Talk me out of a Royal Enfield

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by wannabe1, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,980
    Location:
    Halfway between Munich and Redditch.
    The point being that not only does the Enfield "look" vintage (so does that Suzuki, sorta), it's also a direct descendant of the original Royal Enfield Bullet, which dates back to the 1930's, built in a factory that Royal Enfield set up in 1954 to build bikes for the Indian Army, which coninued making the same 1954 Bullets straight through after the demise of the parent company in 1970 to today.
    There's some real heritage involved in these, and Royal Enfield is, and will always be, the only motorcycle company to have built motorcycles within three distinct centuries, having started building motorcycles in 1898, and never stopped.
    BTW, there are several companies in England and Europe (Egli, of Egli Vincent fame, being one of them) doing development work to bring the performance of the 500 Bullets up to the levels achieved by the UK made "big head" models, which were competetive with the BSA Goldstars.

    Take a look at www.hitchcocksmotorcycles.com for some interesting mods and accessories.
    #21
  2. England-Kev

    England-Kev Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,788
    Location:
    England. Somewhere on the Canal.
    #22
  3. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,388
    Location:
    Central CT
    Did you ride one of these Enfields? If you just plan to look at a bike and not ride it, I'd say the Enfield would be perfect.:D

    Seriously, though if it's just a "vintage look" and you want something to ride with no reliability headaches, the Suzuki TU250 fits the bill. But ride one of those, too.:D

    I'd make a suggestion of a Bonneville, too.
    [​IMG]
    The oil-in-frame Meriden 750 from 1974 (shifts on the "wrong side" for real vintage appeal) or 1975 up (shifts on the "right side" and has an electric leg). It's vintage enough, has good power, very good handling and some vintage maintenance to perform. Again, ride one.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    The asylum has spoken, what do you think, OP?:ear
    #23
  4. PJay

    PJay Any bike, anywhere

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    808
    Location:
    Russell, New Zealand
    Ah, my 2003 350 Bullet and its girlfriend:

    [​IMG]

    With its sisters:

    [​IMG]

    And my 1951 350 Bullet racer, in 2 guises:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And my 500 Bullet with friends:

    [​IMG]

    Yeah, I like them well enough...
    #24
  5. TheNorthernMonkey

    TheNorthernMonkey Clueless n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    432
    Location:
    Newcastle, England
    It's a really bad idea. No where near as practical as a Toyota Corrola, which are much more reliable and have seating for 4.

    Here's mine :)

    [​IMG]
    #25
  6. dustrider46

    dustrider46 I'm just popping out I ma

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    60
    Location:
    Brighton UK
    That's my old bike !! You got a nice one there . I recognise the mark on the side panel . A very useable bike . I have done thousands of miles in the Himalayas on the Bullet , and you form a real atatchment to them . They have stopped making the Woodsman now . Enjoy your bike
    #26
  7. Jug-Head

    Jug-Head n00b

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    South Central PA
    [​IMG]Don't totally rule out an SR500. They're fun, reliable, great parts availability, and can be made to look like most anything you want. Here's my '80. Last winter I laced up the wire wheels and fitted the Dyna muffler. This winter I hope to dial in a Goldstar "silencer" I've picked up for her.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #27
  8. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,969
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    Lots of choices for a lot less money.
    Not the same style (very old) as the RE.

    Quality is likely much better now, but I hear getting parts are an issue, and the price of the bike seems high for what it is, and sure to loose value quickly.

    There is nothing else like them for sale, and if that is what you are looking for, give it a try.
    I would get a B5 classic if I had extra money, as I do not mind working on bikes.
    I would go through the bike before riding it, replace all the fluids, repplace hardware with self locking stuff, protect the wire harness, check all bolt tightness, replace the battery, then service it early and often and look for signs of problems.

    I still do not think it would be a high speed bike (70+ mph) but I could live with that.
    They do sound really cool going down the road.

    You would think Harley would make a vintage single cylinder 500cc bike in a vintage format for new riders to train on, they used to use a Buel blast which was modern and funky looking.
    When those are gone, what are they going to use?
    The sportsters are 600 pounds....
    I do not think they would want to use TU250's....
    #28
  9. fyr

    fyr iRoast Coffee

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,305
    Location:
    Bytowne, Canuckistan
    Id like to chime in.. I was in the same boat.. Wanted an older bike with out any hassles... I like the look and style of Brit singles and twins from the 40's 50's and 60's but having two young ones and an abbreviated riding season- the onus was on the bike to start when I wanted it too and run without hassle (and yeah new bikes have hassles but the odds are in my favour)
    So I opted for a Hinckley Bonnie...Ive had two and am keeping my last one... Its only let me down once and the fix was easy.
    Now on to the RE
    I love the look, the history is there, It has a kicker, FI is ok for new ones.. So I would definatlly look at it..The TU is nice I suppose but it doesnt get me going like the RE does.. RE as Highway bike, I had a Ural... Enough said.. Just pick different roads but its doable..
    Old Iron barrels are hard to find around these parts... Unless I get a good example at a smoking deal, Id opt for a newer one..
    Gooed luck
    #29
  10. huub

    huub Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    162
    i have two 1992 india bullets
    i ran a enfield bullet as a daily transport for a couple of years doing 20.000 km/year, without major breakdowns.
    the 1992 bullets had bad main bearings, but as the topic starter is looking at a 2007 that shouldnt be a issue.
    Even the older ones are not as bad as their reputation,
    some left the factory half finished, and needed a rebuild out of the crate, no problem ,
    once properly rebuilt even the older ones are pretty reliable.

    Basically as long as you are not in a hurry they are simple , reliable an slow bikes.
    parts are dirt cheap and easy to find.
    dont expect an enfield to be maintenance free like modern honda's or yamaha's, you will get your hands dirty
    but if you dont mind getting your hands dirty they are fun.

    The iron barrel bullets can overheat , so thrashing them is not recommended .
    after 2000 the quality was vastly improved , so i wouldnt hesitate using one as a daily transport

    but best advice i can give is to do a test ride , and decide if you can live with something that slow....
    #30
  11. MZRider

    MZRider Neo-Luddite

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    739
    Location:
    Western MD
    Since I'm a big fan of the old Rotax air-cooled single, I recently bought this as my "modern retro" ride.

    [​IMG]

    1994 MZ Silver Star Classic 500. 350 lbs. 34 horsepower, counter-balanced, 4 valves, electric and kick starting, 60 mpg. Enclosed chain. Handles excellent, good brakes, very smooth. Only 100 were ever imported, so they're not exactly easy to find. Cheaper than an SR500 in the same condition, much less than a GB500 or new Enfield.
    #31
  12. MIOB

    MIOB Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,032
    Location:
    A cold, wet, flat place
    I have a '76 350 Enfield bullet. Everythjing they say about Indian Enfields is true. Horrible, horrible, horrible thing. It can't take any beating, I am lukcy to get it out of the garage without it breaking down.









    O. No. Wait.

    <iframe width="960" height="720" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/pbKj048FQ7I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/73243067" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/73243067">Enfield scramble</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user3379015">Michiel</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

    This happened a lot too:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RV6LklwirM

    dozens and dozens of times. Stay tuned for my end of year 2013 crash compilation :evil


    Did it break? Yes. Due to my own fault (forgot a valve cap.... well, actually the PO did).

    [​IMG]

    But I really did make these guys sweat in the woods:

    [​IMG]

    Here you see me leading the pack:

    [​IMG]

    and crash.... of course

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NymFXQ8e5Sw

    In short: The Enfield has offered me hundreds and hundreds of hours of fun. I did not even have to recheck the timing once... (knock, knock, knock)

    [​IMG]


    If high speeds is not your thing and if you are careful picking the right bike: Go for it. You will not regret it.
    #32
  13. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,969
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    I do not think they ever sold the 350 in the US.
    If they did, it was when they were made in England...

    And parts are not easy to get in the US, since they did not sell here for many years.
    #33
  14. TheNorthernMonkey

    TheNorthernMonkey Clueless n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    432
    Location:
    Newcastle, England
    :eek1:eek1:eek1:eek1 Really! I bought it a couple of months ago, I guess the last guy didn't ride it much as it only has 1500 miles on the clock.

    Needs tax and MOT, but It's going to wait til spring now
    #34
  15. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,203
    Location:
    Kingdom of Belgium
    :jjen So you wants us to talk you out of an Enfield.
    I'll give it a try.

    Don't buy an Enfield. :nono

    It's my only transportation for the last 2.5 years, 25000 kilometers so far. Nothing to complain or whine about, that's annoying. :puke1

    Whenever I stop, people come to have a look and chat. It's a major cause of loss of time while conversing with good people, yielding useful tips, that sucks. :puke1

    I have difficulty to keep it below 75mph on the highway which is the speed limit in this country. Mind you, I rode 40 years without a speeding ticket. This Enfield caused me two already! No, this is not a good bike if you need to stay ticketfree. Now, that's really :puke1

    I truely hope these three reasons will suffice to definitely talk you out of a Royal Enfield. Please, don't do it, you'll regret it. :deal

    Cheers, :freaky
    #35
  16. jeep44

    jeep44 junk collector

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,099
    Location:
    Canton,Michigan
    #36
  17. darmst6829

    darmst6829 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    379
    Location:
    Redmond WA
    Only thing I see as horrible on your motorcycle is the little tiny handlebars.

    Dave
    #37
  18. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,980
    Location:
    Halfway between Munich and Redditch.

    Originally, the only model made in India was the 350 Bullet.
    Those have been brought to the US, UK and Europe by various people since the mid-80's, sometimes in importer type quantities.

    Parts for all the Indian made models are easy to find. Just do a search on ebay for "enfield parts", you'll find hundreds of listings from several India-based exporters, and for amazing prices compared with similar parts for Japanese bikes.
    I have purchased quite a few Indian made parts for my two British-built twins; many of them are identical to the originals, including the BSC 26 tpi threads used on so many cycle parts on original Enfields.
    #38
  19. Womble_CH

    Womble_CH dribbling baboon

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Oddometer:
    347
    Location:
    French Alps

    They are too much fun, they are too easy to maintain, its still to easy to find spares, people will stare at you when you pass by, give you jealous looks and - depending of the age - you may have to attend oldtimer shows.

    I hope I managed to talk you out of it - mine is from 1966 and not for sale.


    Sent from my IBM Simon using morse
    #39
  20. SilkMoneyLove

    SilkMoneyLove Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,489
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    I bought a 2006 Bullet 500. Looked great but the valves could not stay adjusted. I thought I was screwing it up so I had the shop check it, 2 times (it would stop running, I take it in, they adjust and within 100 miles, it happens again).

    Glad I did because one day I was riding along, thinking, man, this bike is running great today. Really making power. Then "sproing, clack" engine stops, I clutch in and coast to the shoulder. It dropped a valve. I got a full rebuild under warranty and sold it after that. I just couldn't trust it.

    It handled well and looked great, but I needed a bike I could ride. I have a bonneville now.
    #40