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Author Topic: Been away for a while, back to the UCE  (Read 1064 times)

Land Surveyor

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Been away for a while, back to the UCE
« on: June 17, 2009, 01:49:38 AM »
Hello all,
I haven't visited here in a while.  I recognize some old names and see a lot of new ones, as well.  I have been reading the posts like mad, trying to get caught up.  As always, there are a lot of good discussions.  Thanks to whoever posted the Kneeslider thread.  I particularly liked the top view photo.
I have kind of gone in a circle, as I had given up the idea of trading bikes, owing to the current financial crisis.  Decided I will keep the Honda PC, as it has a good rep for high miles and low maintenance. 
However, I did form the idea, once finances are more certain, of getting something lighter to ride.  Have even been looking at the maxiscooters.  After looking at all the options, I'm back to the RE, especially the new UCE model.
I have been taking into account initial cost, maintenance, and especially fuel mileage, and, when you throw in the cool factor and authenticity of the RE's, they pretty much take the prize.
I have been doing some day-tripping on the Honda with a friend who recently bought a big Yamaha cruiser and have noticed that practically all of my riding could be done with a lighter bike.  Even though the Honda gets around 50 mpg, 80 or so is still quite a jump.
Have been noticing that the UCE is having some teething troubles.  I think this is to be expected with any new design and kudos to RE and Kevin for staying on top of it.
Anyway, glad to be back.

clubman

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Re: Been away for a while, back to the UCE
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2009, 07:24:47 AM »
I took a very similar route to you in deciding to order a Clubman EFI. Considered a Harley Sportster but realised from various message boards that the initial purchase price was just that: initial. Therafter came a seemingly endless list of improvements that virtually all owners seem to do. Then I looked at the new  Guzzi range and the Triumph Bonneville or Thruxton. Good bikes all but expensive spares and when I read a review of a Kawasaki 250 that did 80mpg I thought it seemed a very practical purchase. But again, I checked out the spares prices and I never felt comfortable at the thought of a revvy little screamer. Salvation came with reports of the new EFI which seemed to combine practicality, charm, style, character, economy and - dare I say it - reliability, (that's what the adverts said anyhow), in fact everything I was looking for. And though the standard model is both more practical and a grand cheaper here in the UK than the Clubman I just can't resist the Clubman style. The bigger tank will be a plus too.

The reliability issues documented here were certainly of some concern but a couple of weeks on it seems like they're being addressed. For sure, all concerned must realise that it is crucial to this models future that it is ironed out. The EFI is attracting a whle new set of potential buyers, like me, who are prepared to pay good money but in return expect a quality package. I really hope my bike isn't too long delayed by all this cos I am really looking forward to some summer riding.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 11:55:51 AM by clubman »

Rusty

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Re: Been away for a while, back to the UCE
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2009, 11:39:51 AM »
Exactly the same thought process as me Clubman and my choices were very similar. The 883 Sportster was high on my list but once I壇 test ridden the EFI and realised that it could be my only bike (I don稚 think the previous models could have been) the decision was made to buy my first Enfield.

So far I知 delighted with the Classic, I get more enjoyment out of riding it than I did my T達ird Sport. All at lower speeds of course but it痴 capable of holding its own in modern traffic. Once run in I知 sure it値l cope with sensible motorway stuff.

The recall is a real shame but to try and get something positive out of it I値l be asking if I can oversee my bike being worked on. It値l be interesting to see how it comes apart and might be useful in the (distant) future.

Land Surveyor

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Re: Been away for a while, back to the UCE
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2009, 08:52:02 PM »
I actually have the idea of a Sportster in the back of my mind still.  About decided to forego a new one and only look at used as I will probably make it into a bit of a tourer, anyway.  I have entered a raffle to win one with a 1 in 300 chance. Who knows? maybe I'll get lucky.

Still, the only real issue I had with REs was reliability and I'm not the type that likes to tinker.  I expect stuff to work without fuss.  Parts and consumables do not seem expensive, which is a plus.  Tube tires wouldn't seem like a plus but I wouldn't be afraid to mount a new one as opposed to tubeless.  As to punctures, I would probably fill the tube with Slime.  The lighter weight of the bike would make it less challenging to handle as well.

The fact that it has at least minimal Interstate capability is great.

Wonder if there's some way to painlessly add a tripmeter? I need that to keep up with when I need my next fill-up.  I think these people that enter rallies and motogiro-type events have one added to the handlebars somehow.  Thankfully, it has regular handlebars (unlike my Honda) so adding a clock would be easy.


Rusty

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Re: Been away for a while, back to the UCE
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2009, 09:50:46 PM »
Still, the only real issue I had with REs was reliability and I'm not the type that likes to tinker.  I expect stuff to work without fuss. 

And that 's the whole crux of the issue LS. Ever since the revival of the RE brand there's always been the safety net of 'buyers/enthustiasts will expect to tinker' so whilst production did its best to produce good bikes there was always a comfort factor. The AVL moved away from this mindset to a degree but the 2009 range is a completely different story.

People who have never owned an Enfield are looking at these bikes and expecting to buy a product which needs nothing more that the scheduled service at the dealers. I'd say that RE have a fair way to go before they can meet that expectation but they do have a good start with the UCE.

Land Surveyor

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Re: Been away for a while, back to the UCE
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2009, 02:04:07 AM »
Really? What issues are left? Normal maintenance?  I still remember how to adjust a chain.  Things like that?  At least it doesn't need valve adjustment.

clubman

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Re: Been away for a while, back to the UCE
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2009, 12:31:06 PM »
I agree with the above. I'm quite capable of basic maintenance and don't mind keeping on top of stuff like adjusting and lubing the chain, keeping an eye on the battery and changing the oil. But I want and expect mechanical and electrical reliabilty.

Land Surveyor

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Re: Been away for a while, back to the UCE
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2009, 01:48:47 PM »
It only makes sense.  Back in the old days, the Brits tinkered with their bikes because they had to, not for fun.  If they had been offered an alternative, preferably of British make, they'd have jumped on it.

LJRead

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Re: Been away for a while, back to the UCE
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2009, 08:34:19 AM »
Interesting thoughts given,but there is something that may have been missed.  How reliable will these new designs be in the long haul.  Some Japanese bikes as well as BMWs are known to go well over a hundred thousand miles without signs of failure or need of a rebuild.  I can easily handle the small maintenance chores of my bike, including occasional tappet adjustment, and adjustment of  the two chains, but what I fear most is major breakdown requiring extensive rebuilding, which I don't know yet whether I am capable of, but am willing to try.  As the new UCE has a higher top speed and thus is more capable of piling on the mileage, there then comes the question of whether it will go significant miles before rebuild.  Only time will tell.

I don't overly worry because the fastest I go with my AVL is around 50 mph and I will put relatively few miles on over the years to come - how far after all can I ride over an island that is only 25 miles in length and has only 60 or 70 miles of traveled roads?  But I think were I there where more intra-city and intra- state mileage is possible, it might definitely concern me.

So far, knock on wood, my AVL Machismo has proven to be reliable (4000 km and counting) with very little fiddling or tweaking needed.  I don't think of it as a labor intensive bike by any means. 

BTW - Land Surveyer, how do you like the Honda PC.  Seems a good moderate cruiser to me.
Lawrence J. Read
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Tonga Islands
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2002 Machismo, 2003 RE rickshaw with Thunderbird base

Land Surveyor

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Re: Been away for a while, back to the UCE
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2009, 08:09:09 PM »
The recall is a real shame but to try and get something positive out of it I値l be asking if I can oversee my bike being worked on. It値l be interesting to see how it comes apart and might be useful in the (distant) future.
Rusty

Reading that reminds me of a sign I once saw in a bike shop: " Labor Rates: $65/hour; $75/hour if you watch; $85/hour if you help."

[BTW - Land Surveyer, how do you like the Honda PC.  Seems a good moderate cruiser to me.
LJRead/i]

I bought it in order to get something "practical."  So far, it has worked out well.  It was designed for low maintenance and has been very litte trouble.  Loads of onboard storage.   Plenty fast, but heavier than I like.