During the late '80s, I was in high school in my hometown, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. This was during my Std. X and I was a skinny lad. Most of my friend's dad rode a Royal Enfield Bullet - the true classic one where the brakes were on the left side and gears on the right. And some days, my classmates used to bring these REs to the playground.
Back in the day, kickstarting a Royal Enfield was challenging. You need to check the AMP reading. You would pump the kicker a bit and then kick it with a technique that would fire the motorcycle. You need some method and power. If you don't have both, the lever will leave a mark on your calf muscle when it recoils. And therefore, I stayed away from trying to start one.
Fast forward to today, things have drastically changed. With the power vested in our thumb, we can start the motorcycle. Life has been made simpler and more accessible. And we aren't complaining about it.
During the Covid lockdown, we noticed a particular trend when some Enfielders brought their swag to kickstart a motorcycle- specifically a Royal Enfield. One such person that caught my attention is Daniel Anandaraj (Dodo). A good friend of ours from the Madras Bulls motorcycling club. He showed us how it is done. And thus, an idea was born on my end.
You can call it an art form or hard work but kickstarting a motorcycle is fun. It is nostalgic. It is old-school fun and kind of macho (without being sexist).
Today, I prefer to flick a switch, but now and then, I miss kickstarting a motorcycle for the pure fun of it.
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