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Author Topic: Difference Between AVL and UCE Engines  (Read 3519 times)

uspickle

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Difference Between AVL and UCE Engines
« on: July 30, 2008, 05:31:29 PM »
I will be making my purchase of a Bullet Military either this fall or sometime next spring and am wondering about the different engines available. Seems like the majority of the forum users recommend the iron engines, but those are no longer available. I assumed the AVL ones were the way of the future but then found some postings talking about the UCE engines. It appears the UCE engines will hit the states in 2009 but I could still get the AVL engine this year. A few questions about this:

1) Mechanically, what are the differences between the AVL and UCE engines?

2) Should I be concerned that parts for the AVL engine will be hard to come by?

3) As far as reliability (the less mechanical work for me the better), which engine would be recommended?

4) I've read a few posts pertaining to getting the bikes in neutral when at stops due to wear on the clutch - would the new mechanics of the UCE engine permit keeping the bike in 1st during stops? (Thinking about safety for a new rider here.)

5) Would the Military edition get the UCE engine?

6) When will the UCE engine be available in the US?  I live in Ohio.

7) Any final thoughts? I am brand new to riding and maintaining motorcycles so I am looking for the most reliable bike I can get. The less I have to work on it the better. I do understand that these bikes need some TLC and I am prepared to learn how to do this, but I'd prefer it be on a monthly basis rather than weekly! Thanks guys.

Coronach

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Re: Difference Between AVL and UCE Engines
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2008, 05:58:08 PM »
1. Quite a bit. They're both 500cc singles, but the UCE will be fuel injected and have various "black box" electronic controls. The AVL is essentially an iron engine that is aluminum and has some upgrades. More knowledgible posters can elaborate on the differences better than I can.

2. In the immediate future? No. India requires that manufacturers make spares available for all discontinued models for a number of years. Even then, there are enough AVLs around that someone, somewhere, will make replacement parts. Parts availability will not be as good as an iron engine though.

3. No clue yet. The UCE ain't even out yet, so it's hard to say.

4. No idea.

5. Yes.

6. 09, I believe (?)

7. PROBABLY the UCE will be a better bet, but who knows? By design, you should not have to fiddle with much, but that's the design, not reality.

Mike
Columbus, OH
2008 Black Classic ES "Last One"
1050 miles on the clock
OH! ... IO!

meilaushi

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Re: Difference Between AVL and UCE Engines
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2008, 08:48:28 PM »
I suspect, from what I've read and seen, that the UCE, when it comes out will be on all the bikes, as it's being made in response to the demands of European/US EPA requirements, particularly the European, and also market pressures to poke a finger in Japanese imports' eye--more modern engine and all that.  That said, the UCE designers nonethess seem to also have a concern similar to that of H-D in the US: not to do something too drastic so as to upset RE's dyed-in-the-wool customers who love the Marque and wouldn't have anything else but that lovely early-looking thumper bike that looks like a REAL motorcycle should.  Technology wise, one will be stuck with the black boxes as the UCE, as Mike mentioned will be fuel injected and electronic ignitioned (a bb the AVL has already) rather than carbureted, so no more adjustments with screwdrivers and the like.  However, the word is that the AVLs and the UCEs will be as tough and dependable as the old Iron Barrels, if not moreso: i.e., fewer occasionally 'interesting' quirks.  And the UCEs will still look like a motorcycle should.. as my dealer, Matt Lockso of L & L in Hubbard OH, is wont to say, "It has everything you need on a motorcycle and nothing more."
 ;)
Ralph Meyer
2008 RE Classic Bullet ES :) "Ennypenny" (It's an Enfield and costs pennies to run!)
2010 RE Deluxe G-5 :)) "Eagle"
2010 BMW F800ST
Ridin' 58 years & counting!  Back roads are fun! Member IBA.

StL_Stadtroller

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Re: Difference Between AVL and UCE Engines
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2008, 09:03:03 PM »
IMHO, the moment the UCE hits will be the moment that the Bullet ceases to be a Bullet.

Not that the new UCE bike won't be great on it's own merits, I just think that it's much too far a departure from the original to still be badged a Bullet. To still call it a Bullet would disgrace the legacy of Bullet and a dis-service to the new bike.

It will be the "New Beetle" or the BMW-Mini of the motorcycle world.  ::)
Brian Wittling, St. Louis, MO
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uspickle

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Re: Difference Between AVL and UCE Engines
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2008, 09:07:33 PM »
meilaushi, thanks for the info. You mention that your dealer is in Hubbard, OH. That is the closest one to me and the one I was planning on using. Any more info you can give me on them? Thanks!

Eamon

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Re: Difference Between AVL and UCE Engines
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2008, 11:30:23 PM »
IMHO, the moment the UCE hits will be the moment that the Bullet ceases to be a Bullet.

Not that the new UCE bike won't be great on it's own merits, I just think that it's much too far a departure from the original to still be badged a Bullet. To still call it a Bullet would disgrace the legacy of Bullet and a dis-service to the new bike.

It will be the "New Beetle" or the BMW-Mini of the motorcycle world.  ::)
Naturally, we are all entitled to our own opinion, but I think that's a bit silly.   ???  I see it simply as part of the evolution of the Bullet.  There's been no shortage of vehicles out there that have gone through more evolution in 5 years than the Bullet has in 50 years.  The Bullet is getting a new powerplant, but will likely still look and feel basically like a Bullet.  The "New Beetle" and BMW "Mini-Cooper" are completely unrelated to their namesakes beyond some basic design cues.

Eamon
« Last Edit: July 30, 2008, 11:32:32 PM by Eamon »
Eamon in Seattle
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Prairie Hunter

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Re: Difference Between AVL and UCE Engines
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2008, 12:30:46 AM »
Naturally, we are all entitled to our own opinion, but I think that's a bit silly.   ???  I see it simply as part of the evolution of the Bullet.  There's been no shortage of vehicles out there that have gone through more evolution in 5 years than the Bullet has in 50 years.  The Bullet is getting a new powerplant, but will likely still look and feel basically like a Bullet.  The "New Beetle" and BMW "Mini-Cooper" are completely unrelated to their namesakes beyond some basic design cues.

Eamon
I don't know if I quite agree with that.
Perhaps the Beetle and Mini comparison is a little harsh, though.  You have to admit, at the very least, it's going to be the "New Coke" bullet.  (hopefully with better success)
For me, the first thing that attracted me to the Bullet was a small ad in the back of a now forgotten motorcycle magazine I saw a number of years ago in a salon my wife was working in at the time.  A tiny ad in the classified section--the Royal Enfield Logo, with the phrase "untainted by technology".

That's what hooked me.  My '08 iron head is an honest to god leftover from another time.  The new, advanced Bullet may be a stronger, faster, more reliable machine, but it's kind of false advertising--it only looks old fashioned. 

It's all a matter of personal opinion to be sure, and I don't doubt they'll be wonderful bikes, but I'll be just a little sad to see them.  To me, they'll still look unique, but they just won't have the wonderfully quirky personality of the classic, tried and true Bullet.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.  Keep the change.

 ;)

2008 Classic Bullet ES "Bettie"
REA Member #13

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: Difference Between AVL and UCE Engines
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2008, 02:36:33 AM »
The new UCE Bullet called the "C5" is based on an older Bullet model than the current Bullet. After it is out it will be interesting to see what people call it. I can guarantee you that it will NOT be available as a Military model in 2009. If you want a Military get the AVL. It will be less expensive and parts will be available for a long time.

baird4444

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Re: Difference Between AVL and UCE Engines
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2008, 04:21:52 AM »
IMHO, the moment the UCE hits will be the moment that the Bullet ceases to be a Bullet.
Not that the new UCE bike won't be great on it's own merits, I just think that it's much too far a departure from the original to still be badged a Bullet. To still call it a Bullet would disgrace the legacy of Bullet and a dis-service to the new bike.
It will be the "New Beetle" or the BMW-Mini of the motorcycle world.  ::)

I agree-
no longer will we be able to say that we are riding an "English" bike...
but; I'm thinking that after the UCE is out for a year or 2; I'll have one!!
To me they are kind of an early retro japco...  sorry,  but if the dependability
is there, the higher speeds are there, my bullet will be close to 10 years old,
WHY NOT??  - Mike
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 but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly'
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uspickle

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Re: Difference Between AVL and UCE Engines
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2008, 05:27:08 PM »
The new UCE Bullet called the "C5" is based on an older Bullet model than the current Bullet. After it is out it will be interesting to see what people call it. I can guarantee you that it will NOT be available as a Military model in 2009. If you want a Military get the AVL. It will be less expensive and parts will be available for a long time.

So does this mean that beginning in 2009 there will no longer be any RE Military motorcycles made and that once the 2008's are gone they are gone for good??? Or will there be 2009 AVL models of the Military? Thanks.

Jon

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Re: Difference Between AVL and UCE Engines
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2008, 06:39:36 PM »
The UCE surely has the same sort of relationship to the AVL and iron Bullets
as the Crusader/ New Bullet unit construction REs bore to their predecessors.

Incidently you haven't been riding an English Bullet unless yours dates from pre
1962, you are riding an Indian bike albreit one that has close family ties with
Redditch.

Enfield deserve a great deal of credit for their continued development of the basic
design and the UCE is still recognisably an Enfield and a Bullet, in my opinion
a lot closer to the original than say the new Bonneville is to the old.

Don't worry though everybody is a luddite about something!

Just my 5 eggs worth

Jon

Jon

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Re: Difference Between AVL and UCE Engines
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2008, 08:13:18 PM »
Did a bit of poking around on the factory website and looked at the spec for the
350 UCE "Thunderbolt Twin Spark" released in India. The unit engine shares the
same 70x90 bore and stroke of all the previous 350 Bullet models and in 350 form
seems to claim between 19 and 20 BHP.
This is not much different to either the Indian Bullet,the Redditch Bullet or the
Crusader based New Bullet.
Apart from the fuel injection and a (hopefully) slicker gear box I can't see the
riding experiance being inferior to the older machines and with a long stroke
engine it is still much more in the British tradition than any of the Japanese singles.
I think one with a "Continental" cosmetic kit would look quite fetching,especially
if they put that chequered tape around the fork legs.

Bath Bullet

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Re: Difference Between AVL and UCE Engines
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2008, 12:17:21 PM »
IMHO, the moment the UCE hits will be the moment that the Bullet ceases to be a Bullet.

Not that the new UCE bike won't be great on it's own merits, I just think that it's much too far a departure from the original to still be badged a Bullet. To still call it a Bullet would disgrace the legacy of Bullet and a dis-service to the new bike.

It will be the "New Beetle" or the BMW-Mini of the motorcycle world.  ::)
:'( I could'nt agree more, it will be a sad, sad day :'(
Best regards
Terry
BITING THE BULLET:  2001 500 CLASSIC living in Sunny Bat, Somerset
Also 2008 TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE 865 EFI

ace.cafe

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Re: Difference Between AVL and UCE Engines
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2008, 03:04:27 PM »
Regarding comments about "Luddites", all I can say is,
"I  resemble that remark!"
 ;D

However, I have had the opportunity to see quite a number of photos of the UCE engine cases from various angles, with covers off and cases split. And I can say that the internals are quite similar in layout as the earlier Bullets. It's not really as different inside, as the outside seems to appear.
Crank, cams, and lifters, all are in their traditional places, and may even use similar/same parts, but I don't know for sure. The case looks like a nice pressure-casting with good strong webs and construction. There is an oil-pressure gallery to the location of the lifters, which allow the hydraulic lifters to get their oil pressure.
I have heard a rumor that the internals of the 5-speed gearbox have just been moved inside the UCE unit case, and will share parts with the present 5-speed gearbox.
I't's almost like they just combined the engine case and gearbox case into the same case, and made a few upgrades on the basic engine design, and then radically changed the external appearance.
To me, it looked more "familiar" on the inside, than it does on the outside.

I can't say I'm totally "wild" about the external appearance of it, but it may "grow on me" as time goes by.
Of course, I'm a "Luddite", so that's to be expected!

Ace
« Last Edit: August 27, 2008, 03:07:21 PM by ace.cafe »
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Bankerdanny

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Re: Difference Between AVL and UCE Engines
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2008, 04:16:04 PM »
I can't think of any reason why the internals would need to be that different. The UCE setup should allow for a more rigid engine structure and so add some additional rev capacity. A plain bearing crank would be good.

The combined engine/trans will eliminate the need for two weights of oil. Hydraulic lifters reduce maintenance. EFI should reduce the carb fiddling (although I understand that the fiddling is part of the appeal of the bike for many of us).

If the head design and timing are basically the same, we should get the same exhaust cadence we have come to know and love.

What we will lose is probably some of the exaust note due to the catalyst (although not too much I hope). The EFI will make it harder to mod the engine, but as we have seen with cars and the ever more common injected bikes, that doesn't mean that there won't be plenty of ways to improve performance if you want.

Overall the UCE engine should open up RE to a whole new class of riders who want a classic look and sound, but not a classic maintenance regimen. For everyone else there will be plenty of used bikes around to satisfy the "purist" who wants the classic carburated, iron barrel Bullet.
Endeavor To Persevere