Friday, October 11, 2013

Mild mannered Royal Enfield is also a super hero

What's a nice Royal Enfield like you doing in a place like this?
I consider it rewarding to ride my Royal Enfield in sunny (and flat) Florida. People ask me about it all the time.

Elsewhere, motorcyclists consider it amusing to ride their Royal Enfields to the top of the world. No one there is surprised they choose to make the climb on a Royal Enfield.

The irony is no more apparent than in a promotional video for a new GoPro helmet cam. In it, surfers, skydivers, skiers and rock climbers compete to capture exciting images with the GoPro.

"Be a hero," the video urges.

But when it comes to motorcycles charging across the landscape, the example in the video is a pastel green Royal Enfield, wading rivers and conquering mountain roads to reach the summit. The rider in this case is world traveler Alex Chacon, who tells how the video was made in his blog Expedition South.

Reader David Blankenhorn pointed me to the video, calling it "another surprising Enfield sighting."

It is surprising, in part because it happens so confoundedly often.

At the launch of the Royal Enfield Continental GT in England I asked a Royal Enfield executive about the number of Royal Enfields that turn up prominently in commercials and Bollywood films. He told me it is company policy not to pay for placement. The company will supply film makers with motorcycles and help, but no money.

It's the casting directors' call. When choosing an adventure motorcycle, they choose Royal Enfield.

What is at work here is that, while Royal Enfield is hardly known in my world, it is well known on the road to the Himalayas.

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