New 'oldness', Royal Enfield time machine.

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

  1. RustyStuff

    RustyStuff Long timer Supporter

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    Parts for these things are stupid cheap.
    Work at a golf course for enough years and You become a anti lawn crusader.
  2. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Yep. Screw grass! For quite a few years I spent an inordinate amount of time and money on landscaping, and cultivating a really nice lush fescue lawn. It was small due to the natural areas created by the trees, but still a lot of work. I was quite proud of it too. But, did it ever suck up my limited free time! Over the years, the original remaining trees, plus ones I planted during my landscaping phase, have filled in and shaded out what was once flower beds (again, a lot of time and money maintaining), and what was once lawn. Now, I blow leaves from the drive, walkways etc, and let them lay in the "naturalized" areas. I guess some would just call me lazy now, but I don't care. At my age, I've discovered that I have more important things that I'd rather do with my spare time than spend it slaving away maintaining a lawn. It was nice at a point in my life when I was "building a home", but that point has passed, and I'd rather invest my time in things I find more enjoyable and rewarding. Still have over 150 azaleas, and other shrubs, but that just requires a little pruning from time to time. The lawn is no more...

    Of course, this leaves more time for wrenchin' and ridin', so back to the bikes...

    The more I look at, and into, these bikes, the more I wonder just why I never really paid attention to them before... I've been enthused about buying a 650 since riding one last fall at Barber. But now I'm thinking that the C5 should be my next purchase instead. I love the Himalayan for it's intended roll as my go anywhere exploration machine. And for my style, the Interceptor would make an excellent street machine. But there's just something about the look, and classic appeal of the C5 that speaks to me...

    Now to just start figuring out where to find a nice one...

    :ricky
  3. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Not sure if anyone in the Florida area is looking for a C5, but a pretty nice looking black and cream 2017 was posted on FB Marketplace last night. It's in Seminole, FL. If closer, and/or I was more in a position to buy a new bike right now, I might be interested. Guess I need to quit looking until I'm actually ready....
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  4. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows All - Tells Some.

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    No, it's always fun to look. :D You might learn something and maybe even come across a heck of a deal!
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  5. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Yeah, the "heck of a deal" is what I'm worried about. The trouble now is that I promised myself that I was going to sell some bikes before buying another. I know me... If I keep looking, that "hell of deal" will come along... Then, I'm faced with either passing, or breaking my promise to myself. Then, once I buy a new bike, it takes precedence such that I spend the winter season tinkering on it rather than getting the other bikes sorted to sell... Been there and done that THREE times already over the past 12 months. Can't make it four....

    Never had an issue with drugs or alcohol, but know all too well how those justifications work...

    Bad part is, spending as much time as I do on ADV, is akin to a reformed alcoholic spending his spare time in a bar.. And browsing sales ads is like the alcoholic going to the liquor store just to browse...

    If that one I mentioned had been closer to me, my resolve may not have held.

    But, yeah, I'll probably keep looking just the same... :doh
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  6. ddavidv

    ddavidv The reason we can't have nice things

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    How I manage to not buy more cars is have all my garage bays full.
    Unfortunately, that doesn't work with motorcycles as there seems to always be room for one more, particularly when they fit through the entry door to the basement 'family' room.
    [​IMG]
  7. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Yeah, there's always room for one more...

    Reminds me of an old friend. His rhetorical question was always, "What's the perfect number of motorcycles?" The answer always being, "One more!"

    But, for my garage, I have found the practical limit to be 14. And even that isn't really practical... just possible. Makes it a PITA to have room to work on things, and wouldn't work at all IF I actually used more than a small handful.

    But, I'll admit that doesn't stop me from thinking, "If I move this to here, and that to there, I could maybe slot just one more in right there... and if I want to work on one, I can just pull a couple out into the drive for a while...." :rolleyes

    But no. Some projects take time, and I like to have at least a little dedicated work space.... Ideally, I'd like to sell at least two before adding something new, and three or four would be even better.

    Luckily, or unluckily, depending on how one looks at it, all entry points into the house proper requires going up steps, or else I'd probably have one or two in my dining room already. I could take the table and chairs out... I mean, how often do I even use that room?

    Maybe I should seek counseling... :uhoh
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  8. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley Long timer

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    There is an interesting article here about the rise of Royal Enfield as a brand and it looks like they are building a new factory in Thailand to help tap into the SE Asia market.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54429714
  9. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    There was an article a while back about an assembly facility in Argentina to enhance their presence in the Latin American market as well...
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  10. JerryH

    JerryH To Each Their Own Supporter

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    I have a 2013 Royal Enfield Bullet B5. I bought it new in 2013. Here is a picture of it right after I bought it.
    Royal Enfield 004.JPG

    I quickly replaced the 35 pound "torpedo" exhaust with a much lighter and smaller one with the same basic style. It came with a baffle, which I left out. It ran terribly, and not being a fan of electronics on bikes, there was no way I was going to spend $500 on an electronic tuner. I got a $350 kit from Hitchcock's in the UK, and replaced the crappy EFI with an Amal carburetor. Not only does it not have electronics on it now, but it runs 10 times better. The EFI was so lean it would barely run. The carb fattened up the mixture nicely, it now pulls hard and has a nice strong sound. I can also now adjust the idle down a bit so it has the proper "thump thump thump" sound. I rode it for 5 years, and put just over 12K miles on it. I had quite a few issues with it, but it always made it back home. Then I moved on to other things. (I have 6 bikes total) I drained all the gas out of the Enfield and put a gallon of TruFuel in it, hooked it up to a battery tender, and kept the tires aired up. It has been kept in what used to be my living room, but is now my bike room. I would start it up and put it in gear and move it forward and backward every few weeks (TruFuel is supposed to last 2 years) This past weekend I cleaned the dust off of it, changed the oil and filter (quite a job on these bikes) and gave it a good going over. Yesterday I took it out for a ride for the first time in 2 1/2 years. The license sticker still says 2017, but I ordered a new one online, and it should be here soon. Meanwhile I have the receipt for it and it is supposed to have been updated in the MVD computer system in case I get stopped. I will post some more pictures of how it looks now. Converting one of these bikes to a carb is the best thing you can do for them. They not only run so much better, but they no longer have any newfangled electronic technology on them. Hitchcock's still sells the conversion kit.
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  11. Webman

    Webman Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the post, JerryH! I appreciate hearing about your carburetor conversion. Could you detail some of the issues you encountered during your ownership?
  12. JerryH

    JerryH To Each Their Own Supporter

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    https://accessories.hitchcocksmotor...l-carburettor-conversion-kit-efi-models/22197 This is the carburetor kit. It includes everything necessary to replace the EFI with a carburetor, including an Amal MK1 Concentric carb. This is a non CV carb, and has excellent throttle response. It even has a "tickler" on it, to depress the float and give the bike a rich mixture on starting. It is not needed with a warm start. It was almost impossible to kickstart this bike with the EFI, now it kickstarts easily. The plug shows the mixture to be perfect, and that is with the cone filter included in the kit, and the aftermarket pipe without the baffle, which is pretty much the same pipe in post #14. While doing the conversion, I noticed that the stock air filter does not fit well, and has large gaps all the way around it, allowing unfiltered air into the engine.

    I had my first problem on the first day. I noticed the tail light, brake light, and turn signals were not working. I discovered that the rear wiring harness, which was run under the rear fender, had gotten chewed up by the rear tire. I repaired the harness, and rerouted it on top of the fender and under the seat. Because the B5 model has a full length seat, you can only see about 1" of the black harness between the tail light assembly and the seat.

    The next issue was broken battery cables. The stock battery also failed after less than a month. I replaced the battery with a yellow Motobatt one, and fabricated new cables using heavier gauge cable. 7 years and 12K miles later, that battery is still working, and the cables I fabricated have held up fine.

    Next up were the header pipe nuts/studs. They just kept coming loose, even with split lock washers. I started carrying spare nuts and studs and a 10mm wrench. Loctite or Nyloc nuts will not work because of how hot it gets. I finally got tired of dealing with it, and replaced the studs and nuts with bolts. I had the heads of the bolts drilled, and I safety wired them in place. They never came loose again.

    The head stay broke. Fortunately I noticed it quickly, because the vibration level increased noticeably. It is basically made out of tin, and there is no way it is going to hold up to the stress placed on it by the vibration of a long stroke 500cc single. And if you ride it very long with a broken head stay, it can overstress the other mounts, and even cause a cracked frame. Hitchcock's sells stronger ones, but I decided to fabricate my own, our of 3/16" steel. While I had the tank off working on the head stay, I noticed that the rear tank mounts did not line up properly. Apparently very few things on a Royal Enfield single line up properly, and their answer is to use elongated or oversize holes. The rear tank mount uses a bolt that goes through the frame, and not only do the holes not line up front to back, the mounting "ears" on the tank are too far apart. Tightening the bolt all the way will bend the rear tank mounts inward, and because the holes in the tank mounts are oversize, there is very little contact between the frame and tank mounts. I can see those mounts breaking off from vibration at some point. My solution was to use a combination of metal fender washers and rubber washers between the tank mounts and the frame. That filled in the gap between the frame and the mounting tabs, and also gave the mounting tabs a wide solid surface to fit up against. Hopefully the rubber washers will help prevent cracking due to vibration. So far so good.

    The fuel gauge sending unit (float) melted. I suspect ethanol fuel was the cause of this. The float is plastic, and was just a gooey mess. I just removed it. I have been riding long enough that I don't need a fuel gauge. I use the odometer.

    The key got stuck in the gas cap. Fortunately this happened at home, or I would have been stranded. I used PB Blaster on it, and after wiggling it around for a couple of days, it finally came out. I now carry 2 keys with me, in case that should happen again, and squirt WD-40 in the gas cap lock on a regular basis. It has not happened again.

    The pinch bolt on the right side of the fork where the axle goes came loose and fell out. I replaced it with an Allen bolt and used blue Loctite on it.

    The neutral light is hit or miss, but again something I really don't need. I learned to ride as a kid on dirt bikes without neutral lights.

    I saved the biggest issue for last. The rear brake locked up on me. Again luck was on my side. I was going slow, just pulling into a parking lot, I tapped the rear brake pedal, and the brake completely locked up. The bike would not move. Fortunately I did not drop it. Backing off the adjuster almost completely freed up the wheel, and I was able to ride it home. I have seen this problem mentioned before on the Royal Enfield forum, but mine had a different cause. It is usually caused by the bolt that anchors the brake backing plate to the frame coming loose, allowing the backing plate to turn, applying the brake. Mine was tight. When I took it apart, I discovered that all the lining was broken off the brake shoes at the leading and trailing edges. But it still looked new in the middle of the shoe. Now, the rear brake has always been terrible on this bike, it is a 1950s British design made in India, so I just assumed that was it. My former 1966 Triumph Bonneville that I had back in the mid '80s had very little in the way of brakes. But in my case, it was caused by the radius of the brake shoes being different from the radius of the brake drum. The shoes had a larger radius than the drum, and only the very ends of the shoes were actually contacting the drum. It didn't look like the middle of the shoes had ever contacted the drum. This sort of worked (although very poorly) but failed when all the lining came off the ends of the shoes, causing metal to metal contact and jamming the shoes against the drum. Nobody has ever heard of this before that I can find. The shoes and drum simply didn't match. It is likely the factory installed the wrong shoes, but so far I seem to be the only one to ever have this problem. It showed up around 10K miles. I rode the bike for around 2K miles with no rear brake. I have some new shoes from Hitchcock's, and they have a smaller radius than the ones that failed, so they should work. I have not yet installed them, may do it this weekend. The front disc works ok, but can be noisy at times.

    I recommend being very careful with all threaded fasteners on these bikes. They are not very precisely made (my high dollar wrenches do not fit most of them properly, the nut and bolt heads seem to be a bit undersized) They are metric, but my wrenches fit a bit too loose. They are also made of very soft metal, and it is easy to round off the heads on nuts and bolts and strip threads. I do not recommend using a torque wrench, as strange as that may sound. Many owners on the RE forum have broken bolts and stripped threads using a torque wrench, especially the oil drain bolts. I have been an auto mechanic for 36 years, and I just go by feel. I haven't stripped anything yet, But I am concerned about literally wearing out the threads in the soft aluminum engine cases where the oil drain bolts go eventually. Normally I change oil a lot more often than recommended, but not on this bike. I use full synthetic 20w50 motorcycle oil, and change it every 3000 miles. I rarely ever ride it above 55 mph, which seems to be it's sweet spot. This is not a freeway bike, and I wouldn't recommend it as a daily commuter. I use it strictly for pleasure riding. It's slow revving long stroke engine, wonderful sound, and low frequency vibration make it a very relaxing ride. It's not a sport bike, but keep the speed down, and it is pure joy on curvy roads. Mine is about to need new tires, and I intend to go with what came on it. I especially love the look of the ribbed speedmaster style front tire. Modern tire look out of place on this bike, IMO, and are not necessary for the kind of riding it is capable of.

    I don't yet have any newer pictures of it, but here is another one from 7 years ago. I put British flag stickers on the rectangular side covers, and I intend to put one of those old style British license plates on the front fender.

    RE Flag 001.JPG
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  13. ddavidv

    ddavidv The reason we can't have nice things

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    Interesting reading. Thanks for taking the time to post all that.
    One would think with the upgrades to UCE engine, electronic ignition and EFI the newer Bullets would be far better than the IB models but it sure sounds like yours was no better built than my 2007. I expect a certain level of craptastic-ness on my IB as it really is a 1955 motorcycle assembled in 2007. The UCE's one would expect to be better.
    After a few fits at the beginning of it's resurrection mine has proven shockingly reliable. The muffler came loose because the mount tab on the frame for the bracket broke off. I'll need to get that welded; for now, a zip tie works fine. Nothing else has broken or come apart in the few thousand miles I've ridden it so far.
    You are absolutely correct about the fasteners and general metallurgy. The torque specs should basically be ignored, or subtract 10% from all recommended specs.
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  14. JerryH

    JerryH To Each Their Own Supporter

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    The quality on the UCE seems to be no better than the Iron Barrel. The EFI and electronic ignition actually make it worse. Not only are they less reliable than a carburetor and points ignition, but they are difficult and expensive to work on. I don't like electronics of any kind on bikes. This Enfield is the only bike I have ever owned (out of more than 50) with EFI, and replacing it with a carb was part of the plan when I bought it. The UCE models were built in the same factory as the Iron Barrel models as far as I know. The engine/transmission design was about the only thing changed. They look like they came right out of the stone age. Nothing is straight, the welds and castings are very rough, and the engineering is definitely from the '50s. The EFI was a retrofit, and it must have been the cheapest thing they could get. It was designed for emissions, not to make the bike be more reliable or run better. The new twins and the Himalayan are apparently much improved in both engineering and quality. I believe they are built in a new automated factory. I love the way the new 650s look, but would not buy one. They are modern bikes with EFI, ABS, even a catcon in the exhaust. I don't want something like that. I'm totally old school. If I wanted a "modern" bike, I suspect the Triumph Street Twin would be way more reliable and longer lasting. Plus it has tubeless tires that won't leave you stranded. The one thing I don't like about vintage bikes are tube type tires. Tubeless tires on cars have been around since the '40s. They are not modern technology. Way back in 1986, Honda designed wire spoke wheels for tubeless tires for the Rebel 450. They worked great, and had the right look. For some reason many modern bikes still use tube type tires, even though the technology to use tubeless tires on wire spoke wheels has been around for at least 34 years. As poor as the quality on the Enfield is, I still believe you are several times more likely to be stranded by a flat tire than a mechanical failure. I live in AZ, and even a cactus thorn will puncture a tube type tire. I consider a road service plan to be absolutely essential when riding a bike with tube type tires.
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  15. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    My sentiments on high tech are much the same, although my thoughts have begun to soften somewhat in certain areas. While in most cases I also prefer carbs for their simplicity and tune-ability, EFI isn't exactly new, and modern EFI systems are pretty damn reliable. So, at this stage in the game, I won't let EFI control what bikes I enjoy.. In the case mentioned above, where there is an issue with the EFI's performance, and a carb alternative is readily available, then there's nothing wrong with doing the upgrade. Likely one I'd consider myself if I felt the performance warranted the "upgrade". But, in motorcycling in general, this option is the exception rather than the norm. And, while I don't have concrete data to make an accurate comparison (owned WAY more carb'ed bikes than injected), I've actually spent quite a bit of time over the years cleaning/rebuilding carbs, and basically ZERO time working on EFI systems, let alone fretting over them... With the obvious caveat that the tuning/programming is good and the bike runs well as it comes. And this is for STOCK bikes. When it comes to doing other engine/exhaust mods, etc, that require modifications to the fueling, I'll agree that a few bucks in brass is MUCH cheaper than a Power Commander.

    Unfortunately, emission standards have, for the most part, ended the day of the carburetor. :( I wish it wasn't so, but it's the way it is. And yet, more new and interesting machines are available today than at any time I can remember. For me anyway. And I won't let my old school preferences make me miss out on all of the goodness out there today.

    I like the easier reparability of tubeless tires too. And don't mind cast wheels on a street bike as long as it goes with the style. But, for a bike I use off-road I DON'T want cast wheels. And yeah, while the "technology" for tubeless spoked wheels has been available for a long time, in actuality, very few motorcycles are currently available with them. Too bad they're not, but again, it is what it is. So, again, it's not a criteria by which I select a bike. Yeah, a flat on a tubed tire is a PITA, but not the end of the world as I carry the tools needed to make the repair as necessary. Yeah, it's more work than a plug, but it's entirely doable. Roadside assistance plans are great to have (I don't use them but probably should) for those things I can't fix on the road. But, from a time standpoint, I'd just as soon fix a flat than call for help in most cases. I recently had just such an occasion where I had a flat on my XT (tube type), in the middle of nowhere and miles from home. I fixed it, and carried on with the rest of my planned ride. Maybe lost about an hour to an hour and a half. Calling for roadside assistance would have meant a load n carry home, a lost riding day, and a flat that still had to be fixed once back home. I likely would have spent more time just waiting for help to arrive than it took me to fix the tire, not even counting loading the bike, and the ride back home. So, I would have lost a lot more time than just fixing the tube and being on my merry way... So for me, a roadside repair is a no brainer in most cases. I liken it to carrying a spare, jack, and lug wrench in my vehicle. And when I haul a bike on a trailer, I carry a spare for the trailer too. Yeah, tube tires require carrying more, and are more work when you have a flat. But, I'll be damned if I'll let that little thing keep me from enjoying the bikes I want to ride. :loco For me, in all my years of riding, flats just haven't been common enough for it to be an important enough factor to concern myself with, other than carrying the necessary tools and supplies.

    I enjoy bikes of many different types, and riding in different ways and places. Limiting myself by criteria such as tire/wheel type, and prevailing production technology and methods just restricts my choices WAY too much. And, IMO is typically more a figment of ones mindset than any real deal breaking "issue".


    None of the above is in reference to the bike of this thread. Just my thoughts on the relative subjects as they generally apply to motorcycles and riding them.

    On the subject of loosening fasteners, blue Loctite has been my best friend for many many years. On a bike known to vibrate more than typical, a few hours preemptively adding Loctite is worth the trouble, IMO. And for places where heat can be an issue (exhaust studs for example) all metal lock nuts are the answer. They work similarly to nyloc in that they create a certain amount of torque between the bolt and nut, but rather than a synthetic material, they're all metal. There are different types, but the most common that I've used have been one of two types; either thin "washer" type assembly that is slightly smaller than the bolt diameter and roll crimped in to the crown of the nut (can't recall the name but commonly used on axle nuts), or one of a few subtypes of distorted thread lock nuts. I've actually used a punch to make a standard nut into a distorted thread locknut. And for smaller DYI versions, I've clamped the nut in a bench vise to create an ever so slight elliptical distortion. With a little practice it's not difficult to create a nut with the correct friction on the bolt or stud to keep it from vibrating loose. It's important in making your own DIY versions that you match the steel grade between the nut and bolt. If the nut is harder than the bolt material, a DIY distorted thread nut can damage the bolt's threads. Especially if you go overboard on the distortion or create a sharpness to the thread. I normally just make a slight deflection of a portion of the top thread or two. Just enough to create friction... Of course, double nutting works well too. Especially if used with some form of locking system or product.

    Or, you can just use Loctite 2422 on those exhaust studs. :D
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  16. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows All - Tells Some.

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    Thanks, gentlemen for the wealth of information that you have added to this thread! :beer
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  17. JerryH

    JerryH To Each Their Own Supporter

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    None of this really pertains to the Royal Enfield, more about how I feel about things, and things said in a previous post, why I like old bikes, and do not like modern bikes. So by all means feel free to skip over it. Also it was not meant to start an argument, I have always believed everybody has a right to their own feelings about things, there is no absolute right or wrong, if it has 2 wheels and an internal combustion engine, it can't be all bad. This is just about what I like and don't like and why.

    As I always say, to each their own. But I am not a digital person. I do not like anything digital period. And I especially don't like it on motorcycles. I have worked on mechanical fuel injection, like the late '50s/early '60s GM Rochester injection, and Hilborn injection, which is primarily intended for drag racing. It's when it becomes computer controlled that I have a problem with it. It's more a philosophical thing, I want my bikes to be purely mechanical, with a rudimentary 6V/12V electrical system. I even prefer points ignition over CDI, even though CDI does not use a computer. I understand the legal reasons why most modern bikes use it, it's one of two reasons I do not like modern bikes, the other being styling. I find vintage bikes beautiful, while most modern bikes are drop dead ugly to me. Vintage bikes are also mostly metal, while modern bikes are mostly plastic, something I also have an aversion to when it comes to motorcycles. I also don't like over refinement. I love internal combustion engines, and I like them to be simple. I like them to make the proper sounds, and feel like internal combustion engines. Having once owned a 1966 Triumph Bonneville, I checked out a "new" Bonneville back around 2003. I was seriously disappointed. It felt and sounded like a sewing machine. My "old" Bonneville would shake your teeth out, and I loved it. I ride bikes to get away from modern things. I want something as basic, as visceral, and as primitive as I can find and still be capable of ridden on todays roads (not necessarily freeways) My first street bike was a Suzuki GT380 back in 1975, at age 16. Besides the Enfield, I have also gotten into carbureted Harley Sportsters, because they have the design, sound and feel I like. I can say with absolute certainty that I will never own an EFI bike, unless it can be converted, and most can't.

    I do own a couple of bikes with tube type tires, the Enfield being one of them. At least it has a centerstand, and the tires are fairly easy to remove. But you have to carry a lot of stuff with you to repair a tube type tire. The other one is a cruiser with a huge rear tire and no centerstand. I wouldn't even consider trying to repair that one anywhere but in a shop or at home, so I have a road service plan, and stay fairly close to home on it. If by XT you mean a Yamaha XT, I owned a Yamaha XT225 for over a decade, and rode it offroad in the AZ desert. I had a lot of flats. When I first got it, I had a milk crate bolted to the luggage rack, and carried all my flat tire fixing stuff in it. To fix a flat, I emptied out the milk crate, unbolted it from the rack, flipped it over, and lifted the bike onto it. Then a guy on xt225.com started fabricating and selling centerstands, and I was one of the first to buy one. I had to sell that bike, because I have severe arthritis, and bad knees and hip joints. I literally could not safely get my leg over the seat. I'm currently looking for a suitable small carbureted street bike with tubeless tires that is at least dirt road capable.

    I like most kinds of bikes, the one exception being modern sport bikes, even carbureted ones. I have owned a couple, and found them extremely uncomfortable to ride, mostly because of the super low bars and rearset pegs. And you can't even begin to use their capabilities legally on public roads. I would prefer a supermoto, but the seats are too high and they have tube type tires. At my age (61) I have pretty much settled on what I like and what I don't. I have owned more than 50 bikes in my life, which included almost everything from a moped to a 1500 Goldwing. I currently own 6 bikes, and 2 of them are scooters. At 240 pounds I'm a bit heavy for a moped, and with my knee problems I don't feel confident in holding up a Goldwing or other large bike in parking lots and other tight spaces. I definitely could not push one around.

    I also considered using all steel(or aluminum) locknuts on the exhaust studs, but not only were the nuts coming loose, but the studs were coming unscrewed in the head. Loctite won't work on exhaust studs in the head because of the extreme heat, so I decided to use safety wire as a mechanical means of keeping them in place.
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  18. ddavidv

    ddavidv The reason we can't have nice things

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,483
    Location:
    Elizabethtown, PA
    I see nothing to hate there.
    If you read my sig list of bikes there is an obvious flavor to my fleet. :-) I believe the pinnacle of motorcycle 'styling' was the late 1960s Triumphs. That is what a motorcycle should look like. The fairings, insect headlamps and sport bike seating position of a large percentage of today's offerings are a complete turn off.
    While I can appreciate the aesthetic of a nice cruiser the riding position carries no appeal. Nor do I care for the lack of cornering clearance.
    So, standards then.
    Having been deeply involved with cars most of my life (restoring, building, racing) I too have reversed direction in regards to technology. For an everyday workhorse I'm okay with the EFI, ABS, etc but on a hobby car I want to get the most pleasure from I want all analog. Yes, even points. Nothing wrong with points if you know how to deal with them. Same with fuel toilets (carbs). The instant throttle response with mechanical linkage between the engine and my foot will always be more engaging than a throttle position sensor.

    I've harped many times on how the current Triumph Bonneville has lost it's mechanical edge (feel, not performance). The latest ones are like riding very pretty Hondas. My 865 still has some vibrations and sounds good with aftermarket silencers. It is homogenized compared to an original Meriden Triumph and I'm sure guys who grew up riding those won't care for mine. I suppose it is what you are used to.

    The Bullet is a crappy motorcycle by today's standards. Anyone growing up with only bikes from the 90s to the 2000s is probably going to hate it. I wouldn't want it to be my only motorcycle. But every time I ride it I have FUN. It makes me smile. It's like an inside joke most of the room just can't understand.
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  19. Randy

    Randy Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,799
    Location:
    Newnan, GA USA
    Yes, I was referring to my XT225. And I would have added a Cigar Mike's center stand had they still been available. I even talked to him about it over on the XT thread. And he even sent me some photos and rough plans of how to make my own... But he has no interest in making them any longer, and the fabrication is more intensive than I care to get into. I appreciate the advantages of center stands and think it's a shame that so many manufacturers have deleted them. They really are convenient!

    I have three bikes that I currently ride that use tube type tires, a TW200, the XT225, and my Royal Enfield Himalayan. The Himalayan does have a center stand, which I appreciate for maintenance, and it'll come in handy when/if I have a flat. When I had the flat on the XT a few weeks ago, I improvised with a stick...


    IMG_0992.JPG


    Yeah, it was a bit sketchy, but no biggie really, and got the job done. I've since ordered an Enduro Star trail stand.

    http://www.endurostar.com/


    For those unfamiliar with the product, here's a pretty long thread about it where you can see people using it for all manner of bikes:

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/trail-stand-enduro-and-dual-sport-portable-jack-stand.538235/

    It can be used in multiple ways to get either the front or rear wheel of a bike off the deck, and works on a lot of machines. It's also very light and compact so easy to pack and carry. Some even prefer it to a center stand because it's so much lighter. Personally, I still like a center stand for other uses. But, the Enduro Star stand does the trick and by removing the NECESSITY of a center stand, greatly increases my choice of bikes. In fact, even though the Himalayan has a center stand, I ordered a second Trail Stand for it to use under the skid plate to get the front wheel up when needed. It isn't balanced on the center stand as well as some other bikes, so needs some help to get the front up...

    And I fully get it about the carb thing. Until VERY recently, I had a strong preference for carb'd bikes as well. In fact, that was ONE of the deciding factors that led me to recently purchase the XT instead of a few other small dual sports that have EFI. At the same time, the Himalayan is fuel injected and I absolutely LOVE that bike. In all my years of riding, I'd have to say that it's the best damn bike I've ever owned for doing what I want a bike to do these days. If I hadn't been willing to accept a bike with EFI I sure would have missed out! My GS is injected as well. Another great machine, IMO. I have two Sportsters, one a carb'd frame mount and one a rubber mount with EFI. I guess all I'm saying is that I like having options, so tend to limit my "deal breaker" things to those that I can't find a work around, or otherwise accept.

    And I've actually learned to appreciate ABS too. So, some tech is ok. But some is just TOO much, IMO. I have NO interest in a modern GS for this reason. Everyone just has their own preferences in this regard. Center stand , or lack thereof, tube tires, and EFI I can deal with because that's just the reality of the market, and I like too many other things that ARE available to exclude them for those little things...

    As far as tools go, yeah, tube tires do require more. I carry, two spare tubes, patch kit, lube, powder, core tool, pump, and tire irons on all three of the aforementioned bikes. And I also carry tools for other reasons. So, yeah, I like being prepared. :D

    As far as the less practical things about bikes, like "feeling", "personality", "character", etc, I TOTALLY get that too! That's why I've never really cared for a Japanese inline four all that much. They just always seemed to lack that "something" to me.

    And styling! I go back and forth on that one... I get it. A bike that incites passion every time you look at it is definitely something special. And even bikes that aren't "beautiful" need to have "something" about them that I appreciate. So, yeah, if someone has a special look, or style, that they find appealing, I get that too. :thumb

    I guess, I may just be more flexible in this regard than some. And over time I've found that my tastes have changed to where bikes that may not have appealed to me at one point, end up striking my fancy, and vice versa... :dunno

    Hell, I used to be a sport bike guy that HATED Harleys. Now I own two. And now, I can't remember the last time that I even gave a glance toward a modern sport bike. Couldn't care two flips to even ride one, let alone own it.

    Hell, ten years ago, if you had told me that my favorite of all time bike would be a 400 lb sorta ugly (to some), 24 HP single, adv bike built in India, I'd have laughed and called the paddy wagon for you...

    But yeah, by the time we get to our point in our riding experience, we've pretty much figured out what we like, what we don't, and what appeals to us and how we use a bike. And for me, even that tends to evolve... I mean, until just a few weeks/months ago, I wasn't even CONSIDERING a RE Bullet. And yet now, I'm pretty sure that'll be the next bike I buy...

    On the flat thing, we live in VERY different environments so our experiences have shaped our thoughts on the subject quite differently. We don't have thorns in the SE. Around here by far the most common culprit is a wayward screw or nail. In fact, I think the flat I had recently on the XT may have been the first time I've actually had one that sidelined me. I've had a couple of nails in tubeless tires in the past, but didn't even know it until I got home and noticed it in the tire. Had those been tube tires, the outcome would have been different obviously. But, I guess my point is that I just haven't had too much experience with punctures over the years on my bikes (KNOCK WOOD!) so it's not quite on the forefront of my mind. And yet, I'm still prepared to deal with it when/if it happens. :thumb

    Back to the subject at hand...

    I recently posted about what appeared to me to be a very nice C5 for sale near Tampa, FL, for a fair price. Then, I started looking at it daily... Then I considered, "Hell, 500 miles isn't too far for a fly and ride...". I actually looked and discovered that I could get a one way ticket from Atlanta to Tampa for like 79 bucks! Then I formulated a plan of how I could fly down, carrying the necessary gear as carry-on, uber to the dealership, buy the bike, and spend the next two days riding it back home... It was entirely plausible and made PERFECT sense! Of course, I'm trying to finish a MAJOR project at work right now so it wasn't in the cards at the moment. So, I told myself, "If that thing is still available in a couple of weeks when I can take some time off...." Then, a couple of days ago, they reduced the price to $3749... And then yesterday the ad disappeared from FB marketplace. :(

    But yeah, I'm a gonner... I've already rationalized buying a bike 500 miles away, and even went so far as to figure out the logistics of the whole thing... I guess that ol rationalization thing is in FULL swing now! :lol3

    Another will come along...

    :ricky
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  20. JerryH

    JerryH To Each Their Own Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    9,075
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    The Cigar Mike centerstand is not flimsy at all. Many complain about centerstands being an issue on off road bikes. I am no longer a hardcore off road rider, and the centerstand is not only not a problem, it is a lifesaver. And it is so substantial that it has protected the engine cases from rocks behind the stock bash plate.

    I have owned 4 Honda Rebel 250s, a 1985 bought new, 2 used ones, and a 2016 bought new, which I still have. For one of the used ones, I got a swingarm off eBay, welded a bracket to the right side of it, with a round hole in it. I used the hole to insert a length of 1/2" threaded steel rod through, then put nuts above and below the bracket to hold the rod in place. The bolted on rod, along with a piece of 2x4 under the sidestand, held the rear wheel off the ground with no chance of the bike falling. For some reason 9 out of 10 flats I have had have been the rear tire. And yes, I have had that many flats. Way more actually. Almost all of them with tube type tires. They are a lot more easily punctured than the much thicker tubeless tires, and once the thin tube is punctured, they go flat immediately. I have ridden hundreds of miles on tubeless tires that were punctured by a nail or screw, only to find the object that punctured them while inspecting the tire at home. The tubeless tire is so thick that the object that punctured them actually sealed the puncture.

    Even with a centerstand, you have to have a lot of tools and parts to fix a flat with tube type tires. Tools to remove the wheel, then remove the tire from the wheel, new tubes (only a couple of times was I able to patch a punctured tube, they usually pop like a balloon, and/or the object that punctured them wiggled around before you got stopped and shredded the tube), a way of inflating the new tube, either a 12V compressor or pump, I also carried something to lube the bead, which makes removing/reinstalling the tire a lot easier. In my current condition, I am not sure I could repair a tube type tire. If I could it would take a long time doing it out on the trail or worse yet, beside a road with traffic flying by.

    The really cool thing about the old Enfield 500 singles, including the UCE, is that not only do they have centerstands, but you can also remove the rear wheel without removing the rear brake and sprocket, so the chain stays in place, adjusted, and does not fall down on the ground. It also has a very narrow, flexible, easy to remove tire. I don't believe the Himalayan has this feature.

    The UCE Enfields are basically the same as the older iron barrel Enfields, with a unit construction motor and retrofitted EFI. The frame, wheels, suspension, pretty much everything is unchanged. And while the engine design changed, it appears the quality did not. The 535cc Continental GT benefitted from a completely new Harris designed full double cradle frame, suspension and wheels. A big part of the problem with the old Enfields is how weak the frame is. It uses the engine as a stressed member, and can turn into a pretzel if you remove the engine. I have seen a lot of pictures of cracked frames and cracked engine cases. This seems to be caused by a combination of poor material quality, and the fact that nothing lines up like it should, putting excessive stress on certain areas. I'm actually surprised that mine has made it past 12K miles with no frame/engine cracks (that I know of) They are super fun bikes to ride, and beautiful to look at. I have often said I would love to have an Enfield Bullet with the quality of a Honda.
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