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Author Topic: First Day with my C5  (Read 8419 times)

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: First Day with my C5
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2009, 03:45:54 AM »
Garbone - You have crushed me. A vintage Hardly indeed! Those Johnny-come-lately's have imitated us for all of these years. On the other hand when I tell people that I import bikes 98% of the time they ask "Harley's"? I guess that is what the public knows and we should probably thank Harley for that, at least they know something. Much like Honda saved the motorcycle industry with their bikes and marketing while being vilified by us older guys. I will take it as a sideways compliment, sort of like telling your wife her butt doesn't look too big. When I go to the factory this AM I don't think I will mention it either.

Alaroyal

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Re: First Day with my C5
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2009, 05:28:37 AM »
Interesting comments in this thread, also.

I've been known to blast Honda on Honda forums, Harley Davidson on HD forums, and Royal Enfield on RE forums, and to defend each of them on other forums.  It just comes with the first amendment idea.  It also doesn't seem fair to do otherwise, there's no one ready to defend the brand on an opposite forum, which almost always happens on the home forum.

I just know that whenever a person has the feeling that there is a "cool" factor about any product, especially with motorcycles, that factor is almost always subjective, and has a dollar value than transcends objectivity.  Harley Davidson has made a living out of that idea, and so does Royal Enfield.

It's a debate that can NEVER be reconciled, and depending upon perspectives, what is cool about two different machines can be viewed as outdated or glitzy, silly or rogueish, genuine or primitive, soulless or noisy, fast without purpose or slow without purpose, excessive feel or insufficient feel, overpriced or not enough for the money..........

I have no doubts at all concerning the reasons why the Japanese can make a product that is less expensive than what other companies charge, and I also understand the importance of tradition.

But I'd bet my last dollar than none of the Japanese companies have any disrespect for other companies' traditions, it's just that they are convinced they can build an objectively better machine for less money, which is a tradition in itself. Mr Honda's company has a slogan that states "performance first", and it tries mightily to stick to it.

The brand that comes to mind is Ferrari, which has as passionate a following as any in the world of internal combustion engined machines.  That obsession also commands a dear price, often far more than other, objectively similar products.  However, the price is tempered by the fact that Ferrari is often at the cutting edge of technology, which balances the cost differential.

I also have no doubt that it would be a very straightforward task for a Japanese manufacturer to build a bike that had all the right cues to give it a vintage Brit bike look and feel, but why would they want to do that, since the end result would still be a very low (relatively) volume machine?  Remember, Honda once built a 45 degree V that kicked a lot of long entrenched (HD) rear ends on AMA dirt tacks for several years, until it decided it should do something else, and that Honda recently celebrated its 50 millionth Cub, which is barely distinguishable from a 1964 model.

I guess small volume machines are best (from an economics point of view) built by smaller companies and not by big companies. But as far as Japanese machines being "commuter-econo bikes", keep in mind that for someone who truly loves that machine for its own form of individuality, that there is nothing like it.

And although I am proud of the unique factor of my RE and sidecar, and the smiles and waves from other bikers, motorists, and even pedestrians when I drive it, I also understand the position of a young man I recently met and talked to, who had a Suzuki S40 that was old enough to be called a Savage; it was obvious he thought his machine was the best thing since sliced bread.  And let's don't forget the line from the movie  "The Long Hot Summer" in which the comment is made, "one man's tonic is another man's poison."

I like my RE, I like my Honda, I like my Harley, I just wish they would all read each others' books more often; if they did, all their products would be improved, and we'd all be the better off for it.


 
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 06:04:07 AM by Alaroyal »
Dave

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Kevin Mahoney

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Re: First Day with my C5
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2009, 06:14:23 AM »
You have some great points. I have always felt that the best bike you can have is the one you own. Royal Enfield sees itself as a small volume boutique manufacturer. I know the people at Moto Morini and they feel the same thing about themselves. I would guess that the Moto-Guzzi guys feel like that also. I am working with another Indian motorcycle company and they make about three times as many bikes in a year as are sold in the US in total. They are a very different process driven company. In the high quality high volume business that is the only  road to success. At Royal Enfield we still have meetings with all of the stake holders in a small room talking directly to each other about all issues. For better or worse everyone gets involved in the entire process. This is not the "clean" way to do it, but it is where the soul of the company comes from. Only the market will determine if this is still a workable way to produce bikes in this time and age.
At a company like Harley, I would guess that their marketing department is bigger than the all of Royal Enfield. You cannot accuse them of building bikes without some kind of "soul" using their method. You can take me to task for that statement, but nothing speaks like success. Anyone that thinks that Jap bikes don't have an emotional following does't follow how hot the 1960,s 1970,s Vintage Jap bike market is.
For better or worse here are some examples of  how many issues get taken care of at Enfield. The picture with two young guy in it Sarv and Hari show the two Senior Engineers who headed up engine design and the EFI design. They are shown in our shop training a groups of our dealers on the new equipment. A bigger company would have sent "trainers", but at our size we had to send the main guys. Now each of our dealers has a direct line to the designers at the factory with no filter.
The next picture is an all company meeting about quality in the US market. We have been following the first 100 UCE bikes very carefully VIN by VIN. We have taken the observations of our dealers and customers on each bike and put it into a visual presentation. To involve the workforce, they stop production, bring everyone in the entire company to the shop floor and go over this data point by point. Good or bad - who knows, but it is our way of doing it.
  The last picture is from a meeting I had with all of the heads of the various departments about quality. We went over our concerns and the concerns of our customers part by part and worked out solutions or paths to solutions right then and there. Not very process driven, but for us it works. Note: you may note that the long silencer seems to be the point of much of our discussions). My point (Thank God he is finally getting to it) is that what workesfor one company is totally inappropriate for another and vice versa. This gives you a bit if insight into the heart of Royal Enfield for better or worse.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 11:28:58 AM by Kevin Mahoney »

UK-Classics

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Re: First Day with my C5
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2009, 09:09:52 AM »

James - I’d give your dealer a ring today & enquire about the oil change. Can’t see there being a problem as long as you use the recommended oil.

On the warranty issue (within the UK) – 1st year is parts & labour, 2nd year parts only. That’s pretty good, I’m sure if there are any major issues the dealers & importers will be keen to rectify & keep the customers happy.
Cheers
Nick

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Re: First Day with my C5
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2009, 05:33:10 PM »
Maybe it's just me, but it seems that when it gets down to deciding if you think the "welds don't look quality enough for the price", you're looking for some reason to not buy the bike, not reasons for why you want one.


Ace - I think you miss the point – when you are paying a higher price you compare with the competition – Ok you could argue there is no ‘direct’ competition (single cylinder pushrod ‘retro’) but there is now only a small price difference (certainly within UK) with other retro machines like the Bonnie or entry HD sportsta or Guzzi classic (a bit more still).

The reason most of us are on this forum is because we generally prefer RE to the other marques – we all want the company & the new models to succeed (& it will) but when you pay hard cash (& a fair wack at that) for something you expect some of the basics to be right straight from the box.

Kevin's comments reassure me that this company is working hard to resolve some of these issues.
Cheers
Nick

Alaroyal

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Re: First Day with my C5
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2009, 05:35:37 PM »
Kevin;

Thanks for the interesting comments, and the photos of your process.  Before I became a college professor, I was a 31 year professional firefighter, and for the last 16 years of that, in administrative positions.  The important parallel is that it was a small department.

All the things we did were the same things that a huge department did; inspections, community outreach, fire suppression, emergency medicine, apparatus maintenance/repair, staffing decisions, dispatch, etc., but how we went about the underlying specifics were very different.  Same thing with Enfield; some of the process has to be different because of size.

I just wish that Honda, for example, had the personable and close interraction between top engineers and people in the field as you do, and that Enfield had the high end technical capabilities to improve performance like Honda. 

If that were possible, for example, the bullet could have DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, three layed FI mapping, nik a sil coated pistons, 650 CC, and still look and sound just like it does now, but with about 50 foot lbs of torque. Wouldn't THAT be fun?  Plus, someone who was a senior engineer would be able to talk with field mechanics and customers face to face.

I just hope that very quickly the inevitable problems attendant with a new product can be resolved on the C and G bikes, so they quickly become pretty much (no pun intended) "bulletproof".
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 05:47:13 PM by Alaroyal »
Dave

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ace.cafe

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Re: First Day with my C5
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2009, 06:28:42 PM »
Maybe it's just me, but it seems that when it gets down to deciding if you think the "welds don't look quality enough for the price", you're looking for some reason to not buy the bike, not reasons for why you want one.


Ace - I think you miss the point – when you are paying a higher price you compare with the competition – Ok you could argue there is no ‘direct’ competition (single cylinder pushrod ‘retro’) but there is now only a small price difference (certainly within UK) with other retro machines like the Bonnie or entry HD sportsta or Guzzi classic (a bit more still).

The reason most of us are on this forum is because we generally prefer RE to the other marques – we all want the company & the new models to succeed (& it will) but when you pay hard cash (& a fair wack at that) for something you expect some of the basics to be right straight from the box.

Kevin's comments reassure me that this company is working hard to resolve some of these issues.


Well, certainly I'm not arguing for cobbly welds. I'd be quite happy with nice welds.

As for the competition:

Here's the 2009 Triumph Bonneville "Black" which is the $7799 version.


Here's the 2009 C5 at ~$7000



Here's the 2009 Harley Sportster 883 "Iron" for about $7600-$8000


And the 2009 Moto Guzzi V7 Classic at about $8500.



What do you think?
I'm thinking that the C5 is looking pretty darn good in that class of cycles.

My impressions?
Triumph's lowest priced Bonnie. The 17" cast wheels look silly. "Black-out" job looks cheap. Nice seat. "Swirly" spokes on the front disc brake are hideous, and totally out of place on the bike.  I think the models from a couple years earlier looked better. Not a good showing from Triumph with this model. Limited Edition models at higher prices look a bit better, but are a thousand bucks more.
The Harley looks pretty cool in all black, and I kinda like it.  Headlight looks a bit odd. Cool fork gaiters. Seems a bit "chopper-esque" but that's expected on a  Harley. Has a belt drive. Not too bad a price for the package.
Both of them are "blacked out" to save costs, and aren't available in colors for the low price model. Basically, they are "entry level" models.
The RE has brightwork, wire wheels, nice colors, and looks plenty good. Smallest engine of the bunch, and the lowest price. Clearly by far, the most "retro". Top of the model line-up from RE.
The Guzzi has a nice seat, wire wheels, and some vague reminiscence of the older V7. Obviously a "re-bodied Breva".  Has a shaft drive. Not bad. Most expensive price of the bunch.

.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 08:57:39 PM by ace.cafe »
Home of the ACE Fireball 535 Bullet,  Ace GP Hi-Lift Roller Rocker Head Conversion. Pistons, cams, etc. Highest performance Bullet engine mods available anywhere.  AVL mods available. UCE kit coming.

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Cabo Cruz

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Re: First Day with my C5
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2009, 08:54:12 PM »
Br. Ace, that's a pretty good selection of bikes.  But, to your point, even if I had all four of the bikes, I would ride the C5 more often than the others -- been there, done that.   ;)
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

Cabo Cruz

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Re: First Day with my C5
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2009, 08:59:36 PM »
Br. Rusty, I send you a WOWZAA for the gorgeous red bike and a separate WOWZAA for the photos!
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

r80rt

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Re: First Day with my C5
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2009, 09:38:34 PM »
I just sold a 05 Bonnie black to buy a C5, I rode my buddy's 09 Sportster, hated it. I've always liked Guzzi's and that classic is very nice. All of them are nice, but only one catches my eye and makes me want it.
On the eighth day God created the C5, and it was better looking than anything on the planet.
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flintweld

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Re: First Day with my C5
« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2009, 09:53:23 PM »
Rusty,
Congrats on a beautiful bike. And thanks for the best
C5 pics that I've seen to date.

Ace,
Thanks for the head to head comparison of the
"competition", very informative.

Flint

The Garbone

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Re: First Day with my C5
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2009, 12:13:10 AM »
Ace,  you forgot the Thruxton..




Sweet....


I bought my RE because it was a bike I could wrench on and make my own, and only cost $4500 new (and the lady of the house loved the look)...     I have taken a C5 for a spin and it was great,  time will tell how things go.  But one thing is for sure,  as gas prices go us and the threat of Cap and Trade taxing energy even more, fuel efficient bikes will sell..  I can ride my RE around town and to work for a week for $6...  Not to shabby...
Gary
57' RE Crusader 250
67' Ford Mustang
74' Catalina 27 "Knot a Clew"
95 RE Ace Clubman 535
01 HD 1200 Custom
07 RE 5spd HaCK

* all actions described in this post are fictional *

Cabo Cruz

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Re: First Day with my C5
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2009, 12:27:44 AM »
"I have taken a C5 for a spin and it was great..."  The Garbone 

Br. Gary, where did you manage to take a C5 for a spin?
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

ace.cafe

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Re: First Day with my C5
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2009, 12:30:10 AM »
Ace,  you forgot the Thruxton..

Sweet....


I bought my RE because it was a bike I could wrench on and make my own, and only cost $4500 new (and the lady of the house loved the look)...     I have taken a C5 for a spin and it was great,  time will tell how things go.  But one thing is for sure,  as gas prices go us and the threat of Cap and Trade taxing energy even more, fuel efficient bikes will sell..  I can ride my RE around town and to work for a week for $6...  Not to shabby...

Yes, the Thrux is nice. But I still like the Bullet better! ;D

Ya know, now that you bring up the new energy tax thing, maybe I should start developing a "small port" head and some "tractor cams" for the Bullet, to use with a 24mm Mikarb!
Can I copy the cam profiles off of your Ford 8N? :D

And if it really starts getting expensive for fuel, maybe Kevin will start importing  the 350!
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 12:33:21 AM by ace.cafe »
Home of the ACE Fireball 535 Bullet,  Ace GP Hi-Lift Roller Rocker Head Conversion. Pistons, cams, etc. Highest performance Bullet engine mods available anywhere.  AVL mods available. UCE kit coming.

Please visit my new website:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/AcePerformanceBullets/

The Garbone

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Re: First Day with my C5
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2009, 12:46:22 AM »
"I have taken a C5 for a spin and it was great..."  The Garbone 

Br. Gary, where did you manage to take a C5 for a spin?

Ahh,,,  G5 ,, C5....  its still confuses me... Why not call them the the 19 and the 18 or the Basic and the Classic...

  It smacks of Suzukis M40 S40 S50 naming convention... Or better yet BMW's and the F650 ,G650,  GS650 ...bla bla bla..   Some made in China and a 650 some made in Germany and a 900 or something like that....   


/rant
Gary
57' RE Crusader 250
67' Ford Mustang
74' Catalina 27 "Knot a Clew"
95 RE Ace Clubman 535
01 HD 1200 Custom
07 RE 5spd HaCK

* all actions described in this post are fictional *