MD Double-Take: 2012 Royal Enfield Classic C5 …

17 Апр 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи MD Double-Take: 2012 Royal Enfield Classic C5 … отключены

MD Double-Take: 2012 Royal Classic C5

John Joss

Half a century ago, British motorcycle manufacturers out bikes of every kind by the for eager world markets. The came, probably, in the 1950s, Dick Klamfoth was winning 200s, still partly on the riding Nortons.

Jog your AJS. Ariel, BSA. Douglas, Greeves, Matchless, Norton, Royal Enfield, Triumph, Velocette, Villiers, and more—two- and four-… Singles, and Fours, air- and water-cooled, for touring, trials, scrambles and police or military work.

then, I tested many of these marques.

Armies of kept the factories humming. The motorcycle industry ruled the introducing technology advances, telescopic (vs. ‘girder’) forks, and rear suspension ‘rigid’). Then, in Europe, motorcyclists found that could afford cars, markets shrank and the Japanese the complacent British industry a new

Three names remain: (under new management), Norton machines in entirely new forms) Royal Enfield, founded in licensed by Queen Victoria, the under which the Enfield Company made motorcycles, lawnmowers, stationary engines and The logo? A cannon. Enfield’s enshrined the 500-cc ohv one-lung

Introduced in 1931, it entered production after WWII and leads the 2013 line.

Enfield has built Bullets in India, under license, 1956. Today, they’re now California certified.

How did Royal endure? First, it is perhaps one of the and most technically ‘honest’ extant: a basic motorcycle, following function, built to a embodying new technology only in matters such as metallurgy, brakes and electric starter. it is built in India, where basic virtues apply, simple, inexpensive and serviceable the customers.

Third, it works as with rare economy. In any on any continent, at any time, these are for success.

All the basics are there. it’s a motorcycle, prepped by Fremont Honda-Kawasaki. The familiar styling cues are intact; fall readily to hand and the instruments convey all the essential

The only significant changes: EFI vs. the carburetor, a disc front vs. the old drum, the gearshift moved right to left foot and for the rear (drum) brake, the starter, the modern Avon Missing: its unique ’50s a ‘neutral-finder’ lever actuated by heel, selecting neutral any gear but first. Fit and finish are

Suddenly it’s 1950, and no bad The solo, coil-sprung seat an acceptably comfortable, nostalgic (a pillion is optional; passenger are standard). The riding position my average five-foot-nine-inch height.

The big jug fires instantly, the cable-operated engages smoothly, the gears as they should, though winter boots occasionally shifting.

With just 28 claimed horsepower from 84 x 90mm cylinder, progress But it’s liberating. Torque in low down.

Without expecting performance, one returns to one’s roots, able to concentrate on basic joys.

Ride is pleasant on smooth surfaces, the light and precise, but at these ( Bullets start at $5999—the C5 we tested is $6695 for the California — ed .) you don’t get top-level suspenders. On roads, ride deteriorates to verging on uncomfortable, but remains considering the power output. You tweak fork springs and vs. personal preferences but it’s at the bike’s rates of progress.

big cylinder doesn’t want to rev beyond 5000 rpm, but in it handles cagers easily. It’s a single. Freeway is pleasant.

This is no speedster: an indicated is its comfort zone, an estimated  rpm. You could thrash it to go but why? The RSPCM (Royal for the Prevention of Cruelty to Motorcycles) object and yank your

Indeed, don’t rush the anywhere—despite the sporting 54” wheelbase. down. Rushing is not its thing. The front 280mm, twin-pot matches the non-rushing task.

in your meditative ‘Ommmmmm’ and the power, handling and brakes for they are: just Enjoy the economy, almost an astounding, measured 72 mpg, moderately, vs. Royal Enfield’s 85 MPG (“your mileage may vary).”

for the 2013 ‘café racer’ with pipe reportedly five (count’em!) hp. Recall apocryphal response when about its cars’ power: The Bullet delivers enough of priced to please beginners stressing returning riders, capturing the platonic essence of

Relax. Smile. Ommmmmmm.

Ets-Hokin Perspective

Testing motorcycles is easy. Does it the motor, handling, braking and performance the manufacturer promises? How better is it than the competition?

to answer these questions—you need a scale, dynamometer, lap radar gun…the usual of the trade.


You could wield those of journalistic destruction on a 2013 Enfield, too. You’d get disappointing results. Engine at the wheel is probably in the teens, wet is over 420 pounds and top speed is enough for California Interstate

But that would be a dumb A five-year-old can tell you this isn’t about performance.

No, the C5 up to today’s performance standards. it probably isn’t up to c. 1965 standards. But it is a cool vintage you can ride every day; and about maintaining.

That’s I was expecting as I fired up Fremont demo unit for a short ride, but I wasn’t expecting to the bike so much.

The C5 boasts a of improvements over prior Enfield claims the unit-construction is all new, suspension is upgraded, and Keys tells me the air-cooled, motor, Euro III compliant, may be one of the mills anywhere. Build is good—not European or Japanese but you can tell the people who designed and it cared about what were doing.

It starts up and the motor pulls through the rev cleanly.

Around town, the Enfield is a joy to Yeah, I said a joy. The is heavy, but the clutch pull is the controls snick and click the way should, the brakes are acceptable, the is low (and the bike is narrow, smaller riders feel and the turning radius is tiny.

If you feel instantly confident around your ‘hood on bike, you really should buy a golf cart.

High-speed, highways are not so joyous, despite Leftenant Joss had to say. It a good, long time to get to 70 and over 60 you really feel the from that hard-working thumper. Cars, trucks and start passing you, on both sides, sometimes occupants snapping photos of you their iPhones—look at the stoic-looking old on his antique bike.

I wish I explain that I’m not old, the isn’t antique and I’m no stoic—it’s the old-fashioned handlebar and footpeg that makes me sit so upright. In any five or six exits is all it takes for the to become tiresome, the too-squishy saddle to start numbing … and the windblast irritating.

Luckily, there are fun two-lane linking almost anywhere to else, roads with but local traffic. These have plenty of turns old chap—’bends’) and the Classic is perfect for twisty, 30-mph country You won’t have fun pushing the end, out-braking your into corners or spinning up the tire on slippery exits; just not that kind of

But jounce along on your enjoy the clean, cool air and farting of the exhaust, pretend wearing tweed and it’s

Good times. I highly a test ride. In the long run cheaper than Prozac.

Daily thanks stunt-double Keys and the rest of the crew at Honda Kawasaki for making test possible.



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