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Old 21st August 2015, 11:28   #46
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Default Re: The Soul of a Royal Enfield...and other random thoughts

My uncle had a Hero Honda Sleek bought in 1991. After it had done more than a couple of lacs on the odo in around 10 years, it was left under a mango tree, exposed to the elements, beside one of the 'toilet's from the pre independence era. A Passion came in 2002 and it stayed there, neglected, buried and static, till 2013. The house was sold so everything had to be removed. The sleek was dug out, brushed off, filled with 'petrol' from a 'bottle' and given a few kicks (Do not recall how many ! ) and it woke up and no mosquito repellant gun from its puny silent exhaust as well.

As it woke up, it did not wake up rest of the neighbourhood and neither did it stimulate a heart attack into the bed ridden neighbourhood 'uncle'. It kept purring on.

Lots of plastics meant minimum rusting and more sticker degradation and decoloration. A new set of tires. Engine oil, bit of rust removal job, tires and it was sold off for a paltry sum.

No we did not shoot it as it did have a soul (I mean many good memories attached to it which were not visits to the mechanic shop every sunday morning) and, no, it wasn't a bullet.

Last edited by Sojogator : 21st August 2015 at 11:31.
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Old 21st August 2015, 12:39   #47
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Default Re: The Soul of a Royal Enfield...and other random thoughts

Not to offend anyone, but people who could see the soul only in a bullet are called "Bulleteers". A biker on the other hand will be able to sense the existence of a soul in any bike he rides.

I am one who actually bought a Royal Enfield with the aim of being a Bulleteer. The purchase was solely based on the brand image and the status of owning an Enfield. As it turned out, along the way I became a biker rather than a Bulleteer. But nevertheless, Owning a Royal Enfield has taught me more about the bikes than I could have ever imagined. And if you ask me now, my most memorable rides were indeed with my Ex-Enfield. The rides always packed an element of surprise. Missing nuts and bolts, engine misfire in the middle of forests, fried battery on a Sunday afternoon away from civilization etc etc.. So, do I miss the soulful bike? Not much, the bike I have now also have a spirited soul although it is on the other end of the spectrum.. Or beyond it!
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Old 21st August 2015, 12:39   #48
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Default Re: The Soul of a Royal Enfield...and other random thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustom_99 View Post
My father's 350 std 1983 was passed on to me in year 2000 or so after school, in 2003 she got new paint job and barrel /piston kit, clutch plates and other titbits. at that point it must have covered some 60k km , may be more .
It has some very old and fond memories attached to it of me as a kid riding on ......................
I and my close friend decided to use it as a Target for a few revolver rounds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sojogator View Post
My uncle had a Hero Honda Sleek bought in 1991. After it had done more than a couple of lacs on the odo in around 10 years, it was left under a mango tree, exposed to the elements, beside one of the 'toilet's from the pre independence era............................
No we did not shoot it as it did have a soul (I mean many good memories attached to it which were not visits to the mechanic shop every sunday morning)
Soul of a Bullet, Hero Honda or what ever

Last edited by adrian : 21st August 2015 at 12:41.
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Old 21st August 2015, 12:52   #49
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Soul of a Bullet, Hero Honda or what ever

Thanks for loving it so much , I see you have royal taste in literature.
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Old 21st August 2015, 22:38   #50
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Default Re: The Soul of a Royal Enfield...and other random thoughts

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The very statement is a giveaway of your true feelings. You are still attached to your Bullet buddy.
My true feelings are that of acceptance. The bullet is a piece of junk if left standing for long durations of time. Symptoms have been well described by others. Uncontrolled lubricant leaks and ugly gaseous discharges akin to a municipality mosquito repellent spraying truck.

Storage Tip :

1. If you are going to leave your venerable old oilfield parked for long duration ensure the piston is at TDC by decompressing and turning over till your amps show Zero. This will minimize the oil that will follow into the crankcase.

2. Else drain out the oil from the crankcase and pour into the oil sump, prime the oil pump with a few kicks to get the fluids going through it's arthritic limbs and bang it will start up with no dramatics.

Simple.
Cheers

Last edited by GTO : 24th August 2015 at 14:11. Reason: No inappropriate language on Team-BHP please
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Old 22nd August 2015, 12:13   #51
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Default Re: The Soul of a Royal Enfield...and other random thoughts

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Originally Posted by Sojogator View Post
it was sold off for a paltry sum.
That's actually the bottom line, isn't it?

"Family" Bullets very very rarely get sold, and not without a lot of crying and moaning and hand wringing and kissing and bye byeing and heartburn.

And they rarely if ever get sold for a paltry sum.

Can't deny that, be they oil puking cloud belching old f arts or not.
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Old 22nd August 2015, 12:25   #52
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Default Re: The Soul of a Royal Enfield...and other random thoughts

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That's actually the bottom line, isn't it?

"Family" Bullets very very rarely get sold, and not without a lot of crying and moaning and hand wringing and kissing and bye byeing and heartburn.

And they rarely if ever get sold for a paltry sum.

Can't deny that, be they oil puking cloud belching old f arts or not.
If wishes were horses and our lives a Bollywood script then what you say would be true. The truth is around 10 years back you could buy on old oilfield for about 10 to 15k. And it is only the wee well kept bullets that go for good prices. If one is willing to pay good money to buy junk them one needs serious help.
The collectable bullets you unintentionally allude to are up to 1959. They command good prices. Everything from the electrics to the spokes are different in these models to list but a few.
Another key feature along these fifties bullets were their SR and Lucas magnetos and dynamos. They would stay without batteries and were pretty to look at too. The whole bike was also an inch lesser in wheelbase.
Cheers

Last edited by MM440 : 22nd August 2015 at 12:26.
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Old 22nd August 2015, 14:00   #53
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Default Re: The Soul of a Royal Enfield...and other random thoughts

Can't speak about soul or character but it certainly has a mind of its own which I have painfully experienced by the numerous kick backs recieved over the years. But all said and done I still have my 82'.
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Old 23rd August 2015, 13:32   #54
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Default Re: The Soul of a Royal Enfield...and other random thoughts

Having owned the standard CI bullet and a newer steel gray 500 back in 94 I'm of the opinion that they are all overrated. It is perhaps exciting in the beginning but the dread of having a sales appointment and never being sure it'd start made me sell it.

I then moved on to the Java family. An old 69 Java beautifully restored was bought for 10 k. Sadly my trousers specifically the left leg were all coated with a liberal patch of oil. I didn't quite take to the tinny sound of the exhaust. So that had to go.

My final purchase which I retain to this day is a road king. Bought for 7 k and with 2-3 k of refurbishment it gave me the joy of motorcycles as it was meant to be.

It is 100% reliable. Come rain or highwater it starts on the first kick after 2 pumps.

Zero oil leakage and near zero maintenance. The occasional clutch cable does break but as yezdi owners know you can change gears without any cable. Probably the only bike in the world that has this inbuilt feature.

I prefer to ride without the exhaust mufflers. That sound is unlike any other in the world.

It's smooth and comfortable with very few gear shifts needed between point A and B. The absolutely stable chassis lets you make crazy turns at high speed.

Coorgi racers Jagat and Anita Nanjappa won countless rallies on these bikes. And this was in the era of your Rx 100 and Shoguns.

While its best for cruising on many an occasion I've used the ferocious 1 st gear acceleration to leave many a Japanese fancy machine stranded at the lights.

On occasion I've run it on a coconut oil and kerosene mix. Show me any bike in the world that can do that. There are none.

So yeah bullets phooey.

Last edited by hangover : 23rd August 2015 at 13:41.
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Old 24th August 2015, 00:41   #55
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Default Re: The Soul of a Royal Enfield...and other random thoughts

IMO, people cannot fairly compare the new UCE Royal Enfields with the non-UCE Royal Enfields made as recently as 2007.
They are a totally different machine.

What they have lost in "soul", they have made up for in reliability.

I suspect, in 10-15 years, people will be talking about the soul of the UCE's like they talk about the soul of the Iron Barrels today.
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Old 24th August 2015, 06:14   #56
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Default Re: The Soul of a Royal Enfield...and other random thoughts

For those who believe the bullet has a soul watch this video. It really is an amazing piece of engineering.

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Old 24th August 2015, 10:06   #57
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Default Re: The Soul of a Royal Enfield...and other random thoughts

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I suspect, in 10-15 years, people will be talking about the soul of the UCE's like they talk about the soul of the Iron Barrels today.
Exactly my thoughts mate. As an exception I have come across some riders who ride the new UCE motors and associate their motorcycles with soul. It is more about bullying and downgrading the newer riders(UCE's) and their rides by riders riding(CI's). I have closely observed this phenomenon over the years of riding with different groups of riders. The owners of 1940's and 1950's RE Bullets bully the owners of 1960'-70's owners bully the owners of 1980's-90's Bullets and so on. It is a vicious circle where people don't respect each others rides and look at every opportunity to bully and downgrade each other.

Some of the posts in this thread reminds me of a similar tug of war between Jeep owners. In India Jeep is considered as a vehicle as very few people know it is actually the name of a company incorporated in Toledo Ohio USA which is still in operation under the Chrysler brand now controlled by Fiat spA. They just know that Jeep was a product of world war 2, many have not even heard of the company named Bantam who designed and engineered the Jeep followed by Willy's and Ford. Now coming back to the bullying happening in Jeep circle. People who own the 1940's short bonnet Willy's Jeep 4X4 with the original GoDevil petrol engine(also include the Ford GPW) bully the owners of 1950-60's Jeep(Willy's Jeep assembled by Mahindra in India) who in turn bully the 1960-70's Jeep(primarily Mahindra and Mahindra) who in turn bully the 1980-90's Jeep who in turn bully the latest Mahindra Thar based on Willy's Kaiser. This one too is a vicious circle. Rather than respecting each others' rides people like to bully each other and downgrade by saying theirs is the "original and authentic" model. Agreed yours is the "original and authentic" model but that does not give you the right to ridicule or downgrade other models.

The fact is these models of yesteryears cannot be bought off the shelf and if they can one has to scout for them in the ab(used) market which is again a business in itself. Again there are some people who have leave alone owned but haven't ever rode a RE but they will go on and on abusing it and calling it names. I remember a fellow rider I came across who has a Standard CI from the mid 70's. He likes to abuse it and call it names in front of others. I asked him once, "Mate why do you continue to keep the motorcycle even after facing so many problems?" His reply was, "Dude this is my technique of keeping people away from buying a Bullet, I want it to be exclusive to me only and that's why I am shooing away people from buying Bullet!" Funny thought but true . The point is it is for people to decide if their motorcycle has a soul or is it just a piece of mechanical equipment.
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Old 24th August 2015, 21:56   #58
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Default Re: The Soul of a Royal Enfield...and other random thoughts

While other engineers worried about Austenite/ Marsentite/ Cementite/ Graphite/ Ferrite and what have you, the fellows at RE put their faith in two secret alloying ingredients for their cast iron: Charmite and Characterite. This would then leach into the lube, and we know the result. A bike which would ooze charm and character from every pore. Part of it would also ablate off the head casting, and come out in the exhaust.

Though never proven (the alloying ingredients were more closely guarded than Coca Colas formula), there were strong rumours that these special ingredients were hallucinogenic, causing a strong reality distortion field, badly affecting anyone closely associated with the bike.

With stringent environment protection laws coming into force, obviously this state of affairs could not go on, and we know the result.

Sutripta
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Old 26th August 2015, 14:23   #59
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Default Re: The Soul of a Royal Enfield...and other random thoughts

For any petrol head, their automobile (bike or car) has a soul. It isn't necessary that their bike needs to have niggles for it to have "character".

My friend owns a 1985 Bullet, for which he needs to visit the mechanic almost on a montly basis. I've ridden it and while its exhilirating to ride, the new models are definitely the better option. Yes, it's their opinion that the new models are not "Bullet" in the truest sense - but I disagree.

You need to appreciate RE for modernizing the Bullets so brilliantly. Had they stuck to the cast iron engine - they would've probably gone the HM way. It's quite nice to ride, they feel reliable - and while the "Bulleteers" have their opinion, I have mine - every bike has a soul, thump or no thump.
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Old 26th August 2015, 17:59   #60
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Default Re: The Soul of a Royal Enfield...and other random thoughts

We as humans beings feel the need to imprint a bit of ourselves upon objects which we are attached to. When we say that an object has soul or character, thats precisely what we do. We see it as an extension of ourselves. In this manner any material object can be said to have a "soul" by its owners.

Coming to Royal Enfields, Well I first got mine completely by chance when I was 18. I told my dad I wanted a bike that has "feel". He promptly went and bought me a used 1983 Cast Iron 350, also made sure that it wasn't in good nick since he wanted me to ride and then rectify issues as and when they popped up. I gotta say that all the issues really tested me to my known limits.

It's quite weird that she used to die on me well and truly, especially when I was trying to show off in front of pretty women

When I think about it, for me owning a royal enfield, especially the ones older than me, is about riding something that had a past before me. my bike is about 32 years older than I. Bought in UP and found its way to me in Kerala.

That's my bit about Enfields and their "soul".

P.s The new royal enfields are pretty neat too
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