MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

  • March 6, 2013
  • Gabe Ets-Hokin & Lucien Lewis
  • Bob Stokstad
  • 58 Comments

MD Double-Take: 2012 Royal Enfield Classic C5

John Joss Perspective

Half a century ago, prestigious British motorcycle manufacturers churned out bikes of every kind by the thousands for eager world markets. The apogee came, probably, in the 1950s, when Dick Klamfoth was winning Daytona 200s, still partly on the beach, riding Nortons.

Jog your memory: AJS., Ariel, BSA., Dot, Douglas, Greeves, Matchless, Métisse, Norton, Royal Enfield, Scott, Triumph, Velocette, Villiers, Vincent-HRD and more—two- and four-stroke Singles, Twins and Fours, air- and water-cooled, for racing, touring, trials, scrambles and utility, police or military work. Back then, I tested many models of these marques.

Armies of customers kept the factories humming. The British motorcycle industry ruled the world, introducing technology advances, e.g. telescopic (vs. ‘girder’) front forks, and rear suspension (vs. ‘rigid’). Then, in Europe, former motorcyclists found that they could afford cars, motorcycle markets shrank and the Japanese ripped the complacent British industry a new one.

Three names remain: Triumph (under new management), Norton (custom machines in entirely new forms) and . . . Royal Enfield, founded in 1890, licensed by Queen Victoria, the name under which the Enfield Cycle Company made motorcycles, bicycles, lawnmowers, stationary engines and firearms. The logo? A cannon. Enfield’s motto enshrined the 500-cc ohv one-lung Bullet. Introduced in 1931, it entered major production after WWII and still leads the 2013 line.

Royal Enfield has built Bullets in Chennai, India, under license, since 1956. Today, they’re everywhere, now California certified.

How did Royal Enfield endure? First, it is perhaps one of the simplest and most technically ‘honest’ machines extant: a basic motorcycle, form following function, built to a price, embodying new technology only in rational matters such as metallurgy, EFI, brakes and electric starter. Second, it is built in India, where these basic virtues apply, where simple, inexpensive and serviceable suits the customers. Third, it works as designed, with rare economy. In any language, on any continent, at any time, these are recipes for success.

All the basics are there. It’s . . . it’s a motorcycle, prepped perfectly by Fremont Honda-Kawasaki. The familiar 1950s styling cues are intact; controls fall readily to hand and foot; the instruments convey all the essential data.

The only significant changes: EFI vs. the Amal carburetor, a disc front brake vs. the old drum, the gearshift moved from right to left foot and vice-versa for the rear (drum) brake, the electric starter, the modern Avon rubber. Missing: its unique ’50s feature: a ‘neutral-finder’ lever actuated by boot heel, selecting neutral from any gear but first. Fit and finish are excellent.

Suddenly it’s 1950, and no bad thing. The solo, coil-sprung seat provides an acceptably comfortable, nostalgic perch (a pillion is optional; passenger pegs are standard). The riding position suits my average five-foot-nine-inch height. The big 499cc jug fires instantly, the cable-operated clutch engages smoothly, the gears mesh as they should, though heavy winter boots occasionally deter shifting.

With just under 28 claimed horsepower from that 84 x 90mm cylinder, progress is…stately. But it’s liberating. Torque chimes in low down. Without expecting dazzling performance, one returns to one’s riding roots, able to concentrate on motorcycling’s basic joys.

Ride quality is pleasant on smooth surfaces, the handling light and precise, but at these prices (Bullets start at $5999—the Classic C5 we tested is $6695 for the California modeled.) you don’t get top-level suspenders. On rough roads, ride deteriorates to choppy, verging on uncomfortable, but remains acceptable considering the power output. You could tweak fork springs and valving vs. personal preferences but it’s unnecessary at the bike’s rates of progress.

That big cylinder doesn’t want to rev much beyond 5000 rpm, but in traffic it handles cagers easily. Vibration? It’s a single. Freeway cruising is pleasant. This is no speedster: an indicated 60-65 is its comfort zone, an estimated  4000-ish rpm. You could thrash it to go faster, but why? The RSPCM (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Motorcycles) would object and yank your license.

Indeed, don’t rush the twisties—or anywhere—despite the sporting 54” wheelbase. Calm down. Rushing is not its thing. The hydraulic front 280mm, twin-pot brake matches the non-rushing task. Dial in your meditative ‘Ommmmmm’ and accept the power, handling and brakes for what they are: just right.  Enjoy the economy, almost scooteroid: an astounding, measured 72 mpg, riding moderately, vs. Royal Enfield’s 85 MPG claims (“your mileage may vary).”

Look for the 2013 ‘café racer’ Bullet, with pipe reportedly worth five (count’em!) hp. Recall Rolls-Royce’s apocryphal response when asked about its cars’ power: “Sufficient.” The Bullet delivers enough of everything, priced to please beginners without stressing returning riders, while capturing the platonic essence of ‘motorcycle.’

Relax. Smile. Ommmmmmm.

Gabe Ets-Hokin Perspective

Testing high-performance motorcycles is easy. Does it deliver the motor, handling, braking and suspension performance the manufacturer promises? How much better is it than the competition? Easy to answer these questions—you just need a scale, dynamometer, lap timer, radar gun…the usual tools of the trade.

You could wield those implements of journalistic destruction on a 2013 Royal Enfield, too. You’d get some disappointing results. Engine output at the wheel is probably in the teens, wet weight is over 420 pounds and top speed is barely enough for California Interstate traffic. But that would be a dumb article. A five-year-old can tell you this bike isn’t about performance.

No, the C5 isn’t up to today’s performance standards. Hell, it probably isn’t up to c. 1965 performance standards. But it is a cool vintage motorcycle you can ride every day; and forget about maintaining. That’s what I was expecting as I fired up Fremont Honda/Kawasaki’s demo unit for a short test ride, but I wasn’t expecting to like the bike so much.

The C5 boasts a heap of improvements over prior models. Enfield claims the unit-construction motor is all new, suspension is upgraded, and salesman Keys tells me the air-cooled, two-valve motor, Euro III compliant, may be one of the cleanest-burning mills anywhere. Build quality is good—not European or Japanese good, but you can tell the people who designed and built it cared about what they were doing. It starts up easily, and the motor pulls through the rev range cleanly.

Around town, the Enfield is a joy to ride. Yeah, I said a joy. The bike is heavy, but the clutch pull is light, the controls snick and click the way they should, the brakes are acceptable, the seat is low (and the bike is narrow, making smaller riders feel confident) and the turning radius is tiny. If you don’t feel instantly confident paddling around your ‘hood on this bike, you really should just buy a golf cart.

High-speed, divided highways are not so joyous, despite what Leftenant Joss had to say. It takes a good, long time to get to 70 mph, and over 60 you really feel the buzz from that hard-working little thumper. Cars, trucks and minivans start passing you, impatiently, on both sides, sometimes with occupants snapping photos of you with their iPhones—look at the stoic-looking old gent on his antique bike. I wish I could explain that I’m not old, the bike isn’t antique and I’m no stoic—it’s just the old-fashioned handlebar and footpeg placement that makes me sit so upright. In any case, five or six exits is all it takes for the vibes to become tiresome, the too-squishy sprung saddle to start numbing your ass and the windblast irritating.

Luckily, there are fun two-lane roads linking almost anywhere to anywhere else, roads with little but local traffic. These roads have plenty of turns (sorry old chap—’bends’) and the Classic is perfect for bumpy, twisty, 30-mph country lanes. You won’t have fun pushing the front end, out-braking your buddy into corners or spinning up the back tire on slippery exits; it’s just not that kind of ride. But jounce along on your motorbike, enjoy the clean, cool air and mild farting of the exhaust, pretend you’re wearing tweed and it’s 1958.

Good times. I highly recommend a test ride. In the long run it’s cheaper than Prozac.

Motorcycle Daily thanks stunt-double Bill Keys and the rest of the crew at Fremont Honda Kawasaki for making this test possible.

58 Comments

  1. caesonia says:

    BikerAndy,

    What a silly comment to make. Personally I find the MP3 to be a big dorky kind of ride, and I own a Vespa 300ie, so O obviously like Piaggio products. I also happen to own a Royal Enfield. See, I am kind of small. I like small midsized bikes, only…no one makes them anymore. They all need to b tall overwight pigs, kind of like the bikes being bragged about on this forum right now in comparison. The Honda CB500 is a pig. Great bike, but a big pig considering cc size.

    The RE is even better fitted to me than the Vespa is and like the Vespa its a great packhorse. Is the Vespa faster off the line? Well, of course it is. It’s twist and go, like the MP3. It’s also faster than a lot of bikes off the line. Does the RE miss some things that Vespa has? Yeah. But the RE fits me better, and there is nothing on it to melt, like happened on my Vespa under warranty ( it was fixed.)

    I think you really need to get your head around the idea that this country is starved for mid-sized all purpose bikes that people in smaller bodies can use. We need commuter bikes, not just scream down the highway joy riding or pulling little trailers on the highway. We need bikes we can get into small spaces. I don’t think there has been anything as multi-purpose and agile since the Honda CB350. Frankly, after the Vespa, I will NEVER go back to carbs. The RE has got everything you need to get the job done dependly in all purposes, and I know of no other.

    Lighten up.

  2. Jeremy in TX says:

    Cool niche bike offering a nice dose of nostalgia. Of course there are lots of bikes that do that while offering performance adequate enough to not HAVE to use back roads to get from A to B.

  3. John F says:

    What crazy notions! I can’t imagine anyone trying to decide, “do I buy this Ninja, or this Bullet…?” I personally adore my Bullet Electra EFI and have done 30,000 km in two years. It’s the right hike for me in ways a Suzuki or Yamaha or even a Harley never would be.
    And no, it doesn’t vibrate too mich, it doesn’t leak oil, it doesn’t break down. The banana seat is super comfortable. The backroad speeds of 45-55 mph are perfect, and if I need to travel at 250 mph or more for long distances, I take a plane. But for sheer fun of enjoying the ride, my royal Enfield is superb.

  4. Michael says:

    Some could say Gixxers are crap on trails or how lousy Harleys are on track day
    but that would be taking those bikes out of context.

    Context, it’s all about context.

    Here’s my mini review of the Bullet based on actually ridding a several.

    The current ’09 and later Bullet is just barely or not quite an evolutionary step advanced from the ’08 incarnation. The Bullet line goes back to 1931. Although various clips and brackets are different nowadays the basic frame architecture is essentially unchanged since it was updated with swing arm suspension in 1948.

    The ’09 and later unit construction engine leaves the leaks and maintenance of the earlier lumps behind and brings the propulsion system into the late 70’s, Bore and stroke remain at 84mm x 90mm respectively.
    Front disc brake brings the stopping power into the 1980’s.
    1990’s technology EFI makes it a simple, reliable and easy to maintain push-the-button-and-go affair but there is still a kick start for when you’re feeling nostalgic.
    The buzz of big singles is still there, just very little of it. Hands down it is the smoothest running non counter balance shaft single I have ever experienced.

    Neutral and natural body positioning and ergonomics make for a comfortable and non fatiguing ride.
    Nimble dare I say it classic British handling gives a connectedness to the road without being twitchy. While it is heavy for trail use by today’s standards it does surprisingly well on fire roads and rolling single track once shod with dual purpose tires. It feels well planted on pavement with stock tires. Dragging the foot pegs is easy. It gets even better with gripper tread.

    It is a general purpose motorcycle. A motorcycle for riding and doing what you will with it. The quote posted below sums it up pretty good I think.

    “I prefer to think of the RE as the ANTI-NICHE market bike. It’s NOT a cruiser (niche) or a sport bike (niche) or an adventure touring bike (niche) or a touring bike (niche) or some wanna-be repop nostalgia-alike retro ride (NICHE!) – the RE is just a motorcycle! A blank slate, if you will, that can appeal to many people – not just a “certain” group.”

    Context, it’s all about context.

  5. Dan says:

    Royal Enfield builds around 70,000 bikes per year with less than 10% available for export. In it’s home market customers wait 3-6 months for delivery. This is not a struggling little company hoping to make it with a niche product. In the US we look at these bikes as cute, low power, nostalgia rides that gets lots of looks when going down the road or stopping for coffee. However, the reality is this is the latest generation of a bike that for the last 50 years has been going all over the streets, dirt roads, mountain passes, rugged terrain and river crossings of India loaded with as much as they could carry “because they can”. The fuel injection system is mapped from sea level to over 18,000 feet. It’s not the bike for everyone, but neither is any other bike on the market.

  6. T. Rollie says:

    my Honda 50 Trail bike 4-stroke was gutless, slow, fun. It was fun when I was 13 years old in 1974. Can I enjoy that feeling again with this Enfield? Maybe for about 15 minutes. But give me a Gixxer 750 now, please.

  7. Gary says:

    It would suck to own a motorcycle that can easily be humiliated by a reasonably fit bicyclist.

  8. Norm G. says:

    re: “almost scooteroid”

    wait, didn’t one of those just ’cause a sonic boom and wreak havoc over russia last month…?

  9. Craig Jackman says:

    I appreciate nostalgia, but won’t put up with an inferior motorcycle for it. It’s why I don’t understand the appeal of Harley’s. I have no problem riding a single, heck the KLR 650 is one of my 3 favorite motorcycles of all time. But for about the same price as the Royal Enfield, I’d go and buy the KLR or Suzuki DR 650 and have the advantage of an established dealer network and accesory market. Same kind of ride, not a supersport bike in any way, inferior gas mileage, but more smiles per mile than just about anything else on the road.

    • Martin B says:

      I was just trying to defend an antique – which also benefits the Indian economy. I actually have a Suzuki Freewind, a DR650 with a fairing and an actual seat and lower suspension travel. I agree with you, this is the best bike I have ever owned. The chassis is unbelievably good over any kind of road. There is “enough” midrange torque, although initial acceleration is less than an equivalent twin. Over a mountain road, though, this walks away from a twin, due to the outrageous lean angles. Add in an indestructible engine, reasonable fuel consumption, and it makes a good case for itself. There is no modern equivalent for so little money.

  10. James says:

    Are everyone’s photos in this article compressed laterally or is it just me?

  11. idk says:

    I purchased a new Enfield about 15 months ago and absolutely love it. My other bike is a 2300cc Triumph so they are about as far apart as you can get – but each are special in their own way. I went to a major bike show on the Enfield a couple of weeks ago and it had the usual reaction. Cameras came out all over the place as all the HD owners tried to get pictures and video of it. It is not a bike for everyone, but everyone that I know who owns one loves it.

    The reviews were pretty good, but once the bike is run in you would find that 70mph on the Interstate is not too bad – although back roads are its forte. I haven’t ridden over 400 miles on it in one day so I can’t really comment on long trips.

  12. Gypsyjon says:

    Been riding more years then I really like to think about. Started with a BSA Victor then Harley’s until I sold my last one two years ago. Could not stand being without a bike so I bought a RE.

    Love this thing. I see no short comings at all.

  13. Ducati Scotty says:

    I’ve owned one of these for three years and about 11,000 miles. It’s not fast, it’s not powerful, but it’s fun. I ride more miles than I drive, this is my daily transportation in good weather. I’ve taken this from Portland, OR to San Francisco and back. Aside from the already mentioned too-soft stock seat it was a trouble free journey. Once they break in (2000-3000 miles) holding 60-65mph isn’t too bad as far as vibrations go.

  14. Martin B says:

    Hands up all those who have ridden a biggish single on the open road! What, only two? OK then, all those over 50 who have ever ridden a ’50’s BSA single? All right, we are probably only talking a small percent of riders who have experienced the “vintage” features of spark advancers and decompression levers.

    Compared to those days, the Bullet must indeed be a “bullet” in terms of ease of use if nothing else. Big singles have a charm all of their own. They don’t have brakes worth much because, well, they just don’t need them. The motorcycle goes forward when you twist the grip, it slows down when you twist it back. They are narrow and can lean over to corner as far over as you feel safe doing. It is all about momentum, not horse power. With torque low down, there is no pressure to rev for pace. This is a living, breathing machine, pushrods and followers all tapping away merrily.

    Sure, a modern Japanese single would be smoother and quicker, with better handling and suspension. But these old relics give you a sense of the pioneering spirit with the thrill of mechanical involvement that the Japanese have yet to discover.

    Sometimes the past has much to teach us. Just slow down and enjoy.

    • bikerrandy says:

      Right now I own 5 singles, none of which have vibration issues. They’re 50cc to 660cc. OK, 4 of them are scooters, but so what? The 660 isn’t but it does have a balancer. I think the only 1 that does.

      • bikerrandy says:

        I have 50, 250, 400, 460, 660CC singles.

        • Scotty says:

          Done good touring miles on my SRX600 and SZR660 when I had them. All over the South East corner of Australia, and all over the UK bits of Germany and France….

          Fun bikes. I have no problem touring on thumpers, but some roads are better than others. The back routes. The byways.

    • GearDrivenCam says:

      While I don’t anticipate purchasing a Royal Enfield in the near future – thank-you Martin B for capturing and reminding others of the true spirit of riding. Well said.

  15. Bare says:

    “With the “Flint lock Ignition”. Sorry, no flintlock ignition on the UCEs. Electronic ignition, fuel injection, Electric starter, hydraulic lifters, all those things you had to fiddle with on the legacy bikes are gone. They are quite capable of staying out ahead of most traffic and they will do the freeway at 70 mph. They are quite capable of getting 70 mpg average with sane riding habits.
    The suspension can be a bit rough, I did get Hagon shocks for the rear of mine, and changing the fork oil made the front forks made them quite tolerable.
    Quite frankly, as far as vibration goes, I’ve had Japanese bikes that shook a lot more. this one has never put any part of my body to sleep!
    But they are great in the SoCal mountains, and other twisties in this part of the world, and there are a lot of them! They soon teach you that it is a lot more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow! And you have a whole lot less problems with the local constabulary. They handle quite well especially when you get rid of the OEM tires.
    They are quite reliable,and require no more maintenance than any other bike out there and are a lot easier to work on.
    Obviously, these aren’t everyone’s cuppa, but for most of those who ride them they are the tops. they give you more smiles per mile that any other bike I’ve owned, and that’s a fair amount of bikes, from Rickman Hodakas to Yamaha ThunderAces, Honda 929s, a variety of Triumphs from legacy to triples, Beezers, Matchlesses etc.
    And any one with a 250 or other scooter who thinks they can outrun me in my playground, bring it on!

  16. John Hruban says:

    1948, age 17, bought a new Royal Enfield J-2. 500cc twin exhaust port. Over 900 dollars, more than some new cars. Joined a Motorcycle Club. Those days, it was run what you brung. Raced AMA dirt track, 1/2 mile and short track, on weekends. Put lights. brakes, removed number plates etc back on and was regular driver during the week. Entered endurance runs, TT races at field meets and traveled over 1000 miles at times. Hard tail. Only front brake that made the bike go faster when applied. Cruise speed, with acceptable vibration 55 to 58 mph. Lucas electrics. Prince of Darkness. Was able to perform most maintenance most the time. Bad roads, a lot of gravel. Midwest farm country. Still riding, and 82 years old. Would not trade that experience which resulted in a life long passion for Motorcycles. Not too sure that can be duplicated now a days. Been there, done that. Great times.

  17. skybullet says:

    I rode one when they were first imported in the 1990’s. Love the looks, hate the vibration, after a 30 min. ride you are headed back home. If they added a balance shaft and updated the suspension quality they could sell a lot more. But then, Honda did all that with the GB500 and it was a sales flop in the USA, but sold well in New Zealand.

  18. Austin ZZr1200 says:

    “Cheaper than Prozac”

    Love that line. that is precisely why I ride a zx6r. Someone once said “you never see a motorcycle parked at the psychiatrist’s office”

  19. Rudel says:

    “embodying new technology only in rational matters such as … (an) electric starter.”

    WTF?

  20. RAD says:

    Just like lever action rifles and revolvers ,not for everyone but I love them .
    The same goes for the Royal Enfield .

    Things made simple ..

  21. Geoff of NV says:

    The Royal Enfields take me right back to the fifties when I was fascinated by the bikes my Dad and his friends had. I’d love to own one if only to sit in my driveway with a beer and look at it.

  22. Neil says:

    For the same money you get the much much better Honda CB500F. End of story. There is no excuse in this day and age for bad suspension. The wheelbase needs to be longer. Lengthen the wheelbase and put a mono shock on the back like Victory did on all their bikes. Gearing could easily be upped for highway cruising, though again, could the chassis handle that? A minor pothole at 65 mph? Not even! I’ll take the CB500F hands down. Technology.

    • David Duarte says:

      actually, for $6000, you can have the CB500F with ABS (very likely will be my first brand new motorcycle). No slap against the RE; I love the looks and the simplicity of a thumper with fuel injection. I’d love to have both bikes parked in my garage.

  23. mugwump says:

    Where’s the version with the Musket engine?

    • Hair says:

      With the “Flint lock Ignition”.

      I like the looks of this bike. I think that I could find a place for one in my shed. And I’ve never seen a motorcycle that I didn’t appreciate. So it’s almost a done deal for me.

  24. DorsoDoug says:

    If someone built a new 1957 Chevy BelAir today people would probably gobble them up. But many might whine because they performed like, well, a 1957 Chevy. Is this Enfield so unlike contemporary Harley Davidsons? I think not.

    • Gary says:

      I very much doubt they would gobble them up. Remember, Ford brought the Thunderbird back (and it was even updated) to the size and somewhat looks similiar to years ago. Was it gobbled up? No, it was an overpriced failure in sales just like I suspect the Enfield will be. Some will buy, but in small quantities. I think Royal Enfield should start to seriously update their bikes and not rely on retro buyers- unless of course they wish to stay small.

      • Auphliam says:

        I think they’re only “small” in terms of the American or European market…don’t they sell a bazillion of these things in India?

      • Clasqm says:

        There’s a cafe racer version doing the rounds of the motorcycle shows ATM. Twin front discs, uprated suspension, bored-out engine.

  25. ABQ says:

    I always liked the looks and price of Enfields, but I would worry that I am not so mechanically able to keep one running. Have they improved their reliability?

  26. Frank says:

    About the same price as a Suzuki DR 650.
    Nostalgia has it’s price.

  27. Gary says:

    Personally, I think this review appears to be sugar coated. One says the fit and finish is “excellent” while another just says “build quality is good, not European or Japanese good”… Then, that price. Doesn’t appear to be that good to me for an underpowered, less than stellar build quality, retro styled, bike to me. The review also mentions many upgraded parts like suspension. But then states that “ride deteriorates to choppy, verging on uncomfortable, but remains acceptable considering the power output.” In other words, thankfully it is underpowered or you wouldn’t be able to hold on on anything but smooth roads. Sorry guys, although it does have unique styling that some may like, I really don’t see a big demand coming for these at all, especially since many better bikes can be had close to those prices. Good luck Royal Enfield, but no thanks.

    • Crusty Kris says:

      Here”s anothr: “Vibration? It’s a single. Freeway cruising is pleasant.” Seems contradictory.

  28. Kevin says:

    It’s nice to see an alternative to screaming, high-rpm sportbikes (“it’s already putting out usable torque as low as 5000 rpm”) and seemingly cast-iron cruisers with little cornering clearance.

    “Standard” bikes may not fit any of the current fashion trends, but they’ve always been great all-around bikes.

  29. John Bryan says:

    420 lbs might be heavy by classic bike standards but in today’s world of “middle-weight” cruisers weighing over 600 lbs this thing is a featherweight!

  30. johnny ro says:

    I approve, but recommend they engineer in a balance shaft. I am sure they have thought of that.

    I wonder what their communications are with Aniket Vardhan about his v-twin.

  31. Crusty Kris says:

    First thing to go would be that ugly charcoal canister on the left side. Other than that they’ve done a great job at keeping it vintage.

  32. juan says:

    Not retro, just old.

    I like the simple life. And the simple bikes.

  33. Mike Simmons says:

    I realize that the Bullet single is just perfect for India’s emerging market, however, if they would build a retro 750 twin ala the olden days, now that would be a seller here in the states and in the UK I would imagine. I would love to see it!

    Mike

  34. dukcfud says:

    You’ll never have more fun doing 45-50 on any motorcycle. Plus you’ll get more attention from random people on this bike than you will on a Desmosedici oddly enough

  35. mickey says:

    Love the looks of these Enfields, but …………

    • blackcayman says:

      This bike is only for old dudes like me who also appreciate vintage bikes of the 50’s & 60’s. I would love to have one to tool around on and run short hops to the store. In reality though…….I think I would get bored of the power. I think a nice lightly used low miles Bonneville is a better choice for me.

      • mickey says:

        Lol I’ll be 63 in May….I AM an old dude. Getting my retro fix with the first Honda CB 1100 that comes in to my local dealership…supposedly in 14 days.

        Like I said, love the looks, but grew up with paint shaker singles and twins. Once Honda started perfecting cylinder multiplication and putting counter balancers in unbalanced engine designs, life has never been the same. Really appreciate a SMOOTH flow of usable power.

        • blackcayman says:

          I’ve yet to buy a new bike – too much of my Dad in my personality. I likewise think the new CB1100 is a beautiful bike, I’ve thought so since I saw a video of it in Japan years ago. I hope you enjoy it and maybe you could post a review!

          • mickey says:

            Will do.

            You definitely would enjoy the Bonneville. I bought one new in 03, put 20,000 trouble free miles on it before selling it to my younger brother who has put another 10,000 trouble free miles on it. It has never even had a valve go out of spec. I thought the Bonneville engine was smoother than the Honda V 65 Sabre it replaced.