Headline says it really. Today I had a test ride on said bike at Eddy's of Shipley near Bradford. Firstly I must say what a nice guy Eddy is. He took me through the general layout of the bike, made sure there was plenty of petrol in the tank, pointed out the best roads to take for a decent ride (I'd no idea as I live in Hull - big city with no Enfield or Triumph dealers - investors please note) and generally sent me on my way with a smile. AND after the ride made no great hard sell whatsoever.
Any road up, back to the bike. I found it nicely finished, comfortable riding position and everything where it should be. Unsurprisingly I guess it felt very 'British' to me (apparently all the R+D and design has been done in Britain). The 650 motor was an absolute gem being very torquey and smooth - it's got a 270 degree crank a la TDM. The brakes were superb and the twin analogue clocks looked far nicer than a cheapo digital display like most bikes have these days.
The riding position whilst being very comfortable at lower speeds did cause problems above about 60mph as the bike was completely naked without even a fly screen to deflect the wind. I took the bike up to about 80 and at this point the front end started to seem a bit light for my liking. So for quicker riding flatter bars would be needed, but for pottering around country lanes at 50 to 60 the stock ones are fine. The Continental GT model has lower bars and rear set footrests and I'm told easily tops the ton.
I rode the bike for an hour or so around the Pennine twisties and really loved it, but my only problem is that my TDM900 is better in almost every department apart from low down smoothness (of course). But I suppose that is an unfair comparison because the 9er is not trying to be a retro. Having said that, if I was seriously in the market for a retro,I would definitely consider the Enfield, and at half the price of a Bonneville for me it would be a no-brainer.