Those of you who have been following Nevermind Adventure for any length of time will know how much we love Royal Enfield here at Nevermind. We have been using them as our core tour vehicles since 2012 and riding them ourselves much longer. Prior to the pandemic we had one of the largest Royal Enfield dealers in the known universe and the by far the largest tour fleet in the country not to mention being instrumental in the rapid growth of the brand in Australia.  

Nevermind Adventure Tours Australia

So, what are we doing fooling around with Triumph these days? Just to clarify we still love Royal Enfield and maintain a fleet of reliable, trusty and much-loved Royal Enfield Himalayans both here in Australia and abroad. But these days they are stabled alongside our fleet of more modern, sleek and sexy Triumph Scrambler 400x and Triumph Speed 400s.  

And why not. No longer having a dealership or relationship with Royal Enfield Australia (that is another story) we have no loyalties or obligation to any brand. We operate motorcycle tours. We do not sell motorcycles, which is great for our customers as we are completely focussed on your tour and non-biased when it comes to our opinions. Our opinions, feedback and reviews are given only to help our customers find the bike that is best for them.  

Our history with the Himalayan 410 dates back to the time of release. Many 100s of thousands of kilometers and 1000s of bike tours and sales later and we are still big fans. And we are very big fans. These things are at home everywhere. Be it the mighty Himalayas, The South American Andes, Patagonia, Rajasthan, Sri Lanka or the tight curves of the Great Ocean Road. They may well be the greatest all-round motorcycle ever built. And reliable they most certianly are.  

There is nothing particularly sexy about the Himalayan. She’s that curvaceous and bubbly girl shyly giggling with her friends at the dance. She is nurturing, can cook and will make a great mother someday. Wife material. Consistent, loyal, reliable, cuddly and cozy. 

Then there’s the new Triumph Scrambler 400x. She is the one on the dance floor all the guys are swooning over. She is wild and free, probably works as a marine biologist, attends protest rally’s and is an extreme sports adrenaline junkie or UFC fighter. Probably both. She is sexy, hot and irresistible. She is dangerous, she is trouble. You know how this ends, but you cannot help yourself; you are like a moth to a flame.  

The Triumphs look incredible with curves in all the right places. The color schemes are stunning, and they feel soooo dam good to ride. The trusty Himalayan looks and feels somewhat agricultural next to the Triumph. An innocent country girl looking for a Hollywood actors’ gig. And we know how that can end. 

But hear me out. We wanted to put these new sexy Triumph’s to the test, so we put our money where our mouth is. We purchased a fleet to outright with cash down, right here, for our world-famous Secrets Great Ocean Road motorcycle tour. We did this for several reasons – to see if they would stand up to the punishment of a Nevermind tour bike; and to see if punters would pay to ride them. 

 Here is a short preview of the Secrets of the Great Ocean Road tour – Video link

And talk about putting our money where our mouth is. In a bold never before seen move we decided to offer a “Pay What you want” introductory special.  

Meaning the customer books the ride date, nothing to pay, no deposit or anything. Rock up on the day, Ride over 300kilomtres on some of the best roads in the world. All on a new Triumph, swapping between Royal Enfield and Triumph as you desire.  

All fuel, local tour guides, insurance, fresh coffee and a delicious cafe lunch all included. Now we have even added a smoked beef brisket lunch and bbq breakfast, post tour snacks and locally made drinks. As well as preservative free award winning Inverleigh Bakehouse pies and treats for smoko! 

In addition to this if you book an international tour down the track we discount the full amount paid for your Great Ocean Road tour!  

And in addition to that you go in the draw to win an international tour all-inclusive with flights! 

After the day you get to decide what you want to pay, if anything at all. After 8 tours I can tell you this has been a fascinating study in human behavior.  

Outside of the cost of purchasing bikes and the costs of operating the day, there are endless hours of work that go into researching and creating even just a short 1-day ride like this.  

Everything from route planning, social media marketing and content creation; and all those cool videos we love to watch. Website content, itinerary, mapping, enquiries, cancellations, booking management, accounts and invoices and even this blog post. This is all someone’s time and energy or an expense.  

At the end of the day some people are so supportive and understanding and happy to pay, and some are not. We throw everything we can at our tours but such is life.  

Some people will walk away from this incredible motorcycling experience with no remorse or guilt and will not pay anything at all. And this is ok. Anyone who has been around for a while knows that “one cannot out give the universe” as the famous Alan Watts used to say. We have put this theory to the test over and over and found it to be incredibly true. 

Those that give, the generous ones, those that pay for the ride get the most out of the experience and life. Life is generous to them. Luck is on their side. We see it every day. They are the happiest and most joyful people. It all comes back around, and it is awesome to witness and experience this phenomenon firsthand. It is an interesting world we live in. Perhaps a philosophical topic to explore in a future blog post. I digress so back to the bikes. 

I will not go into the specs for the bikes in this post. There is plenty of information out there already and enough to say that both the Triumph and Royal Enfield have an impressive motorcycling heritage. 

I will keep my review limited to performance, reliability and other practical matters. Basically, this is my humble opinion after having the bikes just a few months and putting them through the ringer on the Great Ocean Road as a tour vehicle. In addition to the Great Ocean Road tours I also took the Triumph Scrambler 400x camping over Easter to test the off-road mode and  

capability.  

We have two versions of the new Triumph 400s. The Scrambler 400x and the Speed 400. Interestingly the Triumph Speed 400 and the Triumph Scrambler 400x are very different bikes despite being built from the same engine.  

 

I am a real fan of the Speed 400 but for very different reasons. I will focus this post on the Scrambler and compare to the Royal Enfield Himalayan.  

The Scrambler 400x is a tall bike. The Himalayan is a short bike. What I mean by this is that taller riders, and those who like a stretched-out riding position will prefer the Scrambler. The Scrambler seat height feels much higher than the Himalayan. The Himalayan has always felt somewhat cramped around the legs and hips to me and I would call myself short to medium in height.  

In saying that the Himalayan is a bike that you sit “into”. A lower seat height with bike design and fairing that protect the rider from the elements. The Scrambler is a bike you sit “on” and leaves the rider very exposed. With very little protection and no screen or fairing this gives me the impression of a “fun” bike perfect for fucking around for a few hours on fire trails, tracks or scooting around the city. A perfect bike for impressing that hot tinder date.  

The Himalayan can do all these things however it is just as comfortable heading away on overnighters or long-distance tours. But it probably wont get you laid. 

There is no doubt that the Scrambler has a more modern vibe. With a cool and simple digital speedo and water-cooled engine, expect a smooth and surprisingly powerful ride. I personally found the gearing and engine a little low for the open road. At 100 to 120 kmph it seems to be working harder than I am used to but over time I think I would.  

The HImalayan on the other hand with old school speedo, low power but torquey air cooled engine still seems to hold its own just in a not so cool way. Perhaps that is the divide between the 2 brands as mentioned earlier. Triumph has always been Steve McQueen cool. Royal Enfield has been the rock, all practicality and sensibility with no unnecessary moving parts. 

 

Handling of the bikes is interesting. Being from the dirt bike world I definitely feel more stable on the Himalayan with its large front wheel and dirt bike like handling. I feel very confident both on road, leaning hard into Great Ocean Road hair pins or flogging through sand dunes. Well balanced and light in the front end.  

The Scrambler has a more of a road bike type feel to it. To me it is a bit weird and gives me slightly less confidence, however this does not mean it is not a superb handling bike. It comes down to what you are used to sometimes.  

The Scrambler has an off road setting which from what I can tell severaly restricts the ABS and traction controls. The Himalayan has no traction control and ABS can be switch off. Either option is great but I think in time the Triumphs off road setting could become an advantage in tricky terrain. Certainly on our camping trip I was riding alongside purely off road machines such as Gas Gas, Honda CRF and XRs and the Triumph was able to keep up for the most part. Not bad for a road bike. Switch roles and the off-road machines wont last long on the tar. 

 

As far as reliability is concerned as mentioned previously Royal Enfield have set the bar very high with the Himalayan. We have nearly a decade of abusing them in some of the most punishing conditions on the planet and only hav good things to say about them. And as they have a new model 450cc just arrived you can pick up the old 410cc for next to nothing at ridiculous prices. Great first bike, great all rounder and over time sure to win the heart and mind of even the most critical of bikers. 

The Triumph on the other hand seems incredibly well build but perhaps a little more fragile. Time will tell. Given the impressive technology and modern design this may turn out to be false, and probably will. Our Triumphs now have close to 2000kms of adventure style riding on the clocks and seem to be holding up well other than some fork seals. The upside down forks are well made with good protection however for some reason on just one of the bikes the seals seem to be already worn out and turns out this is considered a consumable and is not covered by warranty. Not a big problem, only $100 in parts and an hour or so and the jobs done. All our the Triumphs are fine 

The Himalayan is standard front forks with gaters so this is a problem you are unlikely to ever encounter. The trade off is that the front end on the Himalayan does not perform to the standard of the Triumph and is prone to bottoming out more and is not as smooth.  

So what is the outcome? Which bike is better? Who winds the shoot out. 

 Obviously, this is going to depend on your intended use.  

 If you want a ridiculously cheap and reliable bike. A bike that is going to be able to take you almost anywhere in comfort and style. A bike that may not be the prettiest thing on the market but will provide you thousands of kms of joy, happiness and companionship and never let you down. If you’re a practical, one bike kind of guy with old school values go out and get yourself a used Royal Enfield Himalayan 410cc. There are literally thousands of them up for sale due to the new model and this is a bike that will do anything you ever ask it to do with a smile and eye contact. This is a bike that is out to please its owner. 

The Scrambler. Its unpractical, its looks sexy, it feels so dam good and has all the last fashion. It can back all of this up with a high-performance engine and lots of fuckery in Comparision to the Himalayan. The Scrambler is trouble, not in an engine reliability sensee, she is the hot new friend on the scene, she may have you doing things that you are not ready to do or just should not be doing. She has all the latest gadgets and a sleek slender body and knows how to dress to impress but it remains to be seen is she can make the long term and loyal ride that many of us are looking for. But FMD she can ride like no other and make you feel like a god or goddess when she chooses to. And this, in my humble opinion, is something that I am going to pass up. Not in this lifetime. A lot of bike for under $10k AUD.

 

Here is an AI generated review of the two bikes just for shits and giggles. “The Royal Enfield Himalayan and the Triumph Scrambler 400X are two very different motorcycles, each with its own unique strengths and appeal. The Himalayan is the more rugged and capable off-road machine. With its 21-inch front wheel, long-travel suspension, and 40 horsepower single-cylinder engine, the Himalayan is built to tackle tough terrain. It may not be as refined or polished as the Triumph, but it more than makes up for it with its impressive off-road performance. In contrast, the Scrambler 400X is the more stylish and road-focused of the two. Its classic Triumph styling, high-quality fit and finish, and smooth 398cc engine make it a great choice for urban commuting and light trail riding. While it may not be as capable off-road as the Himalayan, the Scrambler 400X makes up for it with its superior on-road manners and head-turning good looks. Ultimately, the choice between the two comes down to your riding priorities. If you’re looking for a capable and affordable adventure bike, the Himalayan is the clear winner. But if you want a stylish and refined retro-inspired motorcycle, the Scrambler 400X is the way to go. Either way, you’re getting a great bike that will put a smile on your face every time you ride.” 

 

Pretty much what I said but in a more boring and non-controversial way. Fuck AI. 

 

Ok if you made it thus far I better tell the story about my run in with the law whilst camping with my new beloved Scrambler 400x and family.  For legal purposes none of this happened and I am making the entire story up for the sake of entertainment.  

Some of you may know that the Victorian police and I have had some disagreements over the past few years resulting in me taking some well-deserved time off the road. Sometimes it is better to pick your battles. 

Over Easter, and with a few days to go before I would be back on the road legally, I broke rank. Being 5 hours from the nearest city, in the middle of the bush, well in the middle of nowhere, the temptation became too much. My 17-year-old son and I jumped on the Gas Gas EC 250cc and the Triumph Scrambler 400x and went for a ride through the bush. We stuck to some small dirt tracks and did not go anywhere near a formed road. We had a lot on fun and most importantly some great father son bonding that a dad only gets when riding a motorcycle his son. I am sure most riders have similar experiences. 

It was hot and we didn’t take water, so we returned to camp. Whilst riding into the camp site a police car is driving out in the opposite direction.  

Only slightly concerned as I thought he had no reason to turn around. We were not doing anything obviously illegal, and we were only 100 metres from our camp. We continued on riding past the camp as a precaution. My intuition told me to not risk going to camp, and I felt some dark and evil vibes, so we ducked down a small track beside the lake where we were camped. We stripped off our riding gear and walked a few hundred metres back toward the camp through the scrub.  

Lo and behold the patrol car passes us on the track and turns directly down the track we stashed our bikes.  

We keep walking. He stops to talk to some nearby campers and I can feel we are being hunted. The predator prey instinct, I guess. I could feel him creeping on us, tracking us like wild animals.  

He drives up towards us, off the track into the scrub and approaches us but remains in the vehicle. There is no one in sight and he is alone. He does not seem to be armed or alarmed, just angry. I immediately think that this police man is very stupid. He drives up and says to us in a very aggressive and unfriendly tone “where’s your bike licenses boys”. Fuck him he knows, perhaps he has looked up my registration plate number or something. Perhaps he is fishing or bluffing. “Don’t need a license to bush walk, do we officer?” I answer him, probably in a smart arse tone judging by the events that now transpire. 

I look him directly in the eye and I immediately know he has nothing on us. I know that look. A kind of Im hiding something as well perplexity. He is bluffing, trying to trip me up. This is why the cops piss me off sometimes. Yes, there are great cops and I have met many of them but dick heads like this fuck it up for everyone. Yes and I know there are those of you who will go, “well if you were licensed, legal or whatever and abiding by the rules you would not have had this problem.” And OK fair enough but there were probably many dead Polish who said to the Jews “oh well if you were not Jewish you would not have to worry about these gas chambers”. Only to find themselves being herded into train carriages by the nazis soon after the Jews. Just sayin. 

For this is how sociopaths and psychopaths get control and slowly inflict their evil deeds in the world. They are subtle and do it before anyone notices it is happeneing. They divide us and then they massacre us. It is a story as old as time itself. Again, I digress but all I am saying is think very carefully before pointing the finger. I value my freedom very highly and will not tolerate fascism from those paid by us to protect us. 

The policeman is your typical overweight middle aged, bored cop. I am thinking why the fuck would you bother hassling a father and son on trail bikes but I am sure he would justify it with some kind of road accident statistics, saying we are disturbing other campers, or some road toll bullshit. I reckon a friendly chat would have achieved far better outcome and earned our respect.  

“I am just taking a walk with my son” I say, deciding to stick to my guns rather, dig my heels in, rather than appeal to his good nature, confess and explain the situation. My family is from the most stubborn village in Poland after all. I feel this cop is out for a kill today and he does not like the look of us two.  

“I know it was you riding those bikes, I have witnesses” He accuses us “I spoke to other campers and they told me it was you” His eyes give him away. He is lying. “No idea buddy, just walking. Nice day for it don’t you think?” I reply and continue walking. 

“Dont get smart with me. I hope you do not always treat police with such disrespect” He replys in frustration. He knows I know the game and have him at check mate. “Show me some ID now mate or I will have to arrest you.” He tries desperately to bluff me into confession. 

Fuck are we in soviet area Poland and is this bloke the KGB I wonder. What the fuck is going on in this country. My ancestors fled Europe to get away from this kind of fascism. 

I smile, I can’t help it. I can feel he is desperately trying to trigger me. To tap into my emotions, to make me angry. To cause a fight or flight response. But I have been in this situation before, and I know the game he is playing. I wonder if it is his police training, or if he is just a psychopath. Probably both. 

“Only when being interrogated and harassed by the police for no reason whilst bushwalking with my son. Since when do we have to carry ID when bushwalking. Do you carry ID when taking a walk in the bush miles from anywhere?” I say confidently. I know know we have the upper hand. If anyone is going to crack and do something stupid it will be him.  

“well, you leave me with no choice, I will impound your bikes and have you locked up” He says to me in one last ridiculous attempt to break me. One cop alone in the bush in an SUV, miles from the police station. Not happening. He makes himself look like a fool. How the fuck is he going to “impound” two motorcycles here in the bush, on his own. 

I look into the cabin of the car. This guy really is on a power trip. He is alone, unarmed and there are no witnesses around and he knows it. I smirk and laugh a quiet hmmph, enough for him to hear me. “Go for it buddy, they are not my bikes and we are just taking a nice walk together on this beautiful Easter Saturday. 

He is fuming and drives off, gets about 30 metres away from us and my son snaps. He can’t take anymore. The teen spirit explodes. Hormones, adrenaline and teen anger. My son turns around and calls the cop things I won’t repeat here. The brake lights slam on and the police car starts to reverse.  

I can feel his triumph, he has won, he has broken us. Now to claim his victory. “What was that boys? Did you just say something?” He calls out to us. 

I say quietly to my son “shut up buddy and play the game. Let me handle this”.  

The cop is slowly reversing back toward us, and I respond to his provocation politely “My son says have a lovely day and he thinks you are doing a wonderful job protecting us campers and bushwalkers from those pesky bikers”.  

The cop is fuming. He has nothing on us and drives down the small track pretending to “impound” the bikes. We all know he is full of shit. 

We walk back to camp and my licensed wife and brother-in-law to ride the bikes back to camp. They return soon with the bikes unscathed.  

No notes on the bikes, no impounded bikes, no fines. We all laugh as I recount the story with the vigor and animation of a black American stand-up comedian. Indeed, the story is told many times around that evening’s campfire. Getting better and funnier with each telling; to the point my nephew Isaac just kept asking for me to tell it over and over and couldn’t stop his fits of laughter.  

 

Well, that is my version of events, and I am sticking to it.  

 

I can’t help but feel that fateful day is a sign of things to come. Yes, it was a rare win for the people. We very rarely get away with anything these days. Have we given up so much freedom that we cannot ride dirt bikes with our kids anymore. Have the cops become so fascist since the pandemic that they have forgotten that we are all free range humans.  

I have had quite a few interactions with the Victorian Police over the past 2 years and since the pandemic it feels it is us against them. Or perhaps it is just them against me. We used to be in this boat together, a community and the police were an important “part” of that rather than “apart” from it.  

What do you guys think? Have you had similar experiences? Have you been bullied and harassed by the police more in the last few years? 

Are we now governed by a fascist dictatorship and have not even noticed? I mean I cannot even walk my dog off a lead anymore without someone having a go at me or “informing on me” to the local council ranger.  

I would love to hear your stories/thoughts :). 

matt@nevermindadventuretours.com.au

www.nevermindadventuretours.com.au