Sid­dhartha Lal

As Royal En­field un­veil their most sig­nif­i­cant new bike in 70 years we go for a ride with the com­pany boss, start­ing from their new tech­ni­cal cen­tre in Le­ices­ter­shire

BIKE (UK) - - NEW BIKES 2019 - By Hugo Wil­son Pho­tog­ra­phy Si­mon Lee

IT’S A CRISP au­tumn morn­ing in Le­ices­ter­shire, with blue skies and bright sun­shine, but the trees are bare, there are damp patches on the shaded tar­mac and it’s a bit parky. Th­ese are nice roads though. Typ­i­cal English un­du­la­tions with a mix of open cor­ners and blind bends that fol­low routes fash­ioned by foot­paths and field en­clo­sures hun­dreds of years ago. Mud on crit­i­cal apexes sug­gests lo­cal farm­ers are still strug­gling with road:field dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion though. We’re ten min­utes into a ride with Royal En­field boss Sid­dhartha Lal aboard a pair of the com­pany’s new 650 twins that were launched in Cal­i­for­nia last month. They’re ag­ile, flex­i­ble and en­gag­ing bikes that arc ef­fort­lessly into the cor­ners and blat­ter along the straights. Th­ese roads could have been made for them. Though of course the re­al­ity is the other way around. They might be man­u­fac­tured in In­dia, but the new

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