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Author Topic: Dateline Chennai  (Read 5325 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!

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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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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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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.
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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.

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2008, 02:17:06 AM »
The red bike is not under manufacture at this point so sorry no pictures.

Kevin, I thank you, in any case, for your prompt response.

Best regards,

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

Keep the shiny side up, the boots on the pegs and best REgards,

Papa Juan

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Land Surveyor

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2008, 05:34:40 PM »
Appreciate the update.  I hope you do get a good review from SPORTBIKE-....Uh, I mean CYCLE WORLD.  They have a good magazine but can be pretty narrow in their views.

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2008, 05:52:53 PM »
Mark Hoyer is a 500 Vellocette guy so I think we will be OK

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2008, 05:59:02 PM »
Flew to Bombay this AM for a couple of meetings. While Chennai is chaotic, it cannot hold a candle to Bombay. I am told that there are 50 million people there (have not verified this). It is the financial and film capital of India. The contrast are very stark here. They have enormously wealthy people and beautiful building next to the largest slum in all of Asia. It is a fascinating place because of this. Had a Koran given to me by a taxi driver who would have done a team of Mormon missionaries proud. Nice guy and carried a trunk full of Korans in every language imaginable. One of my meetings was by the beach which had the stench of rotten fish. It was full of young people flirting with each other and I seemed to be the only one who noticed the odor. The smell of India do not normally bother me, but the fish thing is too much. The worst I ever got was several years ago when I got dragged into the Bombay fish market. It was over the top.
  Took a ride in an auto rickshaw from the beach to the airport for my return trip to Chennai tonight.

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2008, 06:12:10 PM »
Heard a good one today
"If you don't trip while walking in the cities of India, you can't blame them for not trying"

David R

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2008, 12:48:50 AM »
Uh-Oh...my fantasies involve red.

cochi

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2008, 07:16:06 PM »
Kevin, glad to hear the bikes did so well right off of the assembly line! I'm starting to get really tempted!!!! Thanks for all of the neat photos cochi

meilaushi

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2008, 03:13:20 PM »
That makes two of us, Kev.  Can't wait till these bikes hit our shores... But I still figure on keeping my iron barrel '08.  That's a classic!  But I love the looks and higher possible speeds of the new one! :)
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UncleErnie

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2008, 05:24:31 PM »
Assuming I'm looking at the right picture,
what is under that big oval side caover that doesn't appear on other models?
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UncleErnie

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2008, 05:40:43 PM »
Also, What does "UCE" stand for, please?

After looking a a couple of websiite, I'm very confused about models.  There seems to be an old classic, yet a new totally different classic?  A TwinSpark?  Is that douple plugged?

Is there any place to look to sort out all the different models?  A chart, perhaps?
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Blue Ridge Wheeltor

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2008, 07:34:54 PM »
Uncle,
1.The "old" classic with the Iron motor. Very traditional, and in service 50 years.
2. The AVL motor. Also called the "lean burn". Produced side by side, then replacing the "Iron". This more modern motor was developed to pass EPA standards. Priginally in the Electra, then added to the Classics.
3. The UCE (Unit Construction Engine). Totally new and modernized. A result of EPA and EURO demands.
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Leonard

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2008, 09:46:44 PM »
2. The AVL motor. Also called the "lean burn". Produced side by side, then replacing the "Iron". This more modern motor was developed to pass EPA standards. Priginally in the Electra, then added to the Classics.

We have all these different models, acronyms and mis-named parts (iron head) any new person gets confused.  I've had my Sixty-5 since 2005 and try to keep up with the new stuff but if I ever knew what AVL ment I've forgotton, someone please clue me in.
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Blue Ridge Wheeltor

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2008, 11:33:57 PM »
2. The AVL motor. Also called the "lean burn". Produced side by side, then replacing the "Iron". This more modern motor was developed to pass EPA standards. Priginally in the Electra, then added to the Classics.

We have all these different models, acronyms and mis-named parts (iron head) any new person gets confused.  I've had my Sixty-5 since 2005 and try to keep up with the new stuff but if I ever knew what AVL ment I've forgotton, someone please clue me in.


AVL is an Austrial company involved with powertrain engineering and development. The designed the lean burn motor for RE, and have partnered with GM and others in the development of different systems.
AVL is the world's largest privately owned and independent company for the development of gasoline, diesel, alternative fuel powertrain systems, as well as fuel cell and hybrid technologies. The company also manufactures powertrain instrumentation and test systems. Close cooperation with customers is guaranteed by affiliates and local offices worldwide. AVL's North American Headquarters is located in the Detroit suburb of Plymouth, Michigan."

"
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Deezil

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #28 on: November 17, 2008, 02:38:00 PM »
Good Lord! I Hope is doesnt cost as much as a new Bonnie?

I had planned on Trading my 2008 T100 in on the new Classic when it comes out!
That would be what? A $3k US jump in price from one year to the next on the RE C UCE.

Yikes!



ace.cafe

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #29 on: November 17, 2008, 02:57:21 PM »
I don't think it will be as pricey as a new Bonneville.
Probably not a huge amount less, but still lower than the Bonnie.
That's my guess, anyway.
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Kevin Mahoney

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #30 on: November 17, 2008, 05:20:16 PM »
Don't worry. First of all you cannot compare our prices to UK prices. For some  reason everything cost more there on a relative basis. How is that you can buy a Bonnie much cheaper here than in the UK? The one thing I can guarantee you is that the new bikes will be less expensive than a Bonnie - period.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2008, 03:47:36 AM by Royal Enfield 1 »

meilaushi

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2008, 02:04:34 PM »
That's sounds terrific.  I think I'd like to replace my Bonnie with a UCE when they hit the States next year.  That'd be an Attaboy!, not an Awwwww, Foosh! ;D
Ralph Meyer
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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2008, 01:53:14 PM »
Don't worry. First of all you cannon compare our prices to UK prices. For some  reason everything cost more there on a relative basis.

There is a simple explanation with regards to why all items sold in the UK are at a Preium Price.

It is simply because we seem to like taking it in the A**. I think we're too polite or apathetic to complain.

We tried it with the Colonials with the tea shipment to Boston and look where that ended up!

I spoke with the UK importer with regards to the price difference between India home market Enfields and UK imports. I got the "much higher specification and finish" speech.

I waited until he finished and told him his speech smelt of B.S.
REgards

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clamp

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2008, 02:29:17 PM »
BS indeed,--I have been to Chennai and not only seen and bought spare parts but been to the Egmore region of shops for motorcycles. The parts there made the Re parts look expensive.

    I mentioned it before on this forum of the shorty exhaust that I saw for sale hanging up everywhere , it was 300 Rupees,-- thats about 6 pounds.

   A sign at the dealers had labour charges for most repairs to the motorcycle, I remember catching my eye -- full engine overhaul 2000 rupees (30 pounds).

   But that was last year there has probably been some deflation since then.
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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2008, 01:58:01 PM »
 ;)I sent an email to the factory site, enquiring about red bikes to the U.S. and got this reply: Dear Mr. Reid,

Thank you for your interest in the Bullet Classic.

The Bullet Classic is slated for release in the US by June 2009. All
colours will be available at that point in time.

Regards,

Andrew Anantharaj
Senior Manager - International Business.
I can sleep a little better now.

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #35 on: October 30, 2009, 08:37:46 AM »
I envy those at whom there is a possibility to travel.

clubman

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #36 on: October 30, 2009, 09:52:28 PM »
I missed this first time round as I wasn't on these boards a year ago. What really jumped out at me is the comment that there was almost no need for a break in period and that the test models on this trip were thrashed from the off. Hardly what buyers of the new model are being told to do. Have I missed something?

Leonard

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Re: Dateline Chennai
« Reply #37 on: October 30, 2009, 11:40:45 PM »
I missed this first time round as I wasn't on these boards a year ago. What really jumped out at me is the comment that there was almost no need for a break in period and that the test models on this trip were thrashed from the off. Hardly what buyers of the new model are being told to do. Have I missed something?

No dealer in his right mind would tell you to do anything other than follow the manufacturer's recommended break-in procedure. 
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