Sunday, 26 June 2011

Royal Enfield Open Weekend is hot stuff

Now firmly established in the motorcycling calendar, Royal Enfield’s open weekend attracted 2000 visitors to the Watsonian Squire factory in the Cotswolds over 25th-26th June. With bright sunshine and temperatures reaching 29 degrees C (80 fahrenheit) people took full advantage of the fleet of demonstrator machines available and more than 250 test rides were taken, expertly guided around local roads by the Cheltenham and Cotswold Advanced Motorcyclists.  Rides in the Royal Enfield/GP Manx sidecar combination, featured recently in BBC Springwatch, were in constant demand, with 150 passengers enjoying their first experience of a trip in a chair.

There was considerable interest in the new Bullet 500, set to sell at £3995 on the road, which unveiled to British customers for the first time at the event.  Other attractions included motorcycle adventurer, author and Royal Enfield expert Gordon May, who is prepaing to ride his 1953 Bullet from the North Cape in Norway to the South Cape of Africa next year.  MAG promoting Get a Grip.  Trials ace and ISDT gold medallist Johnny Brittain (pictured) dropped by on the Saturday and talked to master of ceremonies Jim Reynolds about his successful years riding Royal Enfields.

Shipston-on-Stour Sea Scouts were kept busy in the refreshment tent, serving 350 portions of their now famous curry, not to mention countless bacon baps and sausage butties. 

Prizes were awarded for the best motorcycles ridden to the factory on both days, (judged by Frank and Rowena from  Real Classic magazine); on Saturday a rare 1953 Royal Enfield Meteor twin won the prize and on Sunday the laurels went to a Triumph Tiger 650 and Watsonian GP Classic DL outfit. Perhaps the most unusual vehicle in the car park, which was packed with interesting bikes, was a yellow Messerschmitt bubble car.

Dates for next year's Open Weekend will be announced soon.  Call 01386 700907 or visit for details.  View pictures of the weekend on the FLICKR website - your pictures are welcome too.  Send them by email to

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