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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Royal Enfield magazine tells of quests great and small

Ex-UK Royal Enfield Engineer Maurice Mumford
"adjusts" CEO Siddhartha Lal. (Peter Powell Photo)
For derring-do and chivalry, nothing surpasses The Gun, magazine of the Royal Enfield Owners Club of the UK.

I somehow missed the December 2015/January 2016 edition, Issue No. 250 of The Gun. Luckily, REOC members can read it online, so I was able to catch up without worry.

Thus I know there was a cover photo of member Maurice Mumford, ex-UK engineer for Royal Enfield, pretending to knock some sense into the head of Royal Enfield CEO Sidhartha Lal — with a hammer. At Goodwood.

There followed a full report on Ian Henshaw winning the British Historic Racing 250 Championship on a Royal Enfield Crusader. He also races a 500cc Royal Enfield Fury and a 350cc Royal Enfield Clipper. He rose above crashes and breakdowns that made the word "unfortunately..." a frequent visitor to the report.

But for sheer dogged determination, you can't beat Bernd Schueler's report on his 700-mile ride to the international rally in Caine aboard a 325cc diesel Royal Enfield (6.5 horse power). His average traveling speed: 35 mph. Max speed: 50 (after awhile; on a flat road).

Forced to set off without proper maps, he once found himself back at his start point after a wrong turn. Another time he was too exhausted to dismount and had to ask for help.

No less inspiring is the current issue No. 251, the February/March 2016 edition of The Gun.

Finest was Emma Taylor's touching story of surmounting customs and registration red tape to bring her own Royal Enfield Machismo home from India along with another Royal Enfield meant as a gift for her father.

Emma caught "the Royal Enfield bug" after crossing the Himalayas on one in 2008. She became the only female primary teacher in Bangalore to ride a Royal Enfield to work. She writes:

"Shipping two Bullets from India to England, is in hindsight, not what I would recommend to anyone unless they are prepared to cry in public and pay the same amount in shipping as was spent on the bikes themselves."

Also of note is Graham Lampkin's appeal for donations to Cancer Research UK through his upcoming "Lampy Goes to L and Back" charity ride off-roads through Spain and France. If he can't use an unsurfaced road he plans to use the smallest road possible.

And, finally, there is Carl Cope's account of the outing he organized by Royal Enfield to the Coupes Moto Legende in Dijon, France.

"We breakfasted like natives and waddle with rotund abdomens outside to fettle and cosset our iron steeds. All goes well until Gordon spots a nail in his rear tyre..."

Lancelot, Sir Gawain and Sir Galahad were not mentioned by name in the latest editions of The Gun. But, surely, somehow, they were enjoying their copies, and nodding in recognition.

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