New 'oldness', Royal Enfield time machine.

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

  1. Caesars_ghost

    Caesars_ghost Air Cooled.

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    To me, it's all about why you're riding. If you have to get somewhere quick, and dice with traffic, need to hit the Interstate or other 65+ road, a twin is simply a better choice. (If we're talking air cooled older style designs.) My W650 has a nice light clutch, flat torque curve, and enough beans to cruise at 80 if necessary (and it's happy at that speed, indefinitely.) It's a highly practical bike for urban commuting.

    The Enfield... not so much. It's fun on low speed roads and city streets. But it is too underpowered for any busy or congested freeway where you must run over 70 or be flattened. But, if you have the leisure to stick to 55mph roads (usually the best ones anyway) it's a joy. Mine loves a nice winding road at about 60mph, and at this point I wouldn't hesitate to ride it anywhere. But it required a lot of sorting out.

    I think the newer ones like JerryH and Mista Vern have, will go a little faster, stop better, and have the reliability of estart and EFI, so they'd make better everyday machines. But much of it is luck of the draw I think, unless you are willing to have some aftermarket work done. Some people seem to end up with silky smooth reliable ones that are happy at 70, others speak of jackhammer vibes and constant issues. The good news is, resale value drops like a rock, so if you decide to try a used one, they aren't expensive, most are extremely low miles and only sold because they're not fast, and if it's not for you, you can then probably get out of it for about what you put into it.
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  2. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    I am enjoying the differing perspectives here - thanks, gents!
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  3. ddavidv

    ddavidv So money, but doesn't know it.

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    Good respectful discussion. I'm enjoying this. :thumb

    You may be surprised to hear that I don't disagree with any of what you wrote.
    The difference for me was that I had never ridden an 'original' vintage bike aside from a brief dalliance with a CL350 Honda. Thus, my level of expectations for a 'vintage' experience was much different.
    Ironically, I do find the Hinckley Bonnie to have a pleasant amount of vibrations. Having since ridden a Meriden Bonnie I can see why Jerry would consider it 'too smooth'. But when I test rode the newest water cooled version it has been smoothed out so much it was no different than riding any Japanese motorcycle. It was, in effect, 'too good'.

    I wrote about the Meriden Bonnie experience in this thread, if anyone is interested: http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/a-trifecta-of-contrast-3-retro-tours-bikes.1236059/

    When I first started looking for a 'retro' bike I was quite keen on the W650 but lack of availability on the used market and a price as high as a Bonnie simply didn't add up for me. Why pay all that cash for a Japanese pretender when I could have an honest-to-gosh Triumph?
    Also, when I bought the Bonnie I was commuting to work, about 80% on a highway. I just didn't see the RE being the answer then. Today, working from home and only riding on the weekends, my choice might possibly be different.

    I think the purpose in discussing all of this is to understand that RE does have competition even if the bikes they are competing against aren't of identical design.
  4. gunnabuild1

    gunnabuild1 Long timer

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    To be fair, the Japanese contender is no pretender, the original W650 is an evolution of the BSA A7 500 that Meguro/Kawasaki was licenced to produce.
    So as far as authenticity is concerned, if anything the Kawasaki is possibly more authentic than the Hinckley Bonneville.
    The major difference between the various competitors in the RE sphere is the difference between the 'look' and the 'experience'.
    The RE could claim to actually provide the 'experience' of classic ownership as opposed to just the cosmetics, Ural could possibly claim the same.
    My heart is continuously tempted by the RE but my brain tells me it makes absolutely no sense, economically, as a transport option or in any practical application.
    I never owned a British bike but come from a family of riders that were British, Triumph generally, to the core.
    So from my early childhood the shape of the quintessential motorcycle is the profile of a Triumph Speed Twin.
    I suspect there will be one [RE] in my shed one day, in the meantime the struggle continues........
  5. Caesars_ghost

    Caesars_ghost Air Cooled.

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    I think a lot of people who buy Bonnies, Enfields, W650s, etc. do so because they want a bike that looks like a "proper motorcycle." Smooth oblong tank, single headlight, two simple fenders, and an engine in the middle that you can see, and maybe see daylight through. I think most, reading the reviews, probably lean toward the Bonnie if they can swing it, and they're probably right to do so. It's a very versatile bike. It's also got a famous name, and can be customized to be whatever the rider wants (within reason.)

    The W650 is just a little more retro, or vintage-feeling, or old school. It's modern Japanese build quality, but it's got a kickstart and real carbs. Probably less practical than the Bonnie because there's not much of an aftermarket (at least in this country), and by all accounts a little less power and slightly more vibes than the Triumph, but everybody's got their own sweet spot on the scale, as it were. The only thing sanitized about it is that it's got electronic ignition instead of points, is about 75lbs heavier than it should be, and, like every bike sold today, has a ridiculously quiet stock exhaust. Fortunately Kawasaki made it easy to yank the baffles out. Instant character upgrade :evil

    Oh and yeah, it vibrates less than the original BSAs, Kawasaki W1s, and Triumphs, by all accounts. But considering it still vibrates enough to crack rear fenders on some bikes, I think it's hard to say they neutered the 360 degree twin or built a sewing machine.

    But no doubt either twin is a better working bike than an Enfield, unless you're never required to hit a freeway. If you are, it's completely subjective. Some people don't mind riding the new UCE Enfields at 70-75mph for extended periods, others say it's not pleasant. The machine should be able to take it fine, the AVL and UCE have a beefed up bottom end, higher flow oil pump, and alloy cylinder. It's more a question of our innate mechanical sympathy or vibration tolerance at those speeds.
  6. Bobbrecken

    Bobbrecken Adventurer

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    The last posts pretty well sum it up. If I only had one bike it wouldn't be an Enfield but I love it for the sense of history it invokes without the hassle of Whitworth vwrenches or Lucas electrics. Lead shot in the bars makes 60 mph riding comfortable but I am not going to pass anybody.
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  7. Beet

    Beet adventurer

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    Love my 350 classic here in Australia. Done 20,000ks or so close to. Not one issue to speak off. Great fun. All the best Beetle
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  8. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    A rare sunny weekend here in the PNWet so gonna fire up the RE this afternoon. :clap

    You guys that put lead shot in your handlebars, I assume it is as easy as removing the throttle grip and dumping the shot in, no?
  9. Bobbrecken

    Bobbrecken Adventurer

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    Not quite easy and slow. There is a metal piece that the bar ends screw into leaving a small space to pour in the shot. I used the smallest shot and made a paper funnel. I leaned the bike half way over. It took a while but it is totally worth it as even the gas tank stopped shaking and I can hit 80 kph in fourth gear before I realize it is time to shift. There must be some way of pulling the metal bracket out of the bar but I couldn't think of one.I also needed an impact tool to get the bar end nut loose.
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  10. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    Thanks for the heads up on that. I will make sure not to drink too much coffee before starting in on that project. :lol3
  11. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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  12. R80st

    R80st Been here awhile

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    The new 650 twin. It looks nice and well made, and cheap

    DSC05882.JPG
  13. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    Thanks - great pic! :thumb
  14. SCTrailrider

    SCTrailrider Been here awhile

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    Good looking motorcycle.

    Ride report?
  15. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    There's nothing real new that I know of. Eager to see one though!
  16. Beet

    Beet adventurer

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    So are you saying their for sale in Australia now? Cost?
  17. Beet

    Beet adventurer

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    Just rattling on - Was going to buy one of the new 650 twins coming out. Home washing Winnie, doing a general check over and service that included new fork oil, plugs regaped, check of wheel spokes and new tyres front and rear. I take her for a spin for a 100 plus ks to check out all I'd done. On the ride I get passed quite fast by a few large so called touring bikes. I think to myself "what are they seeing and getting out of their ride". I get home having had a great ride actually seeing and enjoying the area. I made the decision then, that at this point I need nothing more than Winnie(350 Classic) to ride and enjoy a less stressed life. This won't suit many but I'm happy with that. All the best Beetle
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  18. Beet

    Beet adventurer

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    Great ride so far. Look at a map and find Falls Creek in Victoria in Australia. Great views and lots of corners, the new tyres I put on are working a treat. image.jpeg
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  19. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    Cool stuff, Beet. Those looks like the tires that were so common years ago - do anything, go anywhere. Nothing but rain here, so the bike hasn't been out for a long while. I don't mind the wet but I hate seeing the bike getting all slimed up.
  20. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    Here's a link to a video on the new Himalayan, courtesy of Eatmore Mudd's facebook site devoted to the bike.