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Royal Enfield Classic Chrome review
Driven October 2011
Yep, there’s a new edition of the Royal Enfield Classic. Actually, there are two – the ‘Desert Storm’ and the ‘Chrome’. You might think they are just a couple of fancy paint jobs, which they are, but they have a couple of mechanical tweaks as well. For starters Enfield has gone back to a 19-inch front tyre and an altered front fork for better stability and a more upright handlebar for a more relaxed riding position.
Once you are on the bike you can feel the difference, especially if you ride it back to back with an older Classic. It certainly feels better sorted out and straight line stability is marginally better, but that is only till a certain speed. You could ride the Chrome just short of triple digit speeds all day and it feels good and relaxed and with the re-mapped ECU it seems to respond better to throttle inputs as well. However, get past triple digits and the handlebar wobble returns to rob you of your confidence.
Around corners the Chrome is better sorted out, although the fatter rear tyre and bigger front tyre doesn’t make it as chuckable as the older Classic. The chassis feels stiffer and the bike handles mid-corner bumps better, but it’s difficult to gauge the extent of improvement with the sprung riding seat. Incidentally, the seat has been redesigned as well and is easier on the cheeks now. Brakes remain the same on the tweaked edition, which are just about enough for the massive 180 kilo motorcycle.
On the whole, the Classic was already a fairly expensive bike and with the new colour schemes, the sticker price has just gone up by another 3k for the ‘Desert Storm’ and 7k for the ‘Chrome’. While the ‘Desert Storm’ looks fantastic and pleases TG sensibilities, the ‘Chrome’ looks like a bit of an overkill and pushes the affordability envelope. The mechanical tweaks, however, will be available on all new Classic 500s which is good news.