Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Shiny, Shiny Bullet

I’m sorry. This wasn’t the plan: to blog about shiny new production motorcycles. But I can’t help myself on this occasion. I’ve got to shout it up for the old British single – sorry a new one made in India.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m no lover of things chrome – or even totally stock motorcycles - but the new Bullet C5 that Royal Enfield USA unveiled at the New York show didn’t just catch my eye – it landed a sucker punch right between the two of 'em.

Okay, I’ll agree with David Blasco, who writes an inspired Enfield blog, that it’s ‘a Deluxe model of the C5, with chrome fenders,’ but, to me, the chrome with that ruby-rich red paint, totally transforms the look of the bike that in it’s original manifestation now looks a tad gaudy in comparison.

The overall look is now is much more reminiscent of my classy old 350 Bullet and that’s no bad thing. Well, not in my world anyway. The new bike’s even sported a kick-start old chap. Proper dandy, what?

I’d be more than happy to explore the glorious back roads of Britain on ol’ Ruby – far from the madding (and bloody maddening) main roads. Retro rocks.

The other Royal Enfield gem I spotted on the net, is a suggestion that the management in India is contemplating producing a new twin-cylinder motorcycle.

According to the India TV station NDTV, they are, ‘aiming to take on the legendary Harley Davidson’ by building 750 cc and 1000cc twins which could be ready for 2013!

Fuck trying to take on the Motor Co, why not just do your own thing and just knock out some cool bikes?

There’s no talk of engine configuration – but if the company has any sense it’ll stick to its heritage and produce a parallel twin retro version of the Interceptor rather than go the v-twin route of the Carberry or Aniket Vardhan’s sweet 700cc Musket. See Aniket's cool v-twin here:

Royal Enfield's new CEO, Dr. Venki Padmanabhan told Blasco: "If you come to the factory you will see unbelievably heated debate. Right now it's leaning to a parallel twin. People will say the Meteor, except it doesn't leak, it doesn't seize — all the old problems of British motorcycles — and you have modern fuel injection and so on. Read the interview here:

Imagine if they could do a similar job with a twin that they’ve achieved with the Bullet? Especially if it tips a nod to the old Rickman-framed bike at the same time. Sweet.

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