Royal Enfield Motorcycle Any Good ????????

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yod...@my-deja.com

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Jan 20, 2001, 5:08:29 PM1/20/01
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Hi, I'm new to motorcycling and was considering buying a Royal Enfield.
They're inexpensive and cool, vintage looking, but I wanted to ask
around and figured this newsgroup would be a good place.

Any pros and cons on them ?

Are the parts expensive and hard to find ?

Are they generally reliable ?

How do they perform ?

I justed passed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's course, and I've
only ridden a Suzuki 250 gz. Any comments or advice would be greatly
appreciated.


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Bob Scogin

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Jan 20, 2001, 9:10:24 PM1/20/01
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> Hi, I'm new to motorcycling and was considering buying a Royal Enfield.
> They're inexpensive and cool, vintage looking, but I wanted to ask
> around and figured this newsgroup would be a good place.
> Any pros and cons on them ?
Pros - you listed 'em. Inexpensive, cool, vintage looking. Cons -- It's not
a modern motorcycle, and therefore has mechanical defficiencies that are
typical of motorcycles designed about 50 years ago. It really is a "new" old
motorcycle.

> Are the parts expensive and hard to find ?

No.

> Are they generally reliable ?

About as reliable as any motorcycle was around 1950 or1955. Not nearly as
reliable as a modern bike.

> How do they perform ?

Like a 50 year old motorcycle. Drum brakes, minimal power, antiquated frame
and suspension. There's been a few improvements over the original British
built Bullets of the 50's, but the gains, unfortunately, have been offset by
the lesser quality of the India(n) built Bullets. I'd hesitate to recommend
one to the novice unless he possessed the mechanical ability to keep it
running without the support of a dealers service department. IOW, they need
a lot of tinkering to stay on the road.
Bob


Allan Flippin

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Jan 21, 2001, 3:53:42 AM1/21/01
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I got the same impression as Bob from reviews I've read about this
bike. If you dig the cool vintage look, you might want to consider a
Yamaha 650, which seems to be a more modern bike which looks like a
vintage model.

Allan

In article <94d28o$718$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,

Allan Flippin

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Jan 21, 2001, 5:38:10 AM1/21/01
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Sorry, wrong brand. I was thinking of the Kawasaki 650 retro bike.

In article <94e82l$3gn$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,


Allan Flippin <ajf...@pacbell.net> wrote:
> I got the same impression as Bob from reviews I've read about
this
> bike. If you dig the cool vintage look, you might want to consider a
> Yamaha 650, which seems to be a more modern bike which looks like a
> vintage model.
>
> Allan
>
>

wingman

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Jan 21, 2001, 5:28:04 AM1/21/01
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IMHO

You say that you're new to motorcycling, in which case I would assume you
know the minimum about motorcycle mechanicals and electricals. I would then
recommend strongly that you consider getting a mid size 'modern' bike.

I used an Indian Enfield in 1996, and still own a 1953 Speed Twin (sadly now
in boxes awaiting it's lazy arsed owner to fix it up again after a cam
seizure). Most vertical twins of the 50s-60s, and the Enfield is a design
and product of this period, were not known for their reliability..and
require constant work from the owner to keep them running on a daily basis.
The Enfield I had was a loaner from the local dealer who wanted the
exposure....most people who saw the bike were caught by the looks, but were
not impressed by the 'vintage' engineering. I reckon Bob Scogin covered it
well in his post in reply to yours.

Before anyone starts flaming me, I wish to state that I know the difference
between 'vintage', and 'retro'....:-)

You don't say where you are, yodax, but unless you have a *committed* dealer
willing to share the trials and tribulations of owning such a motorcycle,
and willing to handle a large chunk of the maintenance work yourself, I
would stay clear of the Enfield.

<yod...@my-deja.com> wrote in message news:94d28o$718$1...@nnrp1.deja.com...

yod...@my-deja.com

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Jan 21, 2001, 4:59:27 PM1/21/01
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I live in Miami Florida, I just want cheap bike I can ride on the
weekends, and if I end up liking the hobby buying a more expensive bik
eventually.

In article <94el3a$drc$3...@news4.jaring.my>,

thom_b...@my-deja.com

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Jan 21, 2001, 8:32:32 PM1/21/01
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In article <94fm3r$4tj$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
You should check out the Kawasaki. It looks dated and probably is more
reliable than the British Enfield. I saw 2 in a local dealership here in
Phoenix...both were leaking vital liquids and just looked like trouble
from the get-go. thom 2000 suzuki gsf 1200

Allan Flippin

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Jan 22, 2001, 12:43:33 AM1/22/01
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The comment about Kawasakis leaking vital floods is interesting. I
saw a post from a Kawasaki 650 rider in the San Francisco area who said
he had a problem with leaking. He took it back, and the dealer found
that a gasket was missing! Yes, it had no gasket at all, but was
still only leaking a drop every once in a while. Once they got the
gasket in, his bike quite leaking altogether. This could be a common
quality control issue with Kawasaki.

Allan

In article <94g2jh$f61$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,

frank...@my-deja.com

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Jan 22, 2001, 9:22:36 AM1/22/01
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> > You should check out the Kawasaki. It looks dated and probably is
> more
> > reliable than the British Enfield. I saw 2 in a local dealership
here
> in
> > Phoenix...both were leaking vital liquids and just looked like
trouble
> > from the get-go.

In article <94gha5$qfj$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,


Allan Flippin <ajf...@pacbell.net> wrote:
> The comment about Kawasakis leaking vital floods is
interesting.

I think (hope) he meant that the enfields were leaking not Kawasaki.

I am in the same position as the original poster. I want a bike but
don't really fancy anything modern. I am from England and saw a new
Bonneville yesterday (are they out in the US yet?) It looks much nicer
in real life than it does in photographs.

The Kawasaki W650 was my most likley choice as they have been around
long enough to be available used. I would like an original Bonneville
but since a reasonable one is around 2500 to 3000 pounds I can't help
thinking that a barely used W650 is only a little more.


Frank

Thumper

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Jan 22, 2001, 9:49:06 AM1/22/01
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You are speaking of 2 hobbies here, one is Motorcycling. The other is
classic and antique British Motorcycling. I do both. Although it is
expensive it's extremely satisfying to me. I love riding daily on old
British Iron.

If you want to experence British Motorcycling, don't buy an Endfield, they
are cumbersome, poor handling boat anchors. Buy a 1970's Triumph or Norton.

If you want to try Motorcycling, buy an old Honda, like a Honda Hawk or a
550 Four and see if you like it.

Trust me on this one, an India Endfield is a poor choice.


--
I trust you'll have the good sense not to mention that I posted this.


Thumper

"I don't want a pickle..."

"I'm not insane, I'm just queer"

"I'm no dude"

1954 Velocette MAC
1958 BSA Super Bantam
1962 Triumph Tiger Cub
1974 Norton Interstate
1978 Triumph Bonneville


Old Biker

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Jan 22, 2001, 1:58:45 PM1/22/01
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yod...@my-deja.com wrote:
>
> Hi, I'm new to motorcycling and was considering buying a Royal Enfield.

I'm with the rest of the reeky crowd on this one. I own and love
a 98 Bullet but it is not a good bike for a beginner or for
anyone who can only have one bike. I'd recommend a bike that is
big enough to carry two for reasonably long trips (3-400
miles/day), sporty enough to teach you to ride but not too
"sudden" (no cruisers or superbikes) - something like Kawasaki's
750 standard comes to mind. Save the NOS antique for next year
and then put a BSA piston in it.

thom_b...@my-deja.com

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Jan 22, 2001, 11:46:04 PM1/22/01
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In article <94gha5$qfj$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
Allan Flippin <ajf...@pacbell.net> wrote:


I apologize for the confusion of my thread. I was referring to the
British Enfields leaking fluids, not the Kawasaki that I witnessed
leaking on the floor of the dealership here in Phx. Hope that clears any
misunderstanding! thom 2000 suzuki gsf 1200

Allan Flippin

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Jan 23, 2001, 3:36:30 AM1/23/01
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OK, gotcha! I'm sure you can tell how I got that mixed up... since
I had recently heard of a leaking Kawasaki.

Allan

In article <94j2ab$hn$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,

Rick Damiani

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Jan 23, 2001, 10:25:07 AM1/23/01
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yod...@my-deja.com wrote:

>I live in Miami Florida, I just want cheap bike I can ride on the
>weekends, and if I end up liking the hobby buying a more expensive bik
>eventually.

You would be much better off with a good used bike then. A GS500 or
the like in good shape will likely be less than an Enfield and not
require such frequent repair and adjustment. Enfields, because of the
age of the design, are for people who don't mind doing a lot of
tinkering. As such, I'd not recommend one as a first bike.

--
A host is a host from coast to coast ..................... Rick Damiani
and no one will talk to a host that's close .... ri...@nospam.paton.com
Unless the host (that isn't close) ......... ri...@nospam.earthlink.net
is busy, hung or dead ..............................NGI# T695 DoD #2659
'99 Triumph Sprint ST (Guppy) ....... '86 Yamaha Radian (Fire Breather)

Rick Damiani

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Jan 23, 2001, 10:26:06 AM1/23/01
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frank...@my-deja.com wrote:

>I am in the same position as the original poster. I want a bike but
>don't really fancy anything modern. I am from England and saw a new
>Bonneville yesterday (are they out in the US yet?) It looks much nicer
>in real life than it does in photographs.

Yes, they are here. It's OK I suppose, but not quite my cup of tea.

jjs

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Jan 25, 2001, 4:25:50 PM1/25/01
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In article <3A6C82E5...@3n.net>,
Old Biker <enf...@3n.net> wrote:

> [...] I'd recommend a bike that is


> big enough to carry two for reasonably long trips (3-400
> miles/day), sporty enough to teach you to ride but not too
> "sudden" (no cruisers or superbikes) - something like Kawasaki's
> 750 standard comes to mind. Save the NOS antique for next year
> and then put a BSA piston in it.

Naw. Find another of these and I'll join your ride.
http://wind.winona.msus.edu/~stafford/rickman/jim_paisley.htm

Old Biker

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Jan 26, 2001, 11:24:22 AM1/26/01
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jjs wrote:
>
> ... Find another of these and I'll join your ride.
> http://wind.winona.msus.edu/~stafford/rickman/jim_paisley.htm
>

Sounds good to me. Local trumpet shop owner told me he could
still get factory frames from Spondon(?) like the ones Yamaha
"invented" years later for their GP then street bikes. Offered
to build me one for about the same $$$ as a new bike. I'm still
chewing my cheek on it.

Thanks for the foto, tho it'll prolly get flamed (no helmet).

Old Biker

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Jan 29, 2001, 10:34:57 AM1/29/01
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badinfluence wrote:

>
> yod...@my-deja.com wrote:
> > Are the parts expensive and hard to find ?

No.


> >
> > Are they generally reliable ?

Yes, by 1950's standards. They don't break down much but need
mucho routine maintenance.


> >
> > How do they perform ?

Poorly until you add a hi-compression piston , et al.
> >
>
> Royal Enfield's corporate office in the U.K. went bust in the
> 50's, but someone forgot to tell the boys in the plant in
> India. So they have been building bikes for the last 50 or so
> years that are unchanged. Although cool and vintage, it would
> be a second bike in my garage, definately not the only.

Emphatically second "bad's" advise. Recommend getting some
experience on a near-new Japanese "standard" first.

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