Friday, June 5, 2020

Royal Enfield Owners' Manual isn't boring

We don't usually turn to our motorcycle owners' manual for humor.

Maybe riders would pay better attention to the fine points of maintenance if the owners' manuals were more entertaining.

I was a little surprised when I spotted an example of just this sort of fun, in the owners' manual for a vintage Royal Enfield motorcycle.

For sale on eBay recently was the Fifth Edition (May, 1950) of the "Instruction Book for the Royal Enfield 125cc Model R.E. Motor Cycle."

In his ad, the seller posted photos of several pages of the booklet.

These included a page of "DO'S AND DON'TS FOR DRIVERS".

Among the bits of advice:

"DON'T run your tyres too soft; they cost money, air does not."


"DO use the lower gear ratios when necessary — that is why they are provided."

No one will bust their sides reading these. But the evident light touch does make an otherwise boring list more memorable.

List of Do's and Don'ts for Drivers from Royal Enfield manual.
Not terribly funny but at least they tried.


  1. They are interesting, I got into collecting them years ago.

  2. Clearly this Dos and Don'ts guide hails from a more genteel and sensible
    time than we currently "enjoy". For example, the item, "DON'T run your tyres too soft; they cost money, air does not", comes from a time when every "filling" or "service" station had a free working air pump with one of those simple winding dial-type pressure indicators. You just set the desired pressure, pump and go. Nowadays very few stations offer free air pumps. Most charge a buck or more, which I consider an abomination against public safety and our National fuel self-reliance, since the cost dissuades many from checking their tires' air pressure regularly. It goes some way towards explaining why a recent National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration survey revealed that roughly 30% of vehicles on the road had under-inflated rubber. My hunch is that number is low. Our elected (and unelected) cheeseballs never seem to tire of mandating new idiocies like adding harmful Ethanol spew to the gasoline or other performance-sapping or over-complex required gimcracks to the drivetrain, such that it is now impossible to purchase an honest simple motorcycle like an Iron Barrel Bullet new anymore. So, why the hell can't they mandate that every gas station must have a free working air pump? Just how many tankers of fuel might that save, I wonder?


Follow royalenfields on Twitter