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Old 04-20-2006, 02:56 PM   #21
sarnali
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Default Re: Any experience with Royal Enfields?

If you're after retro styling I'd get a Triumph Bonneville Black or an 883 Sportster. Both are fairly cheap, reliable as bricks and have decent brakes and handling won't get you in trouble with an over abundance of horsepower.



The Enfield will be a cool bike that requires a pretty constant level of tinkering and repairs and a limited source to obtain parts. While they won't get you in trouble horsepower wise their mediocre brakes and handling and rubber frames and forks will.



In fact if you want a funky-cool bike I'd get a Ural with a PTO drive for the sidecar wheel. That way you'd have a little better bike that you could ride on the fireroads as well. That's what I'd do.
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Old 04-20-2006, 03:17 PM   #22
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Default Re: Any experience with Royal Enfields?

I had a '54 RE 350 Bullet passed to me in 1960 by a friend of an uncle who had, allegedly, competed on it in the '55 ISDT. The Brit team all used this model and one of them, I forget his name, won a gold medal riding one of them. My machine was a maintenance challenge. I'll leave it at that. The Bullet you're looking at must be a late model Indian production 500 unit as the Brit's never manufactured a 500 Bullet, only a 500 twin. Nevertheless, your's is a rather curious choice considering the anarchic specs compounded by the sparse availability of service and parts. For a first machine, especially, you want to be out riding. Plenty of time later to saddle yourself with antiquated, eccentric exotics and the requisite love/hate relatonship that ensues. But, if you can't be discouraged for whatever perverse reason and must have it, and are prepared for the investment of time and labor to keep it running, go for it and build some great memories, or at least some great stories. Good luck!
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:37 PM   #23
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Default Re: Any experience with Royal Enfields?

i love the idea of a royal enfield but i have read nothing but trouble in terms of reliability. I like to ride, i like retro engineering and i like my suzuki 650 "savage." it is ultra reliable, i've put ten thousand miles on mine in 5 months, with oil changes, a valve clearance check and lots of fuel in the tiny ( 2 gall) main tank. It offers everything a traditional single offers, with a top speed close to 85, belt drive ( no maintenance), funky riding position ( feet forwards) and a very low seat height. Ideal for beginners or retro old farts like me. A reliable single cylinder or a 70mph maintenance nightmare.

Now i have to stop wondering about the new, electric start, electronic ignition Bullet Electra...which THEY SAY is all new and reliable. Ha!











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Old 04-20-2006, 05:30 PM   #24
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Default Re: Any experience with Royal Enfields?

Get the W650. Looks exactly like a 65 Bonneville and doesn't leak oil. It's a Kawasaki, which means it's built like a brick. Mine has 29k miles and nary a hiccup. Plus you can do mods like superbike bars, or thruxtuns, a beautiful polished aluminum GP tank, a matching seat, etc.



As my friend Maynard put it: "A W650 is a blank canvas awaiting the artist."
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Old 04-20-2006, 06:22 PM   #25
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Default Re: Any experience with Royal Enfields?

Yes but years ago---when I was younger several BSA`s and a couple of Nortons (the best ) and 2 royal Enfields--then a 72 Ducati and then on to ...Welll now to the recommendation--Do what I`ve done get something relible and then when you can afford it--look for that classic--Friend of mine is from India and has brought back a new version ( for India )--Looks better/seems reliable and has that awesome thumper sound---But--there are way too many better first bikes on E-bay or Craigs list---talk to your instructers/local clubs--you`ll get lots of help===But your first experience should be memorable and that meansa daily reliable driver---Good advice on the Ninja 250/500 or even a Kaw 650.. Choose wisely but as NIKE says " just do it "
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:58 PM   #26
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Default Re: Any experience with Royal Enfields?

No! Thought about it but quickly came to my sences.



I have recently retired and needed something of my own just to run around town (small country town on south coast of NSW, Aust.) so looked at a scooter. I bought a Vespa ET-150 (although they have the 250ie out now which would be much better). Scooters are easy to ride and maintain and just plain good fun.



Lots of luck!



Peter
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Old 04-21-2006, 01:34 AM   #27
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Default Re: Any experience with Royal Enfields?

Well, I've already made some rather... interesting... memories with old cars. Such as buying a '79 Triumph Spitfire a few years ago and having its electronics catch on fire the first time I drove it to work. I might not have even bothered asking about a Royal Enfield and just bought one if it hadn't been for some of those experiences.
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Old 04-21-2006, 01:35 AM   #28
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Default Re: Any experience with Royal Enfields?

That was another option I was considering - there are plenty of dirt cheap UJM's that pop up in the classifieds around here. Either that or something like a Ninja 250 or Buell Blast.
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Old 04-21-2006, 01:37 AM   #29
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Default Re: Any experience with Royal Enfields?

if i were you i would figure out what i could afford and then go from there. how about a honda cb550, honda 700s, yamaha xs650, all classic styling and fairly reliable. an excellent 1st bike that doesn't fit your criteria is the yamaha tw200 dual sport. excellent commuter, take it off road and learn about dirt, looks like a pitbull, super stable, to get anywhere on it you have to ride the snot out of it. finally yamaha has a sucker deal on it right now. get a bike, ride it, fall down, get back up and ride again.
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Old 04-21-2006, 02:48 AM   #30
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Default Re: Any experience with Royal Enfields?

For your first bike get one that is cheap, cheerful and RELIABLE.



IF you find that you just love riding and enjoy wrenching - as you owned a Spitfire, that MUST be true! - THEN AND ONLY THEN get your Enfield.



Really.
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