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Old 18th October 2011, 01:31   #1
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Default Honda CBR 250R vs Enfield Classic 500/350

Hi guys! I know- it's a pretty unusual comparison as these machines are vastly different. When one is ready to spend more than a lac on a bike, most people tend to consider even vastly different machines.

Also, I'm a novice at biking and am not too sure what I really want. I'm basically a car guy and the most experience I've had with a two wheeler was on an Aviator.

Enfield Classic 500

The first time I'd ever ridden a proper bike was when I took the C5 for a test ride. Predictably it was a hair raising ride- the rush it gave me didn't wear out even after a week. And the sound! I was a bit scared of it too- I felt that it was trying to throw me off the saddle every time I gave it the stick. And am I wrong in thinking that the brakes are quite insufficient for this beast?

Iím a bit put off from choosing this baby because of the volley of problems it has been giving its owners as Iíve gathered from the ownership thread. The fuel efficiency is also a bit of a downer. I can take 3o kmpl but less than that just doesnít make sense. Has the bike gotten any more reliable (and fuel efficient) after the ECU remap? Also, has the stability been improved with the tire change?

Enfield Classic 350

I tried on the C3 after riding the C5 and was much more taken by its laidback attitude and a bit more forgiving nature. I'm more interested to cruise along the roads taking in the scenery and not to wring the bolts out of the engine and pass by the landscape in a blur.

It had far fewer niggles than the C5 and had a tried and tested mill. Also, it gives better mileage and seemed to be easier to manage in the traffic. Finally, itís the lightest on the wallet. So, I had decided that the C3 was for me.

Until the CBR250 came along. The time for getting really confused had come.

(Does the C3 come with those hideous ribbed tyres in front that the rest of the RE line up comes with? I've seen them on some C3-s but in some, the front tyres are different. Are there lots of choices for aftermarket tyres for the C3?)

Honda CBR250

I test rode the Honda and it failed to impress me- thrice. The first thing is that I don't feel too thrilled with its plastic fantastic looks. The silver accents look cheap in finish, quality and taste. Those exposed weld joints were a huge turnoff too. Those foot pegs don't belong in a 1.6 lac bike with a confused identity (CBR250? Looks like a VFR250 to me). The new R15 feels MUCH better built and finished on comparison. I kept getting the feeling that the CBR's fairings would come loose, paint would get faded (the red in particular) and that the rear plastic mudguard would get brittle and get blistered in the sun.

Secondly, I didn't feel that I was riding something special when I was aboard the CBR250. It was smooth and responsive but nothing worthy of the CBR moniker. The gears felt smooth but I hated the tiny shifter (largely a matter of personal taste). In short, no one in my family was impressed by the CBR250 even though it was mechanically sound and had some good tech under all the plastic.

The Ceeber just felt like a Karizma with a really huge body kit. I'm gonna get brickbats hurled at for this but I feel that its price tag is quite inflated. It just doesn't feel like it's worth 1.6 lacs. I'm sorry but when it's a Honda, I expect quite a lot more quality than the competition. In this case, the quality doesnít commensurate with the price tag. Overall, itís been a huge disappointment.

Conclusion- Confusion

Why have hardcore bulleteers like Mantrig shifted to the CBR? I mean, I can understand the allure a Honda engine has- the core mechanicals in the CBR 250 are quite sound and can last quite well but is the rest of the CBR so good that it justifies in giving up a Bullet?

Sure, the Enfields have poorer fit and finish and are reputed to be unreliable but they are cheaper, hold their value well and most importantly- have a character of their own.

Funny thing was that in all three showrooms (RF Motors, Aryabhangy Honda, Muthoot Honda) where Iíd gone for test riding the CBR, the service and customer attention were terrible. If this is their attitude before they have even sold the bike, I dread to think what would be the case after Iíve bought one from them.

The Enfield place at Edapally, Cochin was a pleasant surprise. They knew that I was a total noob rider yet they gave me BOTH the C5 & C3 for a test ride. They were polite and paid attention to the customers as well. Quite different from what Iíve heard about RE.

However that doesnít make me any less worried about their after sales service and quality niggles. Is the RE after sales service in Cochin any good?

So, it boils down to the classic case of head vs. heart. The CBR might have poor plastics and such but I think its innards are pretty sound and it can stand some abuse. Itís a logically good choice.

The Classics are another matter entirely. Iím even confused between the two of them- they both are good in their own ways. Itís a matter of choosing between the hairy chested and potentially unreliable C5 and the tamer but no less niggle free C3.

Iíve been thinking about this for more than a year as itís pretty evident from the insanely long and rambling post. Please help me out guys. This has been quite a knotty problem for quite some time.

Mods- Iíll be really happy it if this post were approved. Please delete this if a similar thread exists. Thank you.
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Old 18th October 2011, 04:28   #2
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Default Re: Honda CBR 250R vs Enfield Classic 500/350

My only experience with a 500 cc Royal Enfield is with my 2011 U.S. export model.
It is basically the same as the Indian models but for the small adjustable headlight and the computer logic that makes use of an oxygen sensor to meet our emission requirements.

In 5 1/2 months of riding it I have accumulated 3,790 km (2350 miles) which includes the 665 km (412 mile) high speed (93.3 kmph average) trip I just finished last week.
The elevation change was over 1,769 meters (5,800 feet) and the fuel mileage averaged 34.66 kmpl (81.55 mpg). In town riding the fuel mileage averages 31.9 kmpl (75 mpg).

During this period the only problems I have had are one loose wire in a turn indicator and 3 burned out light bulbs.
Other than these minute problems it is running better than it was when it was new.

As for the 500cc's power it is only used when you wish to use it. In other words, if you enjoy slow acceleration and riding you just use the throttle lightly. If you ever need the extra power to avoid an accident it is there.

This is not as true with the 350cc model and a 250cc bike needs to be pushed hard to get it into its higher power range.

My BMW K-75 was easily capable of reaching over 161 kmph but I never rode it that fast. Because I never used its maximum potential it was never highly stressed and when I sold it after 12 years of riding it still ran like new.
Because I don't intend to run my RE at max speed (132 kmph) I expect my Royal Enfield to do as well.

As you have learned, a motorcycle is a very personal thing, almost like a women. Each of us have our own likes and dislikes so my advice to you is to buy the motorcycle that fits your best idea of what is ideal.

Have fun and good luck.

Last edited by ArizonaJim : 18th October 2011 at 04:56.
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Old 18th October 2011, 09:47   #3
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Default Re: Honda CBR 250R vs Enfield Classic 500/350

Quote:
Originally Posted by evilmessiah View Post
Hi guys! I know- it's a pretty unusual comparison as these machines are vastly different. When one is ready to spend more than a lac on a bike, most people tend to consider even vastly different machines.

Also, I'm a novice at biking and am not too sure what I really want. I'm basically a car guy and the most experience I've had with a two wheeler was on an Aviator.

Brother, like you have yourself mentioned - this is definately not an apples to apples comparison. Each rider has their own choice and persona of riding and the bike you end up choosing has to complement that persona.

If you ask me, I would personally like one each of c500 and cbr250 in my riding portfolio for different kinds of rides. But since you have to choose one, I would suggest ask your heart which one you would like to own first before the other. Loyal bullet riders like Gaurav (mantrig) had probably outgrown their peak of bullet riding and wanted a different taste on their riding palate after clocking hundred of bullet thumping km's. The same will work even vice versa - of riders having outgrown their taste of zma's/pulsars/r15's/cbr250's shifting to c300/500.

So just decide which sound your heart wants to hear 'for now', a thump or a single cylinder buzz and you can change it to the other within 1-2 years and try the next best choice.
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Old 18th October 2011, 10:33   #4
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Default Re: Honda CBR 250R vs Enfield Classic 500/350

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Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post

As you have learned, a motorcycle is a very personal thing, almost like a women. Each of us have our own likes and dislikes so my advice to you is to buy the motorcycle that fits your best idea of what is ideal.
+1 to Jim.

This may seem off-topic, but please bear with me.

I own a 350cc, 2005 Model Bullet Electra. It is a second hand buy, which i acquired in 2006. The first time I rode my bike in the narrow gullies of Karol Bagh Mkt in Delhi, i immediately knew that this was the bike for me. Till then I was considering buying a Honda Unicorn, Bajaj Pulsar and the other usual suspects, however, after just one ride on the bullet I had made up my mind and heart and everything else in between.

My second buy was the Fiat Linea T-Jet + this January. Again, I drove the T-Jet just once and booked the car. I was well aware of all the other cars in the segment and the alternatives available, but I did not even bother driving / TD any other car. I knew that this was the car that I wanted standing in my stable alongside my Bullet.. period.

By now you must realize that buying car/bikes for me is a very personal and emotional experience. So, I can in all honesty only recommend that you too do the same.

This way you will never regret what you plonk you money for, rest is of course your own discretion.
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Old 18th October 2011, 11:08   #5
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Default Re: Honda CBR 250R vs Enfield Classic 500/350

+ 1to Jim again. A Motorcycle is indeed like a Lady. See which one rides better for you. Everyone has different tastes. ;-)

On a serious note - It's an Apples vs. Oranges question being asked here. Heck, even the price ranges are not similar! As an almost Decade old Enfield owner, I can say one thing confidently that, in spite of Enfield's reputation for being High Maintenance and Unreliable, they age much much better than most other bikes. That is one reason why they also hold their resale value so well. All you need to do, is give your Lady a bit of T-L-C regularly.
The other bit, is about the riding posture. When I bought my TB, I was a lot younger and things like Riding Posture were not important to me then. Today, I am over 30 and not getting younger, so the Riding Posture and Comfort weighs a lot, and becomes a key component for me in enabling me to still enjoy riding my bike. I know this doesn't affect everyone equally, but this is just me. I have tried my hands off and on, on more Sport Oriented Bikes, and though they are huge fun to ride, I find that they are good for short spins. Extended day long rides, become a pain in the AfterSalesService!
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Old 18th October 2011, 11:42   #6
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Default Re: Honda CBR 250R vs Enfield Classic 500/350

It looks like you're already favoring the 350. Is the bike going to be a daily ride?

I agree that the CBR is pretty underwhelming in the looks department, thought I felt it looked a lot better in the flesh rather than the pics; still disappointing though. And if a bike doesn't excite you when new, then the feeling will only get worse over time.

So, go with your gut would be my advise, go for the 350. A first bike should make you want to ride every moment, and make you miss her when you're not riding! I envy you man, wish I could recapture the excitement of getting on to my first bike again!
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Old 18th October 2011, 11:48   #7
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Default Re: Honda CBR 250R vs Enfield Classic 500/350

I'd suggest you go with the Honda CBR250R.

Royal Enfield: Unreliable, many many niggles, expensive spares and labour charges, great aura, uncomfortable seats (compared to the full length seat), authorised service centers as bad as local mechanics. Cannot leave it out in the rains and expect it to be well. In other words, if you buy one you'd want to keep it in awesome condition. To keep it in awesome condition, it'll keep you in a pathetic psychological condition.

Honda: Peace of mind unless you get a lemon, should be fairly trouble-free, oil-cooled, better suspension system, wider tyre, world quality bike, big bike feel, good intermediate bike and has been compared to Ninja 250 (even though thats almost a lakh expensive). You can literally abuse this bike compared to an Enfield and still find it not failing.
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Old 18th October 2011, 13:49   #8
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Post Re: Honda CBR 250R vs Enfield Classic 500/350

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
I'd suggest you go with the Honda CBR250R.

Royal Enfield: Unreliable, many many niggles, expensive spares and labour charges, great aura, uncomfortable seats (compared to the full length seat), authorised service centers as bad as local mechanics. Cannot leave it out in the rains and expect it to be well. In other words, if you buy one you'd want to keep it in awesome condition. To keep it in awesome condition, it'll keep you in a pathetic psychological condition.

Honda: Peace of mind unless you get a lemon, should be fairly trouble-free, oil-cooled, better suspension system, wider tyre, world quality bike, big bike feel, good intermediate bike and has been compared to Ninja 250 (even though thats almost a lakh expensive). You can literally abuse this bike compared to an Enfield and still find it not failing.

I agree with most of this. However, I have ridden to work on my Std 350 for 6 years, monsoons included. And the only issues I faced apart from regular wear of parts, was the wiring, which was easily fixed after installing a new harness, and yes, once my main gear shaft sheared. This on a 50k + kms motorcycle, run for about 20 years. Yes, I spent and continue to spend every saturday afternoon at the garage tinkering with a loose nut here, a sticky cable there, some points adjustment, carb tuning etc. But in the 6 years that I rode to work, I was never stranded on the road once. Call it a statistical abnormality, but there it is.

The Honda, on the other hand, once the initial honeymoon period of getting used to it is over, just does nothing to keep me interested. And there lies the problem, at least for me. It is not as breathtaking as the ninja 250. It is not a specifically great looker, nor does it qualify as a bike that has something really special going for it, that justifies the purchase. If it had a twin, and put out 20 more horses, then I would urge all and sundry to buy it, but I do not think there is any factor in the whole package that entices me to get it.

Gordon, I know you are not unfamiliar with enfield's, or motor vehicles in general, in fact, your know-how is probably considerably vaster than mine will ever be. So my intent is not to argue just for the sake of argument. But give me the Classic 500 any day, it just makes a lot more sense to spend money on something so beautiful, that you just want to sit and stare at it all the time. That you can park anywhere without being afraid of local nitwits molesting it. That you can use for your daily milk run, and that weekend ghat-attack. That you can keep pace with the electric shavers on the roads now. And did I mention it looks awesome?
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Old 18th October 2011, 16:23   #9
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Default Re: Honda CBR 250R vs Enfield Classic 500/350

Well this is a question bothering me aswel and trust me last few months of pondering around i have still not been able to get an answer...

As mentioned by you its not possible to compare both these bikes.

am in the same boat as you are, but difference is that Bull is not new to me, having owned 2 bulls for more then 10+years i have seen both the sides and that makes it even harder to decide..

C500s are definitely couple of notches better then the older breed of Bulls but they still have the niggling issues...

on the other hand CBR is a refined machine, i felt it missed something and also the sitting position is something i dint like guess am too used to upright position...

My C500 is due this Jan and i guess have time tll Dec to make up my mind..
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Old 18th October 2011, 16:31   #10
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Default Re: Honda CBR 250R vs Enfield Classic 500/350

buddy u go for the classic 500....you wont regreat it...after reading your opening post its obivious you have eyes on the 500...go for it buddy..
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Old 18th October 2011, 17:03   #11
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Default Re: Honda CBR 250R vs Enfield Classic 500/350

I have the same problem. I used RE in my recent goa trip and felt so comfortable and heavenly while riding. Came back and booked RE Chrome 500, but have 5 months waiting period it seems. Excellent sales team, showed all bikes, explained it and gave test drives. For me mileage wont be problem since my FZ-s gives pretty low mileage as well.

Had been to honda showroom, sales guys are dis interested in selling CBR 250/- they tell to sit and no one comes to enquire, just walked off. I had called another showroom, they told me to come for test drive, have to check it out.

Last edited by shamanth : 18th October 2011 at 17:06.
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Old 18th October 2011, 19:31   #12
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Default Re: Honda CBR 250R vs Enfield Classic 500/350

Well, I am another Bulleteer who has jumped the bandwagon to land on the CBR. I did have a wonderful time with the bike (Thunderbird AVL) for 6 years but had some issues with reliability over the past few months. It was my only means of commuting to and from office and it has let me down in very bad situations (returning early morning at 2 AM from office) and even had trouble just as I was about to start off on a long trip. It was then I decided that I needed a more reliable bike and decided to get the CBR.

I have had the CBR for a month now and no, I don't think I will ever lose interest in it. I love the bike for what it is - a nice, reliable touring machine. I now use it almost everyday commuting to office just so that I can finish the run-in period and start using it for long tours. Have done around 250 kms on a ride and did not find it tiring contrary to what many RE lovers will dread after the relaxed riding position on the REs.

But trust me on this one - the worst niggles that you can get on a Honda will be nothing compared to the niggles and heartburn that you will go through on an RE. I am keeping my Thunderbird and will use it but it will not be touring with me.

I was actually pleasantly surprised to see that a number of Ninjas, couple of CBRs actually ridden by members of my Bullet Club to our club's anniversary in Ooty recently. So a lot of people have moved to look and own other bikes too. I am certain most of them, like me still keep their REs but.....

But at the end of the day, it is about what you really want to own. Do you want the muted thump of the RE? The "machoness" associated with owning an RE? The niggles and problems associated with it? A machine, that on the same day, can make your soar like and eagle and then break down to make you cry by the side of the road?

I surely will not say that the Honda will be without its shares of trouble. There will be. But if you really want it, go ahead, experience and RE and then move on.
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Old 18th October 2011, 20:03   #13
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Default Re: Honda CBR 250R vs Enfield Classic 500/350

Quote:
Originally Posted by salunkhe.vizz View Post
Brother, like you have yourself mentioned - this is definately not an apples to apples comparison.

So just decide which sound your heart wants to hear 'for now', a thump or a single cylinder buzz and you can change it to the other within 1-2 years and try the next best choice.
Thanks Vizz,

That was a nice and apt response and I am with you on this front.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shamanth View Post
I have the same problem. I used RE in my recent goa trip and felt so comfortable and heavenly while riding. Came back and booked RE Chrome 500, but have 5 months waiting period it seems. Excellent sales team, showed all bikes, explained it and gave test drives. For me mileage wont be problem since my FZ-s gives pretty low mileage as well.

Had been to honda showroom, sales guys are dis interested in selling CBR 250/- they tell to sit and no one comes to enquire, just walked off. I had called another showroom, they told me to come for test drive, have to check it out.
Shamanth,

I am glad you had a pleasant experience with the RE guys in your region. It's something very subjective, I had bitter experience with RE guys in Bandra (Mumbai) who have a take it or leave it attitude and on the other hand - A pretty warm experience with Honda guys @ Malad (Mumbai), same cannot be said about the Honda Dealer @ Mahim (Mumbai Again!!!).

The experience with dealer certainly can be a turn off but not something that should be a deciding factor. I guess at the end of it, it's all about the individual we encounter at the dealer with and also on what kind of day he had behind him/her. So while it is important, we will try to not make it a deciding factor.

These are just my experiences and thoughts.


@ Evilmessiah -

My thoughts on your choices

CL500 - The bike certainly had some niggles initially, however they have pretty much been sorted out. With RE the quality issues are always going to be there and that is only because they don't really have a competition in the segment they are dealing with and are enjoying a monopoly (HD is a different league, just like Ninja 250 is to CBR 250). Eventually, we are left with no choice but buy their product if we need an Iron Horse and not a jap buzzer.

CL500 is going to be heavy on your pocket as far as the fuel efficiency is concerned for sure. If you are not much of a highway person, pleas look the other way.

CL350 - A beautiful product and is great for highway cruising (I know CL5 owners will kill me for this) but when I say cruising I am talking of doing so at 85-90kmph with ease. I have done some long rides on this bike and on one of my trips from Goa (Panjim-Belgaum-Mumbai) 700+ Kms and was aboard for more than 12 hours at a stretch with periodic breaks, but the bike never felt stressed nor was I at discomfort.

The bike is good for city traffic as well, however 15 mins of bumper to bumper traffic has her burning like a furnace and a 3-4 hour highway ride never gets her to even half of that temperature. So you can see that the CL350 just loves the highway.

The new-gen UCE CL350 is a much reliable bike as compared to the older bullets. You have more peace of mind when riding out with friends (includes your lady love) for longer rides which was not the case with older bikes unless as you never know when they break down. You needed to be more of a mechanic with earlier bulls which is not the case with UCE engines.

Why did I sell the CL350 if I was happy with it?

Two reasons :-
1. Already have a 1977 Bullet 350 in the family which I can ride whenever I like. So not much that I am missing out on.
2. Am getting married in this December - So potentially, this might be my last chance to switch to another bike. Once married, you know how it is. And I had my fair share with the CL350 -- 9 months & 12K kms.


CBR 250R - I am still not liking the plastics, however what exists below the clothes is a beautiful heart which is very forgiving. Be it city or highway, the bike is comfortable in every band. Mileage is something where I have my eyebrows raised for good reasons - City - 30kmpl & Highway - 36-38kmpl (doing triple digits). Cl350 gives 3-4 kms more than the CBR on both fronts.

The bike is again not something that would be very comfortable with bumper-to-Bumper traffic but then you have the radiator fan which kicks in to make the engine feel better and ensure longer life for the internals.

Conclusion :-

City Traffic: All the three bikes you have chosen are more pally with the highways as compared to regular city commuting, however the CBR 250R and CL350 will not make much fuss if used for regular city commute.

Pillion: If you plan on taking a pillion (read wife) just check if she is comfortable with the CBR 250R as the CL350 takes the cake here. The bike is much more comfortable as compared to the baby CeeBeR.

Mileage:
CL 350 cruises at around 90kmph returning 40kmpl / City - 35kmpl
CBR 250R returns 35+ easily with 100+ on odo / City 30-32 kmpl
CL 500 - Need others to give their inputs, however should be in 25kmpl range Average.

CBR 250R might seem to be expensive, however it is a VFM product if compared with your remaining options. I agree the finishing could have been better but that is something which RE will never meet even on their tool kits provided to Indian customers. It's certainly more peace of mind with Honda.

Just my thoughts, hope they help.

Last edited by mantrig : 18th October 2011 at 20:07.
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Old 18th October 2011, 21:05   #14
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Default Re: Honda CBR 250R vs Enfield Classic 500/350

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Originally Posted by mantrig View Post
It's certainly more peace of mind with Honda.
This is something I totally agree on and the part about the mile-munching capabilities of the CBR. But again, they are both worlds apart in terms of styling and performance. If your heart yearns for the Enfield, go ahead and buy it. Its about what you want at the end of the day.
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Old 19th October 2011, 00:40   #15
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Default Re: Honda CBR 250R vs Enfield Classic 500/350

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post
In 5 1/2 months of riding it I have accumulated 3,790 km (2350 miles) which includes the 665 km (412 mile) high speed (93.3 kmph average) trip I just finished last week.
The elevation change was over 1,769 meters (5,800 feet) and the fuel mileage averaged 34.66 kmpl (81.55 mpg). In town riding the fuel mileage averages 31.9 kmpl (75 mpg).


As you have learned, a motorcycle is a very personal thing, almost like a women. Each of us have our own likes and dislikes so my advice to you is to buy the motorcycle that fits your best idea of what is ideal.
Hello Jim! Thanks for replying to my query. I find your posts to be extremely knowledgeable and helpful. The info about the fuel economy was really helpful- it's given me a realistic picture. And yes, a motorcycle is quite a personal thing indeed. I like those relaxed, unstressed old school meanies- they have character.

Quote:
Originally Posted by salunkhe.vizz View Post
Brother, like you have yourself mentioned - this is definately not an apples to apples comparison. Each rider has their own choice and persona of riding and the bike you end up choosing has to complement that persona.
It's true and to be frank, it's not really fair to compare the Classics and the CBR as they are poles apart. But, when you are shopping for such an important thing like a bike, you tend to consider all the options you've got in your budget. It doesn't hurt to check out the competition, right?


Quote:
Originally Posted by PGNarain View Post

I own a 350cc, 2005 Model Bullet Electra. It is a second hand buy, which i acquired in 2006. The first time I rode my bike in the narrow gullies of Karol Bagh Mkt in Delhi, i immediately knew that this was the bike for me. Till then I was considering buying a Honda Unicorn, Bajaj Pulsar and the other usual suspects, however, after just one ride on the bullet I had made up my mind and heart and everything else in between.

By now you must realize that buying car/bikes for me is a very personal and emotional experience. So, I can in all honesty only recommend that you too do the same.

This way you will never regret what you plonk you money for, rest is of course your own discretion.
Loved your post! My first ride on a proper was on the C5 test ride! I'll never forget that glorious feeling of the bottle green meanie roaring out of the dealer's lot like a bat out of hell with me howling in terror and delight hanging on to the handlebars for life!

But, I don't mind being shown that I'm wrong in my choices- it helps me make the next one a lot better. As Jim said rightly, bikes are like women- but do most of us end up getting married to the first woman we love? I don't think so and that's why I'm considering all the choices I have before buying one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
As an almost Decade old Enfield owner, I can say one thing confidently that, in spite of Enfield's reputation for being High Maintenance and Unreliable, they age much much better than most other bikes. That is one reason why they also hold their resale value so well. All you need to do, is give your Lady a bit of T-L-C regularly.
While I'm quite comfortable and familiar with basic to intermediate levels of car mechanicals, it's not the case with motorcycles. I've never had one earlier and my exposure to the the two wheeler world was extremely limited (all my friends drive cars). That's exactly why I'm apprehensive of buying an Enfield. Well, there's always t-bhp to help me out whenever I run into any problems!


Quote:
Originally Posted by am1m View Post
It looks like you're already favoring the 350. Is the bike going to be a daily ride?

So, go with your gut would be my advise, go for the 350. A first bike should make you want to ride every moment, and make you miss her when you're not riding! I envy you man, wish I could recapture the excitement of getting on to my first bike again!
Not initially. I'll be taking it out for nightly or early morning jaunts to get myself familiarized for a couple of months. Only when I'm really sure that I've got the hang of it will I ever venture out to the city or the highway regularly. After I'm comfortable with it, sure, I'll be using it for commuting to work and the occasional long distance trip.

The C3 has the killer looks of the C5 and the already proven UCE 350 mill. I think it's a balanced choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
I'd suggest you go with the Honda CBR250R.

Royal Enfield: Unreliable, many many niggles, expensive spares and labour charges, great aura, uncomfortable seats (compared to the full length seat), authorised service centers as bad as local mechanics. Cannot leave it out in the rains and expect it to be well. In other words, if you buy one you'd want to keep it in awesome condition. To keep it in awesome condition, it'll keep you in a pathetic psychological condition.

Honda: Peace of mind unless you get a lemon, should be fairly trouble-free, oil-cooled, better suspension system, wider tyre, world quality bike, big bike feel, good intermediate bike and has been compared to Ninja 250 (even though thats almost a lakh expensive). You can literally abuse this bike compared to an Enfield and still find it not failing.
My thoughts were on these same lines till I saw Aargee's thread on his bitter experience with the CBR250R. Sure, Honda got it rectified, but that's not something that should happen in the first place to a product that has 'I love the quality' as its slogan. That's what disturbed me.

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Originally Posted by lohithrao View Post

C500s are definitely couple of notches better then the older breed of Bulls but they still have the niggling issues...

on the other hand CBR is a refined machine, i felt it missed something and also the sitting position is something i dint like guess am too used to upright position...

My C500 is due this Jan and i guess have time tll Dec to make up my mind..
I've been thinking on those lines too. I just hope the niggles a RE comes with can be handled by a total bike noob like me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shamanth View Post
Had been to honda showroom, sales guys are dis interested in selling CBR 250/- they tell to sit and no one comes to enquire, just walked off. I had called another showroom, they told me to come for test drive, have to check it out.
My experience was the same. In the first case, nobody even bothered to ask me about my test ride and whether I was interested to book one. My brother and I just walked off too as you had done. Proceeded to give the CBR another chance twice- but with not much success. I'm the only one in my family that's even considering the CBR- all unanimously favoring the big brit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mantrig View Post

....I am glad you had a pleasant experience with the RE guys in your region. It's something very subjective, I had bitter experience with RE guys in Bandra (Mumbai) who have a take it or leave it attitude and on the other hand - A pretty warm experience with Honda guys @ Malad (Mumbai), same cannot be said about the Honda Dealer @ Mahim (Mumbai Again!!!).
Hello Mantrig! You're the man I've been wanting to ask about this for months! I'd expected the Honda bike dealers to be cool as my experience with Honda cars dealers were pretty nice. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case with them. It was the opposite with the RE guys. Wonder how things would be after I buy from them..

Quote:
Originally Posted by mantrig View Post

@ Evilmessiah -

My thoughts on your choices

CL500 - The bike certainly had some niggles initially, however they have pretty much been sorted out. With RE the quality issues are always going to be there and that is only because they don't really have a competition in the segment they are dealing with and are enjoying a monopoly (HD is a different league, just like Ninja 250 is to CBR 250). Eventually, we are left with no choice but buy their product if we need an Iron Horse and not a jap buzzer.
As I've said many times, I like them relaxed, unstressed heavy weights with character. You just read my mind- my dream bike's a Harley but there's no way I can afford one. The Ninja's out of my budget and from what I've gathered from another scary pillion ride I had aboard one, it seems like a rev crazy track junkie. Not my cup of tea for bikes. Also, as you famously said- it needs quite a bit of Vitamin M.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mantrig View Post
CL350 - A beautiful product and is great for highway cruising (I know CL5 owners will kill me for this) but when I say cruising I am talking of doing so at 85-90kmph with ease. I have done some long rides on this bike and on one of my trips from Goa (Panjim-Belgaum-Mumbai) 700+ Kms and was aboard for more than 12 hours at a stretch with periodic breaks, but the bike never felt stressed nor was I at discomfort.
I'd read that post of yours and still remember the pics quite vividly. That was quite an enjoyable read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mantrig View Post
The bike is good for city traffic as well, however 15 mins of bumper to bumper traffic has her burning like a furnace and a 3-4 hour highway ride never gets her to even half of that temperature. So you can see that the CL350 just loves the highway.
If that's the case with a 350 air cooled single, what's it gonna be with the 500?! I'd expect it to run even more hotter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mantrig View Post
You needed to be more of a mechanic with earlier bulls which is not the case with UCE engines.
Thank heavens. I don't know much about Enfields other than what I've gathered from the C3 and C5 threads.

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Originally Posted by mantrig View Post
Why did I sell the CL350 if I was happy with it?

Two reasons :-
1. Already have a 1977 Bullet 350 in the family which I can ride whenever I like. So not much that I am missing out on.
2. Am getting married in this December - So potentially, this might be my last chance to switch to another bike. Once married, you know how it is. And I had my fair share with the CL350 -- 9 months & 12K kms.
Thanks for answering something that I've been meaning to ask ever since you started the CBR ownership thread. All the best for your marriage, mate. But from what I've observed, I'm sure that your fiancee's quite supportive of your love with bikes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mantrig View Post
CBR 250R - I am still not liking the plastics, however what exists below the clothes is a beautiful heart which is very forgiving.
I'll give her that too- she's pretty forgiving. Where the C5 felt like it was trying its best to throw me off the seat and bite my head off at every wrong move (not that I'm complaining- it was fun!), the CBR felt positively gentle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mantrig View Post
Mileage:
CL 350 cruises at around 90kmph returning 40kmpl / City - 35kmpl
CBR 250R returns 35+ easily with 100+ on odo / City 30-32 kmpl
CL 500 - Need others to give their inputs, however should be in 25kmpl range Average.
Seems they are more or less evenly matched (except the C5).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mantrig View Post
CBR 250R might seem to be expensive, however it is a VFM product if compared with your remaining options. I agree the finishing could have been better but that is something which RE will never meet even on their tool kits provided to Indian customers. It's certainly more peace of mind with Honda.
This is where I beg to differ a bit. I don't think that the CBR250 is worth the 1.6 lacs let alone the VFM tag. Not that I mind the price difference, but when it's a Honda and when you're paying this kind of dough, my expectations would be sky high.

No, I'm not a Honda hater- I own a City and my brother uses an Aviator. I love the City and it has exceeded my expectations in almost every aspect- be it in quality, interior ambiance, performance, fuel efficiency ( I get 18 kmpl on highway trips) and ride quality. I'd expected the CBR to be like that- especially when its tagline is 'I love the quality'.


A big thanks to all of you who'd been kind enough to reply to my post. I'm planning to test ride the Classics again and finalise my decision. As of now, the C3 would be my choice if the C5 fails to wow me a second time. All that remains is to find time for that- by the time I get home back from work all showrooms would close.
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