Exploring the Unknown

Exploring the Unknown
Representing the 99%!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Memories of Betty-Ann - 2009 Royal Enfield Bullet Classic EFI (C5)

After four long years of waiting I finally bit the bullet (no pun intended) and bought myself a new Royal Enfield Bullet Classic EFI (C5).  I put a deposit down on the bike at the beginning of January 2009 and was thrilled to finally be able to collect it a month ago.  It was the first Classic EFI to make its way over to the Republic of Ireland and luckily for me, a boyhood dream was realized when said EFI Classic just so happened to be still in her crate from India! There isn't really any other way to describe the feelings of seeing something as beautiful as this bike coming out of its crate other than to compare it to Christmas morning when as children, we found ourselves sleep deprived over having trying to stay up all night to catch a glimpse of ol' St. Nicholas himself.


Picture © Royal Enfield
Driving down the driveway I saw what I knew could only be one thing, my Royal Enfield still crated and on the trailer from its journey over from Watsonian Squire in England.  I found myself relishing every moment as I walked by the crate, my hand stroking its side. I am sorry if this sounds more like a love story than a blog about some guy's new bike.  But anyone who has ever had the pleasure of owning a Royal Enfield, let alone a Classic EFI can attest that this is not just about some guy buying a bike.  Its about the beginning of something beautiful.  I literally had butterflies in my stomach as the crowbar began to rip apart the side of the crate open.

Picture © Royal Enfield
Layer after layer I found the bike so well packed that I literally wanted to rip it all off the way one does with wrapping paper.  Then, before I knew it I caught a glimpse of the black beauty inside.  What little light penetrated through the packaging reflected off the chrome exhaust.  Soon, her nacelle was showing through and well, it was love at first sight.  This was better than any toy I had ever received as a child if only because, this time I would be riding this toy home! This is an exceptionally beautiful motorcycle and I have to admit I really am surprised.  After having read so many reviews about Royal Enfield, both good and bad, I knew that this would be one of those moments in my life where I would either regret my purchase immediately or I would never sell this bike and yes, I would even become one of those bikers who insist on keeping their motorcycle inside the living room next to the television where it could enjoy the warmth of tan Irish fireplace and the sound of Jeremy Clarkson in TopGear in the background.

Picture © Royal Enfield
This is not just a motorcycle, this is the spirit of motorcycling in its purist form.  Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of things I will discuss that needs to be addressed.  There is the question of the dealership, or lack of rather that I have had to endure (edit - 2015: The Dealer Has Since Closed Down!); there is also the question of how and why the chain guard is scrapping against the frame and naturally, there is also all the fun bits to talk about like how the bike is now handling after fourteen hundred miles on the clock. However, for the time being I thought I would just start by sharing with you my experience of finally being able to relive my youth but in a much grandeur way.  I strongly suggest that any of you contemplating on purchasing a new Royal Enfield in the next few months do so remembering that you are purchasing a piece of history that has aged gracefully but which still maintains many of the quirks of motorcycles of yore.

Nota Bene: The above was originally posted on the Royal Enfield Forum on May 15th, 2009. At the time, Canada would not allow me to import Betty-Anne and hence I regrettably had to sell her to a nice chap in the United Kingdom. Making matters worse, all pictures and subsequent memories spanning a decade were also lost on our move to Canada in 2010. :-( The joys of technology... *sigh.

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