The 411 on my Royal Sunshine
I have former co-worker Jeff Stewart (follow him on IG @the_real_jstew) to thank for getting me into riding. Through him I learned about an intro to motorcycles program offered by Harper College, where the entire 3-day program only costs $20. They provide the literature, helmets, and motorcycle, and the course includes both in-class time as well as outdoor riding. What’s more, upon successful completion/graduation from the program, a letter/permit is then mailed to you which can then be used to bypass the written and riding test at the DMV. If that’s not a good value and reason to try something new, then I don’t know what is! Sure enough, I got hooked into riding right away.
Even though I’d originally set out to save up around $7k for my first (new) bike, I quickly learned that instead newbies should aim to get a good used bike. Why? Because the likelihood that it’ll get dropped, scratched, mistreated, etc. is very high. You might as well have all of those “oopsie” moments with something not quite as shiny and new. Not to mention, it’s not uncommon for riders to get the itch to upgrade to larger (or brand new) bikes soon into their riding career.
With that said, I began to randomly peruse the used bike sites and that’s when I came across my dear bumblebee. I was immediately attracted to the stripped-down look, the obnoxious yellow tone that somehow sang to me, and best of all the price tag at just north of $3k put this bike within reach. Though I wasn’t intending on pulling the trigger right away last year, the budget allowed for it and I also didn’t want to miss the opportunity of taking full advantage of the summer months in the midwest.
So there it was, I was the proud owner of a 2015 Royal Enfield Continental GT, in GT yellow. Don’t let the long and fancy name fool you, it has a 535 cc engine that puts out a whopping 29 ponies. For me, that’s more than enough, not too small or too big. At 406 pounds, it’s also rather nimble when it comes to handling at speed or on foot.
I’ve enjoyed the moments riding thus far and look forward to many years on the road.