Author Topic: Enfield thoughts  (Read 474 times)

Itsme

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Enfield thoughts
« on: May 13, 2024, 08:29:31 AM »
Hello

As you know I have begun to appreciate Newzuki more and get enjoyment from riding it. But. There's always a but. Being a motorcycling type I always have an eye on what bike I might like next. To which end I went and test rode a new Royal Enfield Classic 350.

My first impression as I rode away from the dealer was how agricultural the bike felt, bearing in mind I have owned a couple of Enfields before, and how harsh it felt in comparison to Newzuki. My second impression was....."where is the effing gear lever?!!!!! The gear lever had been set so far below the footrest that I couldn't hook 2nd gear causing a very nasty moment trying to accelerate away through the traffic lights outside the dealer. Anyway I found I could hook the pedal with the side of my boot so away we eventually went.

As the test progressed I slipped back into Enfield mode and began to relax and enjoy it and thought the motor very torquey and easy going. Brakes and suspension were both adequate and the riding position good. My shagged up shoulder didn't hurt. but I did get vibration tingles in my right hand. Obviously the bike is very frugal on fuel and would come with a 3 year warranty and be MOT free for those 3 years. The dealer has a few Classics on offer at £3,999 which people tell me is a bargain.

So will I buy one? I have some reservations still about Enfield quality, my friend took his Meteor in to have some software updates done and they have killed his bike completely. It now won't even recognise his ECU and is totally dead. India are trying to sort something out for him, but basically they may have to replace his bike. I also have reservations about the price. Four grand sounds cheap these days, but I don't think it is. It is four thousand pounds. A lot of money to spend when I already have a perfectly good bike (and of course the Mighty Midget undergoing a rebuild). But given all of those considerations would I buy one? Yes I rather think I would!

Ian

P.S. we tried re-positioning the gear lever at a layby, but the output shaft it is splined on to aims directly at the footrest bracket welded to the subframe. To change the position of the lever would mean dropping the subframe. Not the biggest job for a Thumperteer, but still a bit irritating.

iansoady

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Re: Enfield thoughts
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2024, 08:57:58 AM »
I've never bought a new bike (or car for that matter). If you can get a new one for £4K, what would a year old one cost - and by the same token what would it get you if you were selling?

As for build quality I don't have experience of the current crop but do know that 10 years or so ago there were some pretty rough examples, although it did seem to be hit and miss. A bit like the notorious Friday afternoon Ford / BL / Vauxhall cars of the 1970s.
Ian.
1964 Norton Electra
1969 BSA-Suzuki
1992 Yamaha SRV250

kevberlin

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Re: Enfield thoughts
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2024, 12:14:25 PM »
I bought a new classic 350 last year and frankly it left me with mixed feelings.
The engine was sweet and gentle, although the 1200 mile running in period was a pain. It topped out at 70 but slipped smoothly to 60 and would sit happily at that speed. Overtaking is an issue with the low level of power to hand. The gearbox was superbly smooth. Brakes were adequate.
I uprated mine with the touring seats and adjustable levers. The bike was supremely easy to ride and very comfortable.
In general the build quality was good.
My main issue was the unfinished spokes on both wheels. I never noticed them originally and would have rejected the bike had I seen them. The nightmare experience of dealing with Royal Enfield is a real issue. They were and still are awful. I have no trust in them whatsoever.
The acid test is whether I would buy another. The answer is NO.
However, I could see sense as a cheap second hand purchase, but definitely not as new. Mine went to my son who uses it as a sunny day pootling bike.
1983 Honda CB250RS
2023 BMW G310GS

xbally

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Re: Enfield thoughts
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2024, 03:40:32 PM »
No experience of the latest 350 models despite my local dealer (QB) trying to interest me.
I've had a 650 Interceptor from new (2019) and it's been pretty good TBH for the very competitive low price compared to the likes and Triumph etc. The brake calipers were replaced under a recall as was the ignition switch under warranty when it intermittently shorted out mid ride. I've covered nearly 6000 miles and it will potter about or easily keep up with modern traffic. Mine leads a fairly pampered life though. It is however  a heavy bike  but so is the competition. I can understand older people not being confident with excessive weight they wouldn't have even noticed when younger
I also own a secondhand 65 reg (2015) Continental GT535 with 4000 miles on the clock and this has largely been fine although it can be a bit harsh compared to the 650 twin.
The build quality on both my bikes is equal to most of the Jap bikes I've owned over 50 years now!
I also owned a 2009 500 EFI model bought SH and this too was fine for the money.
What put me off the 350 (although I have to confess I haven't ridden one) wasn't the build quality or "brand" reputation or even the price but the low power output and slightly (IMHO) quirky looks.
HONDA CB250RSA HONDA ST70

CrazyFrog

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Re: Enfield thoughts
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2024, 03:58:45 PM »
I'm happy with my Meteor so far Ian. I finished running it in about 3 weeks ago. I've done a few things to the bike to make it more suitable to me. Firstly, I've binned the nasty piece of bent wire which served as a linkage for the slightly forward mounted gear change and replaced it with a length of stainless all thread and a couple of rose joints for a total cost of about a tenner. In doing so, I was able to adjust it so that I can use the gear lever conventionally, or heel and toe, as the mood takes me. I've also ditched the stock air filter cover and replaced it with £15 3d printed free flow jobbie, which according to somebody on the FB group who has access to a dyno adds 2bhp at the rear wheel. It goes plenty well enough for me, bearing I mind I'm very used to low powered bikes, and I've had it up to an indicated 75mph with more still to come. Weird, as Meteor ECU's are supposed to have a speed limiter which cuts in at 71mph. Maybe that was on earlier models?

Handling is fantastic and brakes up to the job, but they're not a two fingered job. I love the easy going nature of the engine, with the new air filter cover it now has a really nice bark under acceleration, cruises quietly and has a nice waffle on the over run. It's got plenty of umph to pass cars doing 50 on a 60mph road, which is all I need. Whatever bike I'm on, if a cars doing 55 on a 60 road these days, i'm happy to just go with the flow.

It's currently averaging 100mpg in general use which gives a tank range of well over 250 mlles, which I love. 3 weeks ago I did 250 mile run through Wales at 50mph max to finish the running in. As you will appreciate, keeping away from dual carriage ways and fast A roads where possible, I was in the saddle for about 7 hours, and it's possibly the most comfortable bike I've ever owned. Build quality seems to be much better than my Himalayan and I can't fault it so far, though obviously it's early days.

In summary,  it's a relaxed, laid back cruiser and as such, even though I love it, it's not going to be everybody's cup of tea.
2023 Royal Enfield Meteor 350
2021 Honda CB125F

Moto63

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Re: Enfield thoughts
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2024, 08:08:47 PM »
I'm happy with my Meteor so far Ian. I finished running it in about 3 weeks ago. I've done a few things to the bike to make it more suitable to me. Firstly, I've binned the nasty piece of bent wire which served as a linkage for the slightly forward mounted gear change and replaced it with a length of stainless all thread and a couple of rose joints for a total cost of about a tenner. In doing so, I was able to adjust it so that I can use the gear lever conventionally, or heel and toe, as the mood takes me. I've also ditched the stock air filter cover and replaced it with £15 3d printed free flow jobbie, which according to somebody on the FB group who has access to a dyno adds 2bhp at the rear wheel. It goes plenty well enough for me, bearing I mind I'm very used to low powered bikes, and I've had it up to an indicated 75mph with more still to come. Weird, as Meteor ECU's are supposed to have a speed limiter which cuts in at 71mph. Maybe that was on earlier models?

Handling is fantastic and brakes up to the job, but they're not a two fingered job. I love the easy going nature of the engine, with the new air filter cover it now has a really nice bark under acceleration, cruises quietly and has a nice waffle on the over run. It's got plenty of umph to pass cars doing 50 on a 60mph road, which is all I need. Whatever bike I'm on, if a cars doing 55 on a 60 road these days, i'm happy to just go with the flow.

It's currently averaging 100mpg in general use which gives a tank range of well over 250 mlles, which I love. 3 weeks ago I did 250 mile run through Wales at 50mph max to finish the running in. As you will appreciate, keeping away from dual carriage ways and fast A roads where possible, I was in the saddle for about 7 hours, and it's possibly the most comfortable bike I've ever owned. Build quality seems to be much better than my Himalayan and I can't fault it so far, though obviously it's early days.

In summary,  it's a relaxed, laid back cruiser and as such, even though I love it, it's not going to be everybody's cup of tea.
What a brilliant write up Pete. It made me want to track down my local Enfield dealership and put my money down on one. Especially the last paragraph about riding in wales on little B roads for 7 hrs, we’ll jel as the yoof would say.
Glad you like it and long may your happy rides continue 👍
Cheers, Michael

Moto63

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Re: Enfield thoughts
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2024, 08:13:41 PM »
Oh. Sorry Ian I git a tad side tracked, sadly I can’t give any feedback whatsoever about the 350 however big bro has the 650 twin (from new) loves it. Given Pete’s write up all I would say is you’re still above ground so go and get one bought and enjoy it like Pete does.
Name withheld to protect me from your good lady wife 😉

Itsme

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Re: Enfield thoughts
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2024, 09:22:46 PM »
Thank you all gents, as ever your comments are thoughtful and thought provoking in equal measure. I initially thought that if I buy another Enfield it won't be brand new as the depreciation is just too much, however I would be buying it with the intention of keeping it a good long time so starting with a 3 year warranty would be a good way of ironing out the wrinkles. Also as I have had two before (a 2006 350 and a 2016 efi 500) I have a good idea of what I would be letting myself in for in terms of spannering and keeping on top of maintenance.

Now that I don't have to have a bike for commuting to work I have the luxury of all my mileage being pleasure mileage and as such my annual tally is much lower than it used to be, my 500efi did just over 20,000 miles in a year. Any new bike I buy will be a 10 year purchase so good spares back-up is vital and also longevity of likely model production, something the Japanese aren't famed for give or take the odd exceptions.

Lack of power doesn't bother me as most of my riding is on small back roads by choice, but a torquey motor is much appreciated as I love ambling along in a high gear with a lazy engine.

On balance I think I will be buying a new Enfield at some point, and don't worry Michael my wife is in complete agreement as I think she sees the Inazuma as a bit of a hooligan tool and would prefer me to plod around more!

Ian