Monday, June 22, 2009

Royal Enfields: Welcome at vintage events?

"If you have a late model Enfield, are you still eligible for vintage clubs, rallies, and rides?" Nick Boozell wrote. It's a good question.

My observation is that, unless you're competing for a trophy in a vintage event, most people will accept you.

Recently I attended the breakfast meeting near Fort Lauderdale, Florida of the Broward British Bikers. I parked my 1999 made-in-India Enfield with its protective coat of dirt and oil near a shiny example of Britain's Best.

I knew I'd be welcome. In fact, I was delighted to discover that one of the riders in attendance was William Cappuccio, the former Royal Enfield dealer who sold me my Bullet in 2001. Michael Woulfe, the fellow on the shiny Triumph, noted that he'd have ridden his own Enfield, except he wanted to take the freeway.

So fans of British motorcycles are accepting. What about those who love antique motorcycles?

A ride last Labor Day sponsored by the Northern California TonUp Club was for "pre-1980s" bikes only, but specifically welcomed "retro bikes like the Royal Enfield."

This is the attitude one typically encounters. There is a recognition that a newish Royal Enfield Bullet may be a more obsolete design than many actual "antique" bikes.

If you were want specific information on a club, best to contact them, of course. But, for most, you won't even have to own a motorcycle to join and, as far as showing up and riding along, few clubs exist to exclude anybody, particularly anybody willing to pay dues.

Things change when you decide to compete for a trophy, of course. Modern Enfields naturally compete against motorcycles made the same year, even if they were designed 30 years earlier.

The Antique Motorcycle Club of America says its national meet competitions and road rides are open to any motorcycle 35 years of age or older. That lets out modern Enfields. However, I was amused to note that the AMCA web site gallery of pictures from a meet in New York includes a picture of a "new" old Royal Enfield.

Someone obviously thought it belonged.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6/23/2009

    The Bullet may actually be more obsolete than actual vintage bikes! I love that part of this article. Good point. In the competition for obsolete-ness, you win!

    Congrats, I think?



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