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Author Topic: G5 or Old Bonnie?  (Read 2073 times)

Keith

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G5 or Old Bonnie?
« on: May 05, 2009, 09:17:44 PM »
Guys, Im looking for some advice.  I can either outright buy a 71 Bonneville, good condition, for 4ish grand (still negotiating) which will wipe me out, or lay down the 2 grand for a new G5, and make payments.  The plus side for the G5 of course is that its new, has almost limitless accessories at reasonable prices, and has a 2 yr. warrenty.  The con side is that my Dad has always said not to buy anything its 1st yr. out.  And im worried about the reliability issues since im not a mechanic. (Have read many scary Enfield stories)  Also the break in time required.
The plus for the Bonnie is that I can afford it outright, and its already broken in of course.  The cons are expensive accessories, very limited at that (has anyone ever seen a solo seat for a Bonneville?) and its a very old bike, which I like, but....
As far as shops to work on them, theres a Triumph dealership across town, and a Enfield dealership about an hour and 1/2 away.  I really respect you guys opinions.
Thanks alot.

ace.cafe

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Re: G5 or Old Bonnie?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2009, 09:55:46 PM »
If you're "not a mechanic", you will be soon, with an old Triumph. ;)
They are not "trouble-free" bikes.
But they are very nice.

You'll be doing wrenching on it. They have their known issues.

I'd say the G5 would be a far more reliable bike, but not as fast as the Bonnie.
The old Bonnies are great bikes. I love them, and they are real classic Brit-iron..
Just don't expect them to not need wrenching, because they will.

It's a tough choice.
My bet is the G5 will need less mechanic work.
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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r80rt

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Re: G5 or Old Bonnie?
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2009, 10:01:24 PM »
Yep, Ace is right.
On the eighth day God created the C5, and it was better looking than anything on the planet.
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t120rbullet

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Re: G5 or Old Bonnie?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2009, 11:04:35 PM »
There will always be room in my garage for both a Trump and a Enfield or 3.
My Trump is kinda like my sport bike. I take it out maybe a few times a month.
My limit is about 100 miles on it and my hands and butt are numb. Maybe I should have left the motor alone eh?
I can ride my 99 Bullet for 12 hours straight and get up the next morning and do it again.
A real pleasure to ride.
To me the Enfield handles much better than the Trump. After riding the Bullet the Trump feels a bit heavy in the corners. 71's would be a bit heaver feeling than my 68 because the seat was higher because of the then new oil frame.
They fixed that in 73 I believe. 4K eh? 20 years ago you couldn't give a oil frame away. Funny how things change.

Every maintenance task is easier to do on the Enfield than it is on the Trump and both bikes are user interactive meaning you ride = you wrench. The better the wrench the better the ride.

My G5 is too new to tell but in 500 miles it hasn't had any issues yet. I bought it to be my "touring bike" for the next few years so I hope it stays that way. Either way I'm going to find out. (watch, I'll get grief for not riding a "real" Enfield to the REunions)

Maintenance and engine parts are easy to find for both the Enfields and the Trumps but if your looking for aftermarket accessories the Enfield wins hands down.

You got a tough decision to make pilgrim.
CJ
 
1999 Enfield 500 Black Deluxe "Silver"
2012 Concours 14 (no name yet)
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Keith

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Re: G5 or Old Bonnie?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2009, 01:31:14 AM »
Wow, I knew I could get some great advice, thanks alot.
So now im thinking, if I could turn a wrench, I'd get the Bonnie, if I had more $$$ I'd go with the G5.   So now my last question for you fine Gentlemen is, what is your opinion on late 70's, early 80's Hondas, Suzuki's?  Im finding alot on Craigs for less than 3 grand?   I appreciate everyones advice and i'll let ya'll know what I decide on. 

bob bezin

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Re: G5 or Old Bonnie?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2009, 01:45:50 AM »
i have a 82 650 suzuki.  the thing sat a while and no solvent could un gum the 4 carbs. so it sat some more . and because i had just put new tiers on it before this. i thought i have a shop clean and synk the carbs . something i could'nt do . well by this time the breaks were a little stuck and of course it needed a new battery. so i sunk $8oo. into a bike that would sell on craiglist for $1000. of course. it runs good .but with a triumph,norton, and endfield who wants to ride a suzuki? now i must ride it to keep it from gumming up again.
2000 RE classic ,              56 matchless g80
2006 RE delux fireball       86 yamaha SRX 600
65 500cctriumph
04 bonnie black
71 750 norton.
48 whizzer

Geirskogul

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Re: G5 or Old Bonnie?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2009, 02:23:59 AM »
I'd get the Enfield, hands down.  Nothing beats having something new that you know is "yours."  Now, if for that same 2k you got something like a Yamaha 650, well, that's another story.
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Ice

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Re: G5 or Old Bonnie?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2009, 09:06:03 AM »
I would like another 78 Suzuki GS 1000E.  Parts and accessories can be problematic though. IF I could swing it I would get both. but that's just me.
 If I were forced to choose one or the other I would get the Bullet first and  continue to save and watch the classifieds for a <insert bike of choice here>.
I can break it better,,,,at night, in the rain, on the trail,, 20 miles from nowhere.

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"TIMEX", the '06 Iron Barrel Military that takes me everywhere I want to go... and some places I shouldn't.

Blue Ridge Wheeltor

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Re: G5 or Old Bonnie?
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2009, 09:55:35 AM »
I have a '71 Bonneville. Beleive me, you'll want the Enfield.
REA #25
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2006 Ural Patrol
1978 BMW R 100s--SOLD--
1977 HD XLCR
1971 Triumph Bonneville

1Blackwolf1

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Re: G5 or Old Bonnie?
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2009, 11:01:18 AM »
  I'll ditto everyne elses feelings my first real bike was a basket case 71 750 Triumph.  It was never a dull moment.  You got good at repairing Prince of Darkness electrics in the middle of the night.  Had to have aset of Whitworth tools (pretty expensive right now) and at times the patience of Mother Theresa.  Cool bikes but probably far less reliable than the new Enfields.

  As far as Japanese used it depends on how well they were maintained.  Most cheap used are rode till they puke, rode some more and sold when they need major repairs.  How about finding a used RE with low mileage?  Decent cheaptransportation that won't break the bank.  Check your local dealer first then Ebay for prices..you might be surprised.  Will.
Will Morrison
2007 500 Military
2000 Kawasaki Drifter 1500
2000 Victory V92SC
1976 Suzuki GT185 Rebuilder Special..AKA (Junkyard Dog)
Many, many other toys.
The garage is full.

Marrtyn

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Re: G5 or Old Bonnie?
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2009, 12:45:21 PM »
Not riden for over 40 years, I always wanted an old classic bike, in particular a Triumph, but then I  had to decied if I wanted to ride or "tinker". After reading all the classic bike mags., and reading about Enfields, in particularly the new versions, my mind was changed. I wanted to ride.
I have a new Efi (DL) with only just 400 miles on the clock. I'm a bit slow at getting bit run in, but I'm nearly there, this is because I'm a fine weather rider, and I'm just waiting for the lousey weather to improve. I've had no problems with the bike as yet , but then its a new bike. With the Enfield Efi there is a minimum of maintenance to do, so its a case of cocking the leg and riding of into the sunset- eventually!
So ask yourself what do you want to do, ride or tinker.
Cheers 

ace.cafe

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Re: G5 or Old Bonnie?
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2009, 01:02:54 PM »
A good point was raised a few posts previous, about considering a low-mileage used Bullet. You can find them around $3k or less.

It will likely need some wrenching and/or fiddling, perhaps about what the Bonneville might need, but possibly less.
I bought a used 2000 Bullet, and after I repaired the initial broken part that the seller didn't know how to fix(which was why I got the good deal on it), it's been fine ever since.
Actually a 500 Bullet Iron Barrel model can be pretty reliable.
If you could fine one that does not have the Electric Start, you'd be ahead of the game. The Electric Start system is one of the major headaches on a Bullet, and the earlier models like mine didn't have any e-start.
Since I got mine sorted after I bought it, it's needed nothing. I've done some things to it, but not because they were broken. I just wanted to do some modifications for my own preference. The bike has actually needed no "repairs" since I got it on the road. It always starts, always rides, and has never left me stranded anywhere.

If you ask me, a used 500 Bullet can be a damn fine motorcycle. There may be some things you have to sort out that the previous owner screwed-up, or didn't know what to do. But once it's sorted, it's a good bike.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2009, 01:05:47 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.

Please visit my new website:
http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/AcePerformanceBullets/info

UK-Classics

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Re: G5 or Old Bonnie?
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2009, 01:09:06 PM »
Yes – some good previous advice. I too have looked at the Bonnie option – I was going to get a more recent example.
I guess the ‘sensible’ option would probably to get a new UCE (if you can stretch to the intial extra cost)

I also agree with your Dad (as it’s how I used to feel) that you should give the new stuff (e.g. UCE) a year & let them identify & sort out some of the initial ‘teething problems’.

To counter that argument the new UCEs come with a 2 year warranty, I’m fairly sure the dealers will be doing all they can to ensure the UCE customers are happy with their choice (you should get looked after & well supported). In Europe & the States the only new RE bikes that can now be sold are UCE(EFI). If these bikes fail & suffer a lot of faults there will be lots of bad stuff from unhappy owners all other the forums – that ain’t going to do anything for RE dealers.

The good news so far is that the UCE (E5) bikes have been around for about 6 months (in UK) & there hasn’t been any real issues (besides initial kick start probs) or gripes from people on any of the forums (the dealers seem very happy as well) – the C5 has been around a couple of months now. I guess that’s a good start for the new bike – I guess the proof will be long term (you can get a fair few miles in on one over 2 years!)

Also remember that the UCE engine has been well tested & developed over the last few years.

Anyway – from wanting an old iron RE to potter around on I’ve really come round to the idea of the new C5.

Good luck with your choice anyway.
Cheers
Nick

PhilJ

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Re: G5 or Old Bonnie?
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2009, 01:44:18 PM »
Initially you said you had $4K, but to buy an G5 you put 2 down.?? Put the 4 down and payments would be very low and you would have a very good machine. These bikes are manufactured using the newest technology, CNC. They've been tested for several years. I really don't expect any major problems with them.

I don't think the AVL, like I have, was tested as much and it's been 100% reliable, using almost the same new manufacturing technologies, for the last 10K + miles. To me it's a no brainer you won't regret it.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2009, 01:46:24 PM by PhilJ »

ScooterBob

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Re: G5 or Old Bonnie?
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2009, 09:26:30 PM »
Got a REAL nice old ('68) Turnip .... got an Enfield. Which one is held up by cobwebs and which one goes to work every day .... Hmmmmm! The Enfield would win, hands down, if I were making that decision. No Japper-Knees stuff either - not because they aren't DANDY bikes - but you just can't get many parts for the older ones beyond minor tuning stuff. I've had my share of those - and when they were about five years old and no one cared any more - HISTORY! Then I'd go out and find an old Brit to ease my pain ... I've kept a pile of them - but the Enfield get the nod for the daily driver.  ;D Getting a gently used Enfield WOULD be a great compromise for you, I'd think. Then you could be one of US!! Hahahaha!!! ;)
Spare the pig iron - spoil the part!