I’m going to come straight out and say it. If you are looking at getting your first motorcycle one of the best brands you can start with is Royal Enfield. As a brand that is solely focused on the small-to-midsize portion of the motorcycle market, Royal Enfield is without a doubt the master of motorcycles for the masses, and it shows in their incredibly accessible range of bikes.
The Royal Enfield brand has come a long way in the last decade. Moving away from bikes still using designs from the Second World War, the brand now offers a range of modern motorcycles with designs that stand the test of time. From the Classic 350 to the adventurous Himalayan, to the well-rounded 650 twin range, Royal Enfield has most bases covered.
When you’re first starting off in the world of motorcycling, there are a few things that can help you get to grips with the sport, and a Royal Enfield motorcycle offers them all. Let’s start with price accessibility. With every bike in the range under 650cc in size and a modern manufacturing base in India, pricing is affordable for the Enfield range as a whole. The most expensive bike - currently the Super Meteor 650 - is priced at just $12,490 NZD. The most affordable bike, the Hunter 350, costs just $7,590. When buying new off the showroom floor, each bike in the range is backed by a three-year unlimited kilometre warranty. That means peace of mind motoring throughout the toughest years of your motorcycling journey.
Ergonomics is another important factor to consider with your first bike, and again Royal Enfields deliver just what you need as a beginner. With seat heights that are not intimidating and easy-to-reach handlebars, Enfield’s put you in a nice neutral riding position that helps ensure controlling the bike is as easy as possible.
The controls are also set up well for beginners, particularly the clutch. Let’s face it, Manual transmissions are becoming rare in the car world, and whether you’re a motoring veteran or a virgin getting to grips with a clutch can be a challenge. The clutch on every Royal Enfield I have ridden has been incredibly forgiving and simple to use. You’ve got no reason to worry about getting to grips with the clutch on an Enfield, they are just so easy to use.
While power figures have never been something Royal Enfield has made their name on, the power of any of the firm’s bikes is well suited for their planned purpose. The 21hp of the 350 lineups may sound meagre, but in the city where these bikes are designed to reside it is perfect when matched to the torque of the long-stroke engine and easy to use gearbox. The 650 twins put down “just” 47hp peak, but it is more than enough to cruise along highways, overtake slower traffic and have fun in the corners as you perfect your riding craft. Sure, more power is always nice, but when you’re getting started what counts is enough to do the job that is delivered in a manageable way.
Finally, let’s talk about something I think few riders consider. Community.
Royal Enfield has to have one of the most active rider communities that not only supports new riders, it is actively supported by Royal Enfield itself. It’s not uncommon to see regular ride-outs from dealerships organised, and annually Royal Enfield puts on the One Ride event that sees owners across the globe head out in an organised ride every year in September.
So while Royal Enfield may not offer bikes with big horsepower numbers, racing pedigree or exotic materials, they make bikes that have what it counts when it comes to getting people on two wheels. If you’re looking at getting into the wonderful world of motorcycles, seriously consider taking a plucky little Royal Enfield for a whirl. You likely won’t regret it…