Monday 20th & Tuesday 21st August: The tracks are closed on Mondays & Tuesdays.

Enfield Love Affair

Tour of Rajasthan

maddix park mx

Owen & Glynis Poad's Experiences with Royal Enfields.

In 2001 we decided to do a tour of Rajasthan with Steve and Lily of Indian Motorcycle Adventures. At the time we owned a Honda Dominator and figured that the Royal Enfield we were to ride wouldn’t be too much different. Had never ridden one and in fact had never taken them very seriously as their reputation wasn’t great. However we came to love the Bullets as they were just so different and one had to accept them for what they are and not what one would like them to be, if you want that, go get a Japanese bike.

Compared to the Honda, they are a pain to start; at that time they had not got an electric start version as that wasn’t introduced until somewhat later. However a quick lesson from our Indian mechanic and it became a one or two kicks to fire them up. Next problem was the gear lever was on the wrong side so that took a bit of training as well. And then the brakes weren’t as good as the disc on the Honda. As well, they are not particularly happy at more than 100kms and are certainly more relaxed at a slower speed.

But then came the good bits, they are light, very comfortable and can be steered with just a slight push on the bars. Very economical to run, almost un-burstable and can put up with conditions in India that would frighten many other motorcycles. They cope with altitude, monsoons, traffic and rough roads with ease. Our first trip to India saw our petrol boiling in the tank with the extreme heat and that took a few kicks and some cool petrol to get started.

Enfields are very well suited to life where servicing may be a problem as they are so simple and can be fixed with a minimum of tools. In India, workshops can be found easily but they aren’t quite as we know them with most of the repairs being done on the side of the street. A few spares can always be found if you need them. Early Indian Enfields suffered from poor quality of raw materials and required constant adjustment of the valves as the pushrods tended to stretch and parts seemed to come from a big box and did not always match from one side of the bike to the other. Modern Enfields are much improved with all the stuff that modern riders are looking for.

So why would I have a love affair with Enfields? The answer is simple – they are a bike that is built for the journey and not the destination.

They aren’t fast but fill the rider with all the pleasures that can be experienced on a small, light bike. Throw into the mix the pure nostalgia of riding a motorcycle that was designed many years ago and perhaps the nectar of riding a bike such as this through a foreign land and you have the ingredients for a lifelong friendship. When we tire of our 100hp monster and want a friendly bike that’s not going to upset anyone, the Enfield will be first on our shopping list.

Owen Poad

To read more about the Royal Enfields, click here.

 
  • Owen & Glynis in Northern India  » Click to zoom ->

    Owen & Glynis in Northern India

  • Indian Village  » Click to zoom ->

    Indian Village

  • Seeking Shade  » Click to zoom ->

    Seeking Shade

Bookmark and Share