RIDING DIFFERENT BIKES. RACING SOME
Sunday, the 22nd of May 2022 was a true motorcycle day. Through the whole of the Netherlands multiple ride outs were organised. My boyfriend and I got to ride two Royal Enfiend Continental GT 650’s, with special thanks to Royal Enfield Benelux. All to participate in the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride.
The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) was one of the ride outs that was held on the 22nd of May this year. And it’s probably one of the most famous ride outs of the year. All over the world, riders get together to ride in style and remember the good old times. They do so to raise money for research about prostate cancer and mental health among men.
And in style we rode. We wore our best suits, some proper jet helmets and for me some red lipstick to complete the picture. Off to Lijnden we went, where the Amsterdam Classic Riders and BikeBrewers organised the event, in corporation with Just Brands and Vanguard.
We left from Hoorn, so we had to make quite some miles on the highway but got to enjoy some country roads too. The Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 is awesome on those little twisty roads. It makes you smile, non stop. Ron and I are both used to 200+ hp superbikes. One would think we’d miss all that power. But honestly; we didn’t. The Continental just gently invites you to take it easy for a bit. You might accept the invite with restraint. But soon enough you start to relax and enjoy this little bike.
The Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 is perfect for short riders. With my 1.68m and short legs I could easily reach the ground. Bend knees even! That doesn’t happen a lot. For the first time I was able to turn the bike around while still being seated on it. This might be quite normal for others, but for me it’s a first. What a relieve! Do I normally miss this? No. But is it practical? Yes.
Though, I hope you don’t buy a bike for its seat height. You buy it because you love the way it rides, because it gives you confidence or just because you are madly in love with its looks. Honestly, the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 could match all those things. Especially when you personalize it a bit.
Of course it has to be your thing. I personally kinda like it. Does my heart automatically skip a beat when I see a retro bike? No. Not always. Not immediately. But I do appreciate their charm and looks. And I love slowing down a bit every now and then, in this world where everything has to go faster and faster. Yes, I really did say that. Me, as a huge superbike lover.
Riding around on the Continental GT is just fun. The sunshine, the retro outfits.. it all adds to its charm. The many smiling faces, the thumbs up, the almost drooling retro fans. They all contribute to the positive vibes. Your mood just gets a bit better, instantly. I never got so many reactions on a bike. Not even when I – being somewhat of a midget – rode the BMW R 1250 GS Adventure. Or on my own aprilia RSV4 RF, which is a real eye catcher if you ask me. Nope, the Continental outdid them all.
Funny! Not something I’d expected on forehand. But the retro vibes. The charm of the good old days. It does something with people. And the Continental GT builds a bridge effortlessly between the charms of the past and the technology of the modern days. It’s a no nonsense bike. The suspension is fine, the brakes are more than decent and the throttle response is good. No overload of electronics and gadgets, but just enough to make it a bike you don’t have to worry about.
It’s all about careless riding. The Royal Enfield did well during the DGR ride out (my compliments to the gents of BikeBrewers and Amsterdam Classic Riders!). The average speed was low during this ride. I hear you thinking; ‘isn’t every bike capable of riding slow?!’ Yes, you’re right. But riding slow isn’t that fun on every bike. And not every bike handles it well. And what about the heat?! It was over 25 degrees that day. My aprilia would have died after no more than 10 minutes. It would just cook itself.
But the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 handled it like a champ. And it runs super smooth, especially for a two cylinder bike. Did the guys pick up the speed? No problem as well. We managed to keep up just fine. ‘Cause riding like a little old school hooligan is also quite possible on this bike. City traffic is peanuts. Personally, I had to get used to the wider steering bar and the bar end mirrors. Those mirrors made the steering bar even wider. So filtering through traffic did give me some unpleasant chills.
But after a few tries it was alright. Riding over 80 miles an hour on the highway? Then you’re a proper warrior on this baby. With no wind protection at all you might as well train your abs a bit. But hey. You know that on forehand when you buy a bike like this. And riding those speeds is not what it’s build for. It could be a fun city commuter. Or a country side commuter if you will. Lots of highway miles to make? Then it’s probably not your match.
Fact of note; the GT 650 gives quite some confidence when riding in the rain. Yes, you’ll get soaked to the bone. Especially when not wearing some proper waterproof gear. But that’s something that will happen on any bike. But it does give you very decent feeling of ‘being in control’ when it rains. I guess it’s due to the balance in the bike and the more than decent brakes that allow you to brake smoothly as well. So no instant ‘Oops’, ‘OMG’ or ‘Sh*t’ moments.
This bike was made to enjoy. Ride it to enjoy the scenery. The bike itself. The smiles. The good vibes. Ride it slow on country roads or ride like an old school hooligan through city traffic. Expect lots of drools and thumbs up from bystanders. And people who want to chat with you about how old your bike is and how awesome it looks.
The Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 is a true charmer. No overwhelming power. But just enough. It’s good looking, cute and runs super smooth. And above all; it’s a whole lot of fun. It slowly steals your heart. Are you looking for a bike with the charms of the good old days, without the struggles of older technology (and thus lots of garage time)? One you can just hop onto and ride off? And enjoy every mile? Then give this Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 a try.
That we are a fan of classic styled motorcycles is no secret. Want to read more about modern classics? Read more about why we think the Kawasaki Z900RS is an awesome motorcycle.