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Author Topic: Dateline Chennai  (Read 5331 times)

Kevin Mahoney

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Dateline Chennai
« on: November 09, 2008, 12:09:26 PM »
I have spent the past week in Chennai India at the Royal En field factory. I brought over a journalist (Mark Ho yer) and photographer Jeff Harris from Cycle World to test the new EFI bikes including the C-5 Bullet Classic which was introduced in Cologne last month. We have had a great time. We spend a day at the factory, a day at the track in Chennai and a day on the road.

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2008, 03:36:58 PM »
The first day we spent touring the factory and listenint to presentations by the design and quality team as it relates to the new bikes.
The second day we spent the entire day at the track. The night before they took four bikes right off the assembly line. They each had about 5km on them which is the mileage they get on the test dyno after manufacture. These were everyday random bikes that had no special preparation. With no lines and no break in they took the bikes and drive the hell out of them on the track. It is long track (F-1) style so high speeds are available. I was very impressed that the bikes ran like a charm so quick out of the box. The new engine using a Plateau Honing method which almost eliminates the need for break-in. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it. It was a very hot day to boot. A couple of hilarious things happened at the track, but I will save that for the Cycle World article.

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2008, 03:51:00 PM »
One of the things I learned was that when they were mapping the EFI brain, they took an instrumented bike over the highest road in the world in the Himalayas. It is at a mind boggling 18,000 plus feet. That is well past the point where you need oxygen in an aircraft. So the bike is totally mapped up to that altitude. They did it because the bikes are used so much up there. I would guess that there is not another bike in the world that mapped the EFI to that altitude.
  The next day the boys from Cycle World felt ready to take on Indian traffic. They rode something over 200km both in town but mostly on the South Beach Road where some good speeds can be maintained. Again they really beat them and rode them hard. At the end of both days driving the bikes were not complaining at all. They were impressed with how well the bikes ran. All in all it was a great experience. They sent a couple of very nice professionals. The article may be out by the first of March.

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2008, 03:56:25 PM »
When we went out the second day we stopped at a farm. It was owned by a friend of Sachin who is the fastest Indian racer in all of India on a Royal Enfield. We ate a hearty breakfast fresh from the farm. The owner had some cool old bikes that he had restored. Mark Hoyer pointed out to me ta ht the Triumph had a 'sprung hub". I had never heard of this before, but the hub itself was actually part of the suspension system as you can see in the picture. Mark said that they could be deadly if you took one apart carelessly.

Prairie Hunter

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2008, 03:57:07 PM »
Thanks much for the wonderful pictures!!

And....is that....is it....*gasp*.....a kickstart?!?!?!?!?

<happy dance>A KICKSTART!!!</happy dance>

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t120rbullet

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2008, 04:01:58 PM »
I notice that there are 2 different motors in those bikes.
1 like the one you brought out to the Rally on the River with plain side covers and a kickstart and the other like the one that was introduced last month with "designer" side covers and no kickstart.
Are they going to 2 different models of the new bike?
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Kevin Mahoney

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2008, 04:06:28 PM »
They are two different motors and models. I don't know for sure if the KS is going to stay on the Deluxe like model. It may

luoma

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2008, 04:20:49 PM »
Thanks for the uodate. Can't wait for the article to come out. I'll bet once it does, you're going to be real busy distributing bikes to dealers. Wouldn't be surprised if there was a waiting list like some HD dealers had years ago.

Eamon

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2008, 05:44:06 PM »
Wow, I'm pretty excited about these bikes!  I hear some people saying that if it costs more than the current bike (which is a bargain in my eyes) that you might as well get a Bonneville.  I feel quite the opposite - if you can buy one of these for less than a Bonneville, what reason could you possibly have for wanting the Bonneville?  The bike will be capable of all legal speeds, looks fantastic, is 100 pounds lighter than the bloated and oversized (to my thinking) Bonneville, and will therefore likely handle a lot better.

I do hope the kickstarter gets retained, but that's hardly the most important thing.  The bike that looks kind of like a cross between a Deluxe and an Electra makes me wonder if this motor will be available at sometime in the classic chassis - a Military with this motor would be really cool!

Eamon
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Cabo Cruz

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2008, 06:03:44 PM »
Kevin, I give you my thanks for the report and pictures of the new bike -- outstanding; look forward to reading the CW report in early 2009!  If you are still in India, I would like to ask you to please take a few day-light shots of the red bike so that we can determine the look of the wine-red color.

Again, I remain very grateful to you and wish you Godspeed!

Best regards,

Papa Juan
Long live the Bullets and those who ride them!

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Papa Juan

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Bullet Bill

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2008, 07:40:42 PM »
This is my first post, so consider it something of an introduction to the forums.  Hi, all!

The more I look at this UCE model, the more I like it, especially when I compare it to a new Bonneville.  Those bikes have some unfortunate issues:  the seat is too far back, the handlebars are too high (aesthetically speaking) because they have to compensate for the seat, the seat is pushed back in the first place because of the overly large and bulbous tank, and the tank is too large because it needs to look proportionally correct with regard to the oversized engine.  Blah, says I.

Concerning the UCE Bullets, I still have one minor gripe, and it's with those 18 inch tires; it's not that big a difference, but it gives the impression that the Bullet is a motor sitting atop two wheels, instead of being nestled neatly between them.  Will 19 inchers still be available?
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meilaushi

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2008, 07:46:32 PM »
Kevin, I give you my thanks for the report and pictures of the new bike -- outstanding; look forward to reading the CW report in early 2009!  If you are still in India, I would like to ask you to please take a few day-light shots of the red bike so that we can determine the look of the wine-red color.

Again, I remain very grateful to you and wish you Godspeed!

Best regards,

Papa Juan

I second that -- all the 'way 'round!
Ralph Meyer
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The Garbone

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2008, 08:02:40 PM »
This is my first post, so consider it something of an introduction to the forums.  Hi, all!

The more I look at this UCE model, the more I like it, especially when I compare it to a new Bonneville.  Those bikes have some unfortunate issues:  the seat is too far back, the handlebars are too high (aesthetically speaking) because they have to compensate for the seat, the seat is pushed back in the first place because of the overly large and bulbous tank, and the tank is too large because it needs to look proportionally correct with regard to the oversized engine.  Blah, says I.

Concerning the UCE Bullets, I still have one minor gripe, and it's with those 18 inch tires; it's not that big a difference, but it gives the impression that the Bullet is a motor sitting atop two wheels, instead of being nestled neatly between them.  Will 19 inchers still be available?

With that in mind I wonder if you could just flip the rear tire on an older chassis (rigging the brake somehow) and put a buy a crate engine?  If they make a crate EFI available.
Gary
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woodboats

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2008, 11:07:09 PM »
Excellent post! Many thanks.
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Kevin Mahoney

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2008, 01:04:55 AM »
The red bike is not under manufacture at this point so sorry no pictures.