My First Ride on a Royal Enfield

My First Ride on a Royal Enfield

On New Years Day I had the opportunity to take my first ride on a Royal Enfield. Though not as rare as a pink unicorn, Royal Enfields aren’t something you see around these parts very often. Needless to say, I was excited.

royal enfield desert storm edition classic 500

2012 Royal Enfield Classic 500 – Desert Storm

First things first – it is a great looking bike. It doesn’t get fussy with pretense instead it wears its classic styling well. Its matte sand-colored paint job is très chic!

My first impression as I swung a leg over and parked my rump on the sprung saddle ~ Wow, she is quite petite. The C5 was first motorcycle I’ve flat footed since the Monster more than a decade ago.

When I turned the key, the exhaust note began puffing a sweet, steady thump the likes of which I’d not heard before. It sings a very unique song.

The riding… well ~ when I first pulled away and picked my feet up to put them on the pegs, they weren’t where my brain said they ought to be. They were slightly more forward. A light touch on the bars was necessary to combat some of the ever present buzziness of the bars in my hands.

royal enfield desert storm classic 500

If you aren’t interested in taking it easy, this may not be the bike for you. With less than 30 ponies coming out of its little heart, you aren’t winning any races.

That said, as I clicked through the surprisingly smooth gearbox I never felt disappointed. On the contrary I felt content, dare I say, happy. The bike brought a smile to my face as it danced its way through the curvy north shore roads swiftly and confidently.

When I  arrived back home, Kenny eagerly asked me what I thought about the bike. I finished up my ramblings with a resounding ‘I love it!’  

There is something romantic about this bike that speaks to me. Some pleasures are perfectly wonderful while still being simple.

10 Replies to “My First Ride on a Royal Enfield”

  1. I did about 7800km on an Enfield Thunderbird 350 (http://royalenfield.com/motorcycles/thunderbird-350/) in India this past April. Bike gave me zero problems and yes, they’re very pretty. Couple of things to note: the optional crashbars are rubbish. They’re better than nothing mind, but they’re crap metal with a single mount point. Mine stress-cracked at a weld purely from riding a couple of thousand kilometers (half later broke off entirely). The other thing is that the frame is not the most rigid thing in the world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pNlhMOK4WM

    …and I can back this up; I could feel the bike flexing under me a bit on the highway when making sweeping turns at ~60mph. All that said, I greatly enjoyed my time on it and, quirky as it is, it got me out and back which is really all you can ask for.

  2. I love these bikes. There is something so basic and essential about them. They remind me of the early days of motorcycling (before I was born). The fact that they still provide transportation to millions in the Third World is testament to their utility.

    And seeing a bike with one cylinder is just so cool.

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