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Old 02-07-2013, 09:21 PM   #1
Supernaut1985 OP
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Royal Enfield - Since I don't see a recent thread...

After much searching around this appears to be a form that doesn't have much tolerance for many threads on the same issue. Looking about I don't see any discussing the recent Royal Enfield models.

I am a new user from Edmonton, AB, Canada interested in the Enfield... one of the classic military style ones to be specific.

Now I understand in the recent past they were a really low quality horrid machine. I've seen previous advice in years past that your better off with a used Japanese motorcycle for $2500 than a new enfield. Or something to the tune of "The best "$2000 bike that $5000" can buy.

However my understanding is they have now achieved pretty decent quality levels in the last few years. Also EFI and getting excellent fuel economy (85mpg imp?). They're supposed to be pretty durable to tackle the tough roads and conditions that India can throw at them.

Any thoughts on this as an adventure bike, or doing some long haul, running down the odd fire trail...etc? I know they only make 27hp or so and have a top speed of 130km/h, but there has been round the world expeditions and such on bikes with similar abilities. I also know they're not designed to be an off road bike per say, but hell, every bike was deemed off road able back in the day (you just have to go slow enough I guess).

To my knowledge there is a 535cc bore kit one could apply if they mange to burn out that 500, for a little extra boost.

Are there any users here using one of these in what I'll call the "adventure spirit"?

I'm also wondering how much the aerodynamics of hard panniers might effect the highway ability of the bike.

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Old 02-07-2013, 11:20 PM   #2
Beezer
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all made in India... including the bearings. might be better... mebby yes... mebby no.


changing the blown crank bearing somewhere in northern India...





the mechanic that accompanied us had the bearing, why??? because it wasnt the first one that need to be replaced 1000 miles from home. the good news is that it was done in a couple hours in a parking lot


PS... my first bike was an Enfield... 1968. don';t know what year the bike was... it had a bad generator & I had to charge up to ride a couple hours & then scamper home
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:52 AM   #3
Sierra Thumper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supernaut1985 View Post
After much searching around this appears to be a form that doesn't have much tolerance for many threads on the same issue. Looking about I don't see any discussing the recent Royal Enfield models.

I am a new user from Edmonton, AB, Canada interested in the Enfield... one of the classic military style ones to be specific.

Now I understand in the recent past they were a really low quality horrid machine. I've seen previous advice in years past that your better off with a used Japanese motorcycle for $2500 than a new enfield. Or something to the tune of "The best "$2000 bike that $5000" can buy.

However my understanding is they have now achieved pretty decent quality levels in the last few years. Also EFI and getting excellent fuel economy (85mpg imp?). They're supposed to be pretty durable to tackle the tough roads and conditions that India can throw at them.

Any thoughts on this as an adventure bike, or doing some long haul, running down the odd fire trail...etc? I know they only make 27hp or so and have a top speed of 130km/h, but there has been round the world expeditions and such on bikes with similar abilities. I also know they're not designed to be an off road bike per say, but hell, every bike was deemed off road able back in the day (you just have to go slow enough I guess).

To my knowledge there is a 535cc bore kit one could apply if they mange to burn out that 500, for a little extra boost.

Are there any users here using one of these in what I'll call the "adventure spirit"?

I'm also wondering how much the aerodynamics of hard panniers might effect the highway ability of the bike.

I'm just curious....why would you want an Enfield? The nostalgia factor? Fond childhood memories? Masochistic?
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:04 PM   #4
Supernaut1985 OP
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Originally Posted by Sierra Thumper View Post
I'm just curious....why would you want an Enfield? The nostalgia factor? Fond childhood memories? Masochistic?
I like the classic style of them. I like that its something unique that you don't see around too often. I like that excellent fuel economy they supposedly get. It irritates me that most motorcycles suck (almost) as much fuel as small cars that weigh nearly 3000lbs. People sometimes say to me "I bet you save a lot of gas riding your bike around." And I have to tell them... "Not that much." The fuel economy of a small car isn't going to close my bank account but it just feel like bikes should do better than that. I am well aware this is finally starting to change with EFI becoming more widespread among bikes.

Back to the Enfield, I guess there is a nostalgia factor but I'm not old enough to remember it, nor am I Indian or even visited there.

It just seems like a machine of style and purpose, from a time when all machines had to have style, where as the bulk of adventure bikes are all purpose and no style. Unless "Transformers" is a style. Not that I would object to a new Weestrom parked in my driveway. I wish someone would make a fully functional adventure bike with old school good looks. The Triumph Scrambler I think is a strong step in this direction.

Whatever bike I end up getting I know its going to be on pavement 90% of the time anyway.

I'll quit now before this becomes too much more fragmented.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:06 PM   #5
Goofy1
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Me too,me too!!

I've lusted after one for years but never could make the deal happen. As pointed out above they are pretty simple, basic transportation. BUT go here and get the parts you need to make an adventure bike:

http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/mo...ts/trials.html

or read about it here:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=295927
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:37 PM   #6
NJ-Brett
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While quality has improved some, they are very expensive for what you get, and they do not like to be ridden fast as they still vibrate a lot.
While something like a TU250 does not make as much power, it can be ridden at full throttle and top speed for months without any complaint or oil use, its happy to do it, runs cool, and is smooth at all speeds.

The Enfield is not my style, but I would like a nice 500 single vintage style street bike.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:04 PM   #7
Noisymilk
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depends on what you are looking for

I ride one as my daily rider. Its old (not in age, but in design)....mind you mine is an 03 which is the oldest engine design. Commonly referred to as the Iron Barrel. There was an intermediate design that had a modified head and alloy jug and improved crank (roughly 06-09 I believe) called the AVL or Lean Burn. Then theres the newest ones (09 and on I believe) called the UCE or unit construction. FI, modern crank, complete bottom up new engine, cases, etc.

They make a model called the B5 which is the new engine hung in the old frame so lots of the old bolt on accessories still work.

I like it. Yeah, you gotta turn a wrench on mine. The new ones are closer to a "all you gotta do is change the oil and ride" bike, but still require some love. A guy named Tom Lyons does a hop up kit called the Fireball which is Iron Barrel only. Google it. Him and his partner Chumma have several bikes out there consistently capable of 80 mph all day, 70 mpg, and no over heating. They are working on similar improvements for the UCE (the current model).

Obviously, I'm a fan of this bike. But I like old weird things. I'm reworking mine into a modest dual sport machine, with the intentions of riding to Anchorage, and possibly Tierra del Fuego.....just to say I did it on an Enfield. :)

Feel free to read my build thread on the enfield site:
http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/fo...c,12951.0.html

Yeah, it's not a modern bike. Lots of folks around here won't "get it" as far as adv riding goes. But I'm a fan of less is more, and weird and unique journeys and such. Like I said, it's my daily driver and I love it.

Go ride one, see what you think....
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:12 PM   #8
Noisymilk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
the mechanic that accompanied us had the bearing, why??? because it wasnt the first one that need to be replaced 1000 miles from home. the good news is that it was done in a couple hours in a parking lot
Yeah, known weakness. Ace Engineering (Tom Lyons I referenced above) and others sell a roller bearing replacement and better case bearings that eliminate that issue. And Tom is also working on an improved floating bush (as a budget option) for that for those who don't want to make fire breathing ton up Enfields.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:49 PM   #9
Beezer
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hey milk... look me up when you come to Anchorage.

what the heck I like wierd things too... heres my latest:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...=845635&page=3

and Supernaut... you want one go for it. they are kool & fun to ride. but remember they are what they are and they require more work. If I had the older design I would change the crank bearing pretty soon.... and go roller instead of bushing or plain. I used to specialize in BSA... the unit twins had crank bearing issues too, so going roller is the cure.

also its a right side shifter & the pattern is backwards (unless the export model is different than the home version). the newer unit model is more like a standard bike

Beezer screwed with this post 02-15-2013 at 04:03 PM
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:28 PM   #10
NJ-Brett
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Nothing wrong with that.
I used to ride a 1969 Daytona, 5 years of dual sporting and road trips, 45,000 miles in 5 years, and I suspect a modern Enfield is about the same, use it much and it takes looking after, problems in design, but different ones, very simple, easy to work on, fun to ride.
I did a LOT of upgrading, 7 plate clutch (still did not work well), rubber mounted coils, rubber mounted headlight, air filters would crack or go missing every so often, as would the rocker box caps, oil leaked over time, gas tank mounts cracked, kick start pawl did not last long, carbs wore out fast, no O ring chain would fit, valves and seats wore out, transmission tended to wear out various parts over (a short) time.

I rode the bike hard and the motor did not hold up well.

I threw in the towel when some aftermarket tappet adjusters came apart, ruined the oil pump and trashed the big end bearings. 1st time I ever had a bike towed home in 40 years.

Does this sound like an Enfield?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisymilk View Post
I ride one as my daily rider. Its old (not in age, but in design)....mind you mine is an 03 which is the oldest engine design. Commonly referred to as the Iron Barrel. There was an intermediate design that had a modified head and alloy jug and improved crank (roughly 06-09 I believe) called the AVL or Lean Burn. Then theres the newest ones (09 and on I believe) called the UCE or unit construction. FI, modern crank, complete bottom up new engine, cases, etc.

They make a model called the B5 which is the new engine hung in the old frame so lots of the old bolt on accessories still work.

I like it. Yeah, you gotta turn a wrench on mine. The new ones are closer to a "all you gotta do is change the oil and ride" bike, but still require some love. A guy named Tom Lyons does a hop up kit called the Fireball which is Iron Barrel only. Google it. Him and his partner Chumma have several bikes out there consistently capable of 80 mph all day, 70 mpg, and no over heating. They are working on similar improvements for the UCE (the current model).

Obviously, I'm a fan of this bike. But I like old weird things. I'm reworking mine into a modest dual sport machine, with the intentions of riding to Anchorage, and possibly Tierra del Fuego.....just to say I did it on an Enfield. :)

Feel free to read my build thread on the enfield site:
http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/fo...c,12951.0.html

Yeah, it's not a modern bike. Lots of folks around here won't "get it" as far as adv riding goes. But I'm a fan of less is more, and weird and unique journeys and such. Like I said, it's my daily driver and I love it.

Go ride one, see what you think....
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:31 PM   #11
Beezer
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a TR100 was a pretty refined piece of work compared to BSA and Enfield of the day which were in many respects, pretty much "blunt objects" by comparison. the "new" pre unit Enfields are the 3rd world translation of that
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:27 AM   #12
Royal Tiger
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They are the Yugo's of the motorcycle world. Two or three years ago they had Royal Enfield's at the International Motorcycle Show in New York City. The badges didn't even line up on both sides of the tank. This is what worries me with KTM. India is far from being known as a place with high quality control standards. They cost as much or more then far, far better motorcycles. If you don't mind the long list of negatives and have a desire to own one "just because", then go for it. I wish you luck. All that matters is that you are happy with it.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:50 AM   #13
Noisymilk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ-Brett View Post
.
I did a LOT of upgrading, 7 plate clutch (still did not work well), rubber mounted coils, rubber mounted headlight, air filters would crack or go missing every so often, as would the rocker box caps, oil leaked over time, gas tank mounts cracked, kick start pawl did not last long, carbs wore out fast, no O ring chain would fit, valves and seats wore out, transmission tended to wear out various parts over (a short) time....

I rode the bike hard and the motor did not hold up well.

I threw in the towel when some aftermarket tappet adjusters came apart, ruined the oil pump and trashed the big end bearings. 1st time I ever had a bike towed home in 40 years.

Does this sound like an Enfield?
Not entirely like the Enfield. Yes, some parts of antique design do wear. However, I've sorted my oil leaking problems. I'm still on the original starter pawl. And still on my stock carb. about 15k miles at this point. Stock bottom end. Stock and original oil pumps. Stock original chain (although actually thats on the list of things to replace)

But, I am also a relatively tame rider. Don't have much use for speeds over 70, have a back roads temperament.

I did modify the gear box to run on gear oil instead of that grease sludge it came with stock. Pretty easy to just replace the bearings with sealed. Took about 2 hours.

I am working towards using a CVK32 I got for a song from a guy that took it off his klr250. I just put on the Ace 535 kit (piston and alloy barrel), but on stock bottom end so I gotta be careful until I can get that part rectified. Truthfully, it appears the greatest weakness of the old bikes was in the cases. Crank bearing and case bearings. Replace those and put it together right, and it's a very strong foundation to build upon. The Fireball kit approaches 40 hp rear wheel.

But I don't need that. Keep in mind, you're talking to the guy who rode a snorting raging raw unadultered 8 horse power from Mesa to Banff. I like a different pace.

And yeah, there are more reliable or more powerful bikes for less. But none with the unique looks and interesting history. And such a simple machine, I can get it running again with gaff tape and a hammer.

By the way, I'm a big fan of all stuff you have tried with your TU. Nearly bought one myself. And am also intending on owning a TW200 in the end, ala Macadam Drifter (RIP).

Be safe all.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:54 AM   #14
Noisymilk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
also its a right side shifter & the pattern is backwards (unless the export model is different than the home version). the newer unit model is more like a standard bike
Export models have been left shift for years. It is kind of a bodge, and most people switch it back to right shift.

Would love to look you up in Anchorage. I am hoping to go in 2014 at this point. Have my 5th child on the way this summer....so gotta stay home for that.

By the way, are you the guy who wrote the RR about a Royal Piece of .....? That was a funny report, and sadly indicative of what lots of people experience with Enfields.

Be safe.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supernaut1985 View Post
After much searching around this appears to be a form that doesn't have much tolerance for many threads on the same issue. Looking about I don't see any discussing the recent Royal Enfield models.

I am a new user from Edmonton, AB, Canada interested in the Enfield... one of the classic military style ones to be specific.

Now I understand in the recent past they were a really low quality horrid machine. I've seen previous advice in years past that your better off with a used Japanese motorcycle for $2500 than a new enfield. Or something to the tune of "The best "$2000 bike that $5000" can buy.

However my understanding is they have now achieved pretty decent quality levels in the last few years. Also EFI and getting excellent fuel economy (85mpg imp?). They're supposed to be pretty durable to tackle the tough roads and conditions that India can throw at them.

Any thoughts on this as an adventure bike, or doing some long haul, running down the odd fire trail...etc? I know they only make 27hp or so and have a top speed of 130km/h, but there has been round the world expeditions and such on bikes with similar abilities. I also know they're not designed to be an off road bike per say, but hell, every bike was deemed off road able back in the day (you just have to go slow enough I guess).

To my knowledge there is a 535cc bore kit one could apply if they mange to burn out that 500, for a little extra boost.

Are there any users here using one of these in what I'll call the "adventure spirit"?

I'm also wondering how much the aerodynamics of hard panniers might effect the highway ability of the bike.

Oh dear, here they go again. Is there any other mark out there that will sprout so much nonsense as Royal Enfield? I dare you. It must definitely be a compliment. A bike must really be sturdy and competent to survive that much slur and abuse.

All bikes before 60 are per definition adventure bikes. What were the roads? Mud, dirt, sand, gravel, cobblestones... Highways? Rare and covered in concrete slabs, not fun riding either. Of those motorcycles Enfield was by far the best. The Bullet was the leading bike in the six day enduro trials, making mince meat of the competition, being Ariel, Matchless, AJS. Others were nowhere, still aren't. Today's Bullet is way better prepared for dirt, forest tracks and narrow winding roads: ECU, hydraulic valve lifters, disc brake, EFI and some other stuff required by emission regulation. That's the one you're talking about, yes?

That one will take you on long hauls, in demanding conditions like cold and precipitation, with all your gear and equipment, through the wild places. It is mapped up to 16,000 feet. No rejetting required going up and down the mountain; no need to switch front sprockets, it has all the torque you need. Official fuel consumption is 78.2mpg(us), which is correct when used normally. Left hand shift, right hand brake: here, there and everywhere: it's the law...


If you come from a contemporary bike you'll must make room for adapting. It took me at least a year. Maintenance is way more relaxed: one still does what's needed when's needed but it doesn't have to be so strict. I've heard say it is the kalashnikov among motorcycles: undestructable, will work anytime anywhere anyhow. Some people have a problem with that.

Will hard panniers affect its highway behaviour? What highway? It was not designed for highway, just as a Honda Cub was not designed for a RTW trip. You can do it, and then you deal with it. Your biggest problem will be the hard panniers. You don't want a spill with hard panniers, do you?

A Danish critic famous for his biting reviews was once asked for his recipe. He kept scorpions and he would put two of them on an orange and watch how they would stab the innocent fruit with venom again and again. Then he would dip his pen and start writing.
Hereby I laid my orange on the table...
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