Friday, May 22, 2009

He'll trade knowledge for a Royal Enfield

Mike Keely is the man in Western Washington who offered to trade his family's 1907 Encyclopedia Britannica for a Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle (see the post below). I asked him why. His explanation:

"You ask what inspired me to write about trading for a Royal Enfield? Well to be short, I want one.

"I sold my 750 Nighthawk years ago because, to be frank, it became a pretty boring ride. I am not mechanically literate (according to the Marine Corps) but I took the bike apart a couple of times for no real reason. Just to do it. Maybe I wanted to feel part of the bike. I did ride alone around the state of Washington for a few weeks one summer and that was fun. But as I said, riding went from an activity I wanted to do to a chore: I got a bike I better ride it.

"And the rides became shorter and boring. It didn't help that my wife had a bad experience as a passenger when growing up; she wouldn't ride with me no matter what I did to persuade her. Time was limited with six kids. I was involved in one community activity or another and often was working after hours. Since that time the kids have moved on to families of their own and I have decided I want something to tinker with that would be intellectually involving and will keep me physically and socially active.

"Riding a motorcycle is something from my youth that I never really lost an interest in. I decided to get another bike but in this economy it isn't something on the wife's radar screen. So I planned to educate her on my needs as a man, but whenever I brought it up she just nodded while I spoke, never taking her eyes off Home and Garden TV. I think she heard me though; if not, I get the TV controller on Wednesday nights so I'll have another shot.

"As far as an Enfield goes, I looked at many bikes and for one reason or another have disregarded them. Harleys and their riders have never been a group I want to be part of because of the attitude many of the riders display. I'd also have to wear the world's most expensive Halloween costume and I just don't look good in black. Scares the dogs.

"Japanese bikes are great but I want character. German bikes are also top notch but not unique enough. I would love a Triumph but they have gotten too bulky. Italian bikes are beautiful. I would love to have a Guzzi, can't really tell you why.

"I have thought of buying a 'not too perfect' Enfield and 'transforming' it into an Indian motorcycle from the 1930s. I looked at it like an Elvis impersonator does. He 'invokes' the image of Elvis for entertainment; he doesn't impersonate Elvis. I would ride an invoked Indian motorcycle.

"I would like to have a C5-style Enfield because it looks like what God intended a bike to look like. I have a background picture of a Bullet 500 on my desk lap top. Many a student, after giving a presentation, has glanced at the bike and then sat in my chair to study it. They were all surprised to hear motorcycles once looked like an Enfield.

"I have discovered, by accident, good riding roads to take my future bike on while studying bicycling maps. I encourage everyone to look into this; many of the roads have little traffic, great views and much history to offer.

"David I need to get my granddaughter fed, read and into bed before I correct some papers. I have been looking at the Royal Enfield site now for about six months and am familiar with your work. Which is why your name sounded familiar when I opened the email. I look forward to getting up in the morning with my cup of coffee or at my desk during lunch time and catching up on the blogs, community forum and photos. Keep up the good work."


  1. Bonnie5/22/2009

    Man, if I had a spare RE, I'd give it to Mike. He's the kind of guy who deserves one!

  2. "the world's most expensive Holloween costume"


  3. Anonymous5/22/2009

    I hope this fellow gets an Enfield soon. The Bull is a being, well yes Im a bit warped, but they are. Ive had all sorts over the years and the bullet is unique. I like to copy the Indians and call them a bull, it seems right, theyre characters and sort of alive. I agree with his sentiment about other bikes, great engineering but bland, especially BMW's which I hate like a plague! ;)

    Allways a great read Dave!



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