Monday, 21 June 2010

hundreds of Bullets fly at 2010 Open Weekend

Royal Enfield’s fleet of demonstrator bikes was kept busy at the company’s open weekend, when a record 319 test rides were taken – the largest number in the event’s 5-year history.  Cheltenham and Cotswold Advanced Motorcyclists guided riders through the country lanes surrounding the Watsonian Squire factory, home to Royal Enfield in the UK since 1999.

Visitors arrived on the widest variety of machines, including an Ariel 3 trike and Honda Silverwing sidecar outfit.  On Saturday a Norton Commando High Rider won the prize for Best Machine ridden to the event (judged and awarded by Real Classic magazine) and on Sunday the honours went to a pristine 1953 Royal Enfield Bullet.

Special thanks go to regular guests, including motorcycle adventurer and Royal Enfield expert Gordon May, who has just returned from riding a BSA Bantam overland to Egypt, and world sidecar champion passenger Stan Dibben. Jim Reynolds returned as master of ceremonies, while Frank and Rowena from Real Classic were kept busy talking to readers of their popular publication.  Freshly cooked food was provided once again by the Shipston-on-Stour Sea Scouts, who expanded their popular curry menu with a new chilli, while local Cotswold ice creams were available to cool down afterwards.  Wychwood Brewery, famous for Hobgoblin Ale, travelled from the other side of the Cotswolds in their 1951 Bedford dray, bringing taster packs of their cask ales.

No visit to the Watsonian Squire factory would be complete without a ride in a sidecar and the two demo outfits, a classic Royal Enfield/GP Manx combination and sporty Yamaha XXR1300 paired with a Squire ST3, were both in constant demand, with many passengers enjoying their first experience of a trip in a chair. See more pictures at

Dates for the 2011 Open Weekend will be announced soon.  Call 01386 700907 or visit for details.

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