Thursday, October 29, 2009

Side box/s for Royal Enfield Bullet

Product: Sideboxes for Royal enfield bullet
Make: Custom
Material: MS (Mild Steel) with chrome coating

Would you believe that I searched for this one accessory for about 1 year and after that took another 7 to 8 months to realise this.

My requirement for sideboxes (Panniers) were
  1. Want to keep the daily luggage (tiffin box + one bottle), rain coat, tools + some grocery
  2. Needed it on both sides, just for that symmetrical look
  3. It should look part of the original equipment and not an add on accessory
  4. Should not protrude too much away from the body of the vehicle
  5. Ladies wearing sarees should be able to sit with both legs in one side even after fitting this box.
  6. The pillion riders thighs should not rest in this sidebox, coz this will start to cause pain in thighs after about 5 mins ride
  7. It should not hinder my leg's travel path while getting in or out of the bull

I searched the net, checked with local accessory shop, and wherever possible to find one meeting the above criteria. There were some beautiful ones from Studds. Was tempted to buy that. But once fitted, it will not satisfy requirement 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Had almost dropped the idea, when a friend of mine suggested to try for a custom build and introduced me to a guy who had already done such jobs. He immediately enlightened me with the reasons for ready made ones not meeting my criteria.

The "Stay rod" (see above figure) which supports the rear mudguard is curved outwards. So the side box can be fitted only outside this stay rod, resulting in it protruding too much away from the body.

Solution - bent the stay rod inwards.

Even after this, the gas shocks (shown in figure) will come in way of the box.

Solution - Bent the inside of the box to accomodate the gas shocks.

I was impressed with the way he explained the things and the card board model which he cut and showed me. So placed a work order immediately.

After that started my long ordeal. This guy had lot of commitments including alterations amounting to lakhs of rupees, which made my rather low value order being put to the back stage. Finally after much follow up, the box was ready after 8 months.

Now see the output of this effort.

The right side box
Since part of the box goes underneath the back seat, the opening was made side on. The doors were made bigger, just to ensure that there is ample opening for things to go in.

The left side box
The saree guard on the left side was removed. Now this box itself serves as a saree guard. I bought another pair of stay rod and kept the original as spare, in case I want to go back to the original state.

The view from the back. One will not notice that there is a box unless he is quite watchfull.

The doors were plated just to match the chrome of the tank. The shape of the door also had a resemblance with the petrol tank's shape. These minute details ensured that all the requirements specified by me was met.

Does this look aftermarket?

Total cost: Rs. 4000 (INR) approx for two boxes

In use for the last 18 months, Went for some long distance trips too, only one back pack was needed in

additional to the space offered by these two boxes. Click here to view pics / log of one of such trips here

Let me know whether this review was useful to you by way of comments


nick said...

Hey.. how can i get this in Pune for thunderbird...?? :)

"J" said...

Even i am interested in getting this done. But, i am from Mumbai.

Also, is it possible to fit a cramster saddle bag too keeping this fitted? Plesae let me know.

Jayaram said...

hey nick/J, u can just show these pics to any of the fabricators out there. They'll be able to do it for u.
Another thing is that the space inside depends on how much u can afford to protrude outside.

Yes cramster saddle bag can be fitted on top of this.. also removing this is not big job. just 3 screws for each.

Anonymous said...

Hi subu - I am from trivandrum. Where did u get thsi box done. it looks real nice. Do let me know to my email cheers

Deepak said...

Awesoem work dude!!! I am also looking for these kind of box for my Silver Thunderbird but unsuccessfull.I am settled in Delhi.PLease let me know from wher u have fabricated this!!

Deepak said...

Awesoem work dude!!! I am also looking for these kind of box for my Silver Thunderbird but unsuccessfull.I am settled in Delhi.PLease let me know from wher u have fabricated this!!

DewDrops said...

Hi Buddy, thanks for all the time you took to write this review and the bags are really nice...please advise where can I get those in in advance said...

I did this work in a fabrication shot @ Thycaud near Thiruvananthapuram. I think any of those fabricators can do this. Just show them the photo and ask whether they will be able to do it.
It took around 10 months for me to make this. Afterall no pain no gain.
The material used is metal sheet. Intially the drawing was created in a cardboard, cut and tried out in my bull before cutting the metal sheet

Ashlin said...

Hi Subbu, Hats off to you. It is really a great work. I have seen pictures of lots of Enfield Bullets fitted with side boxes, but I think this one is the best. It never looks like an extra fitting and seems like it came along with the cycle from the factory. Congrats and I highly appreciate your selfless attitude of sharing knowledge with others. Keep going, regards, S Jacob

krrish said...

Hi ,
I am interested to buy it . Am in Hyderabad. Pls contact me at

Vignesh Kumar said...

Hey bro.very nice and detailed reviews.keep up the good work.
I have put up studds boxes and givi top hard case.i want to know ur comments n suggestions on it and pls tell me if it looks little bulky and disproportionate on the rear top.

Hiitesh said...

Hi Bro,

U are jst awesome , urs n my story is the same , i hv been searching the net since one year but still havnt found the perfect saddle bag , infact i have myself made the same saddle bag shape stencil in card board like urs. Urs n my require ment are also same tiffin + bottle + tools .....
Dude u have done a great work by sharing ur work ...

PeeJay said...

thanks a ton for posting your reviews, I wish I had read this one before I went and bought Studds' boxes. While they look nice but it is obvious that one of them points the other way.
Anyone here has got this custom job done in Bangalore ?
I have a classic 500.

Anand S Warrier said...

hello Mr subu.... i was also searching for something like this.. can you please give me the address of the fabricator. i'm also from trivandrum.

Vijish Raj said...

Hi Mr. subu, Can you plz gv me the details of the fabricator? Am also from trivandrum. Searching for the same since 2 years. Plz help. thank you.

Nelwin Raj N. R. said...

brilliant idea...i wan't this in my electra 350 black too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Subu..
I am customising my 350 electra.. I find your sidebox very useful.. How can i get it done..? Please guide me..
Dr. Jerry from Madurai
Please mail me -

Nidhin Nair said...

Hello subu, The side box is neat and perfect. Thanks for the blog. I'm also searching exactly one like this. Can you please give me the address of the fabricator in thycaud, TVM??

Unknown said...

Hi Sir myself Agi George please forward fabricator Mob no kindly @ 9911871196 whatsapp

Unknown said...

Hi Sir myself Agi George please forward fabricator Mob no kindly @ 9911871196 whatsapp

Unknown said...

hi subu, i just feel in love with your sidebox bcoz my criteria for it same as yours. i have seen some studds one but they Portrude 2 much outside the body and it spoils the aesthetics of vehicle. All else looks manageable but just one thing that how did he bend the edges from all sides, bcoz its a tricky engineering which local welders never attempt. Anyways good job buddy. Happy riding.

Roy Cherian said...

I Am living in Cochin. Looking for a wind shield and saddle boxes for my bike. Please let me know where can I get them in Cochin .it looks really great and useful . Thank you.
Take care..
Roy said...

RE has stopped the OE windshields. But right now there are lot of aftermarket options. Just ensure that the windshield is fixable in your bike without needing to drill holes in the head light area.
Saddle bags were custom made. Using mild steel in a fabrication shop. A top case fitted on top of a carrier behind the pillion backrest will be equally good. When i fabricated this in 2006, there were not many options available in the market. Even the windshield I am using seems to be last piece available in Kerala. I rode down to Kalamaserry (Cochin) to get this last piece. But it was worth the investment. 10 years down the line, it is still serving the purpose.

On the down side, the bikes engine gave up :( after just 40k on the odo. After the engine overhaul it is now quite an unreliable machine and does city duty only.

శివ ఘనపాఠి said...

Hi Subbu. I was looking for building customised side boxes(s) for my bullet and found your blog very helpful and in this regard let me thank you. Your blog was not only informative but your idea was very innovative as well. I did avail the pictures you have attached and managed to find a technician in Guntur of Andhra pradesh. I must admit it did come out well although mot in the same line as you have managed it.It costed me around 3.5K INR. I am also attaching the pics to your email ID.Thank you.

Fullmoon D. Lyngdoh L. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pooja Rathor said...

Awasome blog..Thanks for sharing
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