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Royal Enfields your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by nightgash, May 8, 2007.

  1. Hello, my brother is set on getting a new Royal Enfield Electra. Has anyone had any experience with these motorcycles? He will be using it mostly for leisurely weekend rides and to occasionally commute to work. He loves the classic looks hence liking the Royal Enfield in the first place. He also likes the new Triumph Thruxton however they are just too expensive at $13K+

    They seem pretty gutless but I guess they would get amazing fuel economy? How reliable and comfortable are they to ride would be his main concern?

  2. Don't know much about them really, but I do believe you need to be mechanically minded to own one. The service intervals are only 5,000 ks apparently. Comparing an Enfield with a Hinkley Triumph is like comparing your Granny with Jessica Alba....
  3. Under powered (for a 500), uncomfortable, crap handeling, shitty fuel economy, older Indian Enfields had wireing problems.

    Now having said all that i'd have one in my shed if i had spare cash, there a classic looking beastie, a mate of mine has one for sunday rides and loves it.
  4. The Royal Enfield is great for nostalgia, leisurely riding on a sweet sunny day would be all its about imo, I wouldn’t be punting it down the Hume Hwy or commuting with lane splitting and hard take offs, it would behave like a pig under those conditions, would say you get sick of it fairly quickly.
    I have been to the Royal Enfield distributor in Kyneton, has a great display of stuff there, cozy side cars, even had a diesel Enfield, all the current range and optional extras.
  5. Call their office in Kyneton and see if you can have a look at one.....yes the assemble them in kyneton about 800meters form my place.

    Call in for a coffee while you are in town :)
  6. Yeah my brother gave them a ring and they said for him to come for a test ride. He is on his restricted license at the moment but is waiting for LAMS to come into Victoria later this year as the Enfield is only like 25hp it should have no problem being a LAMS approved bike.
  7. I hope he's a very patient bloke, by the time LAMS is aproved here he'll be off restrictions anyway
  8. Are you sure LAMS is comming??? really sure?? I wouldn't hold my breath. :?
  9. A royal enfield is NOT a replica of a 1950's bike.. it is a 1950's bike being made today.

    So long as you understand that then all is cool. Expect maintainance.

    If you want a victorian learner leagl 250 very similar then you should be looking at a Z250C Kawasaki or a GN250 Suzuki. Both very good little bikes and cheap as.

    There's nothing remotely similar being sold new now.
  10. There is Yamaha SR400... yes, they are still made in Japan, and Deus Ex Machina (in Sydney) import some of them. If you pass their shop on Parramatta Rd you can see it on display, or at least you could a couple of weeks ago. Beautiful classic looking machine, almost a match for the Enfield in the looks department, but I would imagine hugely easier to live with in terms of maintenance and reliability.

    Edit: Or, Deux Ex Machina can turn it for you into an even more tasty-looking cafe racer, if that's your thing. (and if your budget allows)
  11. Build quality of the Royal Enfields does seem pretty nasty especially given they're not that cheap brand new - service intervals are also fairly frequent. If that's the sort of thing he's after then best idea would be to try and track down a 2nd hand Kawasaki W650. It looks just like an old British bike, it even has the classic english 360 degree firing order - but it has the reliability of a modern Japanese bike.
  12. Aye, but too my slight suprise W650 actually isn't on the LAMS list - I just checked... otherwise yes, it would be perfect. Same deal as with SR400 - still made in Japan, imported by Deus guys.
  13. What he said. They are bikes from a simpler time, when riding involved a lot more mechanical involvement with your machine. Not that I'd know, last thing I kick-started was a cat, but it's the sort of machine you'd need to conect with to get the most out of ownership.

    I'd imagine the ride experience would be pretty much unique on a recent model bike - there's a wonderful feeling to riding such a proudly ancient and thoroughly dangerous machine. I wish your brother all the best with it, I'd love to take one for a test ride.
  14. That is surprising, the power/weight is nowhere near the LAMs limit :? . Of course given the fact that the OP is in Victoria and also mentioned the Thruxton I assumed LAMs wasn't an issue anyway.
  15. There are 2 basic families of the 500 Enfields, there is the original version with the levers reversed to the current style and there are the new Electras which have increased maintenence intervals and are easier to live with.

    I'd love one to if I could justify another bike, but they are really best regarded as a sunny sunday arvo cruiser rather than a replacement for a regular bike.

    They are happier at 90 than 110 and happier still at 80kph, that's fine around town and even on the backroads but not the sort of performance best suited to the freeways.

    They sound and feel wonderful if ridden within their design envelope though :)
  16. Evryone who has one say they love them, but they would wouldn't they? I love the look of them I guess you would know you were riding them. Yep as a second bike or one for a cafe racer project I would get one. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:
  17. Love them - don't have one, but would like one. Simple, do what you need them to and relatevely cheap. Less moving parts usually means easier/cheaper repairs/maintenance and will suit the type of riding he plans to do. They also run on pretty much anything that's combustible :)
  18. There is a huge difference between the old one's and the new electra enfields.

    Over the past decade, ownership of royal enfield changed hands, and build quality has improved dramatically.

    The electra is a completely new aluminium engine, upgraded from the old iron barrel ones that are essentially unchanged from the 1950's.

    Spoke to a bloke riding one of the old one's, a mid-90's, said he had no problems, rode it every day in all weather, nothing had ever gone wrong.

    Go with the electra and you shouldn't go wrong. You can do 110km/h sustainably on the electra's. There are simple mod's to upgrade power which your dealer should be able to cheaply sort out, though power's obviously not what this bikes about.

    Service intervals are doubled on the electras over the old iron barrels, and the build quality and reliability is reportedly much improved.
  19. Should note too that they don't hold their value used- They're cheap enough new, buy one new if he plans to keep it for a while, but if he wants good value, buy one used, they're very cheap.
  20. They don't regularly come up in the second hand market for a newish one. I am interested in these so called power mods you can do to them! Thanks for everyones help!