When you usually pit the 350cc Royal Enfield Classic Gunmetal Grey against the likes of the Bajaj Dominar 400 and the KTM 250 Duke in a race, you don’t expect the thumper to come out victorious. However, that’s exactly what happens in this video by The Motorcyclist on Youtube. So what exactly was the reason for the shocking result? Gravity.
The race as seen in the video above was a gravity race, which sees all three bikes ride downhill on the Shimla Express Highway with their engines shut off. The race is entirely dependent on the weight of the bikes and the rolling resistance of the tyres on each bike.
The three riders push off on their three motorcycles and it is evident almost from the start itself, that the heaviest bike of the lot the Royal Enfield Classic Gunmetal Grey which weighs in at 192 kilogrammes would win the race. With its extra mass, it is the heaviest bike in the race by around 10 kilos and the low rolling resistance of its tyres, the Gunmetal Grey Royal Enfield Classic builds up a rather large lead from the get-go.
However, it is the race for second place that truly comes as a shock. At first, the KTM Duke, which is the lightest of the three bikes in the race at 161 kilos is dead last. The 21-kilo heavier Bajaj Dominar 400 (182 kgs) is faster off the line, but the lighter Duke sneaks past it as the Royal Enfield takes the lead. The KTM Duke 250 does this as its tyres offer less rolling resistance compared to the ones fitted on the Dominar 400, which allows it go faster down the hill.
If the rolling resistance of the Bajaj Dominar 400’s tyres was slightly lower, then perhaps it could have challenged the heavyweight Classic Gunmetal Grey for the win in this race. Instead, it came stone dead last in this gravity race.
While this race teaches us a lot about how the weight of a vehicle and the rolling resistance of the tyres affect it, it is not something we recommend be done on public roads, no matter how empty they may seem. Racing on public roads is illegal and racing without having the option of the engine to help you power away from a situation just makes a bad situation worse.