How it Feel when you Own Enfield
I used to have a RoyalEnfield Thunderbird 350cc,However I disagree with all those who say its the best bike or it is the most comfortable. Infact if you are a very active person (ride a lot on your bike) and Enfield is your only mode of transportation in a city with heavy traffic then probably you made a wrong choice. In terms of comfort it becomes even worse if the road is bad. Talk about speed and you won’t dare crossing 110kmph and even if you did then be careful while braking cause it skids like hell. It kind of feels painful when you try to move a 190KG bike after a hectice day.
If you think any of the above reasons made you reconsider buying an enfield and then just drop the idea 🙂 Enfield is not about being the best. Its a bike with which you connect and you connect for good. As long as you ride it becomes a part of your character. This bike is not about speed or comfort. Its just about feeling the road and feeling it with a flavor. There are certain specific characteristics about enfield that makes it different. I don’t know they are pros or cons, but those are the things that make you love your RE.
1. Feel of the sound: One of the best sound you would like to hear while riding. Add the mild vibration synced with the thump and you are in heaven. Infact the Thump Sound has got 3 different characters, a. ride the bike yourself, b. take the back seat and let your friend ride it, c. Stand near a RE. Everytime the sound is different and its good. On a lonely road this the best music to your ears.
2. Enjoy the momentum: RE is a damn heavy bike. That may be a dead weight if your not riding it but as soon as you ignite the engine its a different story. It becomes really easy to handle at a speed above 2okpmh. With all its heavy weight the grip is very good and it gives a confidence to take difficult manoeuvres. The weight also becomes a problem in case of sudden braking above 60kmph. But thats a very specific scenario. Probably RE should consider adding ABS to all its models.
3. Bare minimum and Simplistic design. fits anyone and everyone: Nothing about RE is flashy. But still you get enough attention at every signal you stop. The best part is no matter how your physical appearance is, once you are on a RE you just blend in with the whole package.
4. Ageless: Enfield is like a wine. It never ages. Infact it does not even depreciate much in value if you take proper care. You can probably buy an enfield when you are 25 and keep riding it till you are 50 and then pass it on to your kids 🙂
5. Highly efficient: Technically speaking currently RE is making on of the highly efficient engines in the market. People crib a lot about fuel efficiency and power. But they don’t realise that when a 500cc engine gives constant mileage of 30kmpl and a power of around 27bhp then you are stupid to expect more. The best part of RE engines is that they deliver high power on low RPMs. That is the reason that they consume less fuel and and that is also the reason that Enfield bikes are the ride of choice in the mountains of oxygen deficit Leh-Ladakh. Low RPM means the engine requires lesser oxygen for combustion to deliver the same amount of power which other bikes deliver at much higher RPM. I don’t think there is any other engine in the market that can match with these specs.
(BTW riding an Enfield in Leh-Ladakh is the best experience I ever had with RE)
6. Heavy duty chassis: RE body is build like a tank. Things do become lose and fall off if you don’t service your bike regularly. But when you ride it be sure you are riding one of the toughest chassis in the market.
Having said all these I think there are lot of issues which can be considered as cons.
1. Since all the models are designed and manufactured in India the bikes lack attention to details. There is nothing premium about RE. Continental GT is an exception though.
2. The enfield can do much much better with the seats and suspensions. Run over a pothole and you would definitely feel it through your spine. There are lot of other comfortable alternatives available in market.
3. Braking system must be improved. I think this is one of the worst thing about RE bikes.
4. Most of the model does not support tubeless tyres. It really becomes a pain to drag a 190kg bike when you get a flat tyre. I think this also something RE should consider on priority.
5. My experience with RE servicing centres had been very poor. They had even just washed my bike and returned to me saying that servicing is complete. This is some thing which kind of ruins the ownership experience.
However Enfield is a highly customization bike and most of the issues can be hacked. Its an exciting experience to own a RE and you must have it.