Buying a used Royal Enfield in India is fairly simple if you know what to look for. This was my second bike I have bought here, so using experience, I was able to get it done quickly.

An impulse buy for some people may be a cheeky little snickers bar at the checkout counter of the supermarket. For others, it’s a motorcycle. I guess it depends on how awesome that person is.

When I woke up the other day, I had an urge to buy a Royal Enfield. I love motorcycle travel, so this was an urge that needed satisfying.

Impulse buying a motorcycle is much like getting a tattoo; if you over think it you will eventually shy away. You must hop out of bed, yell “YOLO|, and run as fast as you can to find the nearest Israeli with a Royal Enfield for sale.

Why you Need to Buy a Royal Enfield in India

The Royal Enfield is an iconic bike in India. In my eyes, there is no other way to travel through this fantastic sub-continent. Sure, it may not be the most reliable or economical, but it is the most bad-ass motorcycle you can buy in India, and that’s all that counts.

Royal Enfields have a history of constantly breaking down and leaving their riders stranded in the middle of rural India, I speak from experience here. But for myself, when I sit on the bike first thing in the morning and feel the gentle purr of the Enfield between my legs, I know there is no other option.

Buying a used Royal Enfield Motorcycle in India

Anyone who owns a Royal Enfield will proclaim their love and hate for the bike in the same sentence, multiple times a day. They love it when it is working, and hate it when it breaks down in the desert in the 45-degree heat. Or, when you run out of gas and are too stupid to realize it.

You must take the good with the bad in life, and a Royal Enfield will help anyone learn this lesson. I would never ride anything else in India.

Can a Foreigner Buy a Motorcycle in India

The simple answer is yes. I have now bought 2. You can literally buy anything you want in India. Buying a used Royal Enfield motorcycle is no different.

As long as you know what to look for, and are cautious of the price, the sale should go smoothly and should be relatively fast.

What Paperwork is Needed When you Buy a Royal Enfield

Realistically you don’t really need any paperwork. It just means more money will be given to the police when you are pulled over. My first bike that I bought 3 years ago came with none, when I asked about a license plate the man painted it on himself without referring to anything.

Buying a used Royal Enfield in India

This time around, I bought my Royal Enfield from another traveller as opposed to a mechanic. This is a better way to go as he included a some extras suited for long distance travel, such as the paperwork for the bike and an official license plate.

The Enfield will come with a little ownership book. There is no need to sign anything over, just keep the book with you and pass it on the next dude buying a used Royal Enfield in India.

This will help with the resale of the motorcycle in the future to someone who is a bit pickier then myself, and may want the actually paperwork. I don’t care about such things.

Do I need a Motorcycle License when Buying a Royal Enfield in India as a Foreigner?

Hellllllll no. No one will ask, and no one will care. When I look around at the millions of locals on their own bikes I can bet they aren’t properly licensed, or insured for that matter.

I have seen children as young as 5 driving in heavy traffic. I am pretty damn sure they haven’t gone through the proper government channels to obtain a valid motorcycle license.

I am not sure what will happen with travel insurance if you are unlicensed, so don’t blame me if you buy one and hurt yourself and aren’t covered.

Where to buy a Royal Enfield Motorcycle in India

I woke up, showered, and hit the streets. I first walked up to a mechanic I trusted and asked if he knew anyone with a Royal Enfield for sale. He did not.

I continued to walk around the little beach town I have lived in for last 2+ weeks. Have a read about returning to this hidden paradise if you would like to see a prime spot to live on the beach for cheap.

Where is the Cheapest Place in India to buy a Motorcycle

Buying a Royal Enfield in India can take place in any state and any town. I am in now in Arambol, Goa. This is a hot spot for the Royal Enfield trade.

The absolute cheapest place will be Delhi. I hear people rave about a man named Lalli Singh, although I have never dealt with him, so I cannot personally recommend him.

Buying a used Royal Enfield from another Traveller

After I left the mechanic I continued to wander. I came across a second mechanic who had some for-sale posters up from other travellers. I took down some numbers and headed back to my beach hut to make some inquiries.

I contacted 3 people with one bike in mind that I liked more than the others. I had my eye on a silver 2010 Bullet Electra. He was actually the first one to reply and I said I would meet him in 15 minutes to test drive.

Can a Foreigner buy a New Royal Enfield?

Not legally. There are ways around this though. I thought about going this route but it is risky and expensive. There is a 6 month waiting list for Indian nationals to buy an Enfield. I had a man offer to get me one with in 5 days for an extra 30,000 rupees, I declined.

It may be better to rent a Royal Enfield if you are looking for a new one.

What to look for when buying a Motorcycle in India

I could list off a million little things to look for when buying a used Royal Enfield in India; from brake pads, to oil leaking from the seals, or even the stiffness of the clutch. But unless you have a full set of tools and are very mechanically inclined, this is all useless information.

Buying a used Royal Enfield Motorcycle in India

What I suggest, and what I did myself, is to take the bike to a 3rd party mechanic, someone who has no interest whether you buy the bike or not. Tell the mechanic that you are buying the motorcycle and would like him to look over it.

Test Driving the Royal Enfield

When I got on the bike for a test drive it was like something had been reawakened. As I blasted down the hectic Indian road with no helmet on, it was the feeling of freedom that I love so much. This site is called Finding The Freedom for a reason, and motorcycle travel is what it’s all about.

I went for a good tour, listening carefully to the sounds of the engine. I wanted to hear if anything sounded rough. I wanted to feel how smoothly the gears changed, and if the bike was off-balance or shaky.

All seemed well, so my next stop was the mechanic to have him take a look at it.

Having a Mechanic Check out the Bike Before you Buy it

I had dealt with this mechanic before. Last time I was here 3 years ago he did some work on my Royal Enfield and so I trust him. Before buying a used Royal Enfield in India it’s a good idea to find a mechanic you trust and let him know you will be bringing a bike by sometime in the future.

Buying a used Royal Enfield Motorcycle in India

He took the bike for a good test-drive him self and when he returned he went over it. This bike wasn’t perfect he said, but none are.

We discussed the asking price and he gave his opinion of what I should be paying.

How Much Does it Cost to buy a Royal Enfield in India

I paid 67,500 Rupees, about $1350 Canadian Dollars. I talked him down from 80,000. For a 2010 this was a good deal. I could have maybe paid less in Delhi, but I am in Goa, and this comes with a premium.

A really cheap Royal Enfield could be found for around 40,000, but it would be a real p.o.s and break down often. My last one was 50,000 and broke down everyday.

For a couple hundred dollars more, it’s worth the peace of mind.

Getting Ready to Ride

I am now the proud owner of used 2010 Royal Enfield. The throttle sticks, and it runs out of gas when there is still gas in the tank, but that is part of it’s charm.

When riding Royal Enfields you really have to learn the individual bike, as they all have their quirks. Each one will act strange in it’s own way.

Last time when I drove through India I used a map, and that was a nightmare. Now that is basically 2015 I will be using the GPS on my phone. Get a sim card here!

Read about getting a Sim Card in India here, as it will make life a lot easier.

The plan, as of now, is to head south. I’m not exactly sure where, or when I will leave my beach hut, just going to start to ride and figure it out.

Subscribe to the mailing list to follow along my trip through India! 

If you have any experience buying a used Royal Enfield motorcycle in India or any questions please leave a comment below and I will be happy to answer. 

48 Responses

  1. Akhil Kalsh

    India, the land of possibilities! Went through many articles on your site, Iraq suddenly doesn’t sound that bad now, apart from that photo loving guy you had to pry off 🙂

    Any plans of heading over to Mumbai? Would love to meet up.

  2. peana

    Its easy to bribe the police in india , but dont you feel that you are encouraging bad for your needs? I dont mean that you should oppose, instead it would have been nice if did not encourage such practices in a country that wants to change.

    peace.

    • Alex

      It’s not meant to encourage, it’s meant to paint an honest picture of how things work. That is the purpose of this blog, to help those out who would like to do the same thing, giving the facts whether they are good or bad, it’s how it is. If stopped by the police and you don’t bribe, it will be far more costly and hassle. The best idea is to pay and be on with your day, again, whether good bad isn’t up for debate.

  3. Miguel

    Alex,

    Any tips on where to dell un Kerala? I hot m’y bullet year 2000 fort sale.

    Thanks! Nice blog

  4. Jake

    Hey Alex, great read. Me and the missus are planning to travel from India to Malaysia on two second hand Royal Enfields 350cc. When buying the bikes should I make sure to get paperwork seeing as we’ll be travelling through different countries and do most bikes come fitted with racks for carrying gear? Cheers Jake, Ireland.

    • Alex

      Hi Jake, as a foreigner you can not legally buy the bike. The paperwork you get will be in someone elses name and the only country you can enter is Nepal. I may be wrong about this but from my personal experience this is how it works. If you find any additional info please do come back and let us all know!

      • Jake

        That’s a shame. How about this then; get the bikes, drive through India and Nepal then sell close to the border with Bangladesh and rebuy another two in Bangladesh? Would there be any problems going through different states within India? Jake (sorry for pickling your head).

      • Alex

        Hi Jake,

        You could definately buy them in India and sell in Nepal. No problem going through the different states in India. Maybe a problem crossing the border to Nepal, I have never done it but many have so I can’t give great advice on it except give it a shot and bribe them if you have to. I have never been to Bangladesh so not sure how things work there! Good luck man

    • Alex

      Yea I thought it was hilarious as well! Just have to be careful with the accidents!

  5. Amrita

    I love this.

    We grew up with Enfield, I think. That air-piercing rumble would send me and my brother running to the balcony to greet our dad, or grandfather, or uncle, or whichever male member of the family was Man of the Day.

    I first learnt to drive it was in my first year of college. It belonged to a senior, a tattered 20-year-old piece of machine with the gear-shift on the right side. And despite my doubt, that came with knowing how heavy the bike actually is, it ran like butter!

    I love your space over here.
    Amrita recently posted…big beach-goersMy Profile

      • Amrita

        Oh, I wish. At this point, I’m stuck in window-less conference rooms, drowning in rolls of drawings.

        You’re in Albania now? yes, I’m stalking you on twitter…
        Please, tell me you’ll be writing about that soon.

  6. Victor Chan

    Hey Alex !

    I’ll be doing a solo bike trip from New Delhi – Himalaya in June. Just wanted to know a rough figures of how much I should be spending on food, accommodation, gas on a daily basis ?

    Cheers buddy !

    • Alex

      Hi Victor,

      India is CHEAP! Food can be had for $2 a meal easy, accom depends on the level of comfort you need. A decent hotel could be around $15-$20 and a cheap guesthouse as low as $3. Gas depends on how much you ride, but is around $1.20 a litre. All in all its a bargain. You have picked an awesome route I have always wanted to do that!

  7. David

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for the article.

    Is it easy to pick up reasonable safety gear (helmet, jacket etc) in India or should you bring it over with you?

    • Alex

      I would bring that with you, the quality at home is far superior to what you get there

  8. Meg Lund

    Thanks for the insight to buy your motorcycle from another traveler rather than with a mechanic. You talk about how doing this will help you get paperwork and an official license plate. This will definitely ensure your motorcycle to be more valuable. Plus, as you suggest, it will help it be more resalable in the future. I will definitely be sure to try to find a motorcycle from another traveler rather than a mechanic when traveling to India. I definitely think that this would make transportation be easier and less stressful. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Jake

    Hey Alex, it’s Jake from Ireland again. We’ve just booked our flights to Goa for March next year so trying to get everything organised asap! My question is; What type of license do we need to drive freely around India and Asia? Will a CBT, UK motorcycle license, International license or full UK license do? Neither of us have any, however I was pinning my hopes on the CBT as it’s cheaper and 100% focused on riding motorbikes. Hope all is well and your enjoying the monsoon wherever you are.

    • Alex

      Hi Jake, I just had an Ontario drivers license. In theory you would need to get a motorcycle license in your home country, then an international permit. In practice no one does this. No ones cares haha. If you get caught you would just pay a “fine” on the spot and be on with your day. of course its your call, and if you bail and dont have the right license your insurance may not cover you.

  10. Raylin Sutter

    I come from a huge biker family. Everyone has a motorcycle. We have motorcycles from all over the world: Japan, Germany, and England. Recently, we a Honda motorcycle with an extended warranty. My husband wants to buy one from India but does it come with that type of warranty as well?

  11. Johnny @ Dragfever

    Hey Alex, awesome awesome article ( yeah i actually used the word twice )

    I’d love to subscribe to your mailing list but when i do, i see an error. The page redirects me to a dead link.

    Anyways. Keep doing such nice work..
    Thanks

  12. Jake

    Alex!! Chief I hope you’re living large and behaving yourself! Last location is Central America, you better be hitting S.A man. Cycled from Buenos Aires, through Uruguay, Chile to La Paz last year and it was incredible mate, beautiful place. Anyway.. Where’s the best place to buy a bike, should I check buy/sell websites, other travellers or buy from a garage? Swinging towards a Honda cos they’re easier to run but would definitely take an Enfield if the price is right. Hope you’re living it wherever you are, stay golden pal x

    • Alex

      Thats a tough question as I havent been! I would dig into a bit more research and try to find someone that has done it before. Ask other travellers on the road and just keep your eyes open. Good luck!

  13. Himanshu Moad

    I am a bulleter…. visit me wen u come to India next time…. u can ride my bike for free bt i gurantee u if u ride my bullet u will never forget it…newaz hospitality is in our blooed. will share u d pics. mail me frm yr email id…. keep comming….tk cre.

  14. dags

    Thanks for the info Alex! Im heading to India soon and all the above will be a great to get me started. Seeya on the road buddy!

  15. Kim Hegan

    Namaste Alex Bro,

    I used to live in India in the 1970s and after my first trip back in 30 years am dead set on picking up a 500cc enfield. There was no such thing when I was there last (only 350 cc) but I just have to have one.
    I found your advice priceless, thankyou.
    I will do exactly as you have suggested. I asked a guy in New Delhi what his was worth and he thought about 45,000 rps.
    I want to bring it to New Zealand in a shared container….
    And for anyone reading this. My advice for what it’s worth is negotiate with dignity but don’t be a dick and negotiate down just for the heck of it. It’s so low class. On the other hand don’t be a fool and accept whatever the first price is. Go in with a price already well researched (ie ask someone..) and it will be fun!
    We have to pay GST on anything here, which means at least appearing to have brought it through a dealer..
    But as you say, in India anything is possible!!!

    Kim Sahib

  16. Eric

    Im hunting for vespa classic or bajaj chetak , if i buy one can i ship this in my country , or disamble it and ship by parts, im from the philippines by the way.

  17. Mike

    Hey Alex

    Hope you are still reading these

    I am in Kolkata at the moment and wanting to travel across the country on a bike. How is it crossing the different state borders? I am told they can harass you being a foreigner especially if the paperwork/license is a bit off. Is that the case, and if so what is the usual fine (bribe)? I’m no stranger to paying them travelling through SEA so not worried, just wondering the price range.

    Also where is the best place to sell a bike on the West coast of india?

    Thanks

    • Alex

      Hi Mike, you dont need to worry. Most borders have no police, and if they do I never stopped. They are usually just on foot, I ignored them and drove right through!

  18. Lewis

    Hey mate, im going to be doing a 2 month trip around india on an enfield starting in delhi, my only question is what do you do with the bike when you leave? Is it hard to sell on again?

    • Alex

      I have always found it easy to sell it. Just like you are eager to buy it, another traveller will be as well when you leave!