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The iconic Royal Enfield classic 500

Sep 28, 2018 comment(s)

Doing a motorbike road trip was one of my dreams. Driving a Royal Enfield in India was another one. Could you imagine how excited I was when my awesome fiancée managed to organise 9 days in South West India renting a Royal Enfield?

The brand

Royal Enfield is an English brand which released its first bike in 1901. This makes it the oldest bike brand, older than Harley Davidson (1903). It's in 1955 that the Indian government chose the Royal Enfield Bullet 350 for its army and police. A collaboration will be made between the brand and Indian Madras Motors. The bike will be assembled in Chennai. Nowadays, all parts of the bike are manufactured in India. This makes it the most iconic bike in India.

The bike

We rented a Royal Enfield Classic 500, Desert Storm edition (with the sand colour). In terms of design, I find it really nice. Even Annabelle, which is usually not a fan of  "bikes for old men" was charmed. It has big crash bars with thick black ropes which gives it this nice retro style, a passenger seat (useful for Annabelle) and on back side a hold for the passenger to seat in indian way.

First thing that you feel when you seat on it is that the bike is actually super heavy! The dashboard is pretty basic: speed counter, gas light and oil light. To start it, there is an electric starter but ours was broken. So, with even more style, I had to use the kick starter.

Once started, the sound is not exceptional, but it does have a particularity among other bikes. Second disadvantage after the weight are the vibrations. It vibrates that much that it makes it hard to see in your mirrors.

The ride

The driving position is really comfortable. The bike is very low and the handlebar straight, so it's like sitting on a chair. What was actually painful was our backpack. We managed to attached our small one on the hold on the back. However, for the big one, we tried several options but couldn't find any comfortable one. We just put it between us.

As a motorbike fan, it was an amazing experience. The feeling of freedom while riding in the middle of coconut trees and along the beach was so enjoyable. Sharing this with Annabelle was also amazing. Now I need to convince her to do another round world trip in motorbike this time. ahah!