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Author Topic: Rode the C5 Classic  (Read 1457 times)

luketrash

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Rode the C5 Classic
« on: May 03, 2010, 10:07:53 PM »
Hi, I just wanted to drop by and introduce myself and share a photo from Saturday.
 
I went to an open house event at Baxter Cycle in Marne, Iowa over the past weekend.  I got there late due to prior commitments, but managed to get there in time to ride -something-.
 
I'll start by saying I'm an owner of several Vespa scooters and parallel twin motorcycles (Kawasaki W650 and a Yamaha XS650.)   I'm used to riding stuff that won't scare me because it's too fast and I appreciate old stuff.  The C5 is 'new' but it's definitely old!   Everyone was sort of ribbing me for wanting to ride the Enfield, but I'd never ridden one before and I've always liked the thought of owning one.
 
So I opted to ride the Enfield rather than any of the Triumph bikes they had available.  I'd already ridden the Scrambler and want one of those too!
 
The first weird thing was no kick start.  I like using the kick starter on everything.  I was surprised to see it missing. The second was the gauges.  Surprised to see and engine and oil light inside of a chrome bezeled faux gauge ;-)
 
Also, what are those two little lights up above the headlight?  Indian turn signals?
 
Anyway, I started the bike and rode it about 10 miles on the test ride route with the other bikes.   They told me I probably wouldn't be able to keep up, but I managed to do so.  I did have to downshift a few times going up hills into the wind, but I was hitting 75mph on the bike.    My right foot nearly went to sleep from all the vibration I was getting out of the bike from 55-75mph.   I have owned a Honda CB360 and a Suzuki GN400 in the past, so I am used to that feeling.     
 
After riding it for about half a mile, I felt at one with it.  I'm only 5'9" tall and weigh in at about 145 pounds.  It's a bike built for someone my size.   I really enjoyed riding it.  It sounds cool.  It shakes like a piece of machinery should.  Everything about it made you feel like you were man handling a piece of machinery.   You can't really explain the joys of this to someone who rides a goldwing or a hyabusa.   
 
Long story short, I was impressed with how fun it was to ride it and I'd love to have one to ride around town, which is where it'd be perfect.   It has more grunt off the line and into 2nd gear than my Kawasaki.  I about slid off the seat a couple of times when I was getting on it.

This bike did die on me when I came to a stop and had it in neutral.  It started right up again, so it probably needed some adjustments.  If I ever find a way to own one, I'd love to tinker with it.   I hate modifying the vehicles I own, but I love working on them.  So I'd probably like this bike or even an older, less reliable carbureted Bullet.   Ride On!  I'm glad I tried one out!

 
Without further adieu, my photo I promised.  It's of me leaving town on the test ride.  I was borrowing an XXL helmet they had, so it looks pretty goofy on me since I wear a small or medium.
 


bigger: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3331/4573692982_d279b2636c_b.jpg
 
 

r80rt

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2010, 10:27:05 PM »
Sounds like you had a good day of it, you'll find a way to get one sooner or later :D
On the eighth day God created the C5, and it was better looking than anything on the planet.
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bob bezin

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2010, 11:26:22 AM »
are you in iowa? you might want yo come to the RE  rally in lanesborough mn.
2000 RE classic ,              56 matchless g80
2006 RE delux fireball       86 yamaha SRX 600
65 500cctriumph
04 bonnie black
71 750 norton.
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luketrash

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2010, 03:36:51 PM »
Yep, I'm in the center of the state.  It's a 200 mile drive to Lanesborough. 
 
As someone who doesn't own one though would that be weird?
 
This is my normal ride:
 

singhg5

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2010, 03:47:00 PM »
Luke:

Your normal ride is just incredibly beautiful, Kawasaki W650 - looks very much like a Triumph.  Wish they were still making such bikes.
1970's Jawa /  Yezdi
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ren

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2010, 06:51:24 AM »
"...Wish they were still making such bikes."

They are:

http://www.triumph.co.uk/usa/2009_BonnevilleT100_9816.aspx

This is Triumph's own modern reproduction of a Bonnie. Surely more authentic than Kawasaki's version of a Bonnie copy. I tried a W650 some years ago and it was a niice bike, I'm not criticising it. But that was before Triumph reintroduced the Bonneville. Once they did, there was no place for the W650 any more and Kawasaki stopped making it.

The modern Bonnie by the way is a great machine. Terrific looking and nice to ride. I've owned one. I probably shouldn't say this here but it is superior to an Enfield in every way for those that want a reproduction of an old design but with all the mod cons. But of course it costs a lot more too.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 07:02:22 AM by ren »

Eamon

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2010, 07:14:48 AM »
"...Wish they were still making such bikes."

They are:

http://www.triumph.co.uk/usa/2009_BonnevilleT100_9816.aspx

This is Triumph's own modern reproduction of a Bonnie. Surely more authentic than Kawasaki's version of a Bonnie copy. I tried a W650 some years ago and it was a niice bike, I'm not criticising it. But that was before Triumph reintroduced the Bonneville. Once they did, there was no place for the W650 any more and Kawasaki stopped making it.

The modern Bonnie by the way is a great machine. Terrific looking and nice to ride. I've owned one. I probably shouldn't say this here but it is superior to an Enfield in every way for those that want a reproduction of an old design but with all the mod cons. But of course it costs a lot more too.

They didn't stop making the W650 - they just stopped importing it to the USA.
http://www.kawasaki-motors.com/model/w650/

I like the new Bonnevilles, and think they are nice bikes, but they are quite different from an old one.  I personally thought the W650's had more in common with the old bikes than the new Triumphs (just my opinion).  Had they still been making them, I may have even bought one instead of my Bullet.

Eamon
Eamon in Seattle
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ren

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2010, 07:24:21 AM »
I'm in the UK Eamon and they long ago stopped importing it here too. So as far as both the UK and the US are concerned it is no longer available. I wasn't aware they still offer it in Japan but the effect for us is the same as ceasing to make it and it was killed by Triumph's own resurrection of the Bonnie.

I think most people who want a repro Bonnie would far prefer one from Triumph than Kawasaki and that is what happened. The new Bonnie is very successful, the Kawa version wasn't, at least not in the UK, they never sold many here.

I agree the modern Bonnie is different from the original but it was never meant to be the same mechanically. In looks though, which is really what these bikes are about, the resemblance is pretty close. Same as the Enfileld C5 or G5 look like old models but mechanically are totally different. As was said ealier in this thread, these bikes are for people who want old looks with modern tech. And from that point of view, the Bonnie is way ahead of the Enfield - at a price.

r80rt

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2010, 11:33:01 AM »
I sold an '05 Bonnie to buy the Enfield C5, the Bonneville was a great bike but the Royal Enfield grin factor is off the chart, I don't miss the Triumph.
On the eighth day God created the C5, and it was better looking than anything on the planet.
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bob bezin

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2010, 12:34:49 PM »
well the w650 would still be a great bike to take to the rally . my RE will most likely not be ready for the rally .as its getting  the fireball kit  and i dont think the crankshaft has come from England yet. so i will be coming on my 04  bonnie.
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2006 RE delux fireball       86 yamaha SRX 600
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luketrash

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2010, 02:09:11 PM »
It'd be fun to bop up there if I have the weekend free.   Personally, I've ridden a few of the new Bonnevilles and I don't like the 360 degree timed engine that you see on the standard or the T100 version of the bike.  Those bikes bore me, like riding a Honda Nighthawk or something.
 
The Scrambler is where it's at with its 270 degree engine that you can actually feel the grunt and vibrations.
 
I grew up riding dirt bikes so the whole single cylinder Enfield design is pretty cool with me.  I'm a big fan of man vs machine and I understand why people like these.   It's pretty funny to me how many people hate on them too and can't wait to get back on their goldwing or whatever.   

My W650 is about the perfect motorcycle for me.  It fits my size well, it is reliable, and it delivers some of that old timey riding quality that I love without any worry.   
 
I think Enfield ownership would be more of a test in that man vs machine thing I was talking about.   I'm sure I could handle it though.  I bring Vespa scooters back from the dead after people drag them out of barns.   So I'm no stranger to throwing new cylinders/pistons/heads on stuff and completely tearing into engines. 
 
I'm also a big proponent of driving slow stuff fast rather than driving fast stuff slow.  I drove my 50hp Austin Healey Sprite to work today and somehow always manage to keep up with traffic if not blow right by it ;-)
 
The people in their sound proof cages sucking down Starbucks are missing out in my opinion.   Life is more exciting when you're not 100% sure you're going to make it to point B, haha.

csbdr

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2010, 04:00:12 PM »
get yourself an older ural....now THAT is a test of man vs. machine!  (currently the machine is winning at my house...)

r80rt

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2010, 04:06:13 PM »
Oh yeah, my 94 was a challange.
On the eighth day God created the C5, and it was better looking than anything on the planet.
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luketrash

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2010, 04:46:20 PM »
Yes, the Ural is yet another example of the factory not knowing when to quit ;-)
 
I'm not a miracle worker ;)
 
The thing I love about the enfield (and my scooters) is that you only have to deal with one cylinder, one spark plug, one carburetor(fuel injector?) , one ignition coil.

So the cards are still stacked in your favor if you understand the basics.   I'm sort of anxious to find a carbureted Bullet 500 to try out to gauge the differences in the new C5.   

bob bezin

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2010, 04:52:40 PM »
theres a brand new 07 at the dealer in hatley wi.. a red delux. at a big discount.
2000 RE classic ,              56 matchless g80
2006 RE delux fireball       86 yamaha SRX 600
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04 bonnie black
71 750 norton.
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luketrash

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2010, 07:20:35 PM »
And there's a military 1999 version for 1800 dollars about 30 miles from my house.
 
My wife already said no way.    I'm working on getting my garage modified to fit more bikes.  Right now parking cars is like a game of Tetris.
 
By the way, if this is a good deal, I'm happy to pass along the information:
 
 http://desmoines.craigslist.org/mcy/1712774375.html

UncleErnie

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2010, 08:21:34 PM »
Who would marry a woman who tells you to get rid of the bike?!
Run what ya brung

Blue Ridge Wheeltor

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2010, 02:14:14 PM »
Who would marry a woman who tells you to get rid of the bike?!

The seller better get a ring thru his nose while he is at it.
REA #25
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r80rt

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2010, 03:23:59 PM »
If buying a motorcycle causes a divorce,  you probably need one ;D
On the eighth day God created the C5, and it was better looking than anything on the planet.
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csbdr

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2010, 04:54:46 PM »
I love that older military...that looks like a smokin deal, depending on how it runs, etc. I think the color of those bikes reminds me more of the post-war civilian bikes....you know, how so many manufacturers put out bikes in that surplus mil. green?  My 2002 was that color, and really looked the part of a vintage motorcycle.  The newer military is the wrong shade of green, to my eyes.

WKinNJ

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2010, 07:38:21 PM »
It'd be fun to bop up there if I have the weekend free.   Personally, I've ridden a few of the new Bonnevilles and I don't like the 360 degree timed engine that you see on the standard or the T100 version of the bike.  Those bikes bore me, like riding a Honda Nighthawk or something.

Nice C5 write up but having owned an 85 Nighthawk not sure that I agree that it is as boring as you implied especially for what I needed it for - transcontinental journey from Los Angeles, CA to New Jersey that involved 10-12 hour riding days with some desert crossings.  Still have it, and I still remember how much I enjoyed riding it at a brisk pace across Nevada.   

As to the New Bonneville's - in my opinion a fair representation of the originals that manages to retain the feel of the old Bikes especially if you re-jet (pre EFI models), do some "emission  work", and upgrade the exhaust.  Owned both and currently have a 2001 Bonnie in the "stable."

     


1 Thump

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Re: Rode the C5 Classic
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2010, 10:59:57 PM »
There is an 2008 AVL listed on ebay , current bid is 2220. Bidding ends tonight. Low miles. Amazing deal.