New 'oldness', Royal Enfield time machine.

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Scooterdoodler, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. Scooterdoodler

    Scooterdoodler Long timer

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    It's a very 'old' new bike, so maybe posting it here is legit. I'm constantly being asked what year my restored 'old' bike is, and I usually ask them to make a guess. Most think it's somewhere between 1950 and 1960.

    But if you want a brand new, slow, vibrating, 'old' single 500, this is a fun way to go, and with luck and a little care, it might not even blow up at an inconvenient moment. Time, and miles will tell, and I've only had it three weeks and 525 miles, but so far, so good.
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    #1
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  2. MotoGB

    MotoGB Been here awhile

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    I love mine too - 6000 miles and no problems.

    Treat it gently during the running in and stick to regular servicing and you shouldn't have any problems.

    Be prepared for the onslaught of replies saying you've bought a hunk of junk though! :hide

    John
    #2
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  3. huub

    huub Been here awhile

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    really nice bike , would make a perfect commuter.
    i loved the springed seat on my old enfield, amazingly comfortable.
    #3
  4. Caesars_ghost

    Caesars_ghost Vertical twin

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    That bike is gorgeous. I love the look of the C5's, or whatever they're calling them these days. EFI and a kickstart, too.
    #4
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  5. Scooterdoodler

    Scooterdoodler Long timer

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    I haven't tried the Kickstarter yet, and it doesn't have any sort of compression release, so it might take some technique to get it running that way without breaking a leg. My kickstart-only SR400 is a pussycat when the bar-mounted compression release is used.
    #5
  6. the_babaji

    the_babaji Been here awhile

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    I have had 3 different Indian Enfields, 2 were 350's that i toured around india on and a 500 export model here in Canada. Loved them and hated them too! They were a constant pain in the a$$. Mind you these were the old models before all the 'upgrades' of these newer models.

    The sound they make is enchanting, and they provide more smiles per mile than just about anything else I ever rode.

    Enjoy!
    #6
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  7. Scooterdoodler

    Scooterdoodler Long timer

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    I have 500 miles on it so far, and I try to keep things easy, but the manual says not to exceed 40 mph for the first 500km's (300 miles or so), but that's nearly impossible to do without getting run over, and it doesn't help that 40 mph is really only about 36 actual. It also doesn't like 40 mph in fifth gear very much, and needs to spin a bit faster than that in order to not lug the engine. I changed the oil and filter at 380 miles, and will do it again at about 700. I used 20-50 non-synthetic Valvoline MC oil, probably until the third oil/filter change, and then go to a full synthetic. The manual calls for 15-50 semi-synthetic, but I can't find that specific oil, so I'm using something as close to it as I can find.

    I'm pretty careful with it, and generally try to adhere to the manufacturer's break-in schedule with this bike.

    I have a close aquaintence who has a C5 identical to mine on order, and he says he's going to break it in 'hard', you know, one of those 'ride it like you stole it' types. One might get away with that with most modern machines, but I think that may be a very bad idea with the Royal Enfield. I don't feel that it will respond well to a deliberate pounding, especially when new.

    As for others telling my me it's a piece of junk, I'll let my own bike prove it's worth, then I'll decide for myself what it is. I can tolerate a reasonable degree of mechanical weirdness in a motorcycle. Little things that I can fix in the garage are tolerable, however, leaving me standing by the side of the road with a dead bike a half dozen will only entertain me for so long.
    #7
  8. out rider

    out rider You Go First

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    I like it, but then I have a Ural and a KLR. A Royal Enfield would fit right in with them.
    #8
  9. MotoGB

    MotoGB Been here awhile

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    These bikes have an auto decompressor fitted instead of the manual decompression lever fitted to the old models. I found mine impossible to kickstart from new, but once the engine had loosened up, it'll kick start in 2 or 3 kicks from cold - first kick once warm.
    The usual method is to ease the kickstart over compression, hold the "bi-start" lever open and give it a good swing-through kick without touching the throttle. The bi-start lever's job is to hold the throttle open at a specific amount to aid starting from cold.

    People always have differing opinions on running in but I think you're doing it right. Lugging any engine is bad for it as you know, and sticking to a maximum speed to 30-40 mph as the handbook suggests isn't practical especially if you want to run it through the gears. It won't be happy doing those speeds in top gear! The "ride it like you stole it" isn't something I'd do with these bikes. They may be 21st century made bikes, but it's still a long stroke, low revving bike, so they still need to be treated carefully during the first 500 miles - after that you can definitely feel them loosen up and they keep betting better right up to 2000 miles!

    I've had my bike 2 1/2 years and it's never let me down and nothing's broken or fallen off, or even needed tightening up. I hope yours gives you the same pleasure and reliability as mine. It's impossible to park up anywhere without someone wanting to talk about it or seeing a small group all taking photos of it! :-)

    If you haven't already found it, this site is really friendly and helpful:
    https://forum.classicmotorworks.com
    #9
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  10. Scooterdoodler

    Scooterdoodler Long timer

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    Between the Enfield and my green and cream Indian Vintage, you have to spend almost as much time talking about the machines as you do riding them.

    Now, if I could just add a new Triumph T120 Bonneville, I probably wouldn't be able to ride much at all, other than traveling between various 'conversation locations'.
    #10
  11. Cat Daddy

    Cat Daddy Been here awhile

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    I did one of those in the Desert Storm color a few years ago. I went with a dual sport kind of vibe with the off road tires and custom built a rear rack and powdercoated a lot of stuff. The bike was okay and I was comfortable with doing all of my own work as needed. In the end my local dealer turned out to be a squirrel and I found parts availability to be murky. The North American importer was spotty on his parts supply and that left me with buying internationally. A lot of the parts channels from India are pretty sketchy feeling.
    #11
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  12. SuperRat

    SuperRat No Longer Lurking

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    Wife rides an 08 Bullet Electra . It has the old style engine with e-start and cdi spark. She gets a LOT of attention where ever she goes on it. The bike has never quit on us. It has about 6000 miles on it. Leaks a little oil every ware we stop. All old style Brit. bikes did that. gets parked over a drip pan. Good luck with yours they are a lot of fun.
    #12
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  13. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    I bought a used 2014 RE Classic Chrome last year and love the thing - every time I get on it I feel as happy as I did on my first motorcycle ride and that was 48 years ago. :D

    Today I put on an aftermarket silencer and did the 7 inch headlight kit but as far as I can see those are the only changes I will make.

    So far the only thing I have noticed is the chroming, while well done, is not robust so I will need to keep things waxed and be vigilant for any sign of rust.
    #13
  14. Scooterdoodler

    Scooterdoodler Long timer

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    What is this 7 inch headlight kit?, sounds interesting.

    I don't like loud motorcycles, but I had to do something about that chrome submarine of a muffler they stuck this bike with, so I ordered and installed a smaller, and much lighter muffler for it, it looks much better, and has a nice, big single sound...

    Before...
    IMG_20170227_174544950_HDR.jpg

    During...
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    After...
    IMG_20170307_122634938_HDR.jpg
    #14
  15. R85/8

    R85/8 Been here awhile

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    I wonder how tunable those are?

    My brother and I spent quite a bit of effort hotting up his Bullet in our youth. It went from flat out in the low 80s to the ton (on the speedo), and needless to say as a pair of spotty youth we made it much louder. :)

    It didn't make it any faster on average because the brakes and suspension weren't up to maintaining high speeds on our poor quality roads. From that bike we learned the first lesson of going fast, tyres, brakes and suspension before any engine modifications.
    #15
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  16. Caesars_ghost

    Caesars_ghost Vertical twin

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    Compared to some bikes, they are very tunable. The old Bullets have more options than the new, but the new are simpler due to EFI. There are a few different outfits making everything from belt drive conversions, high comp pistons, new heads, carb conversion, even a replacement v-twin engine. Just depends on your wallet. Check out Watsonian Squire in England and Ace Performance in the USA.
    #16
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  17. Old Mule

    Old Mule Long timer

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    Nice machine... my old anarchist buddy Congo John got one of the first India made ones to be imported here and he liked it a lot. He was used to British bikes, so he had no problem with the constant care that his bike took.
    One day down in Little Egypt his muffler bracket broke. He asked a girl on the street in this little town if there was a welder in town. There was but "not open til tomorrow"
    "What should I do til then?"
    "Well, there is a motel right across the street".
    They have been married 25 years now, still have the Enfield.
    #17
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  18. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    Basically, it gets rid of the stock light with all the metal around it to a more "normal" look and it uses a conventional sized sealed beam. It really improves the look of the bike IMO.

    I got mine from Classic Motorworks but I am damned if I can find it on their site right now, so here is similar from eBay:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-ROYAL-E...ash=item1a02984329:g:1t0AAOSw9N1Vm7Cd&vxp=mtr
    #18
  19. Scooterdoodler

    Scooterdoodler Long timer

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    Thanks for the link, I bought it. I never liked the look of the small headlight on these things, this will help a lot.

    Now, if the rubber gas tank knee pads I ordered ever get here from New Delhi, I think I'll have the bike just about where I want it, looks-wise.
    #19
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  20. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    I also took off all those rubber vibration plugs on the fins and the engine looks much older/more classic, plus I presume it will cool a whole lot better.
    #20