How did you practice the Royal Enfield

"Made like a gun, runs like a bullet"

A little experience report, after more than 10,000 kilometers: All my tooth seals are still in there, but this is not a bike for wimps like fans of balance shafts, e-starter users, right-handers (because brakes and gearshifts are English = upside down), parrot bikers or knee sliders. No girls moped, and certainly no driving school machine. A bike for consistent high-tech objectors. Personally, I don't see the Enfield as an Indian replica. She is not a true "English Lady" but of Indian descent. However, it has been (and still is) built in India almost unchanged since 1960. This fact has its practical sides, for questions about spare parts, e.g. because no major modernizations have actually taken place. The first machines come from England. At first there was some overlap. Far from any "zeitgeist", the Enfield has defied all other "modern" bikes for over 50 years, with which it now only has two wheels in common. Any housewife / dentist can buy a Harely, but driving an Enfield is something special. For that reason alone, you get to know a bunch of nice people with an Enfield. Enfield drivers are usually nice people, you know each other; In contrast to BMW and Harley drivers, however, not from the breakdown service :-)
Even I don't ride it in slippers.

Often I am asked, "How are you satisfied with the thing", and then I hear from parrot bikers that the English are after all oil drooling, kickstarter kicking back, poorly starting or constantly ailing mopeds, the purest horror stories are then told, people especially like to " one on top of it "when says you drive an Indian Enfield. That may have been true in the 60s or 70s, I don't know, but it has nothing to do with an Enfield. In major repairs (nothing bad, I drove home and did it myself) I only had a broken ball bearing cage in the rear chain drive and a not cheap gearbox defect. "What has been built unchanged for (almost) more than 50 years can't be that bad ..."

The driving:
That's such a thing. At Enfield everything goes "the other way around", including the corridors themselves. If you concentrate on it, i.e. briefly remind yourself before every shift and before every braking that you are sitting on an Enfield, there is no problem, but when braking is not always the time. I admit that someone who doesn't drive anything else finds it easier. At the beginning I also accidentally switched the brakes and braked the gears a few times.

The embarrassment:
It's late summer 2000: I've made my bike dream come true: A Royal Enfield Bullet 500 in club design, with flat handlebars, ox eyes, club manseat, open exhaust and much more. Whenever I have a new machine, I first move in concentric circles around my place of residence ("it could be something"). That's why> immediately <(after I cleaned the machine again one morning) one of the first "big" tours into the pedestrian zone to determine the ice cream parlor index there on a nice Saturday afternoon. The world's best of all socias is also there, so the “normal bench” is on it. The Enfield parks casually in the pedestrian zone, of course within sight. The reactions of the city population are, in my opinion, quite satisfactory and range from admired looks to “Look, Anna-Lena, an old motorcycle,” or, “It's nice that there is still something like that, it looks like new” or that obligatory: "I had one like that too, mine was an R25". Only the curler-horned feral game reacts with contempt: "Ben-yes-min, you're finally coming; or I'll count to 3". Or: "Anna-Lena go away, that's Bah-Bah-Ugh".
After the 3rd Chappuchino, your own ego is satisfied enough and the bladder is squeezing. So flight home. You move the crowds a bit aside. Even today I still like to stand by myself and add my mustard (the sayings of the parrot bikers, see below). But the bubble presses and the start procedure (practiced a bit beforehand, you don't want to be embarrassed) begins: Kickstarter with the deco lever to just behind TDC. -Choke, ignition, fuel tap -its showtime! - Kickstarter kicked -and: The Enfield runs, choke out, get on; The passenger too, in the aisle, turn around, and away. Think. Engine off when turning! Damn. The crowd stares at you pitifully. Everything dismounts, the passenger also has to go down, because I only get the part on the main stand -not yet practiced-. Start process again. Engine runs, mount, turn, engine off. The whole thing happens again. Only the fourth time, after I had turned the handlebars very carefully, in gear and off. What remains is a lot that feels confirmed in various ways: Little Anna Lena doesn't like motorcycles, no matter how beautiful (clean) motorcycles are, if the technology is no good, the whole guy is no good. The dam with hair curlers still finds no practical use on a means of transport that has no Isofix holder for all the Anna-Lenas, Benjamin's, etc.; Grandpa's R25 was just the best, etc. My inner cockscomb has completely swollen away as the mop is raging.

Days later, by chance, I discovered the reason for the embarrassment: When turning the (flatter, 350 mm) handlebars, the deco lever hits the tank and is forcibly operated. Pffft engine off!
(a little exaggerated, but based on a true story)


Recently, at the TÜV:
I usually take my Enfield to the friendly Enfield dealer (= Sommer, Eppstein) to have the due TÜV inspection done. But this time I wanted to do it myself. So to the TÜV. I drove the trip there "of course" without lights. This is the only way I have the chance with my regulator to get the battery so full that I can horn> and <"lights on" at the same time. A nice young man comes with a pad and pen and calls my license plate in the hall. However, I did not need to horn the exam. But he didn't like my light: Why are the two small parking lights on to the left and right of the lamp, even though there is a parking light bulb in the reflector? Unfortunately, I couldn't tell him that either, only the obligatory "It's always like that, that's how it is". "Well, slow it down then". Front with the handbrake, sure, my brake light works. "And now in the back" - "That's with you" "Oh, the wrong way round" Well, who or what is wrong, I do not want to explain, it was just on the left, so I was "wrong". Then he wanted to go. "Has the electric start?" "No, what for?" my answer, a bit reproachful. "Can you turn them on for me?" You are helpful, my R.E. Jumps (almost) always on the first kick, and he would certainly have helped him on the bike, but he can do it himself. For a fee of 36 Teurons, I find the service lousy. Briefly ("oh, by the way ...") explains that the first gear is also "the wrong way round" (up), then a hesitant brake test in the yard, usually they do it on the street (he didn't dare to take the 2 . Search gear, -determined) and that was done. Somewhat helpless "Where can I find the idle now?" he came rolled up with the clutch pulled. "Egg with the idle Indian" (I know, I'm angry) "What'n that? - do it". I think he was happy to be done with me and my Enfield. When he looked at the vehicle registration, he then completely came out: "But you can't see it from 1995". Stick it on the license plate and I drove home with an even wider grin than usual.

Recently, again at the TÜV:
In the meantime, 2 years have passed, and the TÜV is due again. The TÜV is the same, just a different gray coat, more precisely a blue coat. Already a bit older, but at least: Nice, competent, and not averse to a test drive. Clearly visible: the broad grin when "curving around" in the yard.
A short conversation about the mounted footrests on the single bench (no, I could leave it on) and the side stand that I had previously agreed (I could of course couple it with the ignition) and everything was fine. "Nice machine, you don't see it often; see you in 2 years ..."

Recently, again at the TÜV:
The first AUK! The bargain actually costs 18 euros. To do this, the tester then sticks the CO tester's trunk into the exhaust. Measure, read, 18Ois earned. I want to earn my money that fast. 4.5% Co2 could not be stopped, which is why all Enfields also have a special permit up to 10%. Of course, I have a screwdriver with me and set the Co value myself, while the TÜVer sits on the paperwork. At the beginning I set 6.7% now 7.5%, when I accelerated mine often choked.

The best at the end: "No Comment":

If you mingle with the motorcycling crowd with an Enfield, you can experience one or the other anecdote. Here are a few sayings "from connoisseurs", mainly pronounced by the parrot bikers on the Feldberg / Taunus:

The parrot biker saying:... and the explanation for it:
"Yes, yes, that's a Egli, I know her, she's from Fritz"had discovered Egli lettering on the ignition
"That's the one who drives with crude oil"

probably heard or read something about a Taurus Diesel

"The English always lose e bissi oil!"What was meant was a Gilera Saturno standing next to my Enfield
"That must have cost a lot of work."Recognition of a supposedly top restoration
"How?" "Built in 1995?" "Never in my life!"Something like that happens often, actually always first ...
"Looks out of fashion somehow"Somehow clever
"Well the English, they all have the circuit on the wrong side"if the time on a Trident / Daytona / etc. sits, knocks him down. Typical for a right-hander, so inflexible ;-)
"Switch driver"At least that's right for the bullet (03/10). My MZ and Vespa do not have a season license.
"What shoud that?" "It's just a fake Englishman"Not correct. An Indian Enfield is not a true replica. It has been built without interruption and almost unchanged for over 50 years. Just not in England anymore.
"I can drive it too, it's a 125cc"That speaks for a certain delicacy of the Enfield
"Pretty old; - Well, the main thing is that it is still driving"The "nice" woman from the approval at the TÜV stamping on it after various entries. It's breaking my heart ...
"I can drive a tractor right away"Rat bike rider. Waterproof and fuelproof. Seller at a motorcycle shop.
"This is a motorcycle from my youth"So? So you're only 8 years old then?
"Woann isch hinner de Hohemark by de first trees, the whole world can lick my ass ..."Right. I feel the same way, not just on the Enfield.
"That's the temperature of the spray oil"He had discovered my oil temperature display. 65 degrees (dry sump lubrication!) Is nothing on the Feldberg that arouses any respect. Especially not with parrot bikers.
"It's one of those things that comes cheap from China .."What can I say? Sees an R.E. like a Yangtze, CJ750? Anyway, the person was very nice.

... you can recharge at the Aldi ...

I would be careful with the direct injection. And mine anyway.

To be continued, I'm merciless!

Seriously, really. All sayings are the truth!