Nayana organised a Bullet for me when I was in Bangalore a few weeks ago. On this visit, I was lucky enough to borrow it again, so I could find out how I liked a somewhat longer trip on a bike like that. And do I really need to say it? I loved it!
When on the train that previous time, she and I had a little sms-conversation, which resulted in a minor misunderstanding: when I picked up the bike, it turned out to be a “reversed feet” model: brake on the left, gear shift on the right. One up, three four five down. So on top of wearing shorts and slippers (where I’d faithfully been wearing my kevlar-lined jeans and motorcycle boots on my cute 100 cc Hero Honda in steaming Madras), I had to relearn my reflexes. Hm hm.
But I tried thinking of it as reorchestrating a drum groove, and it was surprisingly easy. A blessing in disguise: it took away my worries about this aspect of the overland India-to-Europe trip, which will have to be done on a bike like this. Dutch rules & regulations make it virtually impossible to import a bike from after 1998, and the older models all have the British layout for the feet. (Ever had to quickly put a foot down in a U-turn whilst still using the rear brake? Then you know why this design makes sense in England as well as India, where after all they drive on the wrong side of the road.)