The lean-burn Electra X Enfield isn't everyone's cuppa tea, so how about heading back to basics with the Spartan Pre-65 trials bike? Or if you prefer to travel on tarmac, maybe the full-dress touring Sixty-5 would suit you, sir?
For classic bike fans, the Spartan Bullet was just about the most exciting bike on display at the International Motor Cycle Show last autumn. Never mind yet another Bonneville, this pre-65 trials tool was the secret star of the show - a precision engineered, well prepared off-roader which has been painstakingly developed by the Devonshire firm.
Based around a standard 350 or 500cc Bullet, the Spartan kit transforms a road-going machine into a pre-65 trialler, complete with high pipe, lightweight front hub, competition rear suspension, single saddle, a modified frame which takes a redesigned swinging arm and chunky rear tyre, lightweight billet aluminium yokes and heaps of minor mods and upgrades - all tried and tested in competition by the Spartan riders. The bike is the culmination of the team's off-road experience, and all the special parts are manufactured by Spartan to an extremely high spec in their workshops.
If you've already got a pre-65 bike and fancy some of the trick bits then they're available individually - or you can buy the whole kit, which can be fitted to an existing bike by a competent home mechanic. Alternatively you can ask Spartan to do the hard work for you, and they'll build your bike to your exact specification.
More info from Spartan Engineering in Barnstaple, Devon, on 01271 375030.
Now, you might not automatically choose a 500cc single cylinder machine for your high mileage riding -- an 1800cc six-cylinder machine is more de rigeur for covering long distances these days.
However, if you're happy to relax back and enjoy old-fashioned A-road trundling then Royal Enfield have put together a special touring version of their Sixty-5 Bullet, to showcase one example of what could happen when a credit card runs amok in an accessory shop.
The full-dress Bullet uses the 500cc five-speed, electric start Sixty-5 model as its foundation, adding leather panniers, a windscreen, a leather
tool roll, sensible mirrors (a must-have for the long distance traveller, unless you'd like to look at your elbows all day long), a chrome crash bar, plus solo saddle (for the traveller who prefers to leave everything behind him - including SWMBO!) and a luggage rack. Bungees not included. Of course.
This package adds just under £500 to the standard price of a Sixty-5, bringing the total cost to £3850 OTR for a brand new Bullet, suitably equipped for high miles and all weathers. A mere snip, compared to the £17,000 price tag on a Honda Goldthing. Yes? Well, maybe not...
Right now, Emm and Rowena are discussing the merits of the windscreen ('looks ghastly' 'you can get wet then') and toolroll ('Will it take an entire Snap-On set?') with a view to using a full-dress Bullet on their Round Britain Ride. We think it would be more entertaining for everyone else if the girls used Spartan Pre-65 Bullets for their great adventure (but you didn't hear us suggest that. OK?).
The Sixty-5 seen here also features a right foot gear-change conversion, which combines the modern 5-speed gearbox with the traditional British right-sided operation. That's just in case you like the idea of the 'slick-shift' (hey - everything is comparative!) 5-speeder but haven't managed to reprogramme your feet and brain to suit the wrong-way-round left-foot lever on the standard Sixty-5. The complete conversion kit, including cover, shafts, gear and brake levers retails for £100.
You can get more information about the full-dress Bullet, or any of the individual items featured, from your local Royal Enfield dealer, or call 01386 700907 or visit www.royal-enfield.com