Straight up I have to admit that I have a real affection for old bikes. I think it’s their looks. I love the lines of the tanks, the spoked wheels, the exposed frames and the rounded headlight nacelles. What I don’t like, like all of us I guess, is a temperamental engine, flakey electrics, dodgy suspension…and the list of foibles of old bikes could go on for ages.
So, what I’m saying is I love the cool look of old/retro bikes but I also love modern mechanical and electrical reliability.
The Royal Enfield Classic 500 has successfully combined both of these attributes and I like ‘em. I like ‘em a lot.
Yesterday was my first ride of over 100km on a RE Classic 500. It was part of the shake down/run-in we’re doing for all 6 bikes we’ve just added to our fleet.
It does need to be acknowledged that the RE 500 is not a powerful motorcycle when compared to Japanese bike of similar capacity. But where many modern bikes feel clinical or without emotion, the RE 500 has soul and character. And that, to me at least, makes riding one of these bikes such an enjoyable experience.
On the highway the little RE 500 will hold an honest 110kph. But only a truly delusional rider would attempt an overtaking maneuver once at that speed. Extra pace is a long time coming. Even hills will see the speedo wind back to around 90kph. No, where this little gem thrives is on the back roads and country lanes. It is just a delight to punt around on less than perfect roads where 80kph on anything is having a crack. It takes you back to pure, simple, fun motorcycling.
Modern bikes can brake late, tip in hard and the accelerate purposefully out of corners. The RE 500, well not so much. The trick, I have found, is to ride smooth! Smooth is fast! Set your line early, get the braking out of the way, tip in slowly so we don’t upset the suspension and hold as much speed through the corner as possible. Once you’ve adjusted to the comparative lack of grunt by adopting a smooth and flowing style of riding the experience really is rewarding. Punting along country roads with a few of your mates on these bikes is an absolute blast.
The RE 500 is equally at home in urban and city areas. It’s light, narrow, nimble, has great low down torque and has a seat height suitable for most folks.
As you can probably tell I am really excited to have the Royal Enfield bikes in our rental fleet. In my mind these bikes will be perfect for exploring the backroads of the Tamar Valley, visiting the odd winery, stopping for lunch at a little restaurant or country pub. Seeing the sights but experiencing the joy of unadulterated, simple motorcycling at the same time.
Sounds like heaven to me!
Call in to SportsRider Motorcycles, Garfield Street, South Launceston to have a look at these great bikes today.
- 1 day hire $165
- 2 day hire $140 p/day
- 3-10 day hire $120 p/day
- 11 + day hire $110 p/day
Book on line at www.tasmanianmotorcycletours.com.au
Or phone 0408 809 856