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Author Topic: Motorcycle Consumer News C5 Article  (Read 2190 times)

REAZ

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Motorcycle Consumer News C5 Article
« on: March 12, 2010, 11:13:56 PM »
MCN features an Enfield! - GREAT!
The test rates the C5 at 4/5 (very good)! – GREAT!
So, why do I feel bitter after reading it?
While the article is favorable for the bike overall, it is not the first time that this magazine disappoints with its lack of journalistic professionalism. I wouldn’t mind reading articles about how certain bikes live up to the expectations of a circle of motorcycle enthusiasts if it wasn’t published in a highly acclaimed motorcycle medium. Probably I should lower my expectations in order to accept that an industry publication called “consumer news” measures the product against its testers’ expectations. Gerry Picket writes in the testers’ log “I often find myself the disappointed victim of my own unrealistic expectations”. Who cares about his expectations, if I may ask? Tell me what the product is about, what it is doing well and what it is not doing well, in the context of its intended purpose.
This article completely and totally misses the point by repeatedly talking about high speed stability, long distance comfort, peak performance and everything else this bike is NOT made for. Let’s revive a Ford Model T and introduce it to the consumer by focusing on Dyno tests, highway performance and cross country comfort. Brilliant! Oh, and the stopping distance is worse than that of 2010 Ferrari. What a bummer! Surprise, surprise a  500 single which – for historic fidelity - was intentionally built without a counter balancer vibrates at its peak performance.
I can only imagine how much the testers abused this bike if they got only 57.7 mpg. Either they measured it incorrectly or they must have squeezed the heck out of this poor bike. We run three of these bikes in our rental fleet at AZride.com and nobody ever experienced fuel economy under 70mpg. Read Jonathan Hanson’s article in his Overland Journal http://www.overlandjournal.com/blog/?p=491 . He gets 71 mpg riding off-road! One way to get to 57mpg is running the engine at 95-100% of its maximum performance all the time and you wonder why some complains about vibration. MCN suggests Royal Enfield to rubber mount the engine. Rubber mount the stressed member engine. Why not? I’m pretty sure that Royal Enfield engineers are already leaning over their drawing boards to meet the challenge.
According to their Test Notes it is a “pan” that the Enfield is a cult classic, which means it is not for everyone. Though I’m not sure about the “cult” part, these bikes are not for everyone indeed. Hey, finally these guys seem to hit the nail on the head, but sadly from the wrong direction. I’m so glad I can ride a bike that is not for everyone and I’m proud to speak for it just as much as I love the soulful vibration of this 500 thumper. This is exactly why I prefer my Royal Enfield over the Triumph I had earlier and even if the stopping distance is shorter than on the BMW K1300GT my smile is much, much, much wider when I ride the Bullet.
It is good to ride
REAZ

Chuck D

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Re: Motorcycle Consumer News C5 Article
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2010, 12:47:03 AM »
I've been a subscriber to MCN for about three years now and have for all that time been vaguely irked that RE seemed beneath their notice for product evaluation. I mean, they've been selling them here (in the U.S.) for how long now? Except for the occasional mention on their "world motorcycling" page, one would never guess that RE was any thing other than some exotic novelty rather than the going concern that it is. SO... imagine my delight upon opening my mailbox this morning. My favorite marque was finally getting it's moment in the sun. And you know what? it was pretty much what I expected. The bike has some fine attributes, and they were duly noted in the review. But let's face it. The bikes performance numbers quite frankly suck. They dyno tested a clean sheet design engine and couldn't even get close to the advertised horsepower number of the OLD engine. Almost 136foot stopping distance? dreadful. And the mpg numbers? they are what they are. Why would they lie? Hey, I love my (old) Bullet as much as anyone here loves theirs. But it IS a cult bike and it's NOT for everyone. The whole motorcycling world does not live in a little fantasy world of pudding bowl helmets and silk cravats. And frankly, numbers aside, I was a little dis sappointed with the new bike myself. But that's another rant.    Chuck.
2006 Bullet Sixty-5 w/ Ace "Fireball 535" Kit (#10)
(Head  back at Mondello's for the "Raised Port" and ratio rocker upgrade. Stay tuned!)

'76 Honda CB550Four K


"What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understandin'?"

Chasfield

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Re: Motorcycle Consumer News C5 Article
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2010, 02:49:51 AM »
I guess MCN is bound not to get Bullets. Their frame of reference is the 600cc super sports UJM, about which they publish endless 4 way shoot-out road tests They judge everything against that baseline - and in the same terms of speed, power, etc.

It is like a Big Mac enthusiast eating in an Indian restaurant, only to declare that his chicken curry was the worst burger and fries he had ever tasted.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2010, 03:00:36 AM by Chasfield »
2001 500 Bullet Deluxe

REAZ

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Re: Motorcycle Consumer News C5 Article
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2010, 11:22:17 AM »
And the mpg numbers? they are what they are. Why would they lie?

Chuck, to get the record straight:

1) I didn't say they lie. I said that they either measured the mpg incorrectly or they must have beaten the crap out of this bike to get such a low average.

2) The real life average is at least(!) 70mpg. I don't have any sophisticated instruments to measure it, but I have three Bullets with thousands of miles in the ODO and the average with normal use was NEVER below 70mpg.

3) They did not lie about the standard maintenance either. They simply messed it up. They listed the price of a 5 oil change kit as the price of one, coupled with 0.5h labor. This brings up the cost of an oil change to $97.50 which almost doubles the real amount. They also put a $20 charge for "Synch EFI" which is nonsense for a single cyl. engine.

Probably not a biggie, just not what you'd expect from a professional "Consumer News".

All in all, there is no way to sum up MCN’s level of professionalism better than Chasfield did with the Big Mac analogy. That is brilliant and right on target.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2010, 11:33:03 AM by REAZ »
It is good to ride
REAZ

Chuck D

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Re: Motorcycle Consumer News C5 Article
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2010, 11:51:43 AM »
The use of the word "lie" was a mis characterization and I apologize.   Chuck.
2006 Bullet Sixty-5 w/ Ace "Fireball 535" Kit (#10)
(Head  back at Mondello's for the "Raised Port" and ratio rocker upgrade. Stay tuned!)

'76 Honda CB550Four K


"What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understandin'?"

singhg5

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Re: Motorcycle Consumer News C5 Article
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2010, 12:34:17 PM »
Chuck, to get the record straight:
........    2) The real life average is at least(!) 70mpg. I don't have any sophisticated instruments to measure it, but I have three Bullets with thousands of miles in the ODO and the average with normal use was NEVER below 70mpg.

3) .....  They listed the price of a 5 oil change kit as the price of one, coupled with 0.5h labor. This brings up the cost of an oil change to $97.50 ........

REAZ:

MCN is definitely way off about mpg and cost of oil change for C5.  Many riders have used their C5s and G5s in different conditions that can back up your claim of gas mileage of 70 mpg or better.  Also the price of one oil change is not $97.50.  I have not seen the article, but  did you write a letter to the Editor and point out the misinformation in their article ?

1970's Jawa /  Yezdi
2006 Honda Nighthawk
2009 Royal Enfield Black G5

Ice

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Re: Motorcycle Consumer News C5 Article
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2010, 07:57:35 PM »

they got only 57.7 mpg.
I get better fuel economy than that with my Iron barrel Military with full paniers and a riding style that could be described as "sporty" ;D.

Perhaps they have poor math "skilz".
I can break it better,,,,at night, in the rain, on the trail,, 20 miles from nowhere.

REA #136

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

Leonard

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Re: Motorcycle Consumer News C5 Article
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2010, 02:49:31 PM »
I hope you guys will write MCN with your views and not just air them on this forum.  I agree with all of you BTW.
2009 Triumph Bonneville T100
2004 Royal Enfield Sixty-5 (RIP)
2001 Kawasaki W650 (going, going...gone)
http://www.romeoriders.com

chinoy

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Re: Motorcycle Consumer News C5 Article
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2010, 01:56:39 AM »
since the chances of me seeing this article are slim to none.
I have only one question what where the Dyno numbers they reported.
One would think such a critical item would be discused or mentioned.
People seem to be ranting about everything else.

Are we not being selective in what we say here. How about some honesty.

BTW I get around 30 Km/Ltr with what can at best be called mad man riding style.
Then again we dont have roads where you hold the throttle pined wide open.

And whats wrong with rubber mounting the engine. I was thinking of doing it myself the other day.

« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 03:51:52 AM by chinoy »

csbdr

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Re: Motorcycle Consumer News C5 Article
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2010, 07:14:51 AM »
I accepted a long time ago that MCN will never "get it" when it comes to niche bikes like this. Dave Hough did a piece on the Ural a couple years back for MCN and trashed it.  Really disappointing that a sidecar guy would do that. It was obvious that they took a brand new, unbroken in bike and thrashed it, and then complained about the performance. I wrote a letter that he should have broken it in properly first, and had realistic expectations about the bilkes purpose and capability, and he would have had a fair review...they didn't post it.

chinoy

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Re: Motorcycle Consumer News C5 Article
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2010, 03:58:07 AM »
guys its critical that I get the BHP numbers they published.
Because I have been breaking my head on the Engine simulator and cant get it to even make 20 BHP at the crank with the existing cam profile.

Or a link on where and how to buy this article.

csbdr

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Re: Motorcycle Consumer News C5 Article
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2010, 03:47:36 PM »
I "think" you can buy back issues straight off the website.  I'm pretty sure they have a way you can order them.

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: Motorcycle Consumer News C5 Article
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2010, 09:22:09 PM »
I haven't seen the article but they told me that "I'd like it" and that they had a ball riding  the bike. As for facts I pasted the  e-mail I sent them  regarding maintenance costs below: Maybe they were confused I have no idea how that could have happened. I think I was pretty clear, but maybe not.

Who knows about the fuel thing or the HP. I think they mentioned to me that they used a Dyno-Jet Dyno which I think only provides numbers in relation to other Dyno jets, but again I could be wrong. Maybe someone else can opine on this. Also they must have measured at the wheel with that type of dyno. The HP is what it is and as some have pointed out, that is not the point. The bike met it's performance design spec. and the rest is academic.

It is hard to comment not having read the article but I had great trepidation about letting them have a bike at all. It is always a gamble with a journalist as to whether or not they understand where a bike fits in the overall scheme of things. Over the years both us and URAL have been compared to Harleys, Sport bikes etc.  My guess is that they just got a bit mixed up over maintenance costs and "EFI synchronization". That is pretty tough to do on a single. As for brakes DOT tests are done under very demanding and controlled circumstances with varying loads. They are also done repeatedly to measure fade. I have no idea what they may have "measured" and under what conditions, but I do know that virtually all of the performance riders and writers that have ridden the bike have pronounced them "adequate". The front disc is capable of a "stoppie". I think most of us agree that if we were to add weight or speed as with a twin cylinder engine etc. we will need to add a rear disk. At least they didn't suggest that a bike that red lines at 5,500 rpms needs a tach. Scooter Bob claims that is is possible to rubber mount an engine even when it is an integral part of the frame but one has to ask why?

I would suggest that we not read too much into the article. I find that I am usually too sensitive about these things anyway. I think they call it like they see it from their particular point of view. It might be like me writing an article about a Hyabusa - nice bike for someone else.


E-mail sent to MCN
Scott,
Here is what I have come up with. If you need more please call. 1-507-333-0714 , hope you had a good time riding the bike today. I will be interested in your fuel experience today. Once they get good and broken in they can produce some interesting numbers. - Kevin

Fork rake angle – 27 degrees on the C5 (In India this bike is called the "Classic" and it can be confusing to some).

Throttle body size – 34mm as measured

Trail 3.2 inches

Front fork diameter – 35mm as measured

Front fork travel – 130mm (published)

Rear shock travel – 80mm (measured)

Front Rim Width – WM2 – 1.85”

Rear Rim Width – WM3 – 2.50”

Watts – 200 – 18 amps (using A=W/V) (from factory)

Piston Coating – Phosphate

Con Rod – Beryllium Steel

Clutch Improvement – Was five plates – now seven. Old diameter 140mm, new 145. 20% more torque carrying capacity – 25% LESS clutch lever pull effort

 Estimated labor times for the “Do-It-Yourselfer”, good mechanic could do better.

Oil and Filter – approximately one half hour

Air Filter Change – approximately 15 minutes

Remove and Install Battery – approximately one half hour

Final Drive Inspection / Chain Adjustment – approximately one half hour

Remove and Install Rear Wheel – approximately 45 minutes

Troubleshoot EFI / Access Codes – 15 minutes or less

The periodical maintenance is in the handbook you have. You should also find a small tool kit in the oval cover on the RH side of the bike.  in addition to oil, filters etc. the book asked you to change the fuel hose every 7,500 miles. We think this is gross overkill, but nonetheless this is what they suggest. There are also two rubber hoses that they suggest be replaced at the same mileages. One from the air box to the injector unit and one from the injector unit to the head. We think the advice about changing the hose from the injector unit to the head may be a misprint as it is not really a wear item but I listed it below anyway.

Costs -

Oil filter - $7.95 each. If you buy a 5 pack which also includes all the O-ring's you would need for each change it is $59.95. O-rings are mostly salvageable but we recommend changing them as does the factory.

Air Filter - $21.95

Spark Plug - $4.98

Fuel hose $3.98 (may go up to $5.98 in the future).

Hose from airbox - $15.95

Hose for intake manifold assembly $44.95

Oil spec is for semi-synthetic

BigDon

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Re: Motorcycle Consumer News C5 Article
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2010, 10:43:41 PM »
guys its critical that I get the BHP numbers they published.
Because I have been breaking my head on the Engine simulator and cant get it to even make 20 BHP at the crank with the existing cam profile.

Or a link on where and how to buy this article.


MCN quotes the HP @ the rear wheel from their dyno at 19.86 hp and torque at 26.61 lb.-ft.

If you figure a 15% loss thru the drive train that's about 24 hp at the crank.

That's not far off the spec if the motor had not been run in yet.
BigDon
REA #73
08 RE Classic, the last of the Iron Barrel Bikes.(FireBall!)
05 Suzuki DRZ 400, for haulin' xxx in the woods!
09 BMW R1200GSA for a change of pace!
http://www.youtube.com/user/SlooDon#p/u

chinoy

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Re: Motorcycle Consumer News C5 Article
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2010, 03:02:20 AM »
Thanks Big Done guess I owe Dr. Neels Vanik a very humble apology.
His software was spot on once again.
Can you tell me the RPM for peak power and Torque.
Ps: The loss would be more than 15% remember you have have two chains.
Most bikes have only 1.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2010, 03:14:21 AM by chinoy »