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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 7 Jul 2012
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Tips for a 5'2" rider on a Royal Enfield

Hi guys,

At the end of November, I'm going on a charity bike ride across South India. We're going to be riding Royal Enfield 350cc Bullets, which is all very exciting, but the Bullet is a very different sort of bike from what I'm used to riding (a 250cc Suzuki Marauder cruiser).

Specifically, as a shorter rider (I'm 5"2), I'm concerned that the higher seat height (Marauder is 680mm, Enfield is I think around 800mm) will mean I can't get my feet on the ground. And as the Bullet is also apparently rather heavier than I'm used to, it sounds like a potential recipe for disaster!!

:help smilie: Any advice for how I might tackle riding the Enfield when the time comes? I've heard for example that you can get soles put in bike boots that give you an extra few inches of height? Are there particular techniques for handling a bike when your feet don't touch the ground?

I've never ridden in India, but it sounds like the terrain will be very varied, not to mention obstacles (people and animals!) at every turn, so I want to be prepared! Also, I'm thinking about trading in the cruiser for something a bit closer to an Enfield (not sure what though??), to get some practice in on a heavier/higher bike before I go....

All help/advice gratefully received, folks!

Jeanie
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Old 7 Jul 2012
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I'm 5.4 and can put both feet flat on ground on an enfield

Hi Jeanie

Wow - what an adventure - South India on an enfield bullet - you'll have the time of your life!!

About the height - I'm 5.4 - I've ridden enfields in India lots of times and really they're a pretty low bike - I've ridden through the Himalayas twice on some very rough roads and never found any problems with the height. Appreciate I've got 2 inches on you (!) but I can comfortably put 2 feet flat on the ground so I think you'd be able to at least get both balls of your feet on the ground. I honestly think you'll be fine with the height. Many indian blokes are not the tallest and they've managed over the years!!

Oh and just reread your post about the riding style - the enfields feel pretty light when you're riding them and have a great turning circle - it will certainly feel different to your cruiser style bike but hopefully you'll feel like you have more manoeuvre - ability.

Is there an enfield dealer in your area you could go along to just for a sit on one to put your mind at rest???

Have fun.......

Gemma

Last edited by gemmasun; 7 Jul 2012 at 13:30. Reason: adding more information
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Old 7 Jul 2012
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Yep. Enfield is a pretty low bike compared to many. The weight is also low down so they don't feel unstable. They are actually very nice to ride at slow speed.

I am 5'10" so cant tell you if you'll be able to put your feet on the ground, but I can't touch the ground with both feet on my xt due to a combination of short legs and arthritis and it doesn't bother me. You get used to it. You just keep the bike upright and slide one buttock off the seat and support the bike on one leg. No problem!

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 8 Jul 2012
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500cc

Try and get on a 500cc classic they are a fair bit lower than the 350.
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Old 9 Jul 2012
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Thanks for your encouragement!

Hey guys,

Thanks for your very positive feedback.

I've managed to find an Enfield dealer locally who's got a 500cc classic I can go and sit on (they no longer import the 350s into Oz), so hopefully that will give me some reassurance (though PaulD, you mentioned the 500 is lower than the 350: I would have thought it would be the other way round??).

Have noted, too, people's tips for riding when your feet only just touch the ground or not at all. It's largely about being able to control the weight of the bike, but it sounds like the Enfield has a low centre of gravity so that might not be so much of a problem after all.

Main thing is, confidence. I still feel like a relatively new rider (only got my licence in 2010 and have been off the bike the last few months), so I need to get my mojo back and get confident again with jumping on and off bikes!

Jeanie

PS: No-one mentioned the built-up boots to add height...dumb idea, eh??!
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