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Old 19th September 2012, 16:37   #1
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Default Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review

Following is the initial ownership & longterm (3200KM/3.5 months) review of my BULLET 350 UCE. This review is based on my personal experiences with my motorbike to help people planning to go in for a Standard 350 UCE. Spare me for placing the images at the end of the thread.

1. CHOOSING THE RIDE:

I was in a terrible state of Dilemma of choosing a bike. From among those on my list were the quick & powerful Pulsar 220F, extremely flickerable & muscular FZ & the CLASSIC Classic 350 with retro charm of the 50’s. But having a Pulsar for almost half a decade, Pulsar 220 didn’t seem evocative enough & FZ was quite underpowered. Since none of my close friends had a Bullet so I never had the opportunity to ride Bullets much; only short stretches on 4-speed Albion-designed gearbox C.I. Bullets & as far as the new UCE Bullets are concerned, I never got a chance to ride one.

I made up my mind for a Bullet as it’s so different from the current breeds of motorbikes available in the country & enquired from a score of RE showrooms in Gurgaon, Delhi & even my hometown Punjab but the 3-4 months waiting period on the Classic everywhere put me off & made me drop my decision to buy a Classic. But since it was to be a Bullet this time so I choose an another Bullet- a Bullet 350 twinspark (aka Standard 350) for three reasons-one for the retro look, second for fact that it shared the crank with 500cc UCE mill which were a way heavier than other 350’s cranks (my sincere thanks to IRON HEAD & ADRIAN for this revelation). Third reason was rather an illusion as I thought that the Standard 350 had inverted forks which ADRIAN explained that it was just a cover!!

I finally dropped in at the RE showroom at Delhi- Kaytee Autos on June 2012 which was the nearest RE showroom to Gurgaon where Bullet 350 Std was readily available. From here my ride on the Bullet began..

2. CUSTOMISING MY RIDE:

I got my bike a genuine RE Muffler the short bottle one which has a deeper & louder thump than the stock muffler & is a freer flowing one as compared to the stock muffler that came along the bike.

Changed the handle bars to the ones that came on the CI engine Std. BULLET of yesteryears (Though came back to the original one afterwards).

I did away with the ugly saree guard, so I had to fit a fender for keeping the rear mudguard in place (Similar to the one on the right hand side).

Replacing the skinny ribbed tyres that came stock was on cards (& still is..)

3. THE FIRST IMPRESSION:

On the first ride itself, a biking connoisseur would notice the difference between the Bullet 350 UCE & the other 350cc UCE Bullets (TBTS, Electra & C3) in terms of the power delivery due to the heavier crank. It feels smoother & gives more thump. Though peak power & torque of all the 350cc UCE Bullets is similar as well as the engine speed at which it is achieved; difference lies in the way this power is delivered i.e. the drivability. I pulled the bike on the highway & there was a metre wide grin on my face & the level of refinement far above the earlier CI engine units!!!

Following are my experiences with the bike over the various aspects:

4. ENGINE & GEARBOX:
Refinement is decent. Play in the gearbox is on the higher side, you won’t get that slick & precise shifting action plus you can always find a false neutral between any set of gears, which, though comes after a bit of practise. Upshift is smooth but downshift is a bit notchy specially while making multiple downshifts at crawling/ low speed situations. But at any point of time it can’t be termed as unacceptable.

Inspite of the highish 28 nm torque, the tall gearing won’t allow you to engage the top gears at low speeds as used to be the case with the CI engines. Min speed for top gear (5th gear) is 40-45KMPH+. In this regard, the CI engine bullets scored higher due to the peak torque being higher & that too kicking in at lower rpms. Short gear ratios further accentuated this effect. I felt that the magnitude of Jerks experienced in case you lug the engines at low speeds is higher in a Std. 350 UCE as compared to other 350 UCE’s which can be attributed to the heavier crank. The barcode present on the engine verifies this claim (pic attached).

Performance is phenomenal & the freer flowing exhaust further boosts performance, though care must be taken that the fuel mixture in case of a free flowing exhaust is rich enough else you would end up with burnt out spark plugs. It can surely outclass a 180cc Pulsar on straight line drags. UCE Bullets aren’t lazy anymore. Top speed achieved was a speedo indicated 120KMPH on flat road, neutral wind & 25 psi fr & 35 psi rr tyre pressures with me riding in a fully crouched position. Disappointingly, things get worse above 80 KMPH & it feels best at speeds between 80-90KMPH above which the rider can feel nerve jarring vibrations from the foot pegs. 100-105 KMPH is easily achieved above which it takes quite an effort.

The decompression switch is history & no more exists but you need to ensure that the ammeter is in neutral position before you crank the engine, else be prepared for powerful recoil. Absence of a self starter is surely felt atleast in metro cities where you have to come across numerous traffic signals & stalling the engine & again kickstarting the bike is a pain. Retrofitting a self starter is a bolt on fit but it costs a bomb to get it done.

5. RIDE, HANDLING & BRAKING:
The ride is on the stiffer side from the traditional hydraulic shocks unlike the gas charged shocks on the others Bullets. In case you go in for the softer settings on the rear shocks, they tend to bottom out in case of riding with a pillion over potholes & bumps.

Given the humongous 1370mm wheelbase, it’s stable at high speeds but makes it too lethargic on turns & corners so don’t look for any quick direction changes. Big drums up front cover up for the absence of discs (provided you are able to get the twin lead adjustment done properly) & are potent enough for any sudden stops. Rear drums also provide adequate braking power & bite on both the drums is progressive.

The skinny ribbed tyres are the biggest disappointment on this BULLET, 3.25/19 for both front & rear is too thin for a bike of this bulk. On braking in wet conditions, front tyres skid on wet roads as if you’re on ice. The rear tyres too, are incapable. To my surprise, while I was overtaking a car during rains, the torque transmitted to the rear wheels made the bike drift a bit from the rear end. I’ve ordered Dunlop Monster, the only reputed brand in which 19” tyres with MRF zapper like treads are available (110/90-19 for front & 120/80-19 for the rear). They look superb & I hope they give a far better grip than the stock ones. A must upgrade for Std. 350/ Electra.

The horns & the headlamp seem like they belong to some of the entry level 100cc commuter bike. I upgraded my horns to dual horns along with a relay. Head lamp upgrade is on cards since first i'll have to research whether the reflector can sustain a higher wattage bulb.

Another big design flaw comes in picture if you take a right turn spiritedly & simultaneously apply the rear brake, you’ll be taken aback by the screech due to the rear brake lever rubbing against the ground! It’s terribly frightening & at the same time dangerous too.

The footpegs too are a bit forward set which are not as per my liking. The soft saddle yields after a while & leaves your bottom numb after long continuous long rides (~100KMs at a stretch).

Mine had a peculiar problem of pulling to the right on application of the front brake which is still as it is (described in detail in last section).

6. BUILD QUALITY AND FIT & FINISH: The speedo needle wavers a lot at speeds above 80KMPH giving a deflection of about 10 KMPH or so. Paint quality is good but requires frequent wax in order to keep the bike shining. Teflon coat works wonders for the paint giving a super shine & deep gloss for a long period of time.

Rusting is the issue which RE still is unable to solve. After about a month, rust developed inside the left side toolbox. Also, there was rust inside the rear tail light. Either it isn’t properly insulated or doesn’t have a proper drain as after riding for nearly 60 KMS in heavy rain, I noticed water inside my tail lamp & level was about 1/3 of it. Opened it to drain the water, I was shocked to see traces of rust inside it too! I still can’t figure out the water getting inside the tail light. That’s not all, even the odometer, indicators & the pilot lamps get traces of moisture when riding through rain or even after you give your Bull a wash.

One design flaw that I've seen on all the standard 350 UCE that the nut of the stud which holds the steel clamp of the muffler (below the rear right hand side foot peg), scratches against the swingarm everytime you bottom out the rear suspension with a pillion. Same is the case with the right hand side rear shock absorber, which scratches the chain cover under similar conditions.

I noticed the tool boxes getting scratched every time I opened/closed the lid of the tool box from along the boundary where the covering lid meets the tool box. For avoiding this I got a rubber beading on the periphery of the tool box lid (the same beeding which comes factory fitted on the Classic 500), but the beeding isn’t successful on my bike as it comes out everytime you open/close the tool box. Also, if you open & release the tool box lid it touches & scratches against the bolt of the rear foot peg. A simple limiter & a beading would have solved the problems with the tool box.
Another was the fuel tank which had about an mm sized paint blisters & fuel leaked from the sides of the fuel tank lid when over 70-80% of the fuel capacity (described in detail in last section).

Though it’s an entry level BULLET yet any biking aficionado who puts down Rs. 1.10L for a bike like this would never expect nor accept this level of engineering and fit & finish.

7. MAINTAINENCE, FUEL ECONOMY & RELIABILITY:

First service: RE recommends service at 45 days or 500 KMS whichever comes earlier the 1st service was done at Kaytee Autos, Mahipalpur, Delhi. Total expense for the consumables was around Rs. 700 which included oil change & chain spray. I got it Teflon coated which cost me another 900 Rupees. Before the first service I got around 24-27KMPL since it was kept on a richer mixture to ensure proper running-in.
After the first service the mileage went up to 32KMPL mark but this lowish figure was mainly due to my spirited riding. Acceleration is addictive & urges you to push the Bullet to its limits, thump takes the excitement to a new level.

Before the second service, with 60% highway & 40% city split cycle, maximum average I achieved was a decent 38KMPL in which I restricted the highway cruising speed to 70-80 KMPH & with sensible shifting without too much revving between the gears. The chain requires frequent tightening & lubrication after every 10-15 days. Apart from this, no additional maintenance is required.

Second Service: (3 months or 3000KMS) This time I got my bike serviced in my hometown, from Barnala automobiles in Ludhiana, Punjab, which ranks high on customer satisfaction rankings. Cost incurred was Rs. 240. Engine Oil wasn’t changed, only chain spray & additive was added to engine oil. Chain noise disappeared completely unlike after the first service, wherein even after the chain lubrication & adjustment there was a substantial chain noise.

After the second service, I always achieved 40+ KMPL. 100KMS covering about 30kms in city & 70Kms on highway with speeds ranging from 80-110 consistently, I got a whooping 43KMPL!!! With a further scope of improvement as the workshop supervisor claimed that the fuel economy would increase after the 3rd service when the fuel mixture would be turned to leaner settings!

8. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE MAJOR PROBLEMS/ISSUES WHICH I FACED WITH THIS BIKE:

a) Suspension Blues: After all the accessories were fitted & the workshop people going ahead with their own formalities, I took my bike for a spin of about 500mtrs I noticed that the bike pulled towards the right on application of the front brake, also the bike swerved to the right when I took my hands off the handlebar. Since it was nearing the workshop closure timings, so I thought I would bring it the next day & since it was a new bike it would be some minor adjustment that was required and not a major problem. Another problem I encountered while on the highway was the wobbling of the bike at speeds.

b) Fuel Tank leakage, paint blisters & faded paint on wheel hub: Thenafter when I reached home & was cleaning the bike I noticed the discoloured/non-uniform paint on the front hub, also I found minor scratches on the other side of the hub (pics attached). Plus I noticed paint blisters on the fuel tank & the fuel leakage from the tank (The fuel level in the tank was full). The very next day (second day from the day of purchase) I took the bike to the showroom & narrated the problems I faced.

c) Jammed front brake: This cropped up at a later stage i.e. after a month from the purchase. Culprit being the front drum submerging a bit in a pool of water & probably stripping off the lubrication of the front brakes during heavy rains. This was corrected during the second service.
I must mention here that mechanics aren’t capable of setting the play of the twin lead front brake. Rather than arguing, I googled it & learnt by self experimenting & through http://fixmybull.com/, the adjustment of the front brake.

Regarding suspension, I was made to understand that all the problems were due to the tyres so the tyres were changed FOC at the workshop from Dunlop to new MRF tyres of the same size. I took a test ride but found no difference in the bike’s biased braking behaviour & the non-neutral steering characteristics, although the wobbling reduced.

For the faded/discoloured hub, I was told to drop in again after a week to get the front hub-rim set changed since it was not available in ready stock.

They were unable to solve the other two problems of mine, though the foreman acknowledged the non-neutral steering & front brake of my bike to which he replied ‘itna to chalta hai’ – a reply which I could never accept. Upon my pestering them, they diagnosed the problem as ‘improper wheel alignment’. The service incharge told me that this would be solved upon my next visit when I come to replace my front hub-rim set; the entire replacement of the front wheel set with a new one would ensure that the alignment issue is resolved.

So after spending about 3-4 hours at the workshop, explaining & arguing with different people in their service team, I ended up returning disappointed & tired (both less tired physically but stressed mentally) without getting my issue resolved. All the excitement & euphoria accompanying the purchase of this new bike ended up there & then and suspicion cropped up in my mind that the bike given to me is a refurbished bike which could be among the ones which get damaged during transit from factory to showroom resulting in problem with the front suspension of the bike & the non uniform paint on the front hub further raised my suspicion.

Suspecting foul play in my bike, I mailed RE customer care regarding the problems in my bike. I was replied in a prompt manner & the process of the front wheel replacement was expedited. The fuel leakage problem skipped my mind on the first visit & was later addressed by adding one more gasket to the fuel cap that too upon my several arguments & pestering them to solve the problem there & then.

The new rim & hub set was installed & though the bike went straight on taking off the hands off the handlebar but the bike still pulled on the right on application of the front brake & a new problem accompanying the replacement surfaced, which was the shivering/juddering of the bike even on the slightest application of the front brake at speeds upwards of 70-80 KMPH. Even after about a dozen visits to the workshop nothing changed & about a month passed. Thereafter for about half a month I was out of town so I couldn’t take up the matter with RE. After that I took the bike again to service centre & after 4-5 hour I was given the bike back. For the paint blisters issue, the tank was replaced with a new tank (which I later returned, taking back my old fuel tank, as the new tank given to me had a foggy paint finish with bigger & more prominent paint blisters) but again the suspension blues existed as it is & no work was done on the suspension with the bike being handed over in the same condition.

Later I took my bike to my hometown. I was in constant touch with the RE regional service manager for Punjab region. Here the service incharge insisted that it was a wheel misalignment problem, though I wasn’t convinced but went in for a wheel alignment as per their suggestion. This left me with no results as expected. Rather the problem of the bike to swerve on the side on taking the hands off the handlebar resurfaced. Again called up to service manager & suggested him to check the oil level in my bike’s front forks as suggested to me by ADRIAN, to which he was positive & that is planned to be done on his next visit. I’ve just kept my fingers crossed & hope this time the problem is solved.

I must point out here the inefficiency of the RE staff at diagnosing problems by themselves & their callous attitude. Mechanics of RE workshops, most of which lack outright expertise in diagnosing problems & rely heavily on hit & trial approach. They only know to carry out the job instructed to them & are unable to diagnose problems on their own. The owner needs to be alert & get his hands dirty rather than relying on the service staff. I hope that on my next visit these issues are resolved else I’ll be left with no option other than trading my bike for a C3. Any suggestions/comments in view of the above problems would be highly appreciated. Some more pics of my bike are available at:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/vbpicg...do=view&g=4877
Attached Thumbnails
Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review-20120603_180034.jpg  

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Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review-08092012003.jpg  

Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review-20120608_184522.jpg  

Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review-20120617_184633.jpg  

Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review-20120617_184747.jpg  

Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review-20120620_185915.jpg  


Last edited by GTO : 19th September 2012 at 18:03. Reason: Please do NOT use more than 2 smileys in a post. Thanks
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Old 19th September 2012, 19:30   #2
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review

It is sad that the Quality of REM is still down in the drains and add to that the dismissal attitude of the Authorized Service Centers.
With an increase in prices is expected a problem free bike which of course cannot be expected from REM.
But, the issues you have pointed out is a downer for a possible buyer thinking of one of these bikes.

The front hub not being painted completely makes me feel that REM is just increased the production without thinking of implementing better quality checks for the increased production.

Having said this, be patient and you will start enjoying the bike more as it grows older. Unlike other bikes that age fast, Enfields get better as they grow older(like wine).
I am saying this since I own a 2002 Electra which is nearing a lakh kms and feels as good as new the more she runs. Power is still there, smoothness, no niggling issues and I have spent almost everyday of the first month or few months after purchase at the service center getting small things rectified and back then I was a newbie to Enfields and every small sound and oil leak was an issue for me.

I am sure your bike will be sorted out soon and you will enjoy her.
Ride Safe

Last edited by tharian : 19th September 2012 at 19:32.
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Old 19th September 2012, 21:06   #3
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review

Hi abhishek24x

Here are a few points from my side-

AFAIK Bullet 350 UCE also has a auto decompresser which ensures that there is no strong recoil from kick lever.

As you bump up the odo readings, you will find that self-start is not an essential feature and will learn to live without it with 100% riding comfort. I hope your idling is set right.

Gear shifts will smoothen out with increasing kms on the odo.

Have you got a similar additional horn for your bike? What type of relay are you using? You can search the Classic 500 thread for perfect relay configuration info for the extra horn.

Get a rust protective spray for your bike and keep spraying and cleaning rust spots where ever you see them. I suggest Wurth rust-off spray. Costs around 200 bucks. Spray it in all holes, etc where rust can be seen.

I am not sure if the tail light should get filled with water that way, check if it is the same with all bikes or not. You can think of using some rubber type of seal(like in Classic 500) to ensure that water does not enter the tail light.

Get a new tank if it leaks from anywhere other than the filling hole. You can also get affected parts replaced for poor paint quality by proving your case history. Get in touch with senior managers at RE for help.

Get some good chain lube spray for your bike and keep lubing it yourself than going to the workshop all the time. Clean the chain using a chain clean spray/wurth rust off/kerosene/diesel if you can and then lube it. If you plan to use a spray, quickly spray the entire chain>leave for some time>clean chain with a cloth(WITHOUT starting the bike)>lube it.

You can also get some good teflon coating product(blue diamond) and coat it yourself. Will be a lot cheaper.

I like to do things OEM style, you might check out the upswept exhaust from RE if you like it and it fits your bike.

Chain tightness should be done by a trained mechanic. A good mechanic can perfectly tighten it in 5 minutes, bad ones can't do it in 10 tries.

What engine oil additive are you talking about? AFAIK it is not at all needed on such a new bike and might have adverse effects too.

Regarding the stud scratching the swing arm and shock scratching the chain cover--> check if it is the same with all bikes and start searching for a mod which stops this from happening if it's totally inevitable. Get some black coloured paint and clear coat to touch up.

Regarding the wobbling thing, steering, braking thing--> these are minor issues which can be fixed by any competent mechanic and try finding more info about fixing these issues(all hidden deep in Classic 500 thread like fork oil level, swing arm bush greasing, some pads on/around shockers(cushion rubbers?), rear shocker pressure levels, handlebar alignment, loose shocker bolts, wheel spokes tightness/alignment, wheel alignment etc) else ask me and I'll find out. Keep pestering senior RE officials to get all your issues fixed.

Keep getting oil and oil filter changed every 3-4k. Keep getting cleaned air filter cleaned in your presence.

Use some adhesive to make sure that that beading from tool box covers doesn't come off.

Yours is a truly amazing ride and these minor issues will come and go and all RE's are bitten by them. Classics have their issues and negatives as well and remember- Bullet 350 UCE is the oldest bike in the world still in production!!! Be proud that you own one and enjoy your rides!!!
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Old 19th September 2012, 23:05   #4
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review

Even I was drooling over the Bullet (Std vs CL350) but took a back step realizing the quality issues. My eyes are set on the R15/FZ but with a heavy heart. I felt that RE is riding on fan following rather than providing a quality stuff. Also, the current fit & finish level is not desired for a bike costing so much! RE still wants their buyers to become a mechanic someday and bang their head to solve niggling issues, which could be avoided at the production level itself.

Wishing you trouble free miles with the bull. I would suggest to get your problems solved by a trusted bullet mechanic rather than wasting time and energy on useless ASSC.

Last edited by Blow Horn Ok : 19th September 2012 at 23:07.
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Old 19th September 2012, 23:51   #5
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blow Horn Ok View Post
Even I was drooling over the Bullet (Std vs CL350) but took a back step..


But trust me that the pleasure a bullet can give u, no other bike can provide. Prior to owning a bullet, quality, refinement, performance etc were of outmost importance to me but the ride on a bullet leaves you in a state of ecstasy after which these niggling problems just fade away from your mind. After living with a bull other bikes will seem so plasticy & toyish to ride whereas in the bull, every single bit you find is metal & metal. Atleast in my case, i'm so addicted to this bike that if its away from me for long i start craving for it. And ask any bulleter, he won't like to ride on any other bike if it isn't a bull. So i would like you to again reconsider it as an option. Take an extensive test ride and you'll notice the difference yourself. By the way you'll enjoy learning to mend the bike yourself & as far as i'm concerned i feel great to get my hands dirty whether its my bike or my car.
Happy motoring!

Last edited by abhishek24x : 19th September 2012 at 23:56. Reason: addition of a few lines.
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Old 20th September 2012, 00:09   #6
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review

You are right! The pleasure of riding is unmatched in a bullet, but I am a person who gets worried to hear any unusual noise or see a scratch even on my 7 year old pulsar! I am worried what would be my state to see my new RE developing issues and being operated by incompetent grease monkeys. Also I live in a small town and there is a single showroom + Assc, so i could not change my service options too.

Before making any decision, I would surely do a proper TD of RE. In fact I went for it, but people at the dealership were simply uninterested to provide a TD and it seemed that I demanded some sort of loan from them! They were Interested more in Fortuner vs XUV debate and RE riding events rather than the bike! Without 2nd request, I just came out.

Last edited by Blow Horn Ok : 20th September 2012 at 00:10.
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Old 20th September 2012, 08:36   #7
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review

Hi Abhishek,
1. Did you get the short bottle exhaust form the RE dealer? Is it an OEM? How much did it cost?
2. Is the Dunlop monster 19" tyres available in Indian market?

regards,
Dr. Ramakrishnan
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Old 20th September 2012, 12:33   #8
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review

CONGRATS on getting the bull.
The pleasure of chugging on the road cannot be described in words!
Add to that the improved reliability of the UCE engine (not that my AVL has given me any problems - but in general CI were most problematic, AVL reduced it, and now UCE should further reduce it)

The main reason for improved reliability is because of improved oil circulation.
CI was piss poor capacity - with weak pumping.
AVL improved it by double - due to gear pumps
and UCE now has improved over AVL by four fold (= 8 times the CI)

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek24x View Post
2. CUSTOMISING MY RIDE:

I got my bike a genuine RE Muffler the short bottle one which has a deeper & louder thump than the stock muffler & is a freer flowing one as compared to the stock muffler that came along the bike.

Changed the handle bars to the ones that came on the CI engine Std. BULLET of yesteryears (Though came back to the original one afterwards).

I did away with the ugly saree guard, so I had to fit a fender for keeping the rear mudguard in place (Similar to the one on the right hand side).

Replacing the skinny ribbed tyres that came stock was on cards (& still is..)
I just hope these cosmetic changes don't void the warranty!
Make that sure - the manufacturers/workshops can act real finicky and idiotic sometimes.



Quote:
3. THE FIRST IMPRESSION:

4. ENGINE & GEARBOX:

Inspite of the highish 28 nm torque, the tall gearing won’t allow you to engage the top gears at low speeds as used to be the case with the CI engines. Min speed for top gear (5th gear) is 40-45KMPH+. In this regard, the CI engine bullets scored higher due to the peak torque being higher & that too kicking in at lower rpms. Short gear ratios further accentuated this effect. I felt that the magnitude of Jerks experienced in case you lug the engines at low speeds is higher in a Std. 350 UCE as compared to other 350 UCE’s which can be attributed to the heavier crank. The barcode present on the engine verifies this claim (pic attached).
Welcome to the key to the Bullet thump.
A CI bullet thumps because it could produce huge torque at almost idling RPM.
No bottle silencer, no heavy crank, no iron engine ...
Simple torque vs RPM fact.

And the reason why no AVL and no UCE can ever produce the real helicopter sounding thump which CI used to produce (even with long silencer, and lighter crank = CDI Electra if you recall).

Quote:
Performance is phenomenal & the freer flowing exhaust further boosts performance, though care must be taken that the fuel mixture in case of a free flowing exhaust is rich enough else you would end up with burnt out spark plugs (EXHAUST VALVE SEAT, not spark plugs).


Quote:
5. RIDE, HANDLING & BRAKING:

The skinny ribbed tyres are the biggest disappointment on this BULLET, 3.25/19 for both front & rear is too thin for a bike of this bulk. On braking in wet conditions, front tyres skid on wet roads as if you’re on ice. The rear tyres too, are incapable.
Yes, Royal Enfield really needs to do something about this.
If they wish to portray RE bikes as image bikes - they cannot be shod with CD100 tyres.

And I don't believe the bull that RE ppl install the carefully designed and patiently selected tyres for best performance/reliability.

I used to get one puncture per year on my T-Bird rear wheel.
And the worst kind of puncture = right where the valve sits.

I upped the tyre size - fat thick (along with the rim) and the problem DISAPPEARED.


Quote:
6. BUILD QUALITY AND FIT & FINISH:
Shoddy work as ever.
Typical Royal Enfield.

Quote:
8. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE MAJOR PROBLEMS/ISSUES WHICH I FACED WITH THIS BIKE:

a) Suspension Blues: Another problem I encountered while on the highway was the wobbling of the bike at speeds.
I faced the same "wobbly" feeling with my T-bird right from the day 1.
Especially with a heavy pillion rider.
This also went away when I changed the wheel rim to big fat one, and installed thicker tyres.

Last edited by alpha1 : 20th September 2012 at 12:38.
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Old 20th September 2012, 18:51   #9
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review

Hi Abhishek,

How much did the mods on the bullet cost?
How much did the wider 19' tyres cost?
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Old 24th September 2012, 08:06   #10
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review

Well written and documented report on your motorcycle.

Not really suprised to read the problems you have. I visited their factory about 4 years ago and trust me, this is about the best you can get out of Royal Enfield India. The only section where absolute devotion to the job is seen is where they paint that gold stripe on the fuel tank. In the modern world, a robot might do it, at Royal Enfield, its been one man followed by many generations from his own family who have probably taken up the task of doing this job.

The only thing that might be relatively trouble free is the engine mechanicals and thats an area they have invested in to have better quality control. In the old days, it was quite normal for a new bike to seize or fry its electricals. None of this happens anymore.

I discovered Royal Enfields quite late. Started riding one only 4 years ago and thankfully it was a 500cc so there is some power. I now crave for more power. The 500 no longer cuts it for me. We have better infrastructure now and this craves for a bike with atleast 4 times the power of a Royal Enfield Classic 500 as the bare minimum. It is all you need. I look forward to owning one some day. As for recommending Royal Enfields; I won't anymore. The asking price for todays Enfields are just way too much for what they give you. Sure, there is a charm to it. Its just that, there are better rides today for not much more money and in the long term, I prefer them.

Enjoy your ride and keep thumping. Those early niggles you have had are just the start to what should be a really nice ride as years go by.
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Old 24th September 2012, 19:23   #11
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review

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Originally Posted by iron.head View Post

AFAIK Bullet 350 UCE also has a auto decompresser which ensures that there is no strong recoil from kick lever..
Yes the auto decompressor is there, but still if the ammeter position is not on the neutral position, you have to attain the neutral position by cranking prior to starting the engine else it recoils.

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Originally Posted by iron.head View Post

Have you got a similar additional horn for your bike? What type of relay are you using? You can search the Classic 500 thread for perfect relay configuration info for the extra horn.
No. I got trumpet horns of Minda make which were later replaced by Klaxxon make of the same type. Since the horns were fitted by an expert auto electrician, the relays he installed were also appropriate to the electrical system of the bike.

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Originally Posted by iron.head View Post

I am not sure if the tail light should get filled with water that way, check if it is the same with all bikes or not. You can think of using some rubber type of seal(like in Classic 500) to ensure that water does not enter the tail light.
Rubber seal is already there but isn't potent enough to insulate the tail light well. It surprized me too and I'vent seen such a thing on any other bike.

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Originally Posted by iron.head View Post

I like to do things OEM style, you might check out the upswept exhaust from RE if you like it and it fits your bike.
The exhaust on my bike is an OEM, the short bottle one that is available at RE workshops. I too prefer OEM parts. The upswept one available at the time of my purchase was not an OEM, so I preferred the current one.

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Originally Posted by iron.head View Post

What engine oil additive are you talking about? AFAIK it is not at all needed on such a new bike and might have adverse effects too.
Even I don't know as the additive to the engine oil was not put in my presence. Later when I inquired I didn't get satisfactory answers. I asked them to change the engine oil to which they told me it wasn't needed in coherence with the service schedule.

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Regarding the stud scratching the swing arm and shock scratching the chain cover--> check if it is the same with all bikes and start searching for a mod which stops this from happening if it's totally inevitable. Get some black coloured paint and clear coat to touch up.
Yes the tightening nut of the stud scratches against all the Std. UCE models. I've checked it in about a dozen of other std. UCE bikes & found the same with them too. No permanent mods can be made as in case I remove the nut as well as the stud, the recess on the chassis will start rubbing against the swingarm as it's also near the level as stud/nut. I'll attach the pics in my next post.

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Originally Posted by iron.head View Post
Regarding the wobbling thing, steering, braking thing--> these are minor issues which can be fixed by any competent mechanic and try finding more info about fixing these issues(all hidden deep in Classic 500 thread like fork oil level, swing arm bush greasing, some pads on/around shockers(cushion rubbers?), rear shocker pressure levels, handlebar alignment, loose shocker bolts, wheel spokes tightness/alignment, wheel alignment etc) else ask me and I'll find out. Keep pestering senior RE officials to get all your issues fixed.
I'm in constant touch with RE officials (the regional service manager). Just a fortnight back I called him up telling about the problem being unresolved & told him to check oil level in the forks. That is scheduled on my next visit. But he also advised me to test ride another RE standard to check whether this problem is specific to my bike or it is characteristic of this model. But as my common sense goes, any bike on sale in this era where accuracy & precision is of paramount importance & since state of art C&C machines are used in manufacturing; they must have a neutral braking & neutral steering characteristic. Any suggestions??

Quote:
Originally Posted by iron.head View Post
Use some adhesive to make sure that that beading from tool box covers doesn't come off.
Adhesive would corrode the paint that's putting me off from using any adhesive. Rather I prefer putting in some labour to put the beading back in place every time I open & close the tool box.

And thanks a lot for your valuable suggestion.
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Old 24th September 2012, 19:36   #12
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by AB_Cruze View Post
Hi Abhishek,

How much did the mods on the bullet cost?
How much did the wider 19' tyres cost?
Quote:
Originally Posted by rama75 View Post
Hi Abhishek,
1. Did you get the short bottle exhaust form the RE dealer? Is it an OEM? How much did it cost?
2. Is the Dunlop monster 19" tyres available in Indian market?

regards,
Dr. Ramakrishnan
The cost of the mods are as below:

1. Chrome battery cover- Rs. 500
2. RE short bottle exhaust- Rs. 3000
3. Teflon coat- Rs. 900
4. Left hand side fendor (RE OEM part)- Rs. 1000
5. Twin pressure horns with relay (Minda)- Rs. 900
6. Dunlop Monster 19'' tyres were not available readily, so I ordered a set & would get by next week.
Cost for front tyres- Rs. 2200 (110/90 R19)
Cost for rear tyres- Rs. 2600 (120/80 R19)
Trust me they have a superb grip (as tested by me on my friend's Electra). Have same tread pattern like the classic 350/500 & so they look great as well.
Will post the pics as soon I get them on my bike. Only catch is to check whether they would fit in the existing swingarm.
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Old 25th September 2012, 15:49   #13
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review

Abhishek , Congrats . Good choice as the standard has more crank weight and is shadowed only by the Classic 500.

Take Some time to get used to the drive characteristics of RE , may be 3 months or so. The best way is to align towards the drive ability of the bike rather than trying to handle it the way we would want to . And it will be a pleasure for a daily use thereafter .

Drive safely .
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Old 27th September 2012, 13:42   #14
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review

Hi Abhishek,

Were you able to change your Bulls tyres to Dunlop Monster 19'' wider ones?
Did you modify anything else on the bike for this?

Please post some pics with the new tyres.
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Old 9th October 2012, 12:26   #15
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE : Ownership Review

Hi Abhishek,

Were you able to change your Bulls tyres to Dunlop Monster 19'' wider ones?
Did you modify anything else on the bike for this?

Please post some pics with the new tyres.

Awaiting your reply.
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