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Author Topic: What to Expect? Common Problems?  (Read 1687 times)

DrJon

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What to Expect? Common Problems?
« on: April 19, 2009, 04:05:08 PM »
Hello all,

A royal enfield is at the very top of my shortlist of new bikes to buy, with a very distant second place. Yet no matter how much I love the styling and the idea of sputtering around on such an awesome looking bike, the stories I've heard/read time and time again of mechanical problems etc is holding me back.

I have yet to find a good list of common problems with the bikes, to give me a better idea of what I would be getting myself into.

This will more or less be my first motorcycle (thats "mine" at least). I have quite a bit of mechanical knowledge having paid my way through high school and college restoring and flipping old 60s muscle cars.

Basically I'm trying to find out how often the bike would leave me stranded, or will I just end up tinkering on the side of the road? How often will it be minor repairs (few hours now and agian) versus having to entirely break down the bike?

I would like to use this for daily commuting, neghborhood roads mostly, not over 45mph except on occasion.

THanks so much.

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: What to Expect? Common Problems?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2009, 04:54:08 PM »
The answers to your questoins depends mostly upon which models you are looking at. If you are looking at one of the new G-5 or C-5 models withe the new unit construction engine with electronic fuel injection about the only maintenance involved is to adjust the drive chain once in a while and change oil and filters.

If you buy a new bike with the Lean Burn engine in it you will have to adjust the primary drive chain once in a while (not often), the drive chain, the valves and change oil and filters.

If you buy a used iron barrel bike you will have to add points and timing to your list of maintenance items. The iron barrel is the least technologically advanced and most original model and the new UCE are on the opposite end of the scale. The UCE does carry a two year warranty as opposed to a one year on the other models.

The iron barrel bikes are OK for cruising at 55-60 mph and require a good break in. The AVL can be used at a somewhat higher cruising speed and the UCE will cruise at 70mps. . There isn't anything on the bikes that can't be fixed by the average guy or gal that can read.
  That is the "company" story, I am sure owners will chime in here with their experiences.

ace.cafe

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Re: What to Expect? Common Problems?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2009, 05:19:42 PM »
The new UCE-engined Royal Enfields are the most refined models, to date.

However, the earlier models have alot of appeal in various forms, and offer a lot of enjoyment for the money.

Much of what you read about the troubles looks out of proportion a bit, because peole tend to bring their problems to the internet, seeking solutions. Thus, you read about alot of problems. And there are some problems which vary in severity. But many people have long ownership with very little problem or just minor ones.

A good guideline is that the bikes are generally less prone to heavy maintenance and breakage, as they get newer in model year. Improvements have been made each year, and problems overcome, to a certain extent.
Some people actually enjoy the maintenance and modification aspects, so this is not viewed as a "problem" by them, but might be a problem to those less mechanically-inclined.

So, if lowest maintenance and best overall reliability, and higher cruising speeds are a big priority for you, then the newest of the models with the UCE engine will be the first to look at.
If you are mechanically inclined, and like to tinker, and enjoy older technolgy, then either of the previous models would suit you, for cruising speeds under 55-60mph.

I own a 2000 model Bullet with the very oldest engine design, and I enjoy it very much.

It all comes down to what's right for you, and there are a variety of choices that suit various needs.
All of the models will suit a 45mph cruising speed, without difficulty.

One issue that is fairly common on the earlier models is electric starter failure. There have been some efforts to overcome that, and the newest models in the UCE range seem to have totally overcome that issue with a new design. The older models have kickstarters too, so that can be used instead if you wish.
The rest of the common problems are generally avoided with a careful break-in procedure which conforms to the owner's manual.  And you need to check nuts and bolts periodically for any loosening. And adjust the chain, and change oil, and stuff like that.

I've never been stranded on the road by my Bullet.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 05:28:46 PM by ace.cafe »
Home of the ACE Fireball 535 Bullet,  Ace GP Hi-Lift Roller Rocker Head . Pistons, cams, etc. Highest performance Bullet engine mods available .  AVL mods. Redditch 700/750 Twin mods. UCE kit soon.

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Marrtyn

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Re: What to Expect? Common Problems?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2009, 05:23:02 PM »
The answers to your questoins depends mostly upon which models you are looking at. If you are looking at one of the new G-5 or C-5 models withe the new unit construction engine with electronic fuel injection about the only maintenance involved is to adjust the drive chain once in a while and change oil and filters.

If you buy a new bike with the Lean Burn engine in it you will have to adjust the primary drive chain once in a while (not often), the drive chain, the valves and change oil and filters.

If you buy a used iron barrel bike you will have to add points and timing to your list of maintenance items. The iron barrel is the least technologically advanced and most original model and the new UCE are on the opposite end of the scale. The UCE does carry a two year warranty as opposed to a one year on the other models.

The iron barrel bikes are OK for cruising at 55-60 mph and require a good break in. The AVL can be used at a somewhat higher cruising speed and the UCE will cruise at 70mps. . There isn't anything on the bikes that can't be fixed by the average guy or gal that can read.
  That is the "company" story, I am sure owners will chime in here with their experiences.

Te! he! he!  I'm really looking forward to 70mps when I'm fully run in.Ha! Ha.
Regards

r80rt

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Re: What to Expect? Common Problems?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2009, 06:55:16 PM »
Marrtyn, any new impressions of your bike to share?
On the eighth day God created the C5, and it was better looking than anything on the planet.
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birdmove

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Re: What to Expect? Common Problems?
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2009, 02:35:23 AM »
  I too have an iron Bullet-a 2007. I did a nice and easy break in and the bike is doing very well. I very seldom use the electric start though due to the problems I've heard about.My 2007 sat for like 2 1/2 moths recently, and started with two kicks and warmed up well and rode like I had just ridden it two days before. Mine uses no measureable or noticeable oil between changes.I have two other motorcycles that I also ride, and I enjoy the heck out of the Bullet.

              jon
Jon in Keaau, Hawaii

Marrtyn

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Re: What to Expect? Common Problems?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2009, 07:25:16 PM »
Marrtyn, any new impressions of your bike to share?
Hi
My speedo is now reading 305 miles, and the bike is booked in for its 1st. service.
( I would like to do it myself but as you know, part of the warranty, is for the dealer to carry out this 1st. one. If I carried it out myself then at least I would know what as been put in and were etc etc.)
This may sound a little unchristian to the dealer, but when you have done something yourself you are the only one to blame!.
As I have said in earlier posts it is over 40 years since I last rode but things are sure coming back to me now and it feels (nearly) that I have not been away from bikes for so long. Every time I go out on the bike it sounds sweeter and sweeter than the previous time.
The bike starts with no effort on the E start, and from cold I have kicked it up and maybe on the 2nd. or 3rd kick it has fired.I think you have to learn the knack of starting  your own bike!!
I have kept all my runs short and sweet picking my days and trips to keep them purposely short. That's why I have found the 300 miles a bit of a chore at 40 mph. After this service I can increase to about 50 mph for another 300 miles. Then I will do another oil change etc .
The only niggles I can comment about are the rear view mirrors, and the rear light cluster, and how it attaches to the rear mud guard (fender?). On my DL model it attaches with one bolt throe the guard, - with the throb of the engine the cluster swivels around on this bolt -because it does not fit snug up to the guard.
I have therefor made an attachment plate which fits behind the No. plate and secures it all to the bottom of the guard. Eventually I will remove the cluster and adjust the mounting plate within the light cluster to enable it to fit closer to the guard.
I suppose it should be a warranty item but I have chosen to fix it myself.
So then after Friday its 50 mph which now that the weather is improving, shouldn't take so long to complete the next 300 miles.
Regards Martyn

Cabo Cruz

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Re: What to Expect? Common Problems?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2009, 09:38:32 PM »
Br. Martyn, we thank you for the report.  It sounds like you're really enjoying the new bike.  I'm very happy for you!  Please keep those letters and postcards coming...
Long live the Bullets and those who ride them!

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

Papa Juan

REA:    Member No. 119
BIKE:   2004 Royal Enfield Sixty-5
NAME: Perla

jdrouin

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Re: What to Expect? Common Problems?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2009, 03:33:06 PM »
Much of what you read about the troubles looks out of proportion a bit, because peole tend to bring their problems to the internet, seeking solutions. Thus, you read about alot of problems. And there are some problems which vary in severity. But many people have long ownership with very little problem or just minor ones.

I'll second what Ace is saying here. I have a 2007 iron barrel model with 1,800 miles. So far I've had zero mechanical problems. The maintenance is easy and rewarding to perform, and the more I ride the more I learn. I could not be happier with a different bike.

Jeff

Rusty

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Re: What to Expect? Common Problems?
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2009, 09:50:31 PM »
Hello DrJon

Like you I am a new Enfield owner and I went through the same thought process before robbing the local bank. I test rode iron barrels and UVL bikes but decided that neither would work as an only bike (for me anyway)

Eventually the UCE came along, the increased performance meant that it could live with modern day traffic, even on motorways at a pinch, so I sold the Thunderbird and bought a C5.

After three weeks of ownership and 400 miles I can honestly say that Iím enjoying this bike more than the Triumph. Itís so different from anything else and somehow lower speeds just suit it. Iím now trying to maintain speed for corners rather than slow down for them and I donít seem to arrive anywhere much later.

As regards maintenance you will need to work on it from day one, nothing serious but niggly stuff which RE really shouldíve sorted out by now.

If youíre after a completely hassle free motorcycle then look elsewhere but if you are happy to wrench a bit and want a unique motorcycling experience then take a test ride on the EFI (or the older models if youíre happy to wrench a bit more).