This soon set precedence for many other motorcycle customisation projects and they opened a repair facility called The Bullet Factory at Pallikaranai. In the past five years, they have successfully modified over 200 motorcycles, creating their legacy in the process.
“After the lockdown, we were flooded with a lot of inquiries. Some motorcycle enthusiasts are using free time to leverage their passions and create whole new versions of their bikes. For today’s riders, machines are not just an extension of themselves but are perfect canvasses for personalisation without having to compromise on the ride/ handling characteristics of their motorcycles. They customise their bikes to stand out in the crowd. Also, now because of the lack of public transport, many are planning to use their bikes more often by bringing some minor changes. Sulekha and I give them suggestions according to their needs — we make bikes comfortable and more stable within the character of Royal Enfield. From the inquiries, what we have understood is in the future, people prefer their transport instead of depending on public transport or private cabs,” says John Sudhakar.
The motorcycle enthusiast observes that the demands for motorcycle customisation have changed drastically over the years. “In the 80s, I used parts of Enfield Crusader 200 for customistaion. But they have stopped its production. We were just married then — after work, we used to go and sit next to tinker in Ice House and observe him modifying our bike. After getting our bike, we went on a 3,000 km tour around India. By going for trips, we get to understand the demands of the average rider and ensure that the customisations are not drastic or ignore the physical and mechanical specifications of Royal Enfield,” he points out.
Sudhakar agrees that his wife Sulekha has more patience when it comes to dealing with customers. “She is a better listener than me and she notes customer requirements with a lot of attention. When it comes to the best custom-friendly motorcycles in the world, Royal Enfield tops the list. Customised motorcycles are different because they let the riders leverage their passions to create a whole different level of what their motorcycle can be.” Sudhakar, a photographer by profession, wanted to shoot the mesmerising forts of Rajasthan and the duo have planned a ride from Chennai to Rajasthan.