For long, Royal Enfield motorcycles have been crowned as the king of long distance touring and tackling rough roads. With the roads to Ladakh region opening up, every year there are scores of Royal Enfield motorcycles thumping their way in the valleys and the mountain passes. However, how well do they perform when it comes to hardcore off-roading? Here are two videos that show exactly that.
Royal Enfield off-roading
The videos show Royal Enfield Classic and Bullet, one of the best selling motorcycles in the segment taking on an off-road course. The video shows the Royal Enfield Bullet taking a deep pit and coming out of it in the video and a Royal Enfield Classic and Bullet taking on the humps.
Both the videos show how difficult it is to balance a Royal Enfield on such tricky surfaces. Both the bikers fall down after losing balance on both the courses. The motorcycles shown here in the video look like stock Royal Enfield bikes, which gives a fair idea of how a Royal Enfield bike would perform if it has to do hardcore off-roading.
Royal Enfield and offroading
Royal Enfield has become a cult brand over the years, in India. The manufacturer offered affordable high-capacity bikes at a time when most other bikes were either targeted at commuters or were too expensive. The reputation of Royal Enfield bikes being the ultimate touring machines was born during this time.
So is Royal Enfield really the best bike when it comes to off-roading? Well, the videos say something else. The Royal Enfield bikes are all metal and are quite heavy. The old-school design of the bikes makes them bulky and one would need more power to balance them at slow speeds. Especially in off-roading when the speed has to be slow and the terrain is extremely challenging.
Royal Enfield motorcycles also do not get much suspension travel that can absorb the undulations easily and help the rider to balance the bike. The front-heavy bike is quite difficult to handle when it comes to hardcore off-roading, such as climbing steep hills or negotiating chicken humps.
However, they prove to be quite handy on highways and rough roads. Royal Enfield bikes are powered by low-revving engines that churn out maximum power and torque at a low rpm band. This helps it to negotiate the rough surfaces easily if one can balance the bike well. Of course, the capability of any bike depends on the rider too but hardcore off-roading on an Enfield is not something that everyone can do easily.
If you still want to own a Royal Enfield bike that can perform well in off-roading, the Himalayan would be the apt choice. It gets high travel suspension, a high ground clearance and is relatively easier to handle than the Classic, Bullet and Thunderbird on the off-roading sections.