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Author Topic: Question from a beginner  (Read 2610 times)

Blackcat360

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Question from a beginner
« on: November 19, 2012, 10:22:26 PM »
Hello, I am a new rider that has just taken a MSF course.

I am looking at getting my first bike and have been flip flopping between a TU250x,GS500 and a Royal Enfield 500cc (leaning towards the look of the military model). My goal is a good standard bike that I can keep for a long time. I am also going after a used bike and my question is when comparing and making a final decision should I save more money and try to get a newer used EFI or go ahead and get a 2000+year model with a Carb? I have sat on a Royal Enfield and really liked the seating position along with the look. I also like having a kick-start as well.

So any recommendations? Looking for a fun bike to commute sometimes on interstate and around time. As well as joy ride as a hobby.

LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2012, 10:37:04 PM »
The EFI models have more readily available parts in the US.  I think they're probably more reliable too.  They're better suited for the freeway than the older bikes.

The carbureted models are easier to work on, and there's a plethora of parts to be had from CMW, ebay, Hitchcock's, etc. for cheap.  And you could probably find a derelict parts bike for cheap too, if that's a prospect that attracts you, since many parts are interchangeable across a great number of year models.

Short answer: EFI = no fuss, Iron Barrel = cheap/easy to work on.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 10:39:20 PM by LarsBloodbeard »

Arizoni

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2012, 10:38:19 PM »
I'm a bit prejudiced because I own a UCE but I think paying a few dollars more for one of these will be well worth it to you.

The UCE's have a lot of improvements in their engine that makes them more reliable and less fuss.
All of them except for some of the 2010 models have a kick starter.

The only weakness I'm aware of is the drive chain and some areas of the electrical harness that needs some additional protection from sharp metal edges.
The rest of the bike seems to be pretty "Bullet proof".  (little joke there...Royal Enfield Bullet).

The only condition I avoid is riding on the Interstate highways where the speed limit is at 85 mph.  As the bike tops out at about 80 and everyone in a car is driving at 90 mph, that's not a good place for them.

Highways with posted limits of 65 mph are great fun.
Jim
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Blackcat360

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2012, 02:03:03 AM »
Thanks guys. I will defiantly start looking more into the new models. Unless of course see a really good deal on a newer iron barrel. Now they joy of shopping for a used bike! On the plus side I reckon am hunting in the best season since its cold out maybe more people be inclined to offer a good deal. ;D

GSS

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2012, 02:07:47 AM »
I have a TU250 and a RE C5.  The TU is a highly refined "mini Enfield" that will give you the same top speed as a RE C5 military for 4K vs 7K for the Bullet. However the TU will never attract crowds and you will want to upgrade within 6 months. I bought the TU as a starter bike for the wife and am holding on to it for the kids to reach riding age. Meanwhile it will be a fun little cafe project. Do yourself a huge favor and get the RE....any 2009 or newer with the UCE engine will be great! They are very reliable despite minor quirks.
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LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2012, 02:13:18 AM »
I just saw one of those TU250's not an hour ago.  There was a 5' tall 90 pound woman riding it.  That's a great little city bike for shorter, lighter people.

GSS

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2012, 02:22:12 AM »
Exactly! It is perfect if you are below 5' 8". I was definitely scrunched when I put about about 150 miles on it for the initial break in. Great handling bike though.
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GlennF

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2012, 05:15:13 AM »
The UCE bikes are reliable at highway/freeway speeds over longer distances.

The iron barrels, not so much.

dginfw

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2012, 05:00:20 AM »
For what its worth, I got the UCE over an older Enfield because the older bikes with carbs need a few mods just to get them to the performance of a newer bike, and the older bikes have notoriously crucial break-in periods. If you don't know how well the bike was broken in, you could be taking a bigger risk...       just my .02
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jonico61

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2012, 02:45:19 PM »
I definitely agree, get a newer UCE EFI. If you were totally into the tinkering and mechanics aspects you probably wouldn't have asked here. If you do feel like doing minor tinkering you certainly can on the new ones, but your riding doesn't depend on it like it does for the older ones. Let us know what you get in the end!
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Ducati Scotty

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2012, 03:03:04 PM »
If you were totally into the tinkering and mechanics aspects you probably wouldn't have asked here.

I like that point of view: if you have to ask you don't really have to ask. :)

eda1bulletc5

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2012, 05:11:39 PM »
The newer EFI models gives less headache than the iron barrel but has the same appeal. If you do decide to do small tinkering work on the EFI it is not too hard to do either. I don't consider myself a mechanic per say, but the ease of access of certain aspects of the bike and the helpful folks here in the forum gives me more confidence to do so.
Within the EFI type, you will have to decide which model by doing test rides; of course individual liking to a model as well. I liked the more classic looks of the C5...given an option now I would have gone with C5 military or wait for the cafe racer, thats just me!
RE EFIs are nice bikes, you will not be disappointed...Oh of course, be prepared for all the curious on lookers and questions especially "what year is it?" "Did you restore it? "
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barenekd

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2012, 05:18:04 PM »
I'm not sure why Lars says the iron barrels are easier to work on. They are essentially the same bike until you get into the bottom end of the engine. The electronics, I supposed could be considered harder to work on, or more possibly harder to troubleshoot.
On the other hand you shouldn't have to do anything to them anyway. No valves to adjust, no carbs to rejet, No points or timing to adjust, much more reliable electronics, the only thing you really have to do is change the oil.
The UCE is really the only way to go if you're not a mechanic.
And I've seen some super deals out there on 2012s.
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Ducati Scotty

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2012, 06:16:57 PM »
I'd say that's the difference, the electronics.  The older bikes are no more complicated than a lawn mower.  It's easy to learn and understand that technology and there are plenty of people to ask when things don't work.  EFI is still black magic to many otherwise very capable hobby mechanics.

Scott

LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2012, 06:23:54 PM »
I'm not sure why Lars says the iron barrels are easier to work on. They are essentially the same bike until you get into the bottom end of the engine. The electronics, I supposed could be considered harder to work on, or more possibly harder to troubleshoot.

I think you just made my point for me.

Hmm, I'm assuming you mean they are the same, conceptually.  Very few of the parts are interchangeable.

I'm considering all things, when I say that.  No pressurized fuel system.  The carb can be completely disassembled and adjusted with nothing more than a screwdriver.  I'm also considering the tolerances of the engines.  And I could be wrong on this, but it was my understanding that the older bikes are a bit more forgiving, tolerance-wise.  The rings can be compressed with your fingers and shoved into the barrel, whereas the EFI has one of those odd springy rings, which might be simple enough, but I think requires a compressor at least.  And the bike is a bit simpler (less to diagnose).  No kickstand kill switch, no O2 sensor, etc.

I did say the EFI is more reliable, so you probably won't HAVE to do much work to it anyway.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 06:37:36 PM by LarsBloodbeard »

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2012, 06:31:06 PM »
The EFI has a three piece ring on top, but you can still put it in with your just your hands and a little grease.  It is a pain to deal with but easy enough once you've done it.  If I had to do it again I'd probably get the nice ring compressor NField Gear sells.

Scott

Bradschroeder

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2012, 12:29:04 AM »
Also, as essentially a new rider (actually an old rider who rode 25 years ago), I recently bought a new 2011 Bullet Deluxe.

I like it very much in terms of looks and ease of riding, but I am hedging now and thinking I may have been better off with a no-brainer water cooled Japanese bike. I am losing sleep over the fact that I may not have broken it in properly. I would point out that these require a very disciplined break-in period, being very smooth with shifting and paying close attention to speed (as all bikes really are, but I think these are more critical). Also, another thing that might put you off is the sound the bike makes - the large single cylinder sounds and feels rough, but according to my dealer mechanic, this is normal. Another consideration is that it is an air cooled bike. I, unfortunately live downtown in a very large city with much traffic and lots of idling - I am a little worried about over idling.

On the positive side, it is affordable and insurance, even in Toronto, Canada, is affordable. It is a very nice bike to cruise on. Once you get on a nice road, it is very cool.

I would not, however do it over again. I say, go with Japanese for your first, buy one of these later.





GlennF

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2012, 12:48:10 AM »
Another consideration is that it is an air cooled bike. I, unfortunately live downtown in a very large city with much traffic and lots of idling - I am a little worried about over idling.

By all accounts the oil in both the UCE and the Iron bullet tends to run a bit on the cool side so idling in neutral is probably not a huge issue.

The thing to actually watch out for is lugging as it is very tempting with a big single to accelerate and climb hills in a very high gear at low revs to get a nice "thumper" feel.  The bikes have plenty of torque and it sounds great. Unfortunately low revs means low oil pressure which is fine when idling but is definitely not fine under heavy load.

Bradschroeder

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2012, 01:28:49 AM »
Very good to know regarding the idling, and thinking about it, these are ridden in India at 35 degrees c and higher temps, so they must be quite resilient.

The advice about lugging is great as well, but I wish they would stress this in the manuals. A new rider would read "Don't over-rev" and may not consider the bad points about bogging the engine down.

I still think this is a high learning curve for a new rider. But, it will probably make you a better rider in the end in paying more attention to the engine.


Ducati Scotty

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2012, 03:53:11 AM »
These bikes sit in traffic in Delhi.  Chances are neither the temperature nor the traffic in your hometown are that bad, don't worry so much.

Don't worry too much about break in either.  These bikes are way less critical than the older styles.  There are lots of people on this forum and while I can think of two or three bikes that had serious engine problems (all fixed under warranty) no one else has mentioned a catastrophic meltdown.  If it were that critical you'd see many more self destucts, and we don't.  Pretty bulletproof really. 

Scott

Arizoni

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2012, 03:54:56 AM »
For what it's worth I've ridden my 500cc G5, in 108-112 degree F (42.2-44.4 degree C) temps many times in traffic here in Phoenix, Az without any signs of overheating.

I try to avoid being stopped at traffic lights but that isn't always possible.

I've noticed that the temperature in New Delhi is very similar to Phoenix and the traffic and average speed is worse and I have yet to read that there has been a problem with these bikes.
Jim
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barenekd

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2012, 11:19:26 PM »
The biggest problem with the UCEs is that they don't get hot enough sometimes! I haven't seen an overheated one yet.
I checked my oil temp riding up a long hill in mid-60s weather and it just made 180oF
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BRADEY

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2012, 06:24:46 AM »
Believe me you, these UCE engines are very robust.
What is failing on them are components, all because of lack of quality control at RE.

So even if you ride it, as if you stole it. It will be fine. And do not worry about it getting hot, it has a pretty powerful oil pump that pumps about 9-10 litres of oil per minute. Follow this link for more information
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2V_rP88YEP0

Bradschroeder

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2012, 10:55:58 PM »
Lots of great feedback. I feel a bit better about my choice now. I hope all of this has helped the original poster of the question - it certainly has helped me.

Thanks a lot.

Blackcat360

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2012, 10:52:25 PM »
Thanks for all the replies.

I am currently waiting impatiently for a UCE bike within my price range or a winning lotto ticket.  ;D

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2012, 11:25:55 PM »
You'll be able to get your best deals soon.  January and February are slow months for moto shops.  You can make good deals those months, and come March through May most shops will also deal a bit on last year's models.  They'll discount 2012 models as soon as the 2013 models role in.  If they were the same price no one would buy last year's model.  There's no major difference for RE so that's when to shop.

Scott

gremlin

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2012, 01:33:13 AM »
..........I am currently waiting impatiently for a ..... winning lotto ticket.  ;D

+1
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Desi Bike

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2012, 01:45:58 AM »
The winning tickets are more expensive after the lotto drawing. I can sell you some loosing tickets for a decent price.
میں نہیں چاہتا کہ ایک اچار
میں صرف اپنی موٹر سائیکل پر سوار کرنا چاہتے ہیں

hillntx

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2012, 03:18:47 AM »
I'm going to break from the crowd on this one.  Of the three choices, I would recommend the Suzuki GS500.  While I truly enjoy my Royal Enfield C5 around town, I don't like it for highway speeds.  The Suzuki GS500, while lacking in style, has proven itself since its introduction around 1990 to be a bullet proof solid performing motorcycle.  Parts are readily available from a large dealer network and are supported well in the aftermarket and on Ebay.  The bike uses modern tire sizes with modern tread patterns.  At 47-52hp depending on the year, highway riding is not an issue.  Purchase prices on the used market are roughly $1500-3500 depending on year and mileage.  If I was a young guy looking for a reliable 500cc first bike to last and do everything, the Suzuki GS500 or Kawasaki Ninja 500 would be my top choices. 

As a mid-40's guy who likes to ride around town and has the flexibility to wait for parts and filters, the Royal Enfield is a fun, comfortable ride.

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2012, 06:11:11 AM »
+1.  While no speed demon and a bit short on style the GS500 is a dead solid bike, basic and simple.  The Ninja 500 is a little more pricey but also water cooled and a little more sophisticated. More style but a bit dated now.

Scott

iron.head

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2012, 03:52:59 PM »
Hi ace.cafe

Need your help in understanding something. I bought my C5 in January this year. My bike from day 1 of purchase would never start using the self-start without a little bit of throttle input. Changing the idling within specified limits never helped. However, few people whom I met at RE authorized workshop, showed that their bikes started without any throttle input at all. One mechanic also told that all new bikes coming from factory start without any throttle input.

Now few days back, I took my bike to RE workshop for the first time for cam noise issue. When the mechanic removed the RHS engine cover, he exclaimed that my bike has a specific set of cams which have been seen in few bikes and is prone to make noise and develop play. They replaced both the cams with different type ones and the noise which was there from more than last 6 months was gone.

Now my bike also starts using self start without any throttle input at all. Is there any connection between this? But now I have started facing another issue, which is noise from auto decomp during cold starts. This kat-kat type of noise was never there on my bike. I have tried increasing idling RPM but this noise is prominent. If I give a bit of throttle input during cold starts for half-a-minute or so, this noise is gone. But without any throttle input this noise doesn't go away for a long time. It might be due to the winters here but it was not there during last winters. How do I get this noise fixed? One person told me that it has something to do with a spring in the auto decomp.

On another note, are you aware of the multiple changes/improvements RE has done on Classic 500/UCE 500's. They are now supplying a third variant of the crank-shaft+con rod assembly where they have done something to save the con-rod from breaking in certain conditions. Earlier RE made the crank more balanced by digging some holes at certain places on the crank.

GreenMachine

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2012, 04:34:38 PM »
hilltxn: I feel the same way..I prefer my heavier 1100 for any serious highway riding anyway...I love my little Enfield but she likes to be handled a certain way...I don't like to beat the crap out of it at 60 - 65 mph for any length of time...My first bike was a Honda 450 Nighthawk, dependable, great on gas and could do 65 mph all day....GM
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barenekd

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2012, 04:56:38 PM »
The cam change could definitely change the starting characteristics.
As for the decomp clack, mine does it when it's cold. Once it warms up a couple of minutes, it quits. The clatter, that is..I don't worry about it. It's been doing it for 15000 miles. The spring is probably screwed up, but I haven't had it apart to get into it.
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Blackcat360

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2012, 05:58:41 PM »
Since I am after a newer bike (fuel injection ect.) what's the oldest year I should look at?

gremlin

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2012, 06:19:41 PM »
2009
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TWinOKC

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #35 on: December 29, 2012, 10:10:40 PM »
Since I am after a newer bike (fuel injection ect.) what's the oldest year I should look at?

In 2009 they offered both FI and carburated versions.  The older bikes = chain is on the left hand side.  The newer (UCE) = chain is on the right hand side.
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ace.cafe

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2012, 12:00:26 PM »
Hi ace.cafe

Need your help in understanding something. I bought my C5 in January this year. My bike from day 1 of purchase would never start using the self-start without a little bit of throttle input. Changing the idling within specified limits never helped. However, few people whom I met at RE authorized workshop, showed that their bikes started without any throttle input at all. One mechanic also told that all new bikes coming from factory start without any throttle input.

Now few days back, I took my bike to RE workshop for the first time for cam noise issue. When the mechanic removed the RHS engine cover, he exclaimed that my bike has a specific set of cams which have been seen in few bikes and is prone to make noise and develop play. They replaced both the cams with different type ones and the noise which was there from more than last 6 months was gone.

Now my bike also starts using self start without any throttle input at all. Is there any connection between this? But now I have started facing another issue, which is noise from auto decomp during cold starts. This kat-kat type of noise was never there on my bike. I have tried increasing idling RPM but this noise is prominent. If I give a bit of throttle input during cold starts for half-a-minute or so, this noise is gone. But without any throttle input this noise doesn't go away for a long time. It might be due to the winters here but it was not there during last winters. How do I get this noise fixed? One person told me that it has something to do with a spring in the auto decomp.

On another note, are you aware of the multiple changes/improvements RE has done on Classic 500/UCE 500's. They are now supplying a third variant of the crank-shaft+con rod assembly where they have done something to save the con-rod from breaking in certain conditions. Earlier RE made the crank more balanced by digging some holes at certain places on the crank.

Hi,
Sorry that I didn't see this post until someone brought it to my attention.

Anyway, cam changes can affect starting and idling behavior. I don't know what the cams which were removed were like. I have got measurements from one set of cams that one of the owners was kind enough to provide me. I don't even know how consistent these cam timings are from bike-to-bike on these models. I simply don't have enough data from enough bikes to say anything about that yet.

Regarding the auto-decompressor, that is simply a bob-weight type of mechanism with a spring. It's located in the exhaust cam, and when there isn't enough centrifugal force from rpms to swing the weight, it makes a little bump on the base of the exhaust cam, so that it momentarily dumps compression. It actually works similar to the auto-advance weights that are in the old Iron Barrel distributors. This can be adjusted with different springs, but they don't make different springs specifically for this purpose, as far as I know. Perhaps the spring you have in there will weaken from use over some time, and behave as you wish. From your comments, it sounds like it is sticking, and a good rev causes it to release if the bike is warming up. It might just be a little gunk stuck in there.
If you are really disliking this, you can see your dealer and make him aware that you feel this is a warranty-able issue, and that you want it fixed so that the noise is not heard at your normal idle speed.

On the crankshaft updates, I have not been aware of the factory changes in crankshaft assemblies. I didn't know these changes were happening, but it sounds like improvements.
I would have to know exactly what they did, to make any comment about it.
As for the balancing changes, this is something that normally would not need to be changed unless the moving parts were suddenly different. I don't know what they did.
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iron.head

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #37 on: December 31, 2012, 01:38:19 PM »

I would have to know exactly what they did, to make any comment about it.
As for the balancing changes, this is something that normally would not need to be changed unless the moving parts were suddenly different. I don't know what they did.


I had sent you a PM as I felt that this post must have slipped your attention. More information and pic of the second variant of the crank is available here:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorbikes/73998-royal-enfield-500-classic-thread-62.html#post2161237

If pics or some basic info about UCE parts is needed, I can try getting this info from RE Workshop in my city.

ace.cafe

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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #38 on: December 31, 2012, 04:34:19 PM »
Okay, well apparently they changed the balance factor of the crank.
On singles, the cranks are not really balanced, but they are just weighted to give the most manageable results at a certain rpm range. in this case it appears that the balance factor was changed to a percentage which gave improvement to a higher rpm range than previously was on the other crank.

We do this with the Fireball too, when we build the bike for more rpms.
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Re: Question from a beginner
« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2013, 04:02:41 PM »
No one can tell you which bike is best for you. Only you can decide.

If you want a period bike and enjoy the ride get an Enfield. If you want an interstate rocket ship get a Honda.

Personally I would go for the oldest that I can afford. It will have been fettled now and run nice, and far fewer unecessary parts to go wrong anyway.
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