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  #1  
Old 11 May 2008
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Royal Enfield 500 comments 7000 miles

I just came back from India where I drove over 7000 miles 2 up with luggages.
The bike is easy to drive , the kick start is the best way to start the bike as the electric starter is not reliable, the front brake ( disc) is pretty good but at 80 KM/H loaded you may want to be carefull,the bike is very confortable even two up with hard luggage we drove some days for more than 10 hours and were not really tired. The engine runn great and have enough power to pull you across mountains but don't espect more than 40 to 50KM/H.

Reliability:
The components are basic and need almost attention almost every day, check all screws loose, make sure that your valve are set ok ( every 3 to 4 days for me),change the oil frequently ( every 2000 KM ),the wheel bearing are cheap and I had to change mine on the side of the road after 3000 km , the chaine is OK but get very flexible if you are very loaded .

If you like to work on your bike I will recommand the RE but if you are like me and prefer to enjoy riding rather than fixing the RE isnot for you.

Hope this will help you guys.
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Old 11 May 2008
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Indian model

An interesting and useful set of comments on the RE Hendi.

Just to be clear, I imagine that you are referring to the 500cc that is sold in the Indian market (hired or bought there): I say this because the version sold in Europe is different in some aspects, including the engine, to meet the different regulations.
The European model is selling very well BTW, in the UK at least.

Cheers,
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Old 11 May 2008
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Royal Enfield

you were right ,I am talking about the model found in India.
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Old 11 May 2008
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Hendicaf, can I ask, was this the old 1949 engine, or teh new ( since 1992 lean burn engine) and 4 or 5 speed gearbox.. I am interested how they compare. Thanks
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Old 30 May 2008
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An interesting little thread, thanks for the usefull comments. Especially as me and a mate are riding India built 500's from the UK to Mongolia in the summer.

I hope that we have as good reliability as you did.
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Old 30 May 2008
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Royal Enfield

sorry for the late answer , I was away.the bike was the new generation with 5 gear and electrical starter.
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Old 31 May 2008
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Thanks... the electrical starter was fitted to the old type engine also from about 1990. Was yours a lean burn?
How was the gearbox? the special builders use and abuse the five speed sometimes with quite large diesel engines.
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Old 31 May 2008
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500 enfield

mine was a lean burn, regarding the gear box I had no problem and the gear were fairly well spaced. I will have enjoy a bit more power on first gear but that can be work with different sproket. The top speed 1 up was about 110KM, 2 up you could reach 100 but not very fast.
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Old 31 May 2008
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Thanks for your clarification, and useful information.
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  #10  
Old 2 Jun 2008
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We have done around 6000 miles on our enfields. 500 lean burn electra's.
The wifes bike is still pretty vibe free, has survived a tumble and the only thing has been a snapped clutch cable at 5000 miles.seemed quite a short time to me but there you go.
Mine on the other hand is on engine number 3.The others lasted 99 and 1200
respectivly before the same thing happened.piston clip came out, destroying piston / sleeve etc.replaced motors under warranty first time and goodwill second time as outside 1 year warranty. Valve clearance closes up and needs adjusting quite frequently. 3rd motor now vibrating so bad am considering either getting crank balanced or selling the bikes - which would be a shame as hers has been no trouble. Mine however is green - so maybe there is something to unlucky green bikes.
not got alot of confidence in setting off for long distances on mine now thats for sure.
saying that they are reasonably easy to work on - even at the side of the road, which may well be important, and unbeleivably economic 80+ mpg.
There was a blog on the travellers tales, richard meyer I think - went down thru africa and then most of the way back up but needed 2 or 3 engine rebuilds along the way.You don't find many jap/other bikes needing that level of repair or maintenance...
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Old 5 Jun 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HendiKaf View Post
mine was a lean burn, regarding the gear box I had no problem and the gear were fairly well spaced. I will have enjoy a bit more power on first gear but that can be work with different sproket. The top speed 1 up was about 110KM, 2 up you could reach 100 but not very fast.
That seems pretty poor. My 500 with the classic motor will clock in over 80mph, not that you would want to hold it there for an extended period of time.

Stephen

you got the tools thing sorted, I take it?
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Old 5 Jun 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikerz View Post
There was a blog on the travellers tales, richard meyer I think - went down thru africa and then most of the way back up but needed 2 or 3 engine rebuilds along the way.You don't find many jap/other bikes needing that level of repair or maintenance...

Strikes me that bike travel like everything is becoming overly techno-dependent, ie: based around a bike that will get you from dealer a to dealer b or complete the trip without requiring anything beyond some oil or maybe a chain (gasp). The upshot is that so called "travellers" don't have to concern themselves overly with the "how" of the bike anymore and bikes that need a little TLC like the Bullet put people off taking them. After posting the above reply with regards to speed I checked out the gallery - bloody hell! - now I am no longer surprised. In fact I am surprised it got around at all.

In the 19th century explorers used to take all sorts of things on expeditions including dining tables etc, everything they could possibly need. Could it be that the art of travelling light by motorcycle is being lost?



Stephen
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Old 5 Jun 2008
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Royal Endfield

Keep in mind that one of the side case was pretty much full of tools and spare part( which I did need in many places) I went to remote places where you don't want to have to wait for a dealer to send you some part. two up do force you to take twice more gear, I will soon post video of the ride.
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Old 5 Jun 2008
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So what did you take and what did you use? From your description nothing went wrong. Checking the valves every three days seems a bit OTT to me, same with the oil but if it makes you happy.

Had you owned the bike you would have had an opportunity to fettle it before you left and used loctite on the fasteners - no problems! Loctite is the new copperslip where Enfields are concerned.

Stephen
PS
On reflection I think your comment:
"If you like to work on your bike I will recommand the RE but if you are like me and prefer to enjoy riding rather than fixing the RE isnot for you."

a bit unfair to the bikes and to riders also. I like to ride as much as the next person but I enjoy it more knowing I have fettled the thing myself. In point of fact your comment goes a long way to proving the point I made above about the way so called "travelling" is headed.

Last edited by Stephen; 5 Jun 2008 at 20:35.
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Old 5 Jun 2008
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Talking Royal Enfield

I had few punctures 5 or 6 ,1 wheel bearing ,one bearing from the gear box,the chaine broke, the bike drank oil like a fish drink water,1 cable clutch started to fail,few electrical repairs, ton of loctite,grease, spare tubes and my oil pumpe start to fail so I replace it before its too late.I am like most of us and prefer to ride my bike rather than swaiting bullet on the side of the road hoping to fix it before dark. But I wanted to live the myth and ride arround India on an RE, I do most of my trip arround the world with very reliable bike (most of the time)
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