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Old 22nd September 2011, 19:34   #1
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Default Yamaha FZ or 1993 RE bullet restoration?

[Dear Moderators, didn't find an appropriate thread. Hence starting new. If not appropriate, please do the needful.]

Dear Bhpians, I'm in a great confusion. Need your help.

Present scenario : I own a 2010 model (Feb 2011 registered ) Honda Unicorn, which has clocked 10,000 km till date. This was purchased as a replacement for 2005 model Honda Unicorn. But I think I was wrong in my decision to sell off my old Unicorn. I'm unsatisfied by the performance of the new Unicorn. It just doesn't behave like my old unicorn (my feeling). It rattles, has frequent chain loosening issues (I make sure to grease the chain every 2000km), and top of all by 8000km, the front left shock started leaking oil (The service center promised to replace it under warranty). The engine and gear shift too is a bit harsh and rough unlike my old unicorn. I have to commute around 70 km a day, which I'm using my bike as primary option. Since 3 or 4 months, I'm getting back pain which I cannot find a reason.(the bike?)

Painfully I decided to let go my bike and end my 6 year relationship with honda.
Now here is the confusion. The options which I have short listed are yamaha fz and restoration of my dad's 1993 Royal Enfield Bullet.
I have test rode the FZ, and I liked it. I'm impressed with the performance, seating suspension etc. But, I'm bit afraid of its FE. (Some told me around 35 km/l. My present uni delivers 48 km/l). Dear fz owners, please comment and help me out regarding this.
RE Bullet is the bike I used to learn riding. The mileage will be around 35km/l (almost similar to FZ). But the comfort attracts me. Will this be a reliable option?

So friends, please help me in my decision.
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Old 22nd September 2011, 20:26   #2
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Default Re: Yamaha FZ or 1993 RE bullet restoration?

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Originally Posted by drdeepudev View Post
. Dear fz owners, please comment and help me out regarding this.
RE Bullet is the bike I used to learn riding. The mileage will be around 35km/l (almost similar to FZ). But the comfort attracts me. Will this be a reliable option?
FZ16 is a good machine. If you ride it in the 45-50kmph range in the city you can expect to get around 35-39kmpl. Riding it with wide open throttle, I have seen some scary mileage figures on the FZ16 i owned for a short duration of about 4700kms. Bhpian Driverace will concur since he too has a FZ16 on which he recently completed the Saddle Sore 1600. He is getting some excellent city mileage figures though. Its in the upper 40's range.

Dont know much about the bullet since i was not drawn to them since early days and hence will refrain from commenting.

Last edited by abhinav.s : 22nd September 2011 at 20:31.
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Old 22nd September 2011, 21:41   #3
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Default Re: Yamaha FZ or 1993 RE bullet restoration?

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FZ16 is a good machine. If you ride it in the 45-50kmph range in the city you can expect to get around 35-39kmpl. Riding it with wide open throttle, I have seen some scary mileage figures on the FZ16 i owned for a short duration of about 4700kms. Bhpian Driverace will concur since he too has a FZ16 on which he recently completed the Saddle Sore 1600. He is getting some excellent city mileage figures though. Its in the upper 40's range.

Dont know much about the bullet since i was not drawn to them since early days and hence will refrain from commenting.
Thanks abhinav for the reply. But, with such a powerful machine, who is going to ride in 45-50kmph .Let me try to contact driverace. Will wait for more comments.

Regarding the bull, I have to start from the scratch. Engine work, chrome plating, painting etc. It may cost me around 25k - 30k. Ill try to post the picture of bull tomorrow. The main issue is the reliability of the enfield. Let me wait for the bullet gurus.
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Old 23rd September 2011, 13:35   #4
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Default Re: Yamaha FZ or 1993 RE bullet restoration?

If your daily commute is in dense traffic conditions,I would go in for the FZ as it is lighter and more nimble,also very comfortable. My friend has one and it is holding very good though its upkeep is a tad more expensive(chain and rear tire wear out quicker). FE,as mentioned above,will be in 35-40KMPL range.

The Bullet may prove to be more cumbersome. Also the old Bullet may not be as reliable as a modern bike for daily use. The FE will be almost similar in both. But Bullet is a very comfortable cruiser for highways. Again upkeep will be more expensive due to regular maintenance.

IMO you should restore your Bullet and keep it as a second bike for weekend ride and a get yourself a more fuel-efficient and hassle-free bike(may be a 125cc or 150cc).
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Old 24th September 2011, 00:57   #5
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Default Re: Yamaha FZ or 1993 RE bullet restoration?

Once you finish restoring the bullet, your mechanic may become your best friend.

If you know a good deal about bullets, then it maybe a good choice but otherwise, any other bike in the market today is better for daily commute and "flickability", mileage , ease of maintenance, safety/stopping distance, average speed, servicability... hmmm am i missing anything?

PS: restoring a bullet might be a never ending process. Heck, restoring anything might be a never ending process and wont stop at a predetermined amount.

PPS: I love bullets but then as daily rides.... well, there are better alternatives out there
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Old 24th September 2011, 01:25   #6
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Default Re: Yamaha FZ or 1993 RE bullet restoration?

Yamaha FZ or 1993 RE bullet restoration?

Did you try the new Yamaha SZ which is also zippier and does gives a decent consumption of 40-45 practically as per my friend, felt the same when I personally drove its nice. Regarding FZ what you said is right the consumption I have found out from my friends it's 35 max hence I cancelled my booking on the same day when I had to take the delivery of it and got used Bullet STD 2008 with Iron cast bore.

If you are so keen about YAMAHA then why don't you think about the new gen Bullet which is a balance of both and can be used daily.

In case you restore your dad's Bullet

Advantages

1. Cheaper than buying a new bike
2. You would be driving a legendary bike
3. Enough power and best consumption compared to it's 350cc 17 BHP engine and Yamaha
4. Dad will be proud and happy

Dis Advantages

1. No that zippier like the Yamaha
2. No disc and self starter which now has become imp for today's traffic
3. Heavy machine and it's even more difficult when engine fails to start

If you are doing long drives then go for your dads Bullet, if you drive is within city and daily then the latest bikes will do the best. Hope this would help you.
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Old 24th September 2011, 08:51   #7
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Default Re: Yamaha FZ or 1993 RE bullet restoration?

Regarding mileage:
hmmm.
Well, like you have read, people do get scary figures for mileage like sub 30s!

But, I have two points which will offset this to some effect:

1. I have opened up my bike really well - I mean, a proper run in, perfect tyre pressures all the time, and disciplined service/wash/chain-lube.
And - my normal driving is in mild-spirit mode ( since you have driven the Fz - you can understand what I mean- when I say, I shift at 5~5.5K rpm )
My mileage has been consistent -42 kmpl +/- 1~2 kmpl.
(I calculate it from tank full to tank full - almost every refill about 10 litres - hence you can assume it to be as close to accurate as possible)

I had a recent run to Nandi Hills - solo and was cruising 80~90 and shifts were at 6~7K rpm and the mileage returned was again 41 kmpl.

Now, when you go throttle wide open condition for 23 hours straight you will have to settle with something like 26kmpl average. ( that was Saddlesore..)

Still we have a debate on that - since I did it when my bike was 3000+ km old. I have got feedback, like, after 8K or so - even this high speed cruising would be better in terms of mileage!

Right after the saddle sore- the next 10 litres gave me 426 kms- so thats cool.

2. New Fz-16s are coming in with a different Carb and the Torque is just toned down - so- it is better tuned slightly towards mileage. you can then, expect better/reliable mileage from it.

but, few things you have to know beforehand IMO-

- You have to follow the Chain-clean-lube religiously! makes world of a difference in the smoothness!
- You have to be very particular about the tyre pressure ( not only wrt the mileage, but also rim bends are major problem caused by improper tyre pressures)
- If you are not happy "riding" it, the mileage will only make you unhappy. If you do love it, (like I do!) - You wouldn't really bother much about the 40s figure. Know that well before you take the plunge.

The bike will make sure it keeps the driver-side-up on roads and corners.

Happy biking!

Ace.
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Old 24th September 2011, 13:23   #8
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Default Re: Yamaha FZ or 1993 RE bullet restoration?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drdeepudev View Post
So friends, please help me in my decision.
You have back pain from Unicorn and looking at the FZ? Please don't. IMO, unicorn has the most back friendly seating in modern bikes, and FZ et al, cant really match that.

drdeepudev, my advice would be to fully restore the bullet and use it. Nothing like it. There are some reliability myths, but a properly restored one from an expert mech, should be just OK. The comfort earlier bullet's offered is just matchless and your back will thank you for what you have done.

Additionally, throw a windsheild and handles, to efforlessly cruise to the office.

P.S -Oh.. and btw, did you know that fully restored bullets from the 90's cost ~1L in the used market?. They are supposed to be much better than their modern counterparts.
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Old 24th September 2011, 17:21   #9
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Default Re: Yamaha FZ or 1993 RE bullet restoration?

@ashis89- Thanks for the reply. The bullet is bit cumbersome in city riding. I had felt it. Hence I was not using it for daily commute. My ride conditions are mixed, partly through city, partly through highway, and partly through village roads. FZ is a great bike and is best for city riding I believe.

@ak916- Yes ak, I have a very good friend who restores the bullet. He was the person who was working on the bull. He too advised me of engine overhauling, when oil started leaking through the breather tube (that is the term he used). From my personal experience, these are not 'flickable'. There was trouble starting the bull. If it happens in the city, then gone is my case. Unlimited honking and arrogant stares are guaranteed.

@chanu- Great suggestion my friend. I have seen the bike yesterday. (yamaha SZ). Less expensive too. I believe it is a practical bike. But, I am bowled over by the naked macho looks of FZ.
Regarding new classic 350, I had test rode it 6 months back. It had killer looks, nice feel and promised good FE too. But, I felt it lacked the original essence of a royal enfield bike. (No offence meant to Classic owners.).

@driverace - Thank you for your input. Saw the pm. Will contact you asap.
Even my riding is in mild- spirit mode . Last day my new unicorn give me a FE of 44kmpl. So you can guess how my riding was.
Ace, you give me hopes. Regarding the mileage, if I get a FE of 40kmpl, I'll be extremely happy. Congrats on your saddle sore. 26 kmpl that time is justifiable.

@dhanush - I agree to your point. Unicorn has the best rider friendly seat. My old uni didn't give me any pain. During my days as a medical student, I used to ride 600km in 10 hours without any pain in my back. But, I'm not sure what happened to this one. Even my cousin who owns a honda dazzler complained the same. I had plans for the bull, to modify in the tune of a cruiser bike. So, I'm in search of resources.

So I think , if I summarize, You all suggest me to get a new practical bike and restore the bullet for occasional rides, right. I'm thinking the same way.
The new bike will be purely for solo riding, as me and my wife are expecting a baby November end. So she won't be riding with me atleast for another year. How about Pulsars? 180 or 220?

Last edited by drdeepudev : 24th September 2011 at 17:24.
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Old 26th September 2011, 13:01   #10
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Default Re: Yamaha FZ or 1993 RE bullet restoration?

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How about Pulsars? 180 or 220?
They are whole new can of worms my friend!! Be very careful.
If you do not have a capable mech to take care of your bike, rest assured the service center will screw up the bike. I thought only i was the unlucky one who had to face this but I have 3 colleagues, 1 with the P220 Fairing version and 2 with the Street Fighter version. The fairing version is fairly new and the guy is already complaining that the first service was not upto the mark. The other 2 P220S are 7000 & 9000 kms on the odo. They already feel like they are 50000 kms old. The engine sounds harsh and the bike feels unbalanced.

No comparison to the Honda you are used to or the Yamaha you are thinking of. If you are happy with the looks of the FZ, then go for it. Like DriverAce says, if you like riding it, then you will not bother about anything else.
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Old 28th September 2011, 21:07   #11
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Default Re: Yamaha FZ or 1993 RE bullet restoration?

Dear friends, an update. I'm finalising on Yamaha fz16 and planning to book a red one tomorrow. My unicorn is sold to a friend of mine after breafing him my issues. Thanks to all of you who have replied. Special thanks to driverace and abhinav. Ace you are just wonderful. Thanks mate. Il give a status update tomorrow. Please share some updates about proper running in. Thanks in advance.
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Old 29th September 2011, 12:13   #12
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Default Re: Yamaha FZ or 1993 RE bullet restoration?

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Dear friends, an update. I'm finalising on Yamaha fz16 and planning to book a red one tomorrow.
Congrats on the bike Dr. Happy to help! Red is a nice color on the FZ. Are you not looking at the White-Red combo FZ-S as well. Looks like a nice color. Not sure of the price difference though.

And yes Ace can give you the right tips for proper run in. The kind soul that he is, he in fact helped me run in my bike by accompanying me for short rides in and around Bangalore helping and guiding me all the way through.
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Old 29th September 2011, 12:27   #13
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Default Re: Yamaha FZ or 1993 RE bullet restoration?

If you love to rip, FZ gives only 25-30 kmpl, man my RX-100 which i used to rip more used to give 35-40 kmpl . If you drive like splendor you will get around 35-40 kmpl, if you ride like that, why buy FZ, you can well buy Splendor.

All the people telling you will get 40 - 50 kmpl is just not real, i also fell to these kind of reviews given. Go the Yamaha service center at morning and ask owners about mileage. No one will tell they get more than 35 kmpl. If you are fine with mileage of 30-35 kmpl with sane driving then you can go for FZ.
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Old 29th September 2011, 12:51   #14
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Default Re: Yamaha FZ or 1993 RE bullet restoration?

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All the people telling you will get 40 - 50 kmpl is just not real, i also fell to these kind of reviews given. Go the Yamaha service center at morning and ask owners about mileage. No one will tell they get more than 35 kmpl. If you are fine with mileage of 30-35 kmpl with sane driving then you can go for FZ.
While i agree that unknown reviews from the net are not true, i have witnessed a bike on our forum (driverace) who does not drive the bike like a splendor but still manages 42kmpl consistent. Now that is true!! I know of 2 other people in my office who are getting 40kmpl while they are not feathering the throttle as well.

My FZ16 was not right from the time of purchase. So i wont take that as a bench mark. But yes, i was never getting above 30-35kmpl in city riding conditions if i am ripping. If i ride it in 40-50kmph, then i was getting 41kmpl consistent. On long rides it was always sub 40kmpl since i was cruising in the 80-90kmph range.

If the bike is set up right at the factory and break in is done in the right way, then it will sure return good mileage. This is purely luck and chance!!
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Old 29th September 2011, 16:30   #15
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Default Re: Yamaha FZ or 1993 RE bullet restoration?

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
Congrats on the bike Dr. Happy to help! Red is a nice color on the FZ. Are you not looking at the White-Red combo FZ-S as well. Looks like a nice color. Not sure of the price difference though.

.
Thanks abhinav. I've seen that white - red combo fz-s. Looks great. It
cost Rs 3000 more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shamanth View Post
If you love to rip, FZ gives only 25-30 kmpl, man my RX-100 which i used to rip more used to give 35-40 kmpl . If you drive like splendor you will get around 35-40 kmpl, if you ride like that, why buy FZ, you can well buy Splendor.

Shamanth, I've already decided on Fz. The RTO registration will be over by this time. Even though I'm bit scared about the mileage of Fz, I decided to take the plunge. Any way, my other option was to restore a 350 cc bullet which I can expect a mileage of 35kmpl. For me riding comfort is the top priority, which I'm believing, Fz will be good enough. So, If I get a mileage of 38kmpl, I'll be happy. Till this day I prefer riding pleasure over mileage.

Photos will be posted tomorrow. I'll share the experience here itself as the time permits. Thank you guys.
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