I always kept my mouth shut, but I heard it probably 20 or 30 times in India: "you should ride an Enfield" (I was riding a V-Strom 650 with my GF as a pillion).
As a matter of fact I HAD ridden in South India on an Enfield before that trip. The V-Strom was about 100 times better for the road conditions in India. Oh yeah, and it had carried both of us there, with all our luggage, and even spare tyres on board, from Europe. It never missed a beat, all we did was regular maintenance. The Enfields needed careful looking after, every day, or they´d leave you by the side of the road diagnosing the fault (happened many times, too).
Nothing against them, I think they´re fun in their own way, and some people even do long trips with them..... but it´s just ridiculous to claim, that they could somehow be compared to modern bikes, which they (the Indian domestic market Enfields I mean) cannot. Even the 100-220cc Jap bikes, built under licence in India, will be much more modern, and require less mechanical skill to operate.
I guess its a kind of ´romantic´ idea, that some people have, to tour India with one; certainly seemed like that for many Indians, and some tourists as well. But the Enfield represents old technology: yes they can usually be easily fixed, and parts are easy to get all over India... but the flipside is, they´ll also need that fixing quite a bit. And their ability to carry weight, and how it affects handling, in fact the chassis as a whole, is also something that by today´s standards is very outdated, plain and simple.
(Just my opinion of course, I could be wrong, too, and no offence to anyone).
Last edited by pecha72; 25 Dec 2011 at 09:05.
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