Back in September, I had the pleasure of meeting up Tyler Horne, a local car guy in Houston that’s hellbent on spreading the good word on healthy eating by running multiple farmer’s markets all around the city. Although Urban Harvest is his baby, his passion is cars and bikes just like the rest of us gearheads. I’ve known Tyler for a little while now, so when he asked if he could have some photos taken of his newest obsession, I told him he should have one of the other Mayday guys take the photos because I really don’t consider myself capable of taking outstanding photos, but more importantly, I wanted the photos to do the bike and owner justice.
He assured me that he wanted me to snap the photos and I reluctantly agreed. Tyler needed some quality photos of his sidecar bike so that he could submit them to a website called RoyalEnfields, a blog dedicated to these English bikes that showed up around 1893. Of course, it caught the attention of David Blasco, the owner of the blog, and on cue, wrote a short story about Tyler’s treasure. What follows is what Mr. Blasco wrote of the legendary sidecar bike as excerpted from his blog.
Check out his original blog post here!
Following words by David Blasco:
A Royal Enfield Bullet and sidecar in Houston, Texas came with an interesting story. Its new owner has added to its story, posing with it for a treasure trove of marvelous photographs by a talented photographer.
” I recently picked up a 2002 Bullet in British racing green with a Cozy sidecar attached,” wrote Tyler Horne, from Houston.
“It was previously owned by a grandmother who enjoyed taking strolls through the neighborhood and the occasional ride with a grandchild. She put 180 miles on it during her almost-decade of ownership, so I am still going through the break-in period. I flushed out the tank and cleaned the carbs.
“Everything is straightforward, and I find the work to be enjoyable. I wanted something practical that would allow me take things to and from work without the need to drive my car. I manage farmers markets in Houston and the bike was quite the attraction when I showed up to work on it.”
Tyler and his girlfriend Ashley named their Royal Enfield “Wilma” in honor of Will Spoor, a good friend and “motorcycle mentor” who was known as the “sidecar king” of Houston when he ran a shop specializing in antique BMW motorcycles. Tyler and Will worked together on Tyler’s BMW R90/6, and Will taught Ashley to ride a motorcycle.
Will passed away a few months ago. Tyler sent a photo of a card friends signed in his memory; about 40 people rode their motorcycles in a procession from his favorite watering hole to his memorial service.
“Quite a nice send-off to our friend,” Tyler wrote.
“Ashley and I live in the Montrose area in Houston. It is the perfect neighborhood to enjoy a sidecar bike. Everything is close and everything is an excuse to hop on the bike and take a trip. One of our favorite spots is the West Alabama Ice House down the street from us. It’s a great place to spend a hot summer evening. There is motorcycle-only parking in front, picnic tables with a basketball court and horseshoes. A little taco truck serves some delicious tacos to those brave enough to try them.
“The Enfield always gets compliments and the sidecar is a curiosity to many who couldn’t care less about two-wheeled transportation. I’ve come to find a big part about owning this bike is being patient and knowledgeable enough to answer the questions people have about it. ‘No, it’s not restored,’ ‘yes it’s made in India,’ ‘yes it’s a lot of work,’ and my favorite I learned from you, ‘buy a Honda.’
“I find myself in conversations with people I wouldn’t have been talking to otherwise, and I enjoy seeing people smile as they pass us on the road. It always feels like we are in a parade, even just to get the groceries or run to the post office. I’ve spent many evenings working on the bike and reading the repair manuals. Ashley usually sits in a chair beside me and offers female perspective and advice.
“I’d also like to mention that I love the world-class support I have received from Kevin Mahoney and Ron Greene at Classic Motor Works. The first time I called in, I knew I was in good hands.”
Ashley added: “Despite owning something newer (the Ninja), I find the Enfield to be much more charming.”
Tyler Horne is market manager for Urban Harvest, which sponsors farmer’s markets in Houston and encourages healthy gardening through education.
Be sure to check out David Blasco’s site, Royal Enfields to find out more information on these fantastic rides!