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Author Topic: Potential new owner with some questions  (Read 674 times)

kramer921

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Potential new owner with some questions
« on: August 29, 2011, 09:37:16 PM »
Hey everyone,

I've been considering an Enfield for some time now (and have been checking out the board for a few weeks; seems like you guys have a great group here) and I think I'm ready to buy one.  A bit of background: I'm 25 and have owned a '78 Vespa P200 (2-stroke manual) for about 3 years, and while I love it, I'm finding that it's lacking the power to comfortably get me outside of the city.  I live in Philadelphia and often have to ride to my parents' place in South Jersey (and will most likely be moving to NY by the end of the year, so that trip will become much longer), and while I take as many back roads as possible, going over the bridge can be a bit harrowing, as my P200 will only do about 55 before it starts to really vibrate.  On top of that, its light weight (about 230 lbs on top of my pretty light 125 lbs) often leaves me feeling like I'm going to blow right over.  And finally, I'm sick of having to work on it every other week to keep it running.

I've never cared much for motorcycles, as I've mostly been exposed to Harleys and ninjas, but the classic look of the Enfield has really won me over.  It seems to me like its bigger size and ability to handle 65-70 mph would leave me feeling much more comfortable and, with the UCE engine, it seems like a very reliable bike.

I went to check out the bike at a dealer today, and while I went in thinking that the green G5 was the one I wanted, I was really impressed with the B5.  It seems like the rear fender is often seen as the red-headed step child, but I actually preferred it to the G5's, as well as its toolbox.  The only things I didn't like were the seat and the badge, so a few questions:

1. I found the G5's seat to be much more comfortable; can it be put on the B5?
2. Can the badge be removed?  I think I'd like it much better with this simple white decal from NField Gear: http://nfieldgear.com/enfield-store/aftermarket-parts-accessories/graphics/white-royal-enfield-tank-side-decal.html
3. What accessories work for it?  NField doesn't list it on any of them.  I specifically want this rack: http://nfieldgear.com/enfield-store/aftermarket-parts-accessories/luggage/chrome-brackets-style-1.html but don't know if it will fit.
4. How much of a pain in the ass would it be to have the pinstripes painted from gold to white?
5. The dealer offered to knock $400 off of the price of a 2010; does this seem like a good deal?  I don't know how much you can typically haggle with a motorcycle dealer.
6. And am I crazy, or is the B5 slightly smaller than the G5?

And finally, again concerning the seat, if the G5 one won't fit, has anyone used the English dual seat (http://nfieldgear.com/enfield-store/aftermarket-parts-accessories/seats/english-dual-seat.html) and if so, what do you think of it?  I think going very minimal with a mostly just black and white aesthetic would look really good on the B5.

I know that's a lot of questions, so any help with any of them would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a lot guys.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2011, 09:45:02 PM by kramer921 »

GlennF

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Re: Potential new owner with some questions
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2011, 10:50:20 PM »
Hi kramer

The B5 basically has an oldschool iron 350/500 style frame and tank. If your are looking at seats, racks and accessories the ones made for the Indian 350s will be the best fit.

The badge attaches by two screws and the tank is painted underneath. If your remove it you will have two small threaded holes to cover up but the tank looks fine.

I just replaced the "Bollywood" badge with a solid brass one instead on my B5.

I suppose you could repaint the gold pinstripe but its one of the desirable "features" of the B5 you can talk to people about, a hand painted tank, see the video here:

http://youtu.be/qTtA_MVQCss

Alternatively complete painted tanks in various colors or chrome with various logos are available very cheaply from India.

Ice

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Re: Potential new owner with some questions
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2011, 11:09:13 PM »
Hi kramer921 and welcome aboard.

 The English dual seat you mentioned uses a different foam than the factory dual seat.
It is vastly nicer than stock. Hard to describe, like memory foam but ,,,different.

 My riding buddy Bill Harris has one on his ElectraX based scrambler and it is an" all day long" seat.

 Fitting a C5 single seat should be do able with a little bracketry fabrication I would think.

Changing the pin stripes to white is also do able.
Any custom paint shop could carefully mask them and shoot some white.

You will pay more at a privately owned shop.
Chain stores like Maaco, Schieb etc can do the job cheaper but you will not like the results at all IMHO.

I can break it better,,,,at night, in the rain, on the trail,, 20 miles from nowhere.

REA #136

"TIMEX", the '06 Iron Barrel Military that takes me everywhere I want to go... and some places I shouldn't.

commonbear

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Re: Potential new owner with some questions
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2011, 11:11:44 PM »
Hello Kramer,

As a new G5 owner myself (just hit my first 1000 miles this last weekend) I wanted to point out that I get a general "paint shaker" effect from mine if I go much past 60MPH.  I've been told that this eventually smooths out a bit more after another 1000 miles or so of break in, but as you specifically mentioned this being an issue with your Vespa I figured I ought to mention it.
ZenCrafters.  Total enlightenment... in about an hour!

barenekd

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Re: Potential new owner with some questions
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2011, 11:56:17 PM »
Hi, Kramer.
I have a G5 with 3200 miles on it and it is pretty smooth in the 65 MPH range. It will go faster, but mileage begins to suffer. I got 74.5 mpg on my last fillup which was mixed riding.
The G5 seat seems to me far better than a B5. I have done several over 200 mile rides on mine with no ill effects. I haven't ridden a B5, but sitting on one, the seat feels a lot harder than the B5.
Enfield specs show the same sizes and weights for all three bikes. I'm not sure I believe that, but I haven't taken a measuring stick to any of them. The seat feel lower on the G5 as opposed to the B5, but it may be just the softer seat that makes the difference.
You mentioned your weight, but how tall are your. Sit on the bikes and make sure you can easily touch the ground. You don't have to get flat footed, but you don't want to be on your tiptoes, either.
I think you will like a motorcycle much more than the scooter once you get used to it. They are far more stable and better handling than the scooters. Not to mention considerably more power.
We'd like to see you join the party. There are other riders in or around Philly, so you can find mates to ride with.
Bare
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
http://www.controllineplans.com

Arizoni

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Re: Potential new owner with some questions
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2011, 01:16:45 AM »
kramer:  If you've managed to keep a '78 Vespa P200 going for 3 yearsa Royal Enfield  UCE will be a piece of cake for you.

I shouldn't knock scooters but they are built for maybe 40 mph max riding.
Their tiny wheels can be downright dangerous if a pot hole of any size is hit (but then you already know that).

My point is a full size motorcycle like a RE UCE can be ridden at higher speeds without straining it and its larger tires are pretty much unfazed by most road hazards (except for loose gravel).

The RE's power is greater than a scooters but it is easy to control.

As for "dealers specials", they are pretty hard to find.  The Royal Enfields sell well enough that dealers seldom mark down the prices except for the previous years (and older) new bikes.

The two year unconditional parts/labor warranty is something to keep in mind when looking for a new motorcycle.
That plus the guy who runs this site is Kevin Mahoney, the very guy who owns the company that imports these bikes.
Now where else can the buyer of any motor vehicle talk directly to the top person of the company by merely posting on a web site or sending him a Private Message?
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

Desi Bike

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Re: Potential new owner with some questions
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2011, 01:33:21 AM »
Dont judge the softness of a seat until you get some butt miles on it.  My C5 seat was a pain in the a$s until the foam softened up after a few hundred butt miles. At first I wanted to swap out for something softer, but now that I have over 2500 miles on the seat, its nicely formed to my (cute, acccording to my girlfriend) butt.
میں نہیں چاہتا کہ ایک اچار
میں صرف اپنی موٹر سائیکل پر سوار کرنا چاہتے ہیں

kramer921

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Re: Potential new owner with some questions
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2011, 04:13:54 AM »
Thanks for all of the help, guys.  Pretty much exactly what I wanted to hear.

Ice: It's good to hear the English dual seat is that much more comfortable than the stock one; from what I've seen, it looks great, too, so it seems like a no-brainer.  And I'll definitely look into the price for the pinstripes.

Barenekd: I'm 5'9".  I sat on the bike today and could firmly plant my feet on the ground.  I was actually surprised that it wasn't taller.  While the sheer mass of it seems like it would take a bit of getting used to after riding the Vespa for so long, the height seems fine.  Glad to hear that despite the size, it's easier to handle.

Arizoni: Keeping the P200 going has definitely been a chore and the charm of how temperamental it can be has begun to wear off.  The pot holes (especially the ones in Philly) have always been a problem for it; I've almost dropped it plenty of times because of them and it's a major reason that I've begun considering a motorcycle.  And it doesn't do well on gravel, either, so I wouldn't be losing anything as far as that goes.


barenekd

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Re: Potential new owner with some questions
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2011, 06:59:13 PM »
Quote
While the sheer mass of it seems like it would take a bit of getting used to after riding the Vespa for so long, the height seems fine.  Glad to hear that despite the size, it's easier to handle.

Once it's rolling the sheer mass will disappear. You only have to put up with that at very low speeds. But it won't be overwhelming at any speed. You should have absolutely no problems.  Women your size ride 800 pound Harldeys. They can handle those just fine. The trick is, not to let it lean over too far at low speed or stopped. Should not be a problem. I'm 5'5" nowadays and don't have nearly the strength I used to have, I've dropped the bike only once a couple of days after I bought it, because I got my pants hung up on the shifter and couldn't get my foot out.
I just about dropped it a couple of weeks ago when I stopped up on the side of a dirt hill, pointing up the hill. The hill had a light coating of silt on it and the bike started sliding down the hill backwards, with my boot sliding along with it and the bike trying to slide out from under me sideways. I was trying to keep the foot under me and the bike kept sliding and leaning farther, but finally stopped I was just at the leaning limit where I could barely still hold it up. I finally managed to get my foot slid back under me where I had the leverage to get it back up. T'were a touchy moment there. I decided then that stupid ribbed front tire had to go. I just put on K70s. Hopefully they will have a bit better traction in that situation. At least the marks that it leaves as it slides down won't look like a neatly plowed field!
Bare
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
http://www.controllineplans.com

Ice

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Re: Potential new owner with some questions
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2011, 08:08:01 PM »
On the subject of picking up a downed bike.

You tube has many videos using leverage and technique to upright a fallen Harley.
For the good of the order here is a link to just one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6HTs9x3xBE

Modified to add

Bullets handle well at low speed too  ;D
Here is a link to the often posted 2008 Zirndorf trials Bullet
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vhrIgy6jFE
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 08:10:55 PM by Ice »
I can break it better,,,,at night, in the rain, on the trail,, 20 miles from nowhere.

REA #136

"TIMEX", the '06 Iron Barrel Military that takes me everywhere I want to go... and some places I shouldn't.

Desi Bike

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Re: Potential new owner with some questions
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2011, 08:10:44 PM »
bare.. My pant leg catches the foot peg rubber on occasion when I go to get my feet on the ground. I've learned to do a bit of a leg swing out first then down. Earlier on I thought it was snagging on the clutch lever, but it is actually the footpeg rubber that caught me a couple of times.
میں نہیں چاہتا کہ ایک اچار
میں صرف اپنی موٹر سائیکل پر سوار کرنا چاہتے ہیں

Sub

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Re: Potential new owner with some questions
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2011, 02:59:56 AM »
bare.. My pant leg catches the foot peg rubber on occasion when I go to get my feet on the ground. I've learned to do a bit of a leg swing out first then down. Earlier on I thought it was snagging on the clutch lever, but it is actually the footpeg rubber that caught me a couple of times.

I get that too, kind of annoying with baggy jeans, but you get used to it.