Glory on wheels

Glory on wheels

There are a few motor enthusiasts in the City who are completely into collecting vintage two-wheelers. Meet Guru Prasad, a businessman, who has an envious collection of beautiful classic Royal Enfield Bullet bikes and Raleigh bicycles. All of them are of British origin and the bikes are of the 50s and 60s make. 

This passion came to Guru Prasad from his father Krishnappa, who used to deliver milk in the 80s and 90s. “I used to ride a Raleigh cycle those days to deliver it,” recalls Krishnappa nostalgically to which Guru Prasad adds, “My dad has owned a Bullet for more than 30 years.” Ask Krishnappa a little more about this first bike and he laughs, “It is a 1959 British make with the registration – MYV9292 and my father bought it for Rs 11,000 those days.” Till date, Krishnappa rides it.

Coming to the rest of the collection, the father-son duo has a total of seven classic Bullets apart from the three pretty classic cycles. The rest of the models are of the 1960, 61 and 62 makes.

Watching his father, Guru Prasad too developed a love for classic vehicles as a small boy.  However, he started collecting the bikes only a few years ago. About the first bike that he added to the collection, Guru Prasad recalls with pride, “It was a 1960 model with the registration – MYM 155.” What’s unique about this bike is that it was a ‘royal bike’ serviced in the Mysore Palace for many years. “Someone auctioned it and a police personnel bought it and sold it to me in 2010,” he adds.

Another interesting bike is the one with the MYP2 registration. “It is from Gulbarga district and the first person to own it was the Assistant Regional Transport Officer,” says Guru Prasad. So the bike became his pride of possession when the officer’s wife, who is now in Bengaluru, learnt about Guru Prasad’s collection.

Added to this collection are the sleek beautiful cycles, as old as the 1930s. “All three are of the Raleigh brand and were made in England,” he notes.

Two of them are 23 and 24 inches high. Guru Prasad makes it point to ride all
the bikes and cycles regularly while Krishnappa laments, “The roads aren’t what they used to be. The City is full of traffic.”

But are the bikes too delicate for the roads of the City? “In fact, they are ideal,” says Guru Prasad. Comparing the Bullets to the ones manufactured today, he says, “The ones those days were more comfortable with a milder sound. Today, they are noisy.”

It’s definitely not easy to maintain these bikes as finding a good mechanic is hard. “There is one old person that we have always given them to and I sit there from morning till evening whenever they are given to him,” jokes Guru Prasad.  The duo would love to add the 700 cc Royal Enfield Constellation Twin (which has a twin engine constellation) to their collection. “I’d prefer a make of the 1950s or 60s,” explains Guru Prasad.

Krishnappa is very proud of his son and the legacy will surely be carried forward. The bike that Krishnappa’s father bought for Rs 11,000 is a whopping Rs 5,00,000 today! But as Guru Prasad sums up, “For us, the money just doesn’t matter.”

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