Monday, December 5, 2011

Royal Enfield G5

There are several of us in the platoon that have motorcycle aspirations for when we return to the states (soon!).  Getting housing in order for Sarah and I will be a much greater priority once I'm finally on US soil, but browsing houses and apartments doesn't have the same effect as motorcycle shopping.  We can talk among ourselves about the qualities and values of different bikes and tease each other over our tastes for hours.  I'm still most interested in a Triumph Bonneville, T100, or Scrambler, but they're kinda rare to come upon used.  I've been entertaining different manufacturers and options.

Today I stumbled upon a new Royal Enfield G5 at a dealership up in the Dallas area.  Royal Enfield is another British marque with a long history that eventually entwined with Triumph's.  The companies' operations on English soil were sold to Triumph in the 60s and shortly after dismantled, but their manufacturing facilities in India continued with largely unchanged simple designs for decades.  In the ninties, Enfield of India bought the rights to the Royal Enfield marque and updated their engines to compete in the export market.  Comically, their biggest market is now selling these classically designed bikes back to the British Isles.
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This G5 is only a 500cc thumper, but it's been brought into this century with electronic fuel injection, softer suspension, and disk brakes.  I think the styling is cool, but it's pricey for a 500 single-cylinder and doesn't have near the service network/parts availability that the Triumph twins do.  Still, it's a cool bike and that English Racing Green with gold does look classy.
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