The hunt for ‘Big Thumper’ the famous ‘Royal Enfield’

Back in 1997 Michele Harrison packed up her job as a city banker in London, jetted off to India, bought a Royal Enfield ‘Bullet’, which she affectionately named ‘Big Thumper’ and then started her epic ‘solo’ journey around the Indian sub-continent!

For over a year Michele went through many ‘highs’ and many ‘lows’ on her exciting journey, and throughout her trip she kept a daily diary that has since been published, and which she aptly titled ‘All the Gear – No idea’!

The book is perfectly named because right up to the point of going to India, all she had ever ridden with two wheels and an engine was a 50cc moped! And she only just managed to take her motorcycle test and get a license a couple of weeks before leaving!

Taking that into consideration and combining it with the facts that she was about to travel across a vast (and in some regions at that time) a dangerous country, all alone and without even the back up of a mobile phone, a huge continent which she new little about in terms of its culture, its people and its laws; and with no experience of the Indian roads and their let’s say ‘interesting’ traffic arrangements.

Finally if all that wasn’t enough, the differing terrains she would navigate consisted of mountains, deserts, jungles and the most challenging terrain of all - the ‘Delhi’ tarmac!

Most people, when you put all the above together, would have said (and did) ‘you must be completely mad’! You have absolutely ‘NO IDEA’ what you are getting yourself into’!

But no, not only did she cast all the above challenges aside; she bought ‘ALL THE GEAR’ and decided to do the whole thing on a ‘Royal Enfield’ 500cc rocket beasty!!

When was contacted by Michele to see if we would be interested in serialising and promoting her book on our website, we of course said ‘YES’ as we were all amazed at her courage and sheer determination.

And for your information we are currently on chapter 8 (at the time of this release).


Michele talked to us with such affection about ‘Big Thumper’, that the motorbikes India team decided that we should really try and find him for her, so at least she will know that he is still ‘alive and ‘um’ thumping’! And from what we know about the Indian biker and their love of Royal Enfield’s (old and new), we felt there was a very good possibility of locating him! Even after 18 years!

So, we are running a challenge on our website for the first person to track him down, and in fairness to our current friends and followers we are going to limit it to people who have registered on with their name and email address and have also ‘liked’ our Facebook page:  (and of course for those who are currently our ‘friends’ on Facebook).

Each week, we will be giving a clue to help you track him down, the first clue will be the city where Michele finally sold ‘Big Thumper’ before returning to the UK. We will then be introducing a new clue each week, until somebody tracks him down and can prove without any doubt that he is the original ‘Big Thumper’.


We are offering a $200 USD reward and a photo shoot with ‘Big Thumper’ and its finder, along with the current owner (if they differ) and we will be giving the whole story a major PR in all the Indian press, and of course we will be putting the story and pictures on our website.

Michele pictured some years later when she returned to India to relive part of her fantastic journey. She hired a more sedate 'Pulsar' for this journey!

For further information please contact Philip: