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Old 03-31-2014, 06:47 PM   #1
gogogordy OP
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Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Temecula, So. California
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Royal Enfield...any good?

Ran across this today, and I only ask here, because this puts a brand new motorcycle into the same price range as say a used Vespa GTS or a below the pricing of a new Kymco.

Frankly at that pricing whats not to like? Warranty? Has anyone ever ridden one? I've never looked twice at these, but now I am...
Isn't it past your bedtime?
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Old 03-31-2014, 06:52 PM   #2
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Location: Sunny Sarasota FL
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I've ridden one, it's basically a 1950 design with updates for handling, stopping and reliably.

They are beautiful and classic, I'd love to have one as maybe a fourth bike.

Go ride one, I bet it'll put a grin on your face.
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Old 03-31-2014, 06:57 PM   #3
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I think Jerry just got one and he seems to like it so far, even with spoked wheels :-)

I've been reading about RE for some time, even though we don't have a dealer up here. Awhile back, RE's quality control was not that great and their machines were pretty maintenance intensive. A year or two ago, RE redesigned the engines with hydraulic valves and new technology and metallurgy and it seems like the new engines are a lot better and less maintenance is required.

As noted, I have not ridden an RE, so would not presume to speak regarding its performance. That said, a very long time ago, I had a Suzuki S40, which is similar in that it has a 650cc single cylinder engine. The thumpers are, in my estimation, quite fun to ride, with good torque, but they don't have a lot of high end...they start vibrating a lot when you push them too hard...they're not revvers. If you ride these thumpers within their envelope of performance, they're a blast. For me, that meant very little freeway...mostly secondary, curvy roads. In that environment, the S40 did well, as would the RE, I expect.

Here's a link to an RE forum where you can do some snooping around:

Good luck!
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:19 PM   #4
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Oddometer: 293
I have not heard good things. The last shop that carried them here got rid of them because the dealer and parts support was nearly non-existent.

The shop that ended up taking over the RE contract is mostly a Chinese scooter shop, so I guess "flaky dealer support" is just part of their business plan.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:46 PM   #5
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Location: Charleston, SC
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$4199 OTD is cheap, but there's always a reason they have to give something away. I'd be wary of the EFI on a bike from India.

I can't believe they think a diesel will sell in the US. A dealer I know said they announced the rebates and the diesel at the dealer meeting in February, but he doesn't think the diesel is going to be a big success, so he didn't order any.. He said it's slooooooooow. And it's not even on their website yet.
Discount OEM, replacement and performance parts for vespa, honda, bmw, yamaha, suzuki, genuine, kymco, piaggio, aprilia, SYM, tgb, tomos and other scooters at
GT200, GT200, ET2, Italjet Velocifero, Italjet Torpedo, Eton Beamer 3, Genuine Buddy Pamplona 150, Kymco Vitality 50, Honda Elite 50

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Old 03-31-2014, 08:09 PM   #6
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diesel motor bike! SWEET!!!!!
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:50 PM   #7
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Location: Keaau, Hawaii
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That B5 is the lowest priced Enfield. I understand it uses the same frame as the slightly older ones before they redesigned the bikes and engines. I rode a 2007 for a few years and enjoyed it. You will get loads of strangers looking bat, and wanting info, about these bikes. I have not heard of any problems with the FI on them. $4200 is a great price. RE recently lowered the prices, and the B5 is now at $4999.

Here is a shot of my '07 in British racing green:;id=524
Jon in Keaau, Hi. USA
2008 SYM HD200 (wife's ride)
2009 Kymco People 150 and coming soon, another dual sport mc

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Old 03-31-2014, 09:13 PM   #8
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Location: Yoncalla, Oregon
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I had money down on a new GT for 5 months and after the long wait I got over it and asked for my $500 deposit back. My friend who at the same time put his money down picked up his new GT 10 days ago. Its a nice looking bike and he has been sorting out the turn signals, mirrors, headlight and exhaust with all new parts that better match all the photos we all saw of the bike before DOT got a hold of it. As it turns out I will be picking up a new 2014 KLR650 New Edition for a total of $200 less that the GT was for the out the door price. For myself the KLR will be a much better bike overall and comfort wise way better than the GT. I was however leaning toward the RE B5. Its really my favorite of the standard models and a bargain. The seat and riding position are just like the 06 RE Electra 500 I once owned and it was one of the most comfortable and fun bikes for me. Too bad it was such a tinkers cuss or I would still have it. The new UCE motors are a whole different story with less maintenance and better reliability, I may end up with one someday.
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:27 PM   #9
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Location: High Desert - Ephrata Washington
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Royal Enfield made some pretty good bikes 'back in the day'. I remember taking a test ride on a lightly used 650 (I think it was 650cc) twin. I don't remember the year it was made. My first impression was there was a lot of vibration - it handled well and sounded great. I passed on it and ended up with a beautiful 68 650 Bonneville after flirting with a 750 Norton Commando. Man oh man were those Nortons ever smooth! Like butter!

Parts were hard to get for the RE and as I recall they were out of business in 70 when I shopping for a ride to replace my defunct 62 Triumph 650. Last thing I needed was something I couldn't get parts for. I should have bought that Norton. Fast and smooth! But not as fast as the 500 Kawasaki H1 I had briefly. No - didn't wreck it - my brother in law did that! He didn't get hurt - enough!
2008 650 Burgman Executive 'Darksided'

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Old 03-31-2014, 10:50 PM   #10
Joined: Jan 2014
Location: Lysekil, Sweden
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Why not (beside the price...) riding a RE with a diesel motor?:

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Old 03-31-2014, 10:57 PM   #11
Joined: Jan 2014
Location: Lysekil, Sweden
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I now saw that they have discontinued the Royal Enfield in India, and the germans at Sommer are building custom chassis. Even more expensive, but maybe better quality and design than putting a diesel in a vintage bike.

I met a german on a Sommer last summer. He showed me the way to the camping site, and on every compression the motor did the frame twisted a little. 11 hp, but a lot of torque.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:51 AM   #12
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Location: Chandler, AZ
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Is it any good? That depends on what you want to do with it. It is not a sport bike, it is not a dual sport bike, it is not a freeway flyer, a TU250 will outrun it.

What it is, is about the most fun you can have on 2 wheels. I bought a new 2013 B5 about 3 weeks ago, and just finished up putting the 600 break in miles on it. I have never had more fun riding any bike other than maybe my '66 Triumph Bonneville 20 years ago.

If you are expecting Japanese bike standards, look elsewhere. The Enfield really is a vintage British bike. It does have tube type tires, but it also has a centerstand, which mostly means you have to carry more stuff with you to fix flats. The rear wheel can be removed without the chain, sprocket, and brake assembly. It has a kickstarter and kickstarts easily. It has a standard riding position and is very comfortable. The entire FI system is made by Keihin.

Parts are not an issue, they can be gotten directly from the U.S. importer, Classic Motorworks, inc. My nearest dealer is 120 miles away, and that doesn't bother me. It is common for RE dealers to come and go.

If you need a dealer to work on the bike, that might be an issue if the dealer disappears. Fortunately in my case, there is another dealer about 150 miles away that has been an Enfield dealer since the '90s. They have a 24 month unlimited mileage warranty. Royal Enfield has an excellent reputation for standing behind their warranty.

They are beautiful bikes, like nothing to ever come from Japan. Mine draws a crowd everywhere I park it.

It does have one issue that turns most people off, and that is it's 60 mph top speed. It will go faster, but most owners and people familiar with it don't recommend it. It is an old fashioned long stroke engine with a heavy flywheel, and will literally shake itself to pieces if ridden too fast. The UCE is NOT an entirely new engine. It has a redesigned bottom end which incorporates the transmission. But it is far from modern. It still uses most of the internal parts from the old model, just rearranged in a different case. The FI is not what most people claim FI to be. It still sputters and hesitates until it has warmed up for several minutes, just like a carb.

In short, this is a vintage bike, and has to be ridden like one. That's why I bought it. If you want a modern bike, you don't want one of these. If you compare it to a scooter, it would be a '50s era Vespa or Lambretta.

Royal Enfield has no plans to sell a diesel motorcycle in the U.S.
I won't spend more on a bike than I think it's worth, but if it's a good deal, I don't seem to have a problem buying bikes I don't need.
2002 Vulcan 750, 2013 Royal Enfield B5
2001 XT225, 2009 Genuine Stella
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by JerryH View Post

They are beautiful bikes, like nothing to ever come from Japan. Mine draws a crowd everywhere I park it.
Oh really?
Originally Posted by JohninVT View Post
Adding a turbo or supercharger doesn't automatically turn an engine into a Palestinian alarm clock.
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:27 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by gogogordy View Post
Ran across this today, and I only ask here, because this puts a brand new motorcycle into the same price range as say a used Vespa GTS or a below the pricing of a new Kymco.

Frankly at that pricing whats not to like? Warranty? Has anyone ever ridden one? I've never looked twice at these, but now I am...
There are plenty of threads that answer this question in detail, take a peek.

Seems like fun for sure when it's running, but what I've seen over the years on here is nearly every owner says you had better like to get your hands dirty. Perhaps things changed in the last few years.

They may be on par with the price of a scooter, but when I think scooter I think turn the key and twist the wrist, that's it except for very light maintenance. If you aren't decent with a wrench I'd leave it alone, no way I'd travel 150 miles for the nearest dealer, ain't nobody got time for that. And 60mph tops for a 500cc bike is borderline silly, you had better like to go slow and smell the roses.

2014 DL650 Vstrom
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:34 AM   #15
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: western oregon
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Originally Posted by brianwheelies View Post
Oh really?
Is that bike available in the US and in regular production?
We're here because of a love most exestential. (toothy)

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