I've been contemplating buying a bike off late.
A few days back I visited the Royal Enfield showroom at Ambawadi, Ahmedabad. Wasn't as interested in the test-ride as I was in knowing the price of Bullet Electra. So after a brief 5 minutes at the showroom, I was on my way.
Yesterday, in the afternoon, I got a call from Rakesh - I suppose he handles (or may be owns, I am not sure) that showroom. He asked me what I was thinking. Hearing my answer, he simply said, "I giving you a 500 for a day. Ride it for a day and then think. I am sending my guy with the bike at around 6."
And I had a Classic 500 for a day. I went for a ride to Gandhinagar in the evening. 55kms. Dad rode it too to the factory in the morning. 40kms. All combined we did a little more than 100kms before I returned the bike to the showroom.
I must say a lot has improved. Clutching. Gear-shifting. Starting, etc. And the one important (perhaps the most important thing) has stayed the same. The THUMP. And the throbbing feeling you get riding a Bullet is just the same. I had a Machismo 350 (AVL engine) earlier and I sense 'this thump' is closer to the original than the one I remember of my Machismo.
As disappointed as I was with my experience at Royal Enfield showroom at Bandra Mumbai, this one thrilled me. And the gesture of offering me the bike for a day was oh so 'royal'. Policies are the same for every showroom; how the prospect feels depends on the man present at the moment of truth.
I might just buy a Classic 500 now!