Monday, March 22, 2010

Period correct accessories for Royal Enfield

Years ago I came across a picture of a couple in Quebec posing with the most amazing Royal Enfield Bullet. The motorcycle was shiny and clean, and looked to be in excellent condition. But never mind that.

What was amazing about the picture (I wish I had saved it) was that the couple had outfitted it for touring in a very tasteful and unusual fashion.

Many serious long-distance motorcyclists fit square, stainless steel boxes that don't look appropriate for a 1955-vintage motorcycle. Rounded plastic boxes hijacked from a Gold Wing don't please me either.

Instead, the couple in Quebec had modified their bike to accept the sort of gear a traveler might have used in the era when the Bullet was designed.

Most striking was a secondary set of pannier bars that slung small gas cans very low on the sides behind the rear wheel. You had to see it to appreciate how natural this looked.

Another photo I wish I had saved was of a different, younger couple from England who had ridden their Triumph motorcycle immense distances in the 1960s. They had fit plastic gas cans, one on each side, to the front crash bars. Now that looked dangerous. But very cool.

This same couple had fit a very small suitcase to the tank rack. It wasn't water proof, probably, but it was aesthetically so much nicer than some black nylon bag obviously made in the 21st Century.

I apologize for not having better pictures to go with this blog post. But here's something for you. Recently an ad ran on this blog for Heindl Engineering, in Eaton, Ohio, a Royal Enfield and Ural dealer.

They offer a Ural model called the "Gear Up." The intent of this model is obvious: they're thrown every possible period-correct accessory they have at it, including a rack on top of the spare wheel atop the sidecar.

Do you really need a big gas can on the front of the sidecar? Is it really safe to have one there? Who cares? You don't have to fill it with gas. It just looks awesome.

The Ural Gear Up captures the sort of "age appropriate" accessories I like on a Royal Enfield.

1 comment:

  1. Great post David. I've had this same feeling about road trip travel accessories. The reason I ride an Enfield is because it looks like it's from 1955. I don't want to cover all that classic goodness with a bunch of nylon side packs.

    I'm planning on an overnight motorcycle camping trip and want to use items that riders from the 50s or 60s may have used.

    Thanks again for another cool article.


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