMHO, to buy a legal Bullet in your own country from a dealer or second hand.

With ref to lockable panniers, they should be no problem. This bike has them:


which looks a lot like this pic






and even


:cool4: Dailymotion - Timbuk 3 - The Future's So Bright - a Music video

Esquire 24 Oct 2011 05:40

thanks guys,

OB-1 and Chris thanks for the tips, i did do a search for a day or so and did see very conflicting information depending on the poster and time.

Overall most people keep telling me the same thing that Enfields can't be registered in India for export, but i know of another New Delhi based company thats getting around this somehow.

I inquired to Bullet Wallas about 6 months ago about the costs of getting them to fix up and ship me an Enfield Bullet 500 to Aust, and Ian the (NZ) owner said no problems, but it seemed a little bit costly.

In short i know a select few that have succeed and maybe the Nepalese option (not come across that solution before, so thanks) is a better way to go, but that would involve heading North first, when i had planned to only do South India where it would be much warmer.

In reference to Panniers, i have come across some canvas ones for 40GBP which i would collapse, pack with me and bring along with the rest of the bike gear i have, but if they are readily available on every street corner then i wont worry.

Esquire 24 Oct 2011 05:46

Oh and on the ike point, in Aust not only are Enfields rare as hens teeth but sell for $5000 to $7,500, where as if i could get a similar bike in India for 90,000 to 100,000 Rupees as one guy who PM'd me mentioned ($1700 to $2000 AUD) then i would happily spend another $1000 to get it home and call it a bargain... or the best travel souvenir ever!

palace15 24 Oct 2011 11:20

Who is this 'Dodgey geezer'?, practicing to be a 'road hero' perhaps!:rofl:

twobob 25 Oct 2011 23:36

Don't bother with the 500 they are heavier and bike wallers rarely carry spares you don't need the extra power unless you plan to go to the mountains plus they have usually worked hard as heavy luggage carriers in the Himalayas.
One chap travelling with me had to throw his bike, a 500, on a truck as he could not find parts.

itsmerohan 1 Nov 2011 05:29


Originally Posted by twobob (Post 353686)
Don't bother with the 500 they are heavier and bike wallers rarely carry spares you don't need the extra power unless you plan to go to the mountains plus they have usually worked hard as heavy luggage carriers in the Himalayas.
One chap travelling with me had to throw his bike, a 500, on a truck as he could not find parts.

I would agree with you here, 500s are bit alienated breed here in India. Wwith most of the bikes there have been problems and also spare part issue has often been a teething issue.

sapres for the 500s don't come by easily and then the engine itself for these machins have not been well built.

For all riders planning trip to India - always ppt for th 350 models, these come with brakes both on the left and right, and trust me i have trained bikers from abroad and the left brake issue is only a matter of small concern and all get over it with few hours of driving. The 350 option is cheaper, parts are easy to find and fuel economy i sgood and the thrust of these machines can easily carry a 110-120 Kg guy around pretty easily.

SamL 22 Nov 2011 02:09

I love my 500 Enfield
True to say the 500's are not so common once your out of the mountains.... I wouldn't be without mine though!

MEZ 22 Nov 2011 13:33

doing it now.....
Hiya Matey, we are currently heading south from Goa using Hero Hunks, some good advice has been given so far and to add I would defo say go with a 350 as apposed to 500. Carol Bagh was our starting point also, it's a great place to source everything you need. What we have found though is that all our UK riding gear is still at the bottom of the rucksack, regardless of our preconceived idea's on protection whilst riding we are now in jeans,Tshirt and tough shoes/boots. Dont overpack with clothes or gear. Accommodation and food is abundent. People here are great and so friendly untill you put a steering wheel infront of them.....!!! Head south for Mumbai it'll be cold up the hills ok...! Take care and good luck, Mez and Mark ( www.xllentadventures.co.uk )

SamL 22 Nov 2011 17:23

India is always a great place to ride Mez, will be there again myself in a couple of weeks and just can't wait. Love the country, love the people and still love my 2009 500cc beauty. :thumbup1:
Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Mumbai, Rajasthan.... http://www.samlovett.co.uk


witold 23 Nov 2011 02:31

Old Bullets that they rent out in Karol Bagh are outdated, rusting pieces of junk. The only appeal is the price. I saw plenty of them stranded in very remote Himalayan areas with really stupid problems that should not occur. If you can't fix your Bullet, it may take you days to trailer it back to a bigger city where they can fix it. Disregard this if you are getting a new Bullet 500 - expensive one - that is Fuel Injected and everything and costs about $5,000.

Your budget is high for Himalayas. You can slash it in half. No problem.

Your budget is adequate or low for some down country big cities. It really depends on the accommodations you can live with. Cheap Indian accommodations generally means that they are absolutely filthy and disgusting. Nice places are often quite expensive. (USA prices or close to it) It will take some shopping around and it will depend on the exact region you are in. In some areas, I could not find a not-filthy room with nice bathroom for less than - heavily negotiated - 1500. In other areas, every place had a nice room with nice bathroom for 500.

Bring all safety gear with you. The stuff they have on rent is complete garbage. The stuff they have for sale is either cheap junk or overpriced Western quality stuff that is going to be very hard to find anyway.

But for Enfield accessories, don't worry about it. Chances are the stuff you get in India will fit better. They have a healthy aftermarket for Enfield parts and accessories and you can get whatever you want for your Enfield here.

Tools... Hmmm... Some people really like precision expensive tools. If you are one of those guys, you better bring the tools with you. If you can deal with pretty crappy tools and toolkit, you can just get it in India. If you have a favorite tool you use at home, maybe bring those. (I brought a electric air pump/plug kit, good pocket multitool, and a few other little things like that.)

You also mention doing 'mods' to the bike. You need to give us specifics. If you want to put a GPS mount and GPS on the bike, you better bring that stuff with you as it will be a PIA and expensive to do in India. On the other hand, luggage and rack options will be better in India.

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