Ever wondered if you can take a Royal Enfield off the beaten track and on to adventures far beyond the polished dealership floor?
As an adventure motorcyle brand, Frontaer often looks at a variety of motorcycles to see what they can and can’t do out there.
Royal Enfield’s can easily be taken offroad and used for multi-day or multi-week camping trips. In fact, dozens of these motorcycles have been ridden literally across the world. Unfortunately, their shortcomings are the low profile tyres which means it’s best to ride a Royal Enfield on dirt roads rather than tight forest tracks and technical sections.
If you’re looking for a good dual-sport that certainly turns heads, then this is it. The perfect classic cruiser which can reach well beyond the pavement.
Royal Enfields Offroad
If you’ve spent any length of time on ADV Rider Forums, you’ve no doubt come across the Royal Enfield subsection of riders. It’s these individuals who inspire others to get out there and start exploring on 2 wheels.
You’ll find all sorts of inspirational threads and comments from people who have found the perfect luggage solution, to those who have discovered the ideal secret campsite. Certainly it’s these riders who are true adventure riders instead of the keyboard warriors found in YouTube comments.
With Royal Enfield’s, you either love them or they aren’t for you. There’s no denying that the classic look is one to be appreciated, taking you back 50 years when engines weren’t dependent on extensive electricial circulatory.
Now, it isn’t so popular to take a Royal Enfield into offroad environments. There are shortcomings where it just wouldn’t be our first choice.
It’s not just us and many Royal Enfield riders would agree with us on these points:
- The fuel tanks are quite small. To get extra fuel mounted on a Royal Enfield, you’ll need to buy a bigger aftermarket fuel tank (which are hard to find), or carry extra fuel with a Rotopax/Fuelpax container.
- You’ll want an adventure fairing pretty soon. Oddly enough, most riders choose not to get a fairing as it takes away from the classic look of this motorcycle. After thousands of miles of being battered by the wind, you may have other thoughts.
- The stock tyres aren’t offroad friendly. These are best for riding on the bitumen, though they do well on gravel roads and hard-packed mountain terrain. Take them through the sand and mud and you’ll soon see the genuine shortcomings.
- Their power is quite tame. Let’s admit – they aren’t a performance bike, but one to be admired and ridden. You aren’t going to win speed records, nor are you going to have serious power to get over that sand dune that lays in front. In fact, you probably wouldn’t even attempt a sand dune in the first place.
- Suspension travel is minimal. Yep, those front and rear forks just aren’t designed for whoop sections and gaining some airtime. They’ll hold you, the weight of your gear and a full tank of gas, but the suspension will bottom out pretty soon.
A Fair Analysis
Now to be clear – this isn’t a hate pitch towards the epic line of Royal Enfield motorcycles. We love them just as much as the next person for their style and sophistication, but for genuine offroad appeal, you’ll find some better options.
For the open country, they are certainly a fantastic dual-sport with a more ergonomic approach to riding. They are the motorcycle of choice for several hire companies throughout South America, India, Nepal and Europe too.
If you’re looking to ride around your state, your country or even the world, you can easily spend much of that time on sealed highways. On occasions you might find yourself on a dirt road where a Royal Enfield will continue to shine.
For many riders, this is more than enough to ‘see it all’ and experience the thrill of life behind the handlebars, instead of behind YouTube.
Yet if you’re looking for that little bit extra, including that single track off to the side that looks inviting, then the Royal Enfield may struggle on the more technical sections. That’s it.
For crossing Mongolia and Peru with side open country, there is nothing more appealing, unique and individual than these ADV-inspired motorcycles.