Discovering Delhi on the Classic 500

After spending about 10 months in Bombay, work has brought me back to Delhi. Coming back home always has its perks; internet connection, good food, no rent and interestingly enough, a new set of wheels. My younger brother, Jason had been riding a second hand Honda Achiever for two years. Now he’s what people here call a BFG (big friendly giant).

Relatives we’ve not seen for years come up to him either advise or assume he plays basketball. Man, if he had a rupee every time someone told him that, he could buy me a Royal Enfield too.

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Yeah, Jason got a Squadron Blue, Classic 500. No other bike seemed to fit his build.

The Avenger was in contention but it had low ground clear as it is, put Jason on it and the under part of the bike would kiss the tarmac on every speed-breaker. The Classic 500 is a beautiful bike to own. It’s heavy, stable, powerful and it makes you look like a pickin’ badass. Granted, it doesn’t give you the thump old Enfields are so known for, but these new models can sure hold their own.

With 27 brake horsepower and 41 newton  meter of torque this bike really makes riding a motorcycle so much fun. The upright sitting position aids longer trips as it keeps your back upright.

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I usually ride my Pulsar at 70-80 kmph, but the Classic I love riding around 50 kmph. I think it’s just a mental thing; you tend to ride slower when you’re on a powerful bike. I presume it’s the thought of knowing that your bike can take off at the slightest twist of your wrist, that keeps you at bay.

The bike doesn’t demand to be ridden fast, it feels at ease in and around the 60 kmph area. But when the occasion calls for it, the bike will pull with tremendous force and make a thunderous sound while doing so. The Classic 500 cruises in the hills. Jason was killing it from King Craig to Library (in Mussoorie) with me barely hanging on as pillion.

I got to ride it around Delhi for a video project I was working on last month. I went to a bunch of touristy spots in the capital like India Gate, Agrasen Ki Baoli, Purana Qila, Humayun’s Tomb and Lodhi Gardens.

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Purana Qila
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Agrasen Ki Baoli
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Jantar Mantar

Now the Classic isn’t a rare bike at all, it’s been around for a long time. But the Squadron Blue turns heads the way only superbikes and only a handful of Indian bikes can. It must be the colour because when I took it for servicing at official workshop, other Enfield owners came up to me asking if I got it painted myself. The military green variant is proudly showcased  on their website but isn’t for sale for civilians. People only know of the Desert Storm for some reason and seem quite clueless about the Squadron Blue.

For a bike that people think is so good looking, there aren’t an awful lot of them on the road.

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Not something I’m complaining about, makes the one we have just a bit more exclusive.


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