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Old 1st August 2011, 00:10   #1
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Default My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.

Dear all, I’ve been waiting to write this since the past few months but the daily chores of life and its vicious circle has postponed it, but nevertheless I am happy to jot down my feelings in front of such esteemed members

Owning the RE – Year 2004

I wanted to write a thread on the experiences of my RE 350 but I guess with time it changed to this title. Now getting to the point, since childhood I’ve been attracted towards the RE’s & “retro look” bikes though I usually preferred driving a car for routine purposes & I feel a car is less cumbersome (no helmet , no heat, I can carry my stuff & knick knacks easily) , still there was some one in me who always had the urge to get the wind on my face & that thump which gives a feeling of pride & manhood.

When I was doing my graduation , I had an Opel Astra, MS Zen & my LML Vespa, all of them were wonderful vehicles but I felt the need to have a bike , call it peer pressure or the innate desires & feelings . My mother always hated the idea of me having a bike, but it was the support of my dad (being an ex army person & my brother an army officer, both are fond of bullets) which finally made me buy my RE Electra 350 cc (deep olive green- blackish tone). It surely was a delight to have the bullet in my arsenal & the feeling it gave was & is out of this world. As mentioned earlier I am more of a keeper & I drove my bike very rarely, only when the weather is good or when ever I felt like enjoying a ride. Got it serviced regularly without any misses or compromises, changed the rear wheel to a broader duro tyre & 3 spoke alloy wheel (rado) with which I am really satisfied till date.

Living with RE – Year 2011

Years passed, life changed, did my PG , got job , got married, friends flew places & became more like a festival which comes once a year. Got more dependent on car as opposed to the RE, changed many cars from Germans to Japanese manufacturers but that smart beast always stayed with me & till date I have driven it for just 5600 Kms. !! my bike still is of showroom condition. I just drove for those occasional trips which no car can compare to, even when I am writing this, I am remembering my Special drives I shared with my RE. The past weekend also I drove it for around 80-90 Kms. , enjoying every second of it. I have put independent seats (like the 2011 CL ) & side bags with RE Brass Badges, Headlight cap, a back carrier (all to give the bike a retro & robust look).

Let the pictures do the rest of the talking.
My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.-20110731-18.13.32.jpg

My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.-20110731-18.01.54.jpg

My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.-20110731-18.02.11.jpg

My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.-20110731-16.31.54.jpg

My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.-20110731-18.13.00.jpg

My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.-20110731-15.49.51.jpg

My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.-20110731-15.49.12.jpg

My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.-20110731-15.47.20.jpg

Call from my brother (July 2011)

My brother as I said is also fond of biking who has owned a plethora of bikes like the HH Sleek, Suzuki Shogun, Yamaha RD 350 & the lately sold ZMA. He also drives very seldom & always liked the RE but could never find it easy to live with one , his arguments includes lack of self start & sluggish pick up as primary weapons & we often used to have a difference of opinions on the same. My brother is in England these days for vacations & we usually talk about cars & bike scene in both the countries over international calls!! But unexpectedly he called me few days back & asked me to book the new RE Classic 500 (green or black) immediately as he drove one & wanted to get the bike as soon as he comes back.

Booking the CL 500 ( 22nd July,2011)

Accordingly, I went to the nearest dealer to test drive one, they were very welcoming & arranged for a test drive vehicle (black colour) within 10-15 minutes. As I sat on it & pushed the electric start I felt delighted & i still love that feeling, drove it & the huge torque got me, it was indeed a pleasure to drive, low in stance, great handling, superb power & unique road presence “all eyes on me thingy’’ not to miss its great braking esp. the front breaks which RE’s always missed. I immediately got one booked & its delivery is scheduled for mid august if they deliver on time which I am not skeptical about.

5.The dilemma

I really liked the CL 500 & my heart as of today is saying to buy one for myself (as we brothers don’t share our vehicles at all, he is simply careless where as for me a minor scratch is a tragedy!!) . Now I am really, utterly, truly confused whether to sell my dear RE 350 & buy a CL 500 or to calm myself & let it pass by.The following points come to my mind in such a situation.

Points in favour of buying a CL 500:
1. An electric start voila , freedom from kicks, I can shut off my CL at traffic lights & start it without worries.

2. A great engine with a huge torque and 27 bhp , indeed a pleasure to drive.

3.A newer model, as opposed to having a 2004 bike.

4.New thing in the market, esp. the green colour, love it.

5. I love the old school style seriously.

Points against buying a CL 500:

1. Spending money on something I would rarely drive seems foolish.

2.One CL 500 would be at home already & I can drive when I desired (though I know I won’t drive it.)

3.I can keep 2 bikes instead of spending on one, like any 150 -220 cc as an addition to RE 350.

4. Above all, my bike is so new,as you have already seen, just driven it for 5500 Kms. In 7 years !!

5. Have customised the bike according to my taste.

Dear T-Bhpians , in crux, my brain says to live & love my RE 350 which is in awesome condition & heart says to buy a CL 500, help me out guys. If you were in my shoes what path you would have chosen?
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Old 1st August 2011, 14:08   #2
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Post Re: My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.

There are obvious benefits to getting the Classic 500. It has more power, looks awesome, has EFI, better brakes and will keep you happy on long rides.
That being said, your 350 has been kept like a princess. You have spent considerable time and money customizing it to your taste, and I love what you have done with it, apart from the crash guard, which is dangerous to yourself, please get a butterfly shaped guard that will not bend inwards, crushing your leg if there is a collision or you drop the bike.

I am in a similar position, with an 88 Dec 350 std, but aching to get the Classic 500 myself. Instead, I have repainted, chromed, buffed and spruced up my 350 Std, simply because I am very attached to her.

None of us here can decide for you. The ideal situation would be to have both the 350 and the 500, at least that is what I would do, as they are very different machines that behave very differently. However, as your running is very low, keeping two bikes will not make much sense. With a heavy heart I recommend selling your 350 for the 500 if you cannot have them both. As the Classic 500 will be easier to live with for the next 5+ years, parts will be available, your ride will be at par with current tech, you will have to worry less whether it is going to start after a few weeks of standing unused, the list goes on.

Having ridden both these bikes extensively, I prefer the Classic 500 as a vehicle which is quite obviously better equipped. But it is not a replacement for the CI Std 350, which is a bike that inspite of its lack of kit, keeps me very happy each time I ride it.
I have heard of guys mating the Std 350 with a Classic 350 Block, piston, EFI kit and 18 inch rims, discs etc, explore that option if you so desire.

Sleep over it. I would wait till the monsoon ends before making a decision.

Last edited by sriku : 1st August 2011 at 14:13. Reason: missed a couple of points, corrected some spellings.
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Old 1st August 2011, 14:10   #3
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Default Re: My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NST440 View Post
Dear T-Bhpians , in crux, my brain says to live & love my RE 350 which is in awesome condition & heart says to buy a CL 500, help me out guys. If you were in my shoes what path you would have chosen?

Keep your bike..

Quote:
Points in favour of buying a CL 500:
1. An electric start voila , freedom from kicks, I can shut off my CL at traffic lights & start it without worries.

Oh come on. A well tuned RE starts without any fuss.

2. A great engine with a huge torque and 27 bhp , indeed a pleasure to drive.
Yes it does feel awesome. One point I just cannot give anything against.


3.A newer model, as opposed to having a 2004 bike.
A Bullet never ages.

4.New thing in the market, esp. the green colour, love it.
Matter of personal choice.


5. I love the old school style seriously.
You can try doing some aesthetic changes to your current bike as well.
Do let us know what you finally do.
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Old 1st August 2011, 14:21   #4
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Default Re: My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.

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Originally Posted by bblost View Post
Keep your bike..
Somehow, I knew you'd say that!
(and I'm glad you did too)
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Old 1st August 2011, 14:33   #5
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Default Re: My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.

I will go against the tide.

Sell the RE 350 its holding you back from riding it. YES!!

Get the CL500 you will ride more.

EDIT: Get rid of those alloys on the RE350.
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Old 1st August 2011, 15:29   #6
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Default Re: My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.

@NST440 - What is the make and size of the rear tyre you are running on your bike?

Yeah and BTW, I would urge you to keep your bike and maybe tweak her a bit, but keep her!
Regards,
Kaustubh

Last edited by kaustubh_vaze : 1st August 2011 at 15:44.
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Old 2nd August 2011, 10:12   #7
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Default Re: My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.

My dear fellow bulleteer,

I would suggest keep the Electra Cast Iron 350, and if you can afford buy the Classic 500.

You will never regret if you dont mind keeping two bikes, mind you two bikes which are totally different even though they are bullets. You will have a unique advantage of owning a old world charm(Cast Iron Bullet Electra) and the new age wonder(CL 500 UCE Bullet). It will always be a situational ride for example: If you feel the machine should ride you then Bullet Electra and if you feel you should ride the machine then CL 500 UCE.

I too am in a similar dilemma like you, I own a Bullet Standard Cast Iron 350 and want to buy the CL 500 UCE. At the same time I am not willing to part with my Standard 350. My suggestion to you would be to keep the Electra 350 and buy the CL 500 UCE if money and space is not a constraint.

Regards,
Navin.
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Old 2nd August 2011, 16:24   #8
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Default Re: My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaustubh_vaze View Post
@NST440 - What is the make and size of the rear tyre you are running on your bike?
Its a duro tyre, dimensions are 110/90-19 , i love its grip.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sriku View Post

Having ridden both these bikes extensively, I prefer the Classic 500 as a vehicle which is quite obviously better equipped.
Now thats the thing i feel too, though my bike is a single kick start and has a superb pick up as quoted by my mechanic, he said its a gifted pick up, quite exceptional, still somedays i get double minded, .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
I will go against the tide.

Sell the RE 350 its holding you back from riding it. YES!!

Get the CL500 you will ride more.

EDIT: Get rid of those alloys on the RE350.
Get rid of alloys, do they look out of place? Can i put 18 inch rims of CL on it instead? if yes should i put those?
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Old 2nd August 2011, 17:16   #9
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Default Re: My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.

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Originally Posted by NST440 View Post
Get rid of alloys, do they look out of place? Can i put 18 inch rims of CL on it instead? if yes should i put those?
They are heavy, not balanced and dont do anything to the looks. I had similar ones on mine. Threw them off in a couple of months. Stick to stock.
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Old 2nd August 2011, 18:05   #10
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Default Re: My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.

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Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
They are heavy, not balanced and dont do anything to the looks. I had similar ones on mine. Threw them off in a couple of months. Stick to stock.
I agree completely.
I'm replacing the 19 inchers on my CI Std 350 with the Classic's drum/18 inch rims/spokes. I have heard from a very reputed source that the handling improvement is reason enough to switch. Now if only the darn things were tubeless, life would be so much easier.

Last edited by sriku : 2nd August 2011 at 18:05. Reason: caught a carelessly worded slur, pc'd it.
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Old 2nd August 2011, 18:42   #11
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Default Re: My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.

I think you should keep the Bike but get rid of the Alloys that you have now they are not safe at all, and looking at your riding i dont think that you would need a 500
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Old 2nd August 2011, 18:52   #12
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Default Re: My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sriku View Post
I agree completely.
I'm replacing the 19 inchers on my CI Std 350 with the Classic's drum/18 inch rims/spokes. I have heard from a very reputed source that the handling improvement is reason enough to switch. Now if only the darn things were tubeless, life would be so much easier.
Sirku i have not heard many good things about the 18 incher setup. so before you move that way please try to make sure that you research well.
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Old 2nd August 2011, 19:01   #13
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Sirku i have not heard many good things about the 18 incher setup. so before you move that way please try to make sure that you research well.
@desideep: I shared your concern until I saw the 18 inchers setup on a bike owned by someone who is involved in Enfield R&D. I do not doubt his experience and knowledge, this person is considered the wikipedia for authorised enfield mechanics/engineers, and has been racing, tuning and refining bikes for over 3 decades. Here's a listing of some of the mods he has done to his bike.
CL 500 head, cylinder block and piston
AVL 500 crank and gearbox, modified shifter
BS32 carb, precision tuned along with a K&N filter
Custom aluminium swing arm
18-inchers

After speaking to him, my mind is at ease about the switchover to 18 inchers. In any case, I am holding onto my original setup.

Last edited by sriku : 2nd August 2011 at 19:31. Reason: increased precision in some points.
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Old 2nd August 2011, 19:26   #14
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Default Re: My RE Electra, a portfolio with a question.

I know that you are talking about Anthony may be, and all the respect to that guy Even i am planing to go that route but before that again i would like to test ride some 500's with the 18 setup. and then also i would need to check with Anthony about the whole setup like i consulted him for my engine works. also i am going to go for the KARIZMA alloys setup.
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Old 2nd August 2011, 19:45   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sriku View Post
... I have heard of guys mating the Std 350 with a Classic 350 Block, piston, EFI kit and 18 inch rims, discs etc, explore that option if you so desire. ...
Occasional OT can be excused i hope
Now, if all this works it'll be hot rod stuff. But Efi? that does sound over ambitious & CI bottom end+ 4s g'box dampens whatever gain the setup might deliver.

I know of a swap which'll be trend as the std uce 350's *charm* starts wearing off. Its the cast iron barrel-piston, head- carb & exhaust on Uce lower half. Most probably they'll keep single spark plug only & manual decompressor stays in place, undecided about cams yet; trying to recreate a low compression modern thumper.

To the OP, seeing that all you have clocked is 5k kms in all these years you can happily sell it off for a very good price. Get the Classic.


EDIT:

Quote:
this person is considered the wikipedia for authorised enfield mechanics/engineers, and has been racing, tuning and refining bikes for over 3 decades. Here's a listing of some of the mods he has done to his bike. ....
Its Mr S.C. Bose i believe.

-

Last edited by Rennjit : 2nd August 2011 at 19:55.
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