Royal Enfield At Cooperb- In The Beginning
test In February 2015 we took a used 500cc Bullet in part exchange. It was a cold but bright sunny day & I decided to use the bike to visit the sandwich shop in the next village some 3 miles away. Before I was even half way there I decided I loved this bike & ended up taking a massive detour that had me out on the bike for a couple of hours! As a lover of big, fast modern sports bikes I simply didn't understand why this bike felt so special. I just could not explain to myself why this bike made me smile & made me feel so good. It was unlike anything I'd ever ridden before and on paper it's vital statistic's just didn't compete with any of my usual favourite bikes. However, I loved it!
It was only after I'd advertised the bike & spoken to some Enfield enthusiast's the answer came to me. The Royal Enfield makes you smile because it is so basic, so innocent that it takes me back to my youth when all of my riding was a mix full of learning & fun. The handling is compliant & sweet enough to be hustled along enthusiastically - but it doesn't make you want to get your knee down. The engine responds directly to the rider & it takes throttle control & a learned skill to get the best from it - but it isn't too slow nor will it ever intimidate you. The bike has a wonderful sound that frankly anyone with ears will enjoy - it is simply impossible to be offended by these bikes.
Having become a firm Royal Enfield fan, by April we became official dealers.
If you buy one, I guarantee you will become more closely connected to it than any other bike you may have had before. The charm will get you & then you will find yourself truly loving it!
In order to promote our new venture we started organising ride outs for the customers who bought their Royal Enfield's from us.
Riding in a group simply ramps up the fun! The sound of a "gaggle" of Royal Enfield's is fantastic! What makes this so special is that under the helmets the riders could be anyone. We have customers with an age range from 22 to 86 & they often ride in groups. They mix together so well because of a shared interest. Each one having as much fun as it is humanly possible to have on two wheels. There is no other bike that reinforces the sensation of camaraderie like the Enfield!
There are so many different things you can do to these bikes for very little outlay. All the models can be made to look completely individual using a choice of extras from all over the world. Our own bikes are proudly on display in the showroom & we think they look & feel very different - using accessories available from our own stock.
It doesn't matter if customers arrive in our showroom as hardened bikers or looking for their first bike. By the time they leave having bought one - they've turned into giggling teenagers! And when our customers meet as a group, although some of them are among societies most learned & civilised people, they revert back to the cheeky teenager's once more! All talking at once about what they've done to their bikes this week, where they've been & enthusing about the next trip together!
Find out more about our customer ride outs at our Facebook page EVERYTHING ENFIELD
Its heart warming & at Cooperb we are proud to be part of the Royal Enfield family.
So if you're fairly local to us & you buy a Royal Enfield, you too will be made very welcome on any of our ride outs. Many riders find that having an average annual riding mileage of under a thousand miles on other bikes for many years, on an Enfield this goes up to around 3000 just because of the riding opportunities that the RE community can offer.
We have a demo fleet always available & our own bikes have lots of goodies fitted that can show the difference these goodies make. So come & see us today & join the fun!
Royal Enfield at Cooperb - The Future
Since we started on our Royal Enfield journey we have made loads of new friends, ridden loads of great journeys & had a tonne of fun. The inception of our customer Facebook page "Everything Enfield" has seen lifetime friendships forged, bikes personalised & epic trips planned & excecuted and even Tattoo's made! And as time and the miles on our own RE's go on, we have grown to love these bikes even more, and this leaves us wanting more! So for us the future holds MORE OF EVERYTHING!;
- MORE BIKES - RE has promised more great new models to enjoy - ALL with the genuine earthy feel that only an Enfield has!
- MORE PERSONALISING - We have loads of tasty new trick bits planned that will make your pride & joy stand out in a croud!
- MORE MILES ON BIKES - We have a much more planned, organised and thought out approach to our ride outs now we have Guru Ivor Stead on board, the world is now your lobster Ivor!
- MORE VALUE - RE have indicated the new models will be "Fantastic value"
- MORE FUN - With all of the above, we will looking at producing more smiles per miles than ever.
If you would like your motorcycling future to hold more of the above for you, then its time you considered a Royal Enfield. All the pictures on this page are from or are of our customers on their own RE's. Proof that its all out there just waiting for you!
Our customers pay less for their bikes, ride them more often, have more fun & enjoy better value than any other brand can offer. Join us TODAY!
ROYAL ENFIELD - RETURN OF THE TWINS!
When the Twins where released in spring 2018 the bike quickly became the Nation's favourite Middleweight cruiser! Winning accolade after accolade & quickly becoming the UK's top selling bike in its class - this is the bike that has truly brought Royal Enfield into the main stream. To find out more about the these bikes click HERE
2019 GLOBAL HQ + TECH CENTRE + ASSEMBLY PLANT VISIT + 2019 RIDER MANIA
In November I was delighted to join selected European dealers on a tour of Royal Enfield facilities In India.
Our visit was hosted by senior RE management & we where treated to full access tours all round. We got an in depth, un hurried tour of the highly impressive HQ as well as the stunning new Tech Centre. The new facilities where super impressive and more modern than anything else any of us had seen. The ability at design level to swiftly manufacture prototype parts in small quantities in house, looks set to help new models make production faster & cheaper.
And the passion for the brand at the HQ was uplifting - as are the exciting future plans & models!
But my personal favourite was the assembly plant at Oragadam.
This shiny new facility is where I first witnessed the new assembly procedure and its mesmerizing! Looking at the 650cc twin line I was beyond impressed & noticed how most of the production line is German made the word SLICK just does not do it justice.
It was nice to see every increment of each individual bike is recorded by the persons name & stored on file so that each bike has a build history that can be used to check build quality per person. Important on a bike that's at least half hand built!
But the thing that impressed me the most was every single person I saw was really happy to be working there. Everyone seemed happy to genuinely apply themselves & it really is apparent to everyone how important it is to build the bike correctly. Its only been building bikes a year, but with due process in place like this it made me feel very confident for the future!
To close the trip, we flew to Goa & the experience that is RIDER MANIA
Imagine a fabulous music festival with Royal Enfield's & you wont be far off!
Set in stunning countryside, with two main stages a few acres apart the atmosphere is amazing! There was lots of bike racing and for the first time a flat track race (Himalayans)
The custom bike show was mind blowing with entrants from all over the world, here we took inspiration & I decided to get involved making as many contacts as I could!
There was also loads of trade stands & a mass of food available as well as huge bars - all doing a roaring trade! Add brilliant live music and banging DJ sets & you get the idea.
What was obvious was that everyone there really loved these bikes & treat them as a real thing of pride. We where made to feel really welcome and it was a couple of days of pure fun!
I met some amazing riders who had come from literally all over the country just for that weekend.
Rider Mania UK..? I hope so one day!
Intrepid Trip - Cooperb to Ardnamurchan September 2016
Touring bikes these days are a lot like modern trucks. No seriously they are! Think about old trucks for a second, old fashioned gearbox's & slower, louder engines on chassis that offered all the comfort of a wooden cart. By contrast modern trucks are mobile palace's that waft the driver along in slickly suspended air conditioned comfort, shifting gear is done automatically for you & the steering is more like a modern car than a cart. Question is though, is driving one a long way as much of an adventure as back in the day?
Bikes are the same too.
Riding a modern tourer a long way is easy & of course great fun. The technology is good but if it makes it easy to ride fast (& so you often do) - is that always a good thing?
Won't it eventually mean automatically travelling long distances at high speed? How will you see anything? How will you experience real adventure if your just moving at speed from A to B & everything between is a blur? Isn't that dangerous? Won't that become a little boring?
Small single cylinder bikes are known for delivering big fun in small doses - but can they cope with big distances?
This month an intrepid group of 11 rode 1288 miles in four days & 9 of us where on single cylinder bikes all around 500cc. And what a great trip it was! It was great because riding those little bikes all that way made us all feel like kids again! Our average age worked out to be very late forties & between us there isn't a continent we haven't ridden on & barely a brand of big bike that hasn't been owned by at least one of us yet it was this trip on these bikes that we all agreed we enjoyed the most. "The most fun I've ever had on two wheels" is just one quote.
Our trip started at Cooperb M'cycles Ltd in Easton Maudit Northants & took us all the way to Ardnamurchan which is the most western point in main land Britain & back. None of the route was direct & most of it was by the best & most twisty A & B roads on the map.
Meticulously planned, the route delivered riding heaven & Scotland is perfect for bikes.
Some of the roads were so tight that it doesn't take much to close them. However, in rural Scotland - even the detours are great fun!
We used two ferries & passed through tiny hamlets & along the edge of the West coast so close to the sea that we could smell the beach for hours on end. We used B roads so remote we were chased by dogs, scowled at by huge cows, leapt at by sheep & ignored by goats. We rode through torrential rain on day one & through gale force winds on the last day (Otherwise the weather was great!) We dodged gravel and diesel on the road took in some of the finest views on the planet & loved every minute.
The mix of bikes was pretty good too. There was 4 Royal Enfield Continental GT's, 2 Bullets & a Woodsman. There was a new SWM 445 Cafe Racer & a Mash Roadstar. Our 9 single cylinders where joined on the way up by a BMW R1200R & a Triumph Tiger.
What was interesting was the inevitable comparing of the Continental GT & the SWM as they are both Cafe Racers. For pottering around there was not much between them, similar riding position & so on. However, when ridden more enthusiastically we found that performance wise, the SWM was faster than the standard GT's and a match for the two GT's that had the full hot up kits fitted (- but not really any quicker.) Any slight advantage in outright top speed was irrelevant due the GT's better use of its gearbox, it seems to be able to hold on to its gears for longer before needing to change up. Ride wise the handling is evenly matched & both bikes love to ridden hard but comfort wise the SWM definitely has a better standard seat. One of the GT's had a deluxe gel seat which was superb! When the rain fell, the block tread pattern of the SWM's tyres which look like actual full wets where a joy. Stable & full of confidence this bike danced from puddle to puddle & laughed in the face of standing water & wet white lines. Interestingly, one of the GT's also faired well in the wet on Michelin's - but the bikes shod with the standard Pirellis where not quite as happy. An easy way to improve the GT for year round riding is swapping the tyres we decided.
Most agreed the GT looked more traditional & sounded way better too. Whether traditional looks are better is down to personal taste but the GT certainly turned more heads & although the SWM is still a very pretty bike it didn't provoke the response the GT did from random passer's by.
Winner of this was close but as the GT is a Royal Enfield it means you can change or fine tune just about all of it & that swings our vote that way. If you want unlimited fun, something beautiful to look at & a never ending Christmas gift list - buy the GT. It's a hoot.
If you just want to be different then maybe the SWM is well worth a look.
Equally, comparing the RE Bullets to the Mash was always going to happen. This though was not such a close fight.
The Mash never felt great. It was a lot more at home when the pace dropped to bimble mode & it was dry. But over 65 MPH it often seemed to be struggling to keep up. Handling in the dry was OK but not great but then in the rain felt very nervous. It doesn't sound as good as a Bullet either. Again the choice of accessories for the Bullet is endless & one of ours has a sports pipe which sounded great! The Woodsman is also basically a Bullet wearing a accessory kit that dresses the bike as a trail bike. This also makes you feel (& no doubt look) just like Steve McQueen!
The Bullets seemed happy at 70 MPH & will see 75 to overtake even 80 + eventually given some time. The handling is sweet & you can do some pretty serious "bend swinging" (as it's most enthusiastic rider called it) & in all the bike amazed its owners with just how good it was. Given that all the bikes did the entire journey fully laden, the pace was quite hot & the Bullets where surprisingly good as "Sports tourers"
One of the Bullets was ridden by a young Australian who joined us for the ride before continuing his ride to home through Northern Europe, Russia, Mongolia & possible China. He said it was an easy decision to choose the Bullet for this trip. After seeing him ride the thing I've no doubt he will love every mile!
When it comes to looks the Bullet wins here too, although the Mash takes its styling from a different decade - fact is it's a copy. It's pretty & so I guess that makes it a good copy but the Bullet is the genuine article. In fact, it's the world's oldest constantly produced motorcycle! Like the SWM, the Mash is certainly different, but the Bullet makes you go a little gooey when you see it, even if you don't like bikes- it will make you think & in terms of ride it does knock spots off the Mash. Easily - the Bullet wins.
So the most interesting comparism comes last. How did the singles compare to the big Triumph & BMW?
Obviously the big bikes had loads more power & much bigger seats for a start. Performance wise, there is no competition - on paper at least. But the truth is through the B roads neither could keep up with the RE GT's or the SWM. When the silly stick was properly shook they were just too big & heavy to match the pace. Only when the roads opened out brute force was able to blast them along a straight back on the coat tails of the flying singles. Of course on the bigger open roads where they had room & time to pass on the gas (& when they could maintain 3 figure speeds) - they were gone.
But here's the rub, 3 figure speeds are illegal, and yer Mum wouldn't like it! If you come back from a blast on singles with us during which we didn't exceed 90 MPH it almost sounds saintly - AND it's more fun. There were times during that trip when the pointy end of the group went off for 20 minutes of sillyness, this more resembled a Moto 2 race than a group of middle aged men touring. Yet if we had been on big bikes capable of much higher speeds we probably would have had even more sessions of sillyness that would have been easier & so lasted for say 30 minutes. Over the entire trip thats a lot more time spent pushing your luck.
The other thing we agreed was that it is ONLY these back to basic bikes than deliver back to basic thrills. Riding these bikes takes you straight back to your youth & you feel more enthusiastic & more invigorated than on any other bike. You're riding with pals rather than associates & having banter rather than conversations - all delivered straight from the enthusiasm generated by such endearing machines.
So yes we could have done this trip on Adventure bikes, Tourer's or even Sports bikes. But we all agreed that this was better. Not quite as comfortable - but safer, more fun & way more memorable on the singles.
Already plans are in place to do it again on the same bikes next year. I don't know if I will be able to go or not, I hope I can as I really don't want to miss it. One thing I do know for sure is that this journey will be measured by memories & you don't need a rider modes or even a digital trip meter for that!