Behind the allure of these long-stroke single-cylinder engines is a serious industrial project with a R&D department in Great Britain, where a team of ten engineers works, most of whom come from Triumph.
They have been able to revive the historic Harris backstage firm and have two novelties in their hands, the Himalayan, a trail that we will see very soon through our streets and that Alicia Sornosa already tried for you a couple of months ago (Solo Moto 30 no. 414), and the Continental 750, which will be the first twin in the house. Surely they will be the models they need to continue growing and to be able to offer the charm of their motorcycles to new generations.
While all this is happening, the company’s marketing policy is doing a good job and they have achieved a good image and contact with a public of a certain age that appreciates the pleasure of simple motorcycles and also with young people who identify with neoclassical motorcycles. .
Waiting for new models, the Indian range is made up of our protagonists of today, who share an engine and cycle part in the case of the Classic and the Bullet, while the Continental It is a superior café racer in every way.
It is curious to observe how two models such as the Bullet or the Classic, which after all are practically the same except for the decoration, have a different user profile.
In the case of the Bullet, many of its users fell in love on a trip to India and are usually older than the boys of the Classic. The Bullet is undoubtedly the reference, the most popular bike in India and the Classic is an alternative with a retro air more marked. But curiously the Classic and the new consumers seem to be gaining ground. Let’s say that those belonging to the PlayStation generation who decide on an Indian stay with the Classic, while those who prefer the Bullet, a motorcycle that has been manufactured continuously for more than sixty years, are the brand’s most purists. that they see in the Bullet a whole reference.
The case of the Continental is different, as those who want an authentic café racer go to it. And when I say authentic I mean that it is not a motorcycle “Made in China”, which of course deserve us all the respect in the world. I mean that they are looking for a motorcycle with a story behind it and, in this sense, no other brand on the market has as much history in its saddlebags as that of our protagonists … Those who decide on a Continental usually have had a motorcycle with a higher displacement and want sensations that neither the Bullet nor the Classic can offer, since As for the cycle part, it is one step ahead.
Before explaining our feelings on a hot morning this past summer around Barcelona, let me remind you that before reaching the unit displacement of 499 cc (Classic and Bullet) or 535 cc (Continental), the original versions of the Bullet cubed 350 cc until 1950. The replica that was manufactured until 2008 contributed 346 cc and now, since its engine was presented in 1993, it has reached 499 cc again
The first units manufactured in Redditch until 1962 had internal measurements of 84 x 90 mm, which coincide with those of the Bullet and Classic, while in the case of Continental, to reach 535 cc, the race is preserved and remains in 87 x 90 mm.
Formerly the change was four speeds, until one more gear was introduced in 2005. Regarding the chassis, the tubular monocuna was always preserved until the arrival of the Continental, which can be considered the most revolutionary motorcycle of that saga that was born in the fifties and that already at that time, emitted a sound marked by the parsimony of the engine of its long-stroke engine …
As for pure sensations, the first thing that stands out when starting any of our protagonists is the slow engine backfire. It is like a declaration of principles. With its camshaft in the crankcase, with rods and rocker arms and a slow and leisurely climb of turns, the Royal Enfield, especially the Bullet and Classic, invite you to a relaxed life.
In both models the driving position is very classic, with the footrests low and forward and the straight trunk hugging a wide handlebar and at the right height. The clutch is quite smooth and the gear lever has a long travel. He goes up the laps calmly and the vibrations are noticeable in his hands, feet or ass, but the truth is that they do not get to bother, since they are part of the personality of a motorcycle inspired by the fifties. Between cars it moves easily. It is true that it cannot be considered a light motorcycle if we compare it with a motorcycle of today, but that does not prevent it from showing up in urban traffic relatively agile.
Leaving the city behind, after powerfully drawing attention wherever you go, on general roads or even motorways, you can ride in relative comfort at the speed of 100 kilometers per hour with the engine turning over 4,000 rpm. If you go at the legal speed of 120 kilometers per hour, the vibrations increase and if you want a little more, you will reach 130 km / hour without any problem, but I do not think it is recommended …
Despite the limitations of the fixed footpegs that are too low, for excursions it is a motorcycle that can transmit good vibrations, since it is easy to turn at the entrance of the curves and as long as you round them, it seems that they claim a classic driving style with the legs glued to the fuel tank of 13.5 liters.
Despite its soft and comfortable suspensions that prefer slightly rough asphalt, it is stable and provides security. The braking is not spectacular but sufficient, and I think it is best to stay ahead of events and in addition to using the front, which is not too progressive, it is advisable to lean on the rear brake. It is obvious that we are not talking about motorcycles with which to look for a sporty driving, although as we will see later, with the Continental the feeling is completely different and it does allow you to have certain racing sensations.
Bullet 500 EFI: Inspired by the 50s
Is this a motorcycle loaded with history, almost a legend. A replica of the 1950 Bullet that at the time boasted of being accurate as a weapon and fast as a bullet.
Sixty years later continues to be a reference and continues to mount manually. With a sober appearance, the tank with rubber protectors stands out, generous two-level two-seater seat with a handle so that the passenger is not a mere bulge and the huge headlight with a visor, which includes a simple instrument panel.
The chassis is a simple cradle and, unlike the Continental, front fork mounts 35mm bars and behind the double shock absorber that is adjustable in spring preload. Another difference from the more modern Continental is that the front brake disc is 280 mm.
To suit the Euro 4 standard mounts a rear disc, the inevitable catalyst and in the latest version the fuel tank cap. fuel is threaded instead of key.
The details have been successfully preserved to persevere that air of authenticity that breathes the Bullet and so for example, where in the original version was the toolbox, now the air filter aside and the one with the fuses to the other (left).
Moto Only +: Style true to its origins ● Pleasant ride ● Ease of driving ● Comfortable seat
Motorcycle Only –: Cycle part
Classic 500 EFI: Attractive
This is a version practically the same as the Bullet that logically benefits from the improvements that have been introduced to be able to pass the Euro 4 approval. Among these, the review of the thermodynamic group and the inclusion of a rear brake disc to be able to mount the already essential system with ABS.
Unlike the Bullet, which can be considered a replica, I would place this Classic as a true neoclassical in line with the aesthetics that many other brands have taken up to look for new and old customers.
The seat is individual, with springs and a handle for the passenger. Therefore, to accommodate the passenger, it is necessary to resort to an optional seat and a set of footpegs. Another detail that makes the difference is its bicolor paint, with which this classic look is achieved that differentiates it from the Bullet, which more than a classic, is a replica of the original model that cubed 500 cc and was prepared to accommodate a sidecar.
As in the Bullet, the panel and instruments is very simple and includes a warning for the reserve, neutral, long and intermittent. Like its blood sister, saddlebag mounts from my point of view do not favor a motorcycle that stands out for the quality of the paint, the shine of the chrome and other more neglected aspects, such as the wiring. In spite of everything, it is possibly the most attractive of the family… not?
Moto Only +: Very authentic image ● Pleasant driving ● Ease of operation ● Paint quality
Motorcycle Only –: Justita cycle part ● Optional passenger seat
Continental GT 535: Authentic Cafe Racer
Unlike its sisters, this café racer comes with a double cradle chassis and a boosted motor, since it yields 3 CV more than the rest of the range. Also the cycle part is different and, without any doubt, superior.
Aesthetically, the chrome headlight, the spoke wheels, the metal tank stand out. It is the only one with open semi-handlebars, above the seatpost, footrests without rubber, chrome fenders …
In this version, the well-known single-cylinder goes from 499 cc to 535 cc, preserves the structure, the cams have a higher profile and the injection system has been optimized.
But without a doubt, in addition to the café racer look and the position of sportier drivingIt is the cycle part with the British chassis manufactured by Harris that makes the difference in terms of feel and is prepared to support a more powerful engine that will arrive in the form of a twin early next year. The set of Italian suspensions is also superior to that of his blood sisters.
Thus, we see how a fork with 41 mm bars is mounted and behind the two shock absorbers signed by Paioli are anchored in a rectangular section swingarm. The wheels are 18 ”and it has Pirelli Sport Demon tires. Braking is entrusted to a 300 mm disc and a Brembo caliper, and logically it mounts a system of…
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