In March I was fortunate enough to have been invited to Royal Enfield North America’s motorcyle launch in Midlothian, Texas. This event, hosted at TexPlex, offered a great location with over 1,000 acres of land — perfect for showing off the capabilities of Royal Enfield North America’s new adventure bike, the Himalayan. During my time there, I had the opportunity to get my hands on this bike, as well as interview key executives from Royal Enfield North America.
The ride portion took place on the event site as well as throughout the back roads of Midlothian. We passed a lot of cattle, and they let us know how they felt about the thunder of cycles tearing down the small roads.
After the road test, a dirt track gave a thorough test of mud, clay, dirt and gravel conditions. Similar to the road test, there was a lot of variation in the terrain, and I was really pleased with how well the Himalayan handled these conditions. There were a few tricky spots, especially since the area received a healthy dose of rain prior to our arrival. One memorable area in particular was a track along a small hill in the trees where we needed to dive down along the hill while simultaneously springing off the bank and zipping straight back up the hill. The bike was great at climbing and it wasn’t difficult to feather the clutch with this ride.
Later that day I interviewed executives Rod Copes and Breeann Poland, who made the trek from Royal Enfield NA’s home office in Milwaukee. They gave me great insight into the Himalayan motorcycle, as well as their plans for Royal Enfield North America in 2018 and beyond.
Between scheduled interviews and test rides, we also had the opportunity to engage in the activities offered at TexPlex. So when we weren’t riding, we were doing things like operating an excavator, riding in a spin boat, participating in a simulated gun range with a live weapon and joining a professional driver on a side-by-side ride.
I did not know what to expect with the UTV ride, as I have never been on a course like this, but I was blown away by the experience! We immediately took off like a shot through the dirt course and whipped around a couple of bank turns. As I set my eyes on the massive ramp ahead of me, I had the surreal feeling of being in the passenger seat, knowing that I had put all my trust into someone I had met 10 seconds earlier. We launched off the first jump and it was a crazy feeling floating through the air and diving into the next jump right away.
Along with riding the new Himalayan motorcycle and learning more about Royal Enfield North America, the trip made for a great office for three days.
Chad Cochran has been a graphic designer for Powersports Business since 2017.