Undoubtedly the Royal Enfield Trails is the coolest looking retro motorcycle available in the world, but all this modern Royal Enfields are fabulous fakes. They look like the Enfields of the '50s, seemingly unchanged from the English Redditch factory days and yet they're now laced with modernity.
The engine is now unit construction, saving weight, and reducing frictional losses, and the carburettor-a-like actually now masks an ultra modern electronic fuel injection. The engine requires dramatically less fettling than the old one too, meaning you can just wheel it out of the garage and thumb the electronic starter between services, rather than ensuring you carry a spanner set and feeler gauges with you at all times.
The Royal Enfields Bullets all use the same frame and engine, and the different models are essentially just styling exercises, allowing owners to buy the personality they'd like to adopt. For all the shared componentry, the variants feel distinctly different from each other. With the help of a standard kit, available from Royal Enfield, we can transform the standard Royal Enfield Bullet into the Royal Enfield Trials bike. All parts except front indicators bolt on directly to the standard Royal Enfield Bullet.
For normal road enjoyment, there's no doubt that the Royal Enfield Clubman is the one to go for, but it you really want to stand out, and enjoy the flexibility of being able to nip down the odd green lane, the Royal Enfield Trails kit is an absolute peach. The road manners take some getting used to, with the period style trails tires giving a lack of directional stability on the move. However, the admiring glances from inquisitive pedestrians is always a bonus, as is making kids scream for mammy as you slam the throttle shut and induce a meaty bang from the free-flow exhaust pipe.
The Royal Enfield Trails looks brilliant too, with the chunky trails tires, ally bash plate and mudguards, and scrambler handlebars, not to mention enough chrome and polished metal to keep any polish-manufacturer in business for years to come.
With just 27.6 horses on the tap, it's not what you'd call powerful, but that's not the point here. It's about enjoying riding around on two wheels, rather than stroking the maximum performance from the chassis.