• Flavours of motorcycling

Can one motorcycle excite two different breeds of enthusiasts?

Motorcycles come in different flavours, and each attracts its own style of riders. Over the last eight years as an auto journalist, I have had my share of fast motorcycles and adrenaline spikes. But, of late I have been veering towards laid back cruisers. Call it age or even sheer susegad attitude, the tranquillity in not reaching your destination in a hurry is as relaxing as a cold beer on a warm summer day. That’s the reason the blue Meteor Supernova has been my long term motorcycle. Ishan on the other hand is an adventure nut who prefers going sideways to gliding through. The youngling prefers the Meteor Fireball in bright yellow, a flashy motorcycle that suits his lifestyle. Being the senior journo in the office, it’s my duty then to introduce Ishan to a more relaxed way of riding and curb his enthusiasm a bit. Therefore I pulled rank and swapped the blue Meteor for the yellow one for a few weeks. Big mistake! You know that saying, what goes around comes around, well that’s sort of how this experiment went down.

Look, they might be different variations of the same motorcycle, but underneath, both Meteors have solid bones and have mightily impressed us with its reliability and performance. Both come kitted with Royal Enfield’s GMA accessories which besides being useful, make the motorcycles stand out from the crowd. A few days into riding the yellow Meteor, I understand why Ishan has been raving about it. The flatter handlebar and bar end mirrors offer a street tracker riding stance while the short flyscreen, in my opinion, makes the Meteor look retro-cool. It practically begs to sprint between traffic lights and you want to oblige. I especially like the low touring seat which not only makes long trips easier but also offers a sporty and snug grip around the tank. Ishan took this Meteor on the trails and believes that this would make for a good rally motorcycle with a few changes. Radical but believable if you ask me, especially because of RE’s known history with the Himalayan adventures, long before the Himalayan!

It has taken Ishan long to warm up to the more sedate Meteor but not in the way I imagined. He now believes the blue motorcycle will make for a far better rally motorcycle than the yellow one owing to the taller handlebars. He says they will allow him to stand up and ride over obstacles easier. Well, you can’t always change perception. Or maybe he is onto something. For now, it is time to bid adieu to the Meteors and welcome a new Royal Enfield in its place. That said, the Meteors have made an impression, not just by its all-around capability but the way it tugs at your heartstrings the way only a Royal Enfield could.

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