July 2007 saw the purchase of a second hand, hardly used, Indian built, 500cc Royal Enfield 65 Trials model. Okay I cheated
- it isn't an 'old' classic but a modern ready made 'classic' - but then it practically needs just as much attention and tinkering
as the original British made bike.
The bike in question is called a 65 as it is meant to represent a 60's Enfield and has an up-rated 5 speed gear box.
It is styled as will be seen in the accompanying pics, as an off road Trials model and very fetching it is.
If you like to remain anonymous - DON'T buy one - I have never had a bike that's received so much attention EVEN when
out riding with friend's. with 'proper' classics such as Velocettes and BSA Goldstars for doodness sake!!
Although new I still started with a few 'upgrades' - although not everyone agrees they are necessary.
The battery was dead so a modern gel battery was fitted. An electronic ignition and electronic regulator/rectifier unit.
The original 'off road' tyres had already been replaced and as I am unlikely (too unfit) to take off road I'd have done that
anyway. The suggested carb' mods (as this comes with a free flowing exhaust) had already been done and I think that was it.
Although I have beem forced to replace tthe throttle cable with an English made stronger one as the original didn't last long.
Finally I fitted the uprated clutch plates and although the originals were no problem a noticeable difference resulted.
Certainly the tinkering quotient has been very much fulfilled as it is a bike that needs attention - although in the
7 months I have owned the bike I have more than tripled the mileage from about 1000 miles to some 4500. I am now quite proficeint
at all the servicing needs and can have the front wheel off and back on in 10 minutes after it originally took me an hour!
I have really enjoyed the involvement.
I absolutely love riding the bike too! I love the low weight and small size. It is adequately speedy for most modern
roads. I had feared I would be holding traffic up - truth is most of the time I'm being held up - although I must admit (and
I probably shouldn't be doing it - but the bike seems to thrive) the throttle is tight against the stop practically
all the time!! The brakes are sufficiently lacking to make you think and probably improve your braking abilities after
taking modern brakes for granted.
Truth is I am riding this more than my Breva!! The Breva is only being used for round trips of over 150 miles or so and
even then I quite fancy giving the Enfield a tour!! Even got me thinking about replacing the 1100 Breva with one of the new
V7 Classic 750cc Guzzis which I love the look of - as they are much lighter - but I can't see myself parting with the 1100
so I might save a few years and have both!!
Go on try something different!!