Republic Day 2018, the 69th glorious year marking the foundation of the Indian Constitution, the foundation of our freedom, our Democracy. This year though marked a very integral matter as well – women liberalisation, and how! An all-women squad of motorcyclists performed stunts that were only restricted to men so far, and if you've seen the videos, you know that the feat was carried out with utmost grace and confidence. This was a nice idea, a nice gesture. This form of men-women equality seemed more equal than others. I'm not the kind of feminist who asks for reserved seats for women on public transport (although, there's more to this argument. The reserved coaches and seats become a necessity when harassment is prevalent), but that's not what we're here to talk about. The women of the security forces who performed the feat will have the spotlight. It proved that there are some things that women had been kept away from for no reason whatsoever, balancing on a Royal Enfield being one of them.
We've been watching the Republic Day parade either in person or on Doordarshan for 68 years now, but never did we see women take front end centre for such a feat. The 69th year although brought about a change, the ecstatic feeling of which reflected on the audience's faces. But, why a Royal Enfield?
Royal Enfield has dominated the cruiser market in India for the longest period of time. And even now when there are so many other players in the same field with their take on cruisers, we still choose a Royal Enfield motorcycle over others for this section of the Republic Day parade.
Having ridden a Royal Enfield extensively in the initial days of my learning to ride a motorcycle, I can say that an RE will remain the first choice for such stunts for years to come as well. First of all, the weight comes into play. One might say that Royal Enfield motorcycles are too heavy and difficult pull out of parking. True, for me, it was too. But then this weight allows it to remain very stable at low speeds.
Royal Enfield motorcycles, including Classic 350 & 500 and Bullet 350 & 500 have single-cylinder torque-biased engines. The maximum torque is delivered at RPMs as low as 4,000 rpm (Royal Enfield Classic 500). Torque is what pushes a car or a bike forward, a higher BHP figure will translate to how fast it will go.
If you've ridden one, you'll know that even if you don't shift down at times when you slow down, the Royal Enfield will pick up the pace as you accelerate without having to shift gears too much. There are motorcycles in the Indian two-wheeler market that have similar displacement engines or even less and are still much more powerful. However, a high-revving engine is not designed for low speeds and the motorcycle will ask a shift down and more throttle when you slow down. A Royal Enfield though will not complain.