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Author Topic: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!  (Read 1178 times)

Professor

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You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« on: March 15, 2014, 03:38:10 AM »
I looked at the new Enfield's several times and test rode the GT and the C5. I went on Amazon and bought four or five books on people (Americans and Brits) who went to India and rode them for long periods touring in India. I wanted to get the insight of what the Indians are about as motorcycle people. Excellent reading and highly recommended. Now, I get it. India is a developing country and the bikes reflect their needs. By the way, they are durable if maintained. These guys rode them and rode them. Also see what the new UCE bikes had to come about. Japan sells plenty of bikes in India. Royal Enfield plans to stay in the game. Good for them! 

The GT was my first choice until I rode it. What a looker!! Sadly , it is just a notch above the other bikes in overall performance. I know for certain I will be blasted off this forum for saying this and shown no mercy......but it is my honest opinion. There will be many used GTs on the market. The performance does not match the look, profile, image projected. The look will wear off once the owner gets weary of the relatively slow bike. I know speed is not every thing, image and economy is important certainly in India where gas is very expensive. But, on my test ride, the first thing the guy at the stop light asked me was how fast is that thing? How much HP? You, see he does not have any idea what it is, he thinks it looks fast, so it must be.

A Honda 250R single will give it a run. A 300 twin Kawasaki Ninja will eat it alive. Yes, I know that does not matter to you.  But this is a Ford 427 Cobra with a four cylinder engine.

It can't walk the walk as they say. But, it can talk. The Classic I bought makes no pretense. It is honest and it is what it is. A very cool British retro bike with modern engineering. I don't  care if it has 22 HP, it does not have to be anything else. It gets the job done.  While at the dealer I saw a single I had read a lot about about. So, I took a test ride. The KTM 690 Duke won my heart. It has 68HP around 50 lbs of torque and weighs 337 lbs dry/350 lbs wet. On sale for $7790.  So , I bought both. I am not passing this way again. I have nothing else I am addicted to. Both were discounted so I got out for way less than a BMW Adventure bike. The KTM walks the walk for a single. I have the best of both worlds.

Now shoot me.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 03:44:11 AM by Professor »

suitcasejefferson

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2014, 03:55:52 AM »
The GT is a beauty, but it is not a sport bike, at least not a modern sport bike. I have ridden both the CBR250 and the Ninja 250. I found both to be completely bland and boring, more like kitchen appliances than motorcycles. The RE has character and charm that no Japanese bike can come close to matching. I might have gone for the GT, but I can't handle the lean forward riding position. I arthritis, fibromyalgia, bad knees, and bad shoulders. Even my '97 Suzuki GS500 was uncomfortable. It is what I sold to buy the Enfield. I got the B5 because it is the most vintage looking, and also very comfortable. When the gas eventually ruins the paint, I'll probably have it painted red.
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Professor

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2014, 04:00:53 AM »
The 300 Ninja is not boring with 40 HP at the crank. The well dated Kawi 250 was replaced in 2013. Worn bones need to be upright. I understand.

ace.cafe

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2014, 04:28:08 AM »
I think you are saying pretty much what has been said here many times. I think you will find a lot of agreement with your assessments and impressions..

That being said, I expect to see a lot of GT's coming in for modification as their warranties start nearing expiration, and maybe some prior to that. They don't have to stay at the stock hp level forever.

Congrats on buying both.
That was pretty cool!
« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 04:42:25 AM by ace.cafe »
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Ducati Scotty

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2014, 04:30:04 AM »
A Honda 250R single will give it a run. A 300 twin Kawasaki Ninja will eat it alive. Yes, I know that does not matter to you.  But this is a Ford 427 Cobra with a four cylinder engine.

You do know the Cobra was just the AC Ace that Shelby put a 289 in, and then later a 427.  The AC Ace?  That light, nimble little English car?  The one with the 4 cylinder motor?  You knew that, right? ;)

Scott

Professor

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2014, 05:01:26 AM »
You mean the AC Bristol, a spin off of the Bristol Aero, the British airplane manufacturing firm?  Yes, did know that. But, it was not a 427 SC Cobra. The American Carol Shelby did that one and it was not a four cylinder. It ripped. The AC Bristol did not. I've driven them. The GT looks fast, it is not. The 1968 Enfield Continental GT 250, based on the Crusader was slow as well. 80mph downhill. Despite the ads, it did not rule the street. It all a matter of perspective. In life it is important to know what things are, more important to know what they are not. I wish every GT owner years of rapture and joy. With my Classic I won't have to explain to people why my bike can't get past 75mph.  ;) ;)

suitcasejefferson

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2014, 05:43:05 AM »
I also found a GSX-R600 boring (and very painful) Yes it has lots of power, but you can't use it on the road. It's a track bike, and it would probably be fun on a track, if you were into that kind of thing. I am not the knee dragging type. Despite all it's power, it's engine is electric smooth, and has a high pitched whine, instead of the Enfields thump thump thump. I got an Enfield to get away from just that sort of thing. It looks good, it feels good, and it sounds good. And except for the EFI, which will be replaced with a carb if it ever fails, it's about as simple as it gets.

I do understand speed. I've been a hot rodder since before getting my drivers license. I drive a turbocharged V8 powered '93 Chevy S10 pickup that makes over 500 hp. I can lay rubber anytime I want. But it's the acceleration I like. Simply driving fast is not much fun. I would also enjoy driving a Model T, but I can't afford one. And I never felt the need to justify what I ride or drive to anyone. As I get older, I find that I get more fun out of older things. I would have liked to have another '66 Triumph Bonneville, like the one I had 20 years ago, but can't afford that either. The Enfield fit the bill perfectly.
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wildbill

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2014, 08:26:51 AM »
true-the gt is a bit down on power and no better off than any of the other enfields...if it has an extra 2 bhp i have not found it yet. saying that it will pick up a bit of bmp once i get the sports muffler i purchased. it worked on my c5's and i'm sure it will be a bit more zippy here.
ok -we lost out on power but we all agree it is great eye candy  :)  plus the brembo front disc brakes, the rear disc compared to the drum, handling, ride quality gearbox. snail cams gone, paint and finish.
best of all it was $1k cheaper than expecxted retail price when i picked the red beauty up.
how long will i keep it? well it brings a smile to the dial every time i pass it. i'd say it might be here for quite some time but if i get the urge to buy another bike i will put this gt aside as a looker and maybe next time buy the new tan c5 when one enfield is not enough ;)
will this happen. well if i have a good breeding season with my finches and things look good at the moment...... :D anything is possible
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mattsz

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2014, 09:21:56 AM »
I know for certain I will be blasted off this forum for saying this and shown no mercy......

Professor - are you disappointed we're not trying to run you out of town on a rail?  ;D

The haters will continue to hate; the enthusiasts will continue to enthuse.  The RE guys aren't stupid - they know what it would take to kick the asses of the big boys in what would be, for them, the export market, and they've chosen not to do it.

The thing about most of us here?  We don't give a damn what anyone else thinks about our choice of rides...

Sectorsteve

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2014, 09:30:46 AM »
i hear ya mate. i love all the enfields and the GT looks sweet, but IMO i love the C5 heaps. i cant really see the GT being much different. i had the choice to buy any bike when i was looking. the C5 was and is the right machine for me!
ive done about 6 long trips on my C5 and racked up the miles in a short time. brilliant bike. im sure the GT is too, however i dunno if it would work for long trips and i really dont know how much different it is performance wise.  sounds minimal.

Professor

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2014, 05:11:31 PM »
Enfield owners are a more mellow group bike wise and in temperament.......it seems.  Actually, I really enjoy the company of the few I have ridden with. If you buy an Enfield by nature you most likely care less what others think, and march to your own drummer. Motorcycles are political parties. Harley and BMW riders seen to be the most political about bikes and what they ride. To be very honest one of the things I like most about Enfield's is that this a absent. It really is about riding. In the end pride of ownership is good, but pride in general and being constantly one-up on every body else is tedious and boring to be around. There is a saying, "two motorcycles is a ride, three is a race." I have certainly been there many, many times. Time to move on.

dginfw

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2014, 05:49:35 PM »
Yes the GT will lose a race to any modern bike with any sporting intent....but it's fun in its own way.
There's an old saying that its more fun to drive a slow car agressively and fast then it is to take a fast powerful car and drive it slowly.
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barenekd

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2014, 06:36:12 PM »
Quote
You mean the AC Bristol, a spin off of the Bristol Aero, the British airplane manufacturing firm?  Yes, did know that. But, it was not a 427 SC Cobra. The American Carol Shelby did that one and it was not a four cylinder. It ripped. The AC Bristol did not.

The AC Ace Bristol had a 2 Liter 6 cyl pushrod engine in it. The engine as basically a 1937 BMW design that Bristol built under license. The engine and car had a variety of changes over the years with several power options being available.
In '62, Carroll Shelby talked to them about putting a Ford engine in it and AC was happy to comply as their supply of Bristol engines was running out. The first 75 had 260 CI engines in them, then they went to the 289. In '66 the 427s came out with a wider heavier chassis. These were built in the US with AC supplying the bodies. AC built some in England with Ford 428 Interceptor engines.
The whole story would take a book!
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Craig McClure

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2014, 12:20:46 AM »
Speaking of Cobras, My friend Dean Stone, in St Louis County, had a red 427, & gave me a couple of rides I will never forget. He could pass on a 2 lane road, going into a blind corner & ZAP there was time to do it all again safely - Like it turned back time. Pretty sure it did something to me I have not yet gotten over, know what I mean?
Best Wishes, Craig McClure

hillntx

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2014, 05:20:42 AM »
I had this discussion with my dealer at the International Motorcycle show.  When asked if I was going to get a GT, I had to honestly say it is a nice looking bike, but not enough of a performance change from my C5 for me to justify the purchase.  I can't help but look at that bike and think it's the precurser to something better and faster.  That double cradle frame had to have more than a 535 in mind when designed.  Why add Brembo brakes to a 29hp bike?  The standard RE brakes are more than sufficient for the power level to stop the bike quickly.  I'm seriously hoping a second cylinder shows up in the near future and makes the GT into a real cafe bike.

With that said, the GT is a great looking bike and I hope they sell a ton of them.

Pauly

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2014, 05:40:16 AM »
I feel like the G5s are under represented here, so..................G5
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Kevin Mahoney

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2014, 06:17:08 AM »
The more I have been fooling around with performance mods for all of the UCE engines, it is becoming clear that the best bang for the buck and for reliability is weight reduction. There is so much low hanging fruit on all of the bikes....... of course a diet for the rider is helpful too!

ace.cafe

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2014, 06:54:06 AM »
On all the Bullets, the modifications require a full attention to the power making aspects. It's not just some simple one thing that is easy to do.
This is no different with the UCE, except that we seem to be able to work with the stock bottom-end as it comes from the factory, and this greatly reduces the cost and labor to do some power upgrades, because we only have to work on the top end.
It comes down to improving breathing, and improving compression when possible, and increasing rpms.

The factory does an adequate job for the power making design in the engine, for the intended goal of the motorcycle, from their point of view. They don't do anything "wrong", but they apparently aren't aiming at high power. So, it's a matter for a person who knows how to modify cylinder heads to go in there and make changes to the flow paths inside the head, to increase the flow in the proper ways. This requires some expertise, because it's essentially a partial re-design of the engine.

After seeing the UCE head, and working with it on the flow bench, and generally assessing the design, there is potential for plenty of power out of this platform, when properly modified to reach that goal.
I feel it can be made to deliver power as well as anything we have done with the Iron Barrel models, which is considerable.  And I think that it has potential to do it at somewhat lower cost than modifying an Iron Barrel to the same levels. Not necessarily a "cheap" modification to get the power up, but not as expensive as we have seen in the other models. Of course, the higher power desired, the more cost it will take to get there. But, these UCE engines don't have to be low power output if the owner wants to undertake a modification program on them. We have several in the shop right now, undergoing various stages of modification. They do respond to the correct approaches. They can make power.
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Ducati Scotty

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2014, 03:14:16 PM »
.......of course a diet for the rider is helpful too!

Kevin, that's soooooooo un-American.  ;)

gremlin

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2014, 04:30:33 PM »
Kevin, that's soooooooo un-American.  ;)

Actually victim blaming is the favorite pastime of a large majority of US americans.
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Ducati Scotty

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2014, 05:42:17 PM »
Too true.

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2014, 07:25:59 PM »
The engine, clutch, transmission  will take 40-50 hp. In some was the bottom end is the limiting factor because of the needle bearings on the rod.
It is a great bottom end and is great for the HP it can make. If you want to go whole hog like making a dragster (which I doubt anyone would do or want to) that will be an obstacle.
The engine in its current form is built and tuned for maximum economy and not for power as you point out. Product development did this very purposfully. Works for the main market in India but here not as much. Heads, throttle bodies, mapping, pistons, barrels, cams etc. are all fertile areas. There are some people that have done or are starting to do some pretty advanced work in these areas with the engine. RE did a great job of making this engine beefy with lots of extra meat, good oiling and cooling so it will take a lot of mods with no reliability issues. In service we have almost no engine failures even with hard riding and higher mileages. Of course you get one here and there but I can count them on one hand.
Before this year is out some very good stuff will be on the market.

All of the UCE bikes are ripe for weight reduction however. I think 50 pounds is doable.

GreenMachine

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2014, 08:37:40 PM »
Kevin: Not to stereotype but most Indian chaps are 140 lbs and under...I have a long way to go to get in that range... :)
Oh Magoo you done it again

suitcasejefferson

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2014, 09:17:52 PM »
I'm 230, well under the bikes rated load capacity of almost 400 pounds. But I suspect the shocks will not support 400 pounds. I have mine set on max preload. I intend to leave the engine alone. Speed and power were the last things I was looking for when I bought the Enfield. If you want that, buy a Japanese bike. I wanted the vintage look, simplicity, some vibration, and a cool sound. I'm also willing to do a lot more maintenance than most riders today are, in fact I actually enjoy it.
2013 Royal Enfield B5
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Arizoni

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2014, 10:07:10 PM »
Kevin:
I'm sure you are right when you say, "The engine, clutch, transmission  will take 40-50 hp...." which is why I think RE kinda missed the boat on the GT.

The early speculations about it mentioned the 535cc displacement along with a estimated horsepower around 35.
A 7 horsepower increase  would be a 25% increase over the existing UCE's and with just a little messing with the compression and camshafts it would be easily doable.
 
While not in the league of the Japanese bikes, 35 horsepower still would have been a welcome, noticeable increase, more in line with the sporting appearance of the GT.

Now that it is launched, it's too late for the factory to change the model but I feel they could offer an official factory upgrade for sale to the public and make a considerable profit in the process.
While they were at it, perhaps the hotter camshafts would also fit the 500cc UCE?  :D

Jim
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mattsz

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2014, 11:27:01 PM »
Before this year is out some very good stuff will be on the market.

This, boys and girls, is what I think they call in the biz, a tease.  He's done it before...  ;)

Craig McClure

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2014, 04:30:54 PM »
Hey folks, I own a great G5 Deluxe, & the only reason I don't own a GT is financial. I know the riding benefits of the twin loop cradle frame, Aluminum rim wheels, brake upgrades & etc. Sure there are things I'd change, but none a deal breaker. I'd already have one-if I had the wherewithal.
Best Wishes, Craig McClure

TomJohnston

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2014, 06:10:24 PM »
 8)For a moment there I didn't think I was on the "Enfield" site!! ???Horsepower ??? s. The wise man on this site said "You can see the entire world on 20 horsepower....the rest is just wheel spin"   I had a 107 horse (at the rear wheel) Honda VTR 1000. I sold it for a 18 horse, single cylinder BMW. Now I'm on a 18 horse C5. ...Ask me if I'm finally happy. Hint ! The answer starts with a Y**.

boggy

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2014, 06:30:32 PM »
I don't think anyone will flog you for buying an C5 AND a Duke.  What a pair!  Good for you.  I think you should name one Passive, and other Aggressive. 

Those KTMs with the 690 single (Duke and Supermoto) are unanimously praised by anyone who's ridden one.  I'd love to hear your impressions of it.  There's a Duke 390 as well, although I'm not sure it's in the States yet.

And remember, your Enfileld isn't retro - It wasn't made in the fashion of an older bike.  Despite recent changes, the Bullet has been around for decades!
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barenekd

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2014, 11:19:44 PM »
Sure looks like the old Continental to me! Not that there's anything wrong with that!
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darmst6829

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2014, 10:54:17 PM »
Honda GB 500.  33hp. 350 pounds.                                 
Yamaha Sr500 33 hp. 359 pounds.
An original 250cc Royal Enfield Continental GT 21hp and ? pounds.
New Royal Enfield Continental GT 500 29hp and 405 pounds.
How hard would it be to get a couple more hp out of the new engine? The Harris frame is awesome and I like the high quality components used on the motorcycle.  I think the new GT is outstanding and the only thing holding me back from buying is I already have too many motorcycles in the garage. What a gorgeous motorcycle.

suitcasejefferson

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2014, 12:19:24 AM »
I wish they would make one of these, but with a standard riding position, for those like me who love the look, but can't deal with clip ons and rearset pegs. I'm just guessing, but I've always assumed that RE bikes appealed to more "mature" riders, many of whom might have the same issues I do. Teenagers are going to go straight for the Ninja 300, or if they are well to do, a 600 or 1000cc supersport.
2013 Royal Enfield B5
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dginfw

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2014, 01:25:37 AM »
Yes, with a set of flat bars, a full length seat and slightly lower pegs it would make a nice 'standard' bike and wouldn't lose any performance other than visually. I doubt there's a big market for that type of bike in a big single,  but its something a willing owner can do himself...
I suppose you are right, up to now, RE owners have been more mature in age than other makes but I think the GT is their attempt at reaching younger riders. Not sure how they'll respond.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2014, 01:45:05 AM by dginfw »
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darmst6829

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2014, 02:17:40 PM »
Honda GB 500.  33hp. 350 pounds.                                 
Yamaha Sr500 33 hp. 359 pounds.
An original 250cc Royal Enfield Continental GT 21hp and ? pounds.
New Royal Enfield Continental GT 500 29hp and 405 pounds.
How hard would it be to get a couple more hp out of the new engine? The Harris frame is awesome and I like the high quality components used on the motorcycle.  I think the new GT is outstanding and the only thing holding me back from buying is I already have too many motorcycles in the garage. What a gorgeous motorcycle.

 For historical reference a 1966 Matchless g80cs makes (from web research) about 20hp and weighs 394 pounds. CS stands for competition scrambler.

ace.cafe

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2014, 02:31:22 PM »
It's possible to get more hp from it.
While the exact details about any differences from the normal 500 UCE are currently unclear, it's clear enough that they are still extremely similar.
Scooter Bob, and Hitchcock's already have done modifications for the UCE bikes, and we at Ace will also be bringing out some mods.

So there are options.
Home of the ACE Fireball 535 Bullet,  Ace GP Hi-Lift Roller Rocker Head Conversion. Pistons, cams, etc. Highest performance Bullet engine mods available anywhere.  AVL mods available. UCE kit coming.

Please visit my new website:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/AcePerformanceBullets/

Ducati Scotty

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Re: You convinced me, new bike. GT No Way!
« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2014, 03:16:43 PM »
Flat bars?  Drill the top triple, get some bolt on mounts, a cheap set of steel bars, and reroute the cables.  Probably cost less than $100 and done in a Saturday.  It's not rocket science.

Scott