One to ride: Royal Enfield V-twin,1913

Smooth and torquey: Royal Enfield V-twin,1913

The reason for this alacrity is the powerful JAP side valve V-twin, two-speed countershaft gear and all chain drive. The twin is fired up via a single-sided bicycle crank affair clipped to the frame above the gear mechanism. Climb aboard and the tram handle that sprouts above the tank can be eased back, this brings one of a pair of little expanding steel clutches into engagement and you’ll move off smoothly. Once underway, pulling the handle full back locks the gear home via an over-centre arrangement. Having said this, almost immediately the bike is rolling you can shut the throttle and push the handle full forward then immediately open the taps again. The torque of the 771cc V-twin takes over and with a few hefty thumps the RE quickly hauls itself up to cruising speed. Perched high-wide and handsome, the countryside slips by at a remarkable pace. Even in town there is rarely any reason for recourse to the start gear.

Such refinement in a veteran motorcycle comes at a cost though; don’t be surprised to see a price tag in excess of £20,000.

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