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Author Topic: New Guy Questions  (Read 5459 times)

Will

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New Guy Questions
« on: September 16, 2007, 05:46:53 PM »
Hello to you all.  Please forgive me if I am asking questions in the wrong place.

There is a 2006 Enfield with electric start and military paint for sale locally, and I am considering it.  It has a 500cc motor and about 3,000 miles on it.  I am considering it as a potential daily commuter, and would probably put a good 8,000 to 10,000 miles on it every year.  It would live outside and never get put away, let alone put away wet.  The alternative is something a little less interesting like a DR650.  So here are my questions:

1.  Am I completely nuts in even considering it as a reliable daily commuter?

2.  How will its electrics stand up to being constantly rained on (I live in Seattle)?

3.  How long would it last with constant use?

4.  Is it up to the task of a roughly 10 mile freeway blast every day, including a bit of sitting in traffic on the way home?

I probably will have a lot more questions, but haven't thought of them yet.  Thanks for any information you can give me.  I figure if an Enfield can stand up to life in southern India, it will probably be OK in Seattle with the one issue being high speed (for a Bullet) running on a daily basis.

RagMan

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Re: New Guy Questions
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2007, 06:25:59 PM »
I know Seattle very well and would not consider a Royal Enfield for freeway riding round there.. The bike is happier going slow, in an unhurried way, being treated well by a mechanically able person, and being looked after - they rust in the rain..  At least mine does.
aka Indiana Bulleteer.
''99 Classic Bullet. '05 Ural Tourist sidecar rig, converted to 2wd. '05 Harley Davidson Sportster.
Jefferson County, WA

Spitting Bull

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Re: New Guy Questions
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2007, 06:49:39 PM »
I agree with IB - the Bullet won't like any of the conditions you have in mind for it.  At a comfortable speed (for the bike) it will be possibly dangerously slow for the freeway.  They don't like sitting in traffic for too long and making your way in slow-moving stop/start traffic will cause clutch drag in a very short time (measured in minutes and in single figures).  Leaving it out in all weathers will seal its fate.  Just my opinions, mind.

Tom
« Last Edit: September 16, 2007, 06:51:40 PM by Spitting Bull »
One cylinder is enough for anyone.

Will

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Re: New Guy Questions
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2007, 07:29:59 PM »
This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for.  Thanks!  Would a big barrel/ alloy barrel help with freeway running, or is it just wishful thinking?

RagMan

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Re: New Guy Questions
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2007, 08:05:31 PM »
There are great differences of opinion on that one. Personally, it is my belief that nothing you can do will make the Enfield into a constant freeway daily use, stay in the rain bike.  The bike is a 1950s design, built in India, where life is a lot different. To have a machine that will survive the uses that you indicate, you need a gas and go type machine, by a major manufacturer.

I would love to be able to convert you to the Royal Enfield life, but you would not be happy, unless you step out of the rat race, and come ride slowly with us.
aka Indiana Bulleteer.
''99 Classic Bullet. '05 Ural Tourist sidecar rig, converted to 2wd. '05 Harley Davidson Sportster.
Jefferson County, WA

luoma

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Re: New Guy Questions
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2007, 11:53:56 PM »
I could say that an Electra with a bigger front sprocket would easily handle 10 miles on the freeway, but that's not really the point. It sounds like you're looking for a bike purely as a means of transportation. You need an appliance bike that is just that, a means of transportation. We ride bikes like the RE becuase we genuinely love the viceral feel of a big single from yesteryear. Enfields are rugged if you love them, but the kind of neglect and abuse you are describing would bring a tear to m eye.

scoTTy

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Re: New Guy Questions
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2007, 01:41:34 AM »
i had a 175 Honda in the learly 70's that fulfilled that bill.. but they don't me them anymore..everyonr wants to go fast.. well not everyone nemorE..

 

prof_stack

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Re: New Guy Questions
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2007, 01:11:56 PM »
If you want a thumper and one that will do freeway miles and be reliable, consider the Buell Blast.  There are a couple on Criagslist in your (our) area right now.  I rode a 2000, the first model year, for 10k miles and rather enjoyed it.  After 2001 they had the kinks worked out.  Doesn't look as nice as an RE, though.  ymmv

RagMan

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Re: New Guy Questions
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2007, 02:34:41 PM »
The Buell Blast is a nice bike, I bought one when I lived in Port Townsend -the only problem with it really was the size - it is very diminutive, I would get severe cramps riding it..  My 61 inch tall Lady was about the right size for it.
aka Indiana Bulleteer.
''99 Classic Bullet. '05 Ural Tourist sidecar rig, converted to 2wd. '05 Harley Davidson Sportster.
Jefferson County, WA

Eamon

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Re: New Guy Questions
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2007, 03:05:43 PM »
Just to present an alternate scenario here, is there a decent route for your commute that doesn't involve freeway riding?  The Bullet can handle commuting, just not with sustained freeway speeds.  If you have to cross Lake Washington, then I guess alternate routes are out of the question, but there are a fair amount of options for north/south commuting.

As far as being stored outside, what about simply keeping a ventilated rain cover on the bike?  Sure, rust will be more of an issue than a garaged bike, but not too bad if you cover it regularly and keep it clean.  Yeah, they make 'em in India these days, but they were originally British bikes and the climate there is not dissimilar to Seattle.

Eamon
Eamon in Seattle
2006 Bullet 500 Deluxe
http://www.sterlingloons.com

RagMan

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Re: New Guy Questions
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2007, 03:40:08 PM »
I kept mine in one of those Costco fabric car shelters, when I lived in Washington - it kept it dry enough. 

Though the RE is a British design, the metal is not British, nor is the paint.  They rust pretty fast.  Mine was outside for two weeks this summer, and started rusting.
aka Indiana Bulleteer.
''99 Classic Bullet. '05 Ural Tourist sidecar rig, converted to 2wd. '05 Harley Davidson Sportster.
Jefferson County, WA

sixtysix

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Re: New Guy Questions
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2007, 05:42:52 PM »
I too would love a Royal Enfield, but my current bike suits my requirements better, and may be ideal for your commuting style- a 2006 Triumph Bonneville.

TRider

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Re: New Guy Questions
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2007, 06:17:59 PM »
A used BMW F650 GS or an older ST would make a fine ride, and its good for some types of off roading too.  A 1997 F650ST is a wonderful all around bike and you can find one on the net for around $3500.  These bikes are usually kept in great condition by their owners.   The Florida Orange in color bikes are by far the fastest. 
« Last Edit: September 18, 2007, 07:09:46 PM by TRider »

No. 5

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Re: New Guy Questions
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2007, 03:50:50 AM »
I agree with TRider. I would add a dual purpose to the list. I think Kawasaki makes the best. Tough bikes that sit high and take a lot of abuse.  They're in that 650 range I think. Unfortunately, the only thing uglier than a sport bike is a dual sport bike. IMO ;)

RagMan

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Re: New Guy Questions
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2007, 06:25:16 AM »
I hear you on the ugly thing..  I was talking myself into buying a BMW GSA until I saw one close up - that is one ugly bike.. Why don't any of the big companies make a motorcycle shaped like a motorcycle anymore? I have the Bullet, and an Ural that look like they should..
aka Indiana Bulleteer.
''99 Classic Bullet. '05 Ural Tourist sidecar rig, converted to 2wd. '05 Harley Davidson Sportster.
Jefferson County, WA