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The New Bullet Classic

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I love a free play on a bike and this is a review of a bike I test rode

Isn't this meant to be a long-term test review? The perspective of an owner?...you can probably work out why I don't own one.

I'd fancied an Enfield in the garage for years. When my mate told me that the now-defunct Rockingham Custom & Classics were hosting an open day we were in like Flynn.

One of the first enthusiastic people there, I handed over my licence and took the keys to the blue Classic. To be frank, I hate the looks and the colour scheme of this machine. I'd rather have gone on the army green thing...but there was a chance for that when I returned.

The new Enfields had been launched boasting a range of improvements...one of which was the new gearbox.

Flying out onto the country lanes it immediately won me over, the low torque and the pleasing tones. This was the sunny, summer machine for me, one which promised a return of 75mpg. But how would it cope with a blat along the A14?

Opening the throttle I had an indicated mid to upper-mid 70s on the speedo. The engine maintained it's pleasing sense of soul, the vibe was there but nowhere as intrusive as the XJ600 I used to own when it hit 5000rpm.

Turning around at Kettering I headed back along the A14.

Flying through my head were thoughts of how I could buy this for the wife, she would love it as a returning machine thanks to it's low height, soft delivery and gentle nature...and my minds image had me with an open face and a pipe enjoying a July Saturday with a wicker picnic hamper strapped to the back.

And, as I held the throttle open, I thought of how all the new changes would make this a reliable machine too and so it might be worth getting a new one instead of a much cheaper, older second-hand model. Changes such as that wonderful new gearbox.

The final thing which went through my head was the word 'shit'. Enfield recalled the entire run of bikes two weeks after this open day thanks to the faulty gearbox.

One minute I was grinning, the next moment the rear wheel stopped spinning. No response by pulling in the throttle. Artic to the left of me, traffic in front and behind and the locked wheel leaving a deposit of rubber we later estimated to be around 150yards.

Quite how I got over to the side of the road intact is down to automatic responses ingrained from a lifetime of riding. Over the next seven days Enfield refused to accept any liability for a very scary experience and yet other tales came to light of other riders experiencing similar...culminating in the recall.

I didn't buy one - but would I?

Yes, almost definitely, one with a chair.

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  • 1 month later...

It's a lovely ride, sounds sweet and provides a smooth and very comfortable cruise. I'd say its the kind of bike you invest in. to keep it looking pretty it does take investment as in Indian chrome is not necessarily chrome in other words the chrome is a wee bit cheap so elbow grease and polish become your best friend to keep it in good condition and looking good.

It will not give you sharp braking, tight cornering or outstantding speeds tops at 85-90mph...but then its not meant to be a speed bike.

But what it will give you is a pimp ride, a head turner and something that makes ladies surprisingly wiling to disapppear off into the country side with you :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Despite the few teething issues i had with mine which were all down to poor maintenance by the previous owner, it is reliable and it starts every time. fuel economy is also good.

i'll add my owners review in a couple months once i've clocked a few miles and am in a good position to comment... i will have to buy a pipe now after the OP's comment! have a picnic and persuade a cute girl to jump on the back 8-)

Edited by borgy95
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...i will have to buy a pipe now after the OP's comment!
A pipe might not be the smartest fashion accessory to compliment the looks of a vintage replica bike.
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  • 1 year later...

Ah me and my mate were behind you along way back I was on my Bonneville (struggling to catch up) we saw the burning rubber from back tyre and was impressed you stayed on. However you forgot to mention to the dear readers the bike had only done less than 200 miles and not properly run in when you were doing a very good upper 70. I know this about the bike because when we told the nice man at Rockingham he was not too pleased about the bike being abused and wrecked. Was happy you were ok though.

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