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Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  #1  
Old 8 Jul 2017
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Royal Enfield Pathetic Part Quality Saga

The saga of Royal Enfield pathetic part quality continues. The coil of Altaf Khalifa‘s Himalayan burned for the second time. The first time this happened just after we entered India from Nepal. We jump started the Himalayan using a Tiger’s rear wheel and limped it to Lucknow. Luckily this time the Royal Enfield showroom at Ratnagiri was close by. The Himalayan was out of warranty. But the folks at the dealership sought and received an approval from Royal Enfield to replace the entire coil, magnet and flywheel assembly under warranty.



When the technician opened the part from the packaging to fit it, Altaf noticed something weird with one of the magnets on the flywheel. A gentle rub of the finger broke the magnet and pieces of it came loose. If this part was installed in the Himalayan there is no telling what more damage would have been caused.





Since the Himalayan’s magnet and flywheel was fine, Altaf asked the technician to replace just the coil. We don’t know how long this coil will last. According to Altaf, the coating on the wires of the coil maybe of substandard quality, which is why the wires touch each other causing them to burn. The Lucknow dealership told Altaf that his was the 15th bike whose coil had burned. The Ratnagiri one said that this was their 5th case. Exact same problem.

People reading my blog and watching my videos think that I hate the Himalayan. That isn’t the case. I’m not a fan of it’s looks or it’s heavy weight. But it’s a nice motorcycle. I’ve seen my friends do wonderful things with this bike, on and off road.

What I absolutely hate is the fact that it can and will break down frequently, just like a regular Royal Enfield. But the difference is that unlike other Enfields where you can tweak something yourself to get it back up and running, when the Himalayan breaks down, you are left immobilized. I mean, it breaks down properly. Full and final satyanas. There are no back up systems to fall back on. For example, there is no kick start of the electric start fails. And it will. For more than one reason. The coil getting burned is just one of them.

I will never buy a Himalayan, or any Royal Enfield motorcycle for that matter, until the company gets its shit together. They know that whatever crap they build there will always be fans who will wait for months in line to buy it. So why bother about quality? In my mind Royal Enfield is a marketing company who just happens to manufacture and sell motorcycles.

I hope Royal Enfield doesn’t manufacture too many of the new EFI Himalayans. I say this because whoever had to buy a Himalayan most probably already has. The regular “thumper” fans don’t consider the Himalayan to be an Enfield. It doesn’t look, sound or feel like a classic motorcycle they are used to fussing over.

I feel Royal Enfield should stick to building their regular thumpers which aren’t ridden too far away from civilization. Royal Enfield had one chance at a budget adventure tourer and they blew it.
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  #2  
Old 8 Jul 2017
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I owned a 1995 year 500cc for about 4 years. I found it was actually a decent bike, but I never went anywhere without tools.
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Old 8 Jul 2017
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I have a 2012 Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350. I rode it to the Himalayas in 2013. It didn't break down. But I could never get rid of the constant nagging doubts. Such is the curse of Royal Enfield. :-)
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Old 8 Jul 2017
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I view my C5 as what it is : cheap, simple, fun to ride. Neither this one nor the 2004 5-speed I had let me down.

I don't realy get the anti-fan boy stuff. All motorcycle brands design for weekend trips to buy coffee but market as though they'll carry you round the world, winning the TT on the way, cause your choice of sexual partner to fancy you and make the taxman give you money. Treat it as the fiction it is and you'll enjoy the bikes more.

If you want **** parts try F650 water pumps, Triumph coils, XT exhaust headers, everything Ural ever made or looked at.....

Thank you for identifying a problem area though. The aftermarket suppliers will be along shortly to sell an upgrade.

Andy
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Old 8 Jul 2017
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An alternator for my Triumph 900 thunderbird was over £800. They are known to be a problem.

A speedo for the same bike was also over £800 ??? for my Enfield £35
Headlamp 240 euro ( £35 for Enfield)

When the big end on the Enfield started rattling on the way back from Poland I rode it to a RE garage in the UK. They installed a bigger better crankpin, bigger roller big end bearing and a new battery all for under £600

Guess which bike I am getting rid of.
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Old 9 Jul 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
An alternator for my Triumph 900 thunderbird was over £800. They are known to be a problem.

A speedo for the same bike was also over £800 ??? for my Enfield £35
Headlamp 240 euro ( £35 for Enfield)

When the big end on the Enfield started rattling on the way back from Poland I rode it to a RE garage in the UK. They installed a bigger better crankpin, bigger roller big end bearing and a new battery all for under £600

Guess which bike I am getting rid of.

The Enfield.

No way would I want to continue to own a bike that needed crankpins and big end bearings replaced.
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Old 9 Jul 2017
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Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
An alternator
A speedo
A Headlamp
a bigger better crankpin,
a bigger roller big end bearing
a new battery

Guess which bike I am getting rid of.
Not ridin with you. Some of that bad karma might rub off.
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  #8  
Old 9 Jul 2017
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It's a cheap and crappy made bike, with an bag of nostalgia thrown in.

Trying to keep it running is part of the adventure
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Old 9 Jul 2017
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Originally Posted by farqhuar View Post
The Enfield.

No way would I want to continue to own a bike that needed crankpins and big end bearings replaced.
Point is having the crank rebuilt cost less than either the speedo or the alternator.. and unlike the alternator, once fixed stays fixed.

Truth is Enfields have no quality control. so sometimes they make bad parts which get fitted at the factory. Sometimes good parts are fitted badly at the factory. Sometimes badly made parts are badly fitted at the factory. All these things make themselves known to the unfortunate owner. Once fixed it is a good bike. I have heard rumours that just to confuse customers, sometimes they properly assemble a whole bike with all good parts.

The big end failed because the crankpin was badly made (poor case hardening) and like the rotor above flaked metal which the rollers in the big end bearing did not like. It was aided and abetted by them machining the woodruff key slot on the crankshaft badly resulting in too advanced ignition timing. I made an off set woodruff key to fix this. Now it runs relatively smoothly and will even accelerate whilst going slightly uphill in top gear. It is a lovely bike for touring and on it I make more miles per day than I did on my BMW.
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  #10  
Old 10 Jul 2017
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There was a little bike...

Quote:
Originally Posted by robdr1 View Post
It's a cheap and crappy made bike, with an bag of nostalgia thrown in.

Trying to keep it running is part of the adventure
LOL, as they say. I'm not so sure about the cheap bit any more with the Euro Himalayan going for around £4k but if you want to get to 1955 quickly there's nothing better.

As one door closes another one opens ... It used to be that if you wanted to spend your days watching the traffic go by there were plenty of east European offerings you could depend on to break down. MZs were a bit marginal but from CZs through Planetas, Jupiters etc there was a progressive inverse relationship with travel. You spent your money on spanners rather than fuel and (I must admit) I was a bit disappointed when it was (ironically) pollution regs that killed them off. I mean how much pollution does a non running engine make. They must have added the diesel fumes from the AA recovery vans to their tally.

So if those old smokers are but a distant memory we now have a genuine nostalgia powered bike that's come along to take their place. It's just like it used to be all those years ago and a mark of Britain's industrial decline that we can't even produce unreliable bikes any more. BMW and Triumph branded clothing and Harley's free tattoo with every Sportster are one thing but at least the RE branded WW2 dispatch riders coat, waders and gauntlets will keep you warm while you replace the crankpin at the ride of the road. They don't include a pack of Rizla Greens and some Swan Vestas in the tool kit for that genuine post war roll-up moment just after you clank to a halt do they?

Sorry guys but I had enough of them back in 1955 (well, not quite that far back ...). There are some areas of my past I'd be happy to revisit (mind wanders off to that petite blonde girl I knew back in ..., sigh!) but trying to fix yet another oil leak / broken throttle cable / blown bulb etc at the side of the road on a wet January night isn't one of them. Deelip's experiences just has the "I told you so" part of my brain rouse from its slumber and poke me.
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Old 11 Jul 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
Truth is Enfields have no quality control. so sometimes they make bad parts which get fitted at the factory. Sometimes good parts are fitted badly at the factory. Sometimes badly made parts are badly fitted at the factory. All these things make themselves known to the unfortunate owner. Once fixed it is a good bike. I have heard rumours that just to confuse customers, sometimes they properly assemble a whole bike with all good parts.
The technician at the Enfield dealership told us that ever since the company started using "those Ducati coils", they have started failing. Seeing the bewildered look on my face, he pointed to the coil branded "Ducati India" and said that they had nothing to do with the Italian motorcycle manufacturer.

So essentially, this particular failure is about Enfield using substandard parts. Who fits them where isn't really part of this particular problem.
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Old 11 Jul 2017
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B.O.B, What model of EFI Bullet do you own? Have you even read the Enfield website this century before repeating the same tired old diatribe from the "everyone knows that...." school of thought? Next you'll be telling me the one about why Skodas have heated rear screens.

My C5 has fuel injection , ABS and hydraulic tappets. It will cruise at 60 mph and turns in 85 mpg. I've done nothing in 3000 miles except change the oil and ride it. This of course is an export model, so will have some different parts to Deelips.

Andy
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Old 11 Jul 2017
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The newer Enfields are far more reliable than the older ones. I have a 2012 Thunderbird 350 which I rode all the way up to Marsimik La in the Himalayas. That's supposedly the highest motorable road on the planet sitting at 18,953 feet. It didn't give me any problems, apart from the expected significant loss of power due to the altitude. But I changed a bunch of parts before the ride, just in case. :-)

When it comes to Enfields, I follow the principle of "preventive replacement" instead of "preventive maintenance". :-)
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Old 12 Jul 2017
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Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
B.O.B, What model of EFI Bullet do you own? Have you even read the Enfield website this century before repeating the same tired old diatribe from the "everyone knows that...." school of thought? Next you'll be telling me the one about why Skodas have heated rear screens.

My C5 has fuel injection , ABS and hydraulic tappets. It will cruise at 60 mph and turns in 85 mpg. I've done nothing in 3000 miles except change the oil and ride it. This of course is an export model, so will have some different parts to Deelips.

Andy
Don't take it too seriously Andy, it was a slightly whimsical reflection on my experiences with them back at the dawn of my biking career where everything broke down all the time (not just REs, also Triumphs, BSAs, AJS, a few Nortons and a number of scooters (I think that covers most of the non Japanese stuff I was involved with back then)) contrasted with Deelip's experiences of the current production.

Just about all of the other stuff mentioned now resides in the great rest home in the sky known as the classic world where it's a miracle if any of them run for any length of time at all (just had a Commando break down at random outside my house on Monday) whereas at least some the 50's DNA seems to have made it through to the present era with R.E. Maybe the export models are built to a higher standard and if yours is reliable enough to survive the heat death of the universe then I wish you many happy miles on it but Deelip's posts certainly made me wonder whether much has changed in R.E. land.
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Old 12 Jul 2017
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Bloody hell Enfield are alleged to have made a serious offer for Ducati due to Audi off loading the company.........Having been a regular visitor to India I shudder to think what any future monster s electrics will look like Mind you Italian electrics..... Could be a step up Having had an Indian sparky diagnose my faulty TV by jamming his screwdriver in the back of it, it could mean no more plug in ecu checks, just get a soxxing great big wooden handled screw driver and push it into the multistrada s non functioning dash and see what occurs......... Mind u he got the picture to work
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