But the best second next thing is a Royal Enfield Classic 350, which has all the answers – for a lot less money than a 'real' classic motorcycle.
OK, so it's not quite as cool as a real classic BSA B31, but just 145,000 THB will get your bum on the flat seat of a Royal Enfield Classic 350, while your arms stretch to the handlebars, and the smile relentlessly creeps across your face. The Royal Enfield Classic 350 is a feel-good motorcycle, brimming with character, noise, old-skool handling and classic looks.
The thumping Single Cylinder, 4 stroke, Twinspark, air-cooled, 346cc engine throbs away with lazy abandon, coaxing you up to a cruising speed of 95 to 100km/h and offering more than enough poke to make country cruising possible and town forays a genuine blast. The Royal Enfield exhaust pipe offers the unique sound of a classic single-cylinder thumper on the throttle, and pleasing pops and bangs off it. It'll turn heads long before they know which way to look, and no-one fails to take notice as you fly past, laughing to yourself at the simplistic brilliance of it all.
I've ridden almost all of the Royal Enfield 'older models' range, but the Royal Enfield Classic 350 is one of the very best motorcycles they offer. Ignoring the shared chassis and engine componentry, the seat, fuel tank, handlebars and exhaust on the Classic 350 make this a unique proposition in the Royal Enfield range. The Royal Enfield Classic 350 is one of those motorcycle of which just holding the handlebars gives an immense feeling.
Beware of getting the Royal Enfield Classic 350 too deep in a corner. We had a few moments when another degree of lean would have seen some parts touching the floor, and that'll lead probably to the rear wheel leaving the road surface. Not advised.
The ground clearance of the Royal Enfield Classic 350 isn't too bad though and it never impedes cornering fun. Once you're used to its limitations, you can hustle hard down rural-country lanes, taking advantage of its light weight and razor-sharp agility.
Grip from the tires is excellent, too.
The fueling from the 29mm, Constant Vacuum Carburettor, is capable, if not perfectly set-up, and the push-button starter saves the lazy from having to use the kick-starter. The Royal Enfield Classic 350 is a real fun motorcycle to ride.