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  #1  
Old 07-29-2015, 05:34 PM
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rogue_drummer rogue_drummer is offline
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Default Royal Enfield motorcycles

For those who ride motorcycles, does anyone have experience or opinions of the Royal Enfield line of bikes?

An item on my bucket list is to 1) learn how to ride motorcycles, and 2) ride for pleasure confidently. I live in Texas, which is Harley-Davidson country, so other than the brand name snobbery, I can't think of a single reason why these bikes aren't appreciated.

My only concern is I'm looking at the Classic 500 or the Bullet and I'm wondering if the 499cc engine is underpowered? It won't be my main mode of transportation as I have a Chevy Silverado I'm quite fond of, so this would be more like weekend riding.

My older brother owns a Harley Sportster in the 800cc range and has no complaints but I've heard others tell me to get something around 1200cc due to the lower torque engines tend to shimey on the highway?

Anyway, any help or comments is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 07-29-2015, 07:26 PM
Jhostetler Jhostetler is offline
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Default Re: Royal Enfield motorcycles

Hey there Rogue. Welcome to the wonderful world of Motorcycles! I have to admit I'm a Harley guy myself. I don't know much about Royal Enfield. Currently I ride a 1200C Sportster, though I'm looking to upgrade again soon. I started with a 1986 883 Sportster. I can tell you that for in-town riding, and back roads, 800cc's will do just fine. I wouldn't like to take anything less than 1200 out on the highway though. That being said, over the 4th of July weekend my dad and I took a 920 mile bike trip, and the 1200 hung in just fine. (He's got a Road King Custom that I'm in love with.) I would like a little more umph though and I'm looking to get a Dyna. 800cc is a great starter bike that you can learn on, but if you are like me, you will quickly be looking for more power and comfort. Plus, my girlfriend likes a bigger passenger seat haha.
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Royal Enfield motorcycles

I love those Enfields because I spend so much time in India from 2000-2010, but they are both an acquired test and niche bike. I suggest learning on something modern with disc brakes, better suspension, handling and balance. I think you will find it easier to learn on (and safer). Its also easier to get parts, and have it fixed.

Of course, if you have your heart set on the Enfield, nothing else will do :-)
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:33 PM
planetdrumz planetdrumz is offline
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Default Re: Royal Enfield motorcycles

No matter what anyone says, get whatever YOU want, everyone has different idea of whats good and whats not. I ride a Harley Softail Custom and love it. If you go the route of a Harley, I would not get a 883 sportster, youll ride it for a month and want something bigger and better. Just my .02
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  #5  
Old 07-29-2015, 10:20 PM
wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: Royal Enfield motorcycles

I've been riding Sportsters for 24 years. No real complaints if you know what you're getting into.
They're more 'bar hoppers' and short trip bikes. Vibrations don't make for a comfortable long distance trip, but you can do it if you want.
Except for one Harley Super Glide (a real dog) before that, it was mostly Triumphs and Hondas.

I haven't seen Royal Enfield around here for a long time.
You don't need a big engine to go fast. Some very small engines are quick as greased lightning.
Comfort is a different story though. Bigger is usually better (but heavier).

I thought this blurb about Enfield was kind of interesting:

"... In 1965, the Indian government looked for a suitable motorcycle for its police and army, for use patrolling the country's border.
The Bullet was chosen as the most suitable bike for the job. The Indian government ordered 800 350-cc model Bullets, an enormous order for the time..."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Enfield

.

Last edited by wildbill; 07-29-2015 at 10:38 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-29-2015, 10:32 PM
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Default Re: Royal Enfield motorcycles

Wait, I thought that Texans do everything big. 500cc? I would advise against it. It seems to me that you have all kinds of open roads down there. I'd say get something at least twice the size. I learned on an 1100 cc, and I couldn't imagine riding on anything smaller. Bigger is better.
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:22 PM
wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: Royal Enfield motorcycles



http://royalenfield.com/usa/motorcyc...-specification

That's a nice looking bike, and seems like it'd be a lot of fun to ride.
Single cylinder, air cooled.
Like Larry says though, it's not a good bike for long, higher speed highway rides.
It all depends on how and where you plan to ride it.

I thought Royal Enfield went out of business a long time ago.
Haven't kept up with stuff, I guess.
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  #8  
Old 07-30-2015, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Royal Enfield motorcycles

There are plenty of video reviews of the Royal Enfield models on YouTube etc..

The company was originally British and when the Brits left India, the Indians continued to operate the factory and produce Royal Enfields. They recently went to an updated engine/transmission and even added fuel injection.

I get three motorcycle mag subscriptions, and it seems the main thing about the RE is it vibrates a lot in the upper rev range. It is best suited to in-town and back road use.
If you like the retro look, but want to be comfortable on the open road, google Moto Guzzi v7 and/or the Triumph Bonneville.
The new Harley Sportsters are rubber mounted, so they only vibrate at idle and very slow speed. Once up to 30 mph or so, they smooth out quite a bit. The aftermarket for Harley's is huge, so you can tailor the seating and bars to your liking. Some people are happy with the 883's, some consider them "starter" bikes.

I recently got a Bonneville for two-up riding with my GF and it has plenty of power and is very smooth.

You have to figure out what you want for seating position, weight, seat height, etc and go from there. Do your research and take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course in your home state, get your motorcycle license, and have fun!

There are so many choices it is overwhelming.
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  #9  
Old 07-30-2015, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Royal Enfield motorcycles

I'm with Ron - go with a Bonneville. Not that I'm prejudiced, here's mine in Grimsby Docks last summer:

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  #10  
Old 07-30-2015, 06:58 PM
Jhostetler Jhostetler is offline
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Default Re: Royal Enfield motorcycles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mart61 View Post
I'm with Ron - go with a Bonneville. Not that I'm prejudiced, here's mine in Grimsby Docks last summer:

Man that's beautiful!
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: Royal Enfield motorcycles

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Originally Posted by Jhostetler View Post
Man that's beautiful!
Thank you kind Sir. :)
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:34 PM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: Royal Enfield motorcycles

People ride Enfields usually because they're enamored with the name. It's a "thumper". Big single cylinder. Classic lines. About 425 lbs. And yeah, it's a little underpowered, by modern standards.
The Harley 883 weights about 565 lbs.
That weight difference can be felt, in the ride. My first bike was a Suzuki 550. 'Bout the same weight as the Enfield. I noticed the rear tire often felt "soft" on the freeway. The heavy rain grooves in the pavement displaced it. When I moved up to my Katana 1100, at 511 lbs., that tracking feeling was gone. The rear was firmly planted.
What kind of riding are you gonna do? I'd say anything over 100 miles, the Harley would be the better horse. Short trips, 'round town ..... to local events. The Enfield. In a sea of Harleys and Japanese machines, the Enfield will be a head turner. I've yet to see one, on the streets out here.
Maybe the most important criteria, get what you really want. I did.
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  #13  
Old 07-30-2015, 07:40 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Royal Enfield motorcycles

Seems like things like oil filters and air filters would be harder to find and or more pricey. For a first bike, I would think more hassle free would be the way to go.
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  #14  
Old 07-30-2015, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: Royal Enfield motorcycles

Nice bike, Mart

Love the color and that is a Great background for. Bike photo!!
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  #15  
Old 07-30-2015, 09:00 PM
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rogue_drummer rogue_drummer is offline
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Default Re: Royal Enfield motorcycles

Nice bikes!

A lot of good information here. And a lot of fun. Thank you!

Funny thing, I was planning to ride locally around town, but I live on the southwestern edge of D/FW and can be out in the country in less than 10 minutes riding country roads, and I sort of figured I might as well ride it to work some nice days on my 20 minute highway commute, so I may get something a bit heavier but still affordable? Not sure. I love the classic, retro look of the REs. But I'm talking myself out of the 500cc in favor of something bigger and heavier.

My friends who ride (and my wife) have made me swear an oath just about to take a certified beginner's riding class, so that is the first item on the list to do. I don't believe I'd even attempt to ride without first going thru the course. Most of my friends have never had an accident or have even come close to having trouble, but insist the beginner class is a must. There are several close to me that have weekend courses for $150 - $200 so I'll be checking into those soon.

Thank you again!
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Last edited by rogue_drummer; 07-30-2015 at 09:16 PM.
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  #16  
Old 07-30-2015, 09:24 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Royal Enfield motorcycles

Gravel is dangerous, especially on a curve. My bike slid out from under me on gravel going about 3 mph making a U turn on my street.
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  #17  
Old 07-30-2015, 10:26 PM
Jhostetler Jhostetler is offline
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Default Re: Royal Enfield motorcycles

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Gravel is dangerous, especially on a curve. My bike slid out from under me on gravel going about 3 mph making a U turn on my street.
I second this. The beginning of this summer my dad and I were going to a "blessing of the bikes" ceremony, and I hit gravel doing 60 around a tight (and rather notorious up here) curve. Got trapped under the bike for about 50 feet of road. I was very lucky and managed to walk away with only a few stitches in my right knee. Wasn't wearing a helmet either which was stupid. Take the class. I did when I learned to ride, and it more than likely saved my butt from this happening to me a long time ago.
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  #18  
Old Yesterday, 08:46 PM
wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: Royal Enfield motorcycles

Hey rogue_drummer: if you ever decide to get a Sportster and hang with some dyed in the wool Harley guys, be prepared to take a little joking.

"I thought you were gonna' get a Harley, you only got a Half-a'-Harley".

"Nice dirt bike". Stuff like that.

Most guys who start riding when they're very young, start small and work their way up the cc/cubic inch ladder.
Most adults start with a bigger bike.
I started riding young, and never got the concept that a 900 or 1,200 cc bike was a small, or beginner bike.

In Texas, you'd probably fit right in with a Boss Hoss: http://motorcycles.about.com/od/howt...e-You-Hate.htm

Personally - if I were the type of guy who wanted to go big to impress people, and had a half million to drop on a bike, I'd get a Tomahawk:
http://www.allpar.com/cars/concepts/tomahawk.html

That ain't me though - thank the gods - LOL
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