On the scenic route home from a trip to Jim Allan’s bike shop in Falkirk —
The sunshine didn’t last all day and it was threatening snow by the time I got home late afternoon —
The snow is well down on the mountains as it is and we have more forecast overnight so I was pleased to get a ride in – and – a big thanks to Dave & Co at Jim Allan’s where I found a High Viz vest that fitted – (3 – 4XL) – I don’t believe I’m that size either and neither does Loki —
The wee 350cc single cylinder motor in the Classic is turbine smoothe at any of the revs I have used so far. I think I read somewhere that this is down to it having two balancer shafts but I may have been reading about another bike – my auld heid doesn’t always retain the minutiae for long these days.
Whatever – there isn’t even a tremor through the seat – footpegs – narrow bars and mirrors. This would be great if I wanted a closeup view of my barn door shoulders which were useful for knocking people down as a flying wing forward on the rugby field. Not so easy to tuck out of the way when I raced motorbikes during a mid-life crisis in my later years.
No worries – help is at hand in a box down in my shed where I have a pair of Yamaha V-Max mirrors that last saw the light of day over twenty years ago on my first XJR 1300SP. The chrome is still as good as new and luckily Royal Enfield have used the same right and lefthand thread on their mirrors too —
Sorted! I found them a life-saver during the initial slow-paced ‘running in’ – with every second vehicle in these country districts being a tunnel visioned White Van Man running to a computer programmed delivery schedule.
So what’s next? Probably a tidy set of pannier bags if I can find ’em – so I don’t have to swing my gammy leg over that tailpack full of tools and ‘just-in-case’ stuff that I insist on running with. One of the drawbacks of being ‘old school’ 🤠
One thing I didn’t expect when I bought the wee Royal Enfield was the amount of attention it gets when parked up in the street – any street – mostly from folks who had bikes – or were wives of bikers in their far-off youth —
It must be something to do with the registration number which is at least fifty years old – perhaps more 🤠
With apologies to Snow Patrol for stealing their thunder – but now that my RE350 Classic has a few hundred miles under its’ wheels the motor is loosening up and I can spin her over without feeling she might tighten up or fall apart.
Nice to know she will hold her own on dual carriageways and easily sit with the traffic on ‘A’ roads. Bend swinging on lesser roads comes easy to the Classic – the limiting factor being ma heid as I have never used these OEM Ceat tyres she is shod with before. Suffice to say they haven’t given the slightest twitch even on our cold and wet leaf strewn November roads.
Roll on Spring when she’s fully run in and no doubt fitted with some of my favourite rubber – availability of tyres in the correct sizes will be the deciding factor when that time comes —
I’ve got to thank Royal Enfield for taking me back to old-style biking where even the cup of tea and the after-ride washdown becomes one of life’s pleasures 😊👍
Was out for an hour on the wee bike this afternoon – a blink of sunshine after a miserable morning weatherwise having tricked me into pulling on my wets and going for it —
The sunshine didn’t last long – no sooner I had crossed the river than things turned grey – dense Scotch mist or low cloud – take your pick – it was with me all through the twisties on the north face of the climb and up onto Braco Moor —
where a kind blink of sunshine had me off and out with the camera for a quick shot or two – then I was away down the road again —
The weather had closed in by the time I reached home but it was well worth the effort — 👍
My X-ADV750 was a lovely bike in it’s own right – yes I did say ‘was’.
I’m pleased I mastered the ‘Plastic Rocket’ – and enjoyed it’s idiocyncrasies to the full – but – during the soul-searching most of us do after a daft ride —
The outcome being that I have traded the X-ADV for a Royal Enfield 350 Classic —
It’s the latest – ‘Made in India’ version and none the worse for that —
The new bike arrived by van mid-morning – a quick check over showed the tyres were a few p.s.i. above the recommended 32 front and 32/34 rear for solo riding and a loose bar mounted rear view mirror. Minor adjustments made – I was soon off to meet the missus over an out-of-town coffee —
Helen seemed suitably impressed with all those shiny bits and – pass gained – I was soon into proper bike gear and out on the open road —
First impressions are much better than on-line reviews had led me to believe they would be. Not only is she a similar black and gold colour scheme to my first road bike sixty three years ago – a 350cc Velocete – but the power is roughly the same.
Unlike the modern style of the X-ADV where handling shows a front-end bias and spirited riding wears the front tyres out in no time at all – the RE350 classic is very neutral and being a docile 350 cc’s – should be easy on its’ Ceat rubber.
A brisk ride along my favourite Loch Earnside Twisties where I first crashed my long-suffering Velo as a tear-away seventeen year old – gave me hope that when running-in is complete – the wee Enfield will keep me in motorcycling for a few years to come. 😎