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Author Topic: A good thrashing  (Read 1105 times)

Stig

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A good thrashing
« on: June 13, 2008, 10:24:26 AM »
Hello all,

just thought I would introduce myself with a quick review of what I have come to believe may be the most enjoyable bike I have ever ridden.

The background: expat American residing in the UK for a couple of years, 30 yrs riding experience, owned a bunch of bikes in that time including a couple of Meriden Triumphs. I had a buddy come over from Canada for a week. The plan: rent 2 new Electras in Scotland and see some of the Highlands and a few distilleries, and just generally do our best to reduce the whiskey and ale supply. We rented from http://www.a7motorcycles.co.uk/ in Langholm. Great little place, nothing but Enfields, and they could not have made the rental experience any easier or more enjoyable.

The short version: 1,500 miles in 6 days over the best and worse that the Inner Hebrides had to offer; we stuck to A roads and B roads. both of us 200lbs plus 50lbs worth of gear. Other than the occasional false neutral on Brad's bike, no mechanical issues of any kind. The bikes drew lots of attention everywhere we went, and were great conversation starters with the locals when we stopped. I'm not wild about the styling of the Electra, but happily, the AVL engine is now availble in all the other models as well.

Conclusion: I'll be placing my order next week and picking it up when I get back to the US in August. Great bike!


PaulF

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Re: A good thrashing
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2008, 11:28:28 AM »
Thanks Stig. We all seem to be so extremely anal about the break-in, care and feeding of our REs, it's interesting to see how "rental" REs hold up, (we all know how rental cars get treated). Good torture test.

There was an article on this very subject in a classic bike magazine a few months ago, Scotland by way of Royal Enfield. I can't recall the issue but I collect them all so I'll find it.

Thumper

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Re: A good thrashing
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2008, 11:38:52 AM »
Thanks for the write-up.

Good to know that you can have just as much fun on the long haul as you can in the short sprint!

Constistently scraping both sides,
Matt

Stig

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Re: A good thrashing
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2008, 11:57:52 AM »
It's really hard to imagine a better test for a bike that, according to folklore, is shoddily made and requires endless roadside repairs.

It did require being a bit mindful of the operational envelope (or comfort zone) of the bike. No, I don't think it would be sensible to hold it WFO for as many miles as we rode, but the bike will do what it does best for 12 hours at a clip. Obviously, it will have earned more oil changes and tightening nuts & bolts, but my BMW would need the same papmpering if operated at 85% of its capacity for a solid week too.

I'll tell you quite candidly, if I were doing a RTW trip tomorrow, I'd cheerfully do it on one of these and you'd have to cut the smile off my face while I was doing it.

Thumper

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Re: A good thrashing
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2008, 02:42:56 PM »
but my BMW would need the same pampering if operated at 85% of its capacity for a solid week too.

Stig:

You hit the nail on the head.

That's the one thing that I learned from my Urals and still applies to my Bullet. We operate these things so much closer to their design limits that it's no wonder we cross the threshold for breakage (or at least minor annoyances) more often than on more modern designs.

We occasionally fall into the trap of subconciously expecting them to stand up to the requirements of today's vehicles. That's where we can become disappointed.

If you ran a modern bike at the same relative threshold of *its* limits, it would have problems too.

As you indicated, I've also found that when you operate both Urals and REs well under that threshold, they are very reliable - which is really they way they were intended to be ridden. To put a finer point on it: Ride the rolling country two lane - not the dadgum interstate!

Matt