Monday, October 1, 2018

Disclosure: Royal Enfield was my host at the 650 launch

That's me riding the new Royal Enfield 650 twin in California.
Royal Enfield even provided the photographer.
Disclosure: Royal Enfield provided transportation, accommodation, food, drink, entertainment and keepsakes to me at last week's product launch for its 650 twins in California.

Royal Enfield's goal, of course, was to prompt the world's moto-journalists to write nice things about the new Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650.

In my opinion the motorcycles deserve positive reviews.

But the three-day launch events (conducted twice, for two separate groups) certainly guaranteed that the moto-journalists would be in a good mood when they sat down to write. The all-expenses-paid chance to ride both new motorcycles on magnificent California coastal and mountain roads certainly put me in a good mood.

I feel tremendously lucky to have had this experience and I enjoyed it terrifically.

Royal Enfield certainly went to great expense. It sent enough motorcycles (of two varieties) so everyone could ride, hosted us all, and brought staff  — including boss Siddhartha Lal — from the UK, India, Colombia, Texas and Wisconsin to explain features of the bikes.

When I lined up at the service station to gas up the Continental GT 650 the person filling the tank was Rod Copes, Royal Enfield president for North America.

"It's important," he said, after I mentioned the all-hands-on-deck effort. "It brings us closer to the customer."

So, yes, I was influenced. I can truthfully say that I was more influenced by the dedication and sincerity of everyone I met from Royal Enfield than I was by all the beer I was served.

(Someone in Milwaukee must think real bikers don't drink craft beer. I made do.)

You should carefully weigh the opinions the writers who attended express about the 650 twins. They will struggle to be objective, as they should, but will naturally feel compelled to be "fair" to their hosts

But here's the most important disclosure I personally should make: those who follow this blog know that I am a Royal Enfield enthusiast. My opinions are my own but they are naturally influenced by that enthusiasm.

The point is this: they had me at the name, Royal Enfield.

The fact that these new Royal Enfields include a model with the treasured "Interceptor" name (INT650 in the U.S. but we know what that means) just nails down my appreciation.

Royal Enfield gave the new Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 the style and the parallel twin motor of the classic British motorcycles of the 1960s. These new bikes are the real kick.

One of three large sand sculptures takes shape on the beach
outside the launch hotel. Royal Enfield stopped at nothing to impress.

1 comment:

  1. I'm proud of you for telling us that you ate their food and drank their booze and enjoyed the lodging they paid for. Good for you. Thanks for doing all that and then going online to tell us the truth as you see it. Super that you liked those new motorcycles!


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