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Old 4th November 2009, 22:52   #76
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RE changed the bike and they are still calling it a Bullet, and that is not the Bullet as we have seen it, heard it, felt it. The common man says, that is not a bullet. Why ? It doesnt sound like one.
Had posted this quite some time back:

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Originally Posted by Gordon
Moreover, Bullet wasn't originally made so that it could go at 20kmph in top gear. If that was the case, they wouldn't call it Bullet in the first place. These British bikes were made to compete amongst each other. The Nortons, Enfields, BSAs etc. They were built for speed. The thumping noise was an obvious by-product because of a large long stroke single cylinder engine. Indian military bought this bike because it was capable of high torque and sustaining a large load at low speeds and higher gear.

Since then, its history has been badly spoilt. People today buy Enfields claiming its onlyyyy for the thump, claiming its the best cruiser, its built for a completely smooth long ride, claiming its supposed to have huge bucket seats and laid back handlebars. I'm sorry, but I do not believe this.

They didn't build the Bullet for this reason. Orignial intent of Royal Enfield was to build bikes to satisy two major categories:

- speed (in those days)
- best average (one of the best and always claiming 100miles per gallon)
Most owners think that the Standard 350 is the real Bullet because all their lives they've probably seen only that. Is it? No, since its entirely different from what the first Bullet was indeed. So all through the years they pass on the same tainted hearsay and beliefs and feelings to everyone. Does it change the fact? No. Back in England, what would classify as a Bullet would be entirely different than it is here.

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Brakes shifted to Right side -- Big change for the riders. You lose the uniqueness that Bullet had. The only one bike in the world designed that way today, loses it.
The reason is simple. RE used it for fifty years. If its selling, why stop?!

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UCE -- Yes a big change, you gain power, you gain efficiency, all that. You lose the thump, you lose the structure it had.
As we know, the thump is "variable". There is no true definition. To prove that the Enfield has a true 'thump' is to disprove that the Nortons and BSAs aren't true thumpers.

That sorted, I'd like to hear a UCE with a different silencer. One that will give it that sound. As of now if you go to the showroom, the Standard 350 and the UCE should almost sound the same.
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Old 4th November 2009, 23:05   #77
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A weird example -

Are the new cars really "cars"?! All our lives we've seen the Fiat and we've grown with it. It had a carburettor, it had a gear shifter just beside the steering, and an awesome exhaust note.

The Fiat 1100 was the true car. All the new plastic cars are just wannabe's and posers. They don't sound as good as the Fiat 1100 (which is a fact).

Are the disc brake on newer cars an imposing change? No.

Carburettor changed to EFI - Big change.
Body panels changed from metal to plastic-fibre - Big change.
Sound track lost - Big change.
Shifting the gear shifter - Big change.

Wonder why we didn't stick to the Fiat 1100. Probably Maruti should never have been launched in India.
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Old 5th November 2009, 00:33   #78
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see, that is the problem, you cannot justify Bullet with an example of Fiat or any other automobile on road, and that makes it unique.

and Gordon, I agree to your point that Original bullet was not anything like Std 350, however I guess you agree that it has been almost the same for last 50 years. And I guess that is probably the time when our Grand dads used to ride, then dads and now us. So the thing that has stuck around for 50 years for whatever reason, and still attracts love and awe (unlike Ambys and Fiats) would enjoy a cult status, and would be called the real thing.

Standard 350 is something that most of us knew as Bullet when we were growing up. And when you go out in the market to find the same legend, then standard 350 is the closest thing.
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Old 5th November 2009, 01:25   #79
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Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
Most owners think that the Standard 350 is the real Bullet because all their lives they've probably seen only that. Is it? No, since its entirely different from what the first Bullet was indeed. So all through the years they pass on the same tainted hearsay and beliefs and feelings to everyone. Does it change the fact? No. Back in England, what would classify as a Bullet would be entirely different than it is here.
Gordon, with all due respect, the original Bullet is not the classic nor heritage. It did not live its life even in England. Who cares about the original bullet ? The bullet I care about is the bullet as it came in India. With the little changes here and there, doing duty all around India for 50 years. The actual fact is that a bike came into India, and was in India as the people in India wanted. It was the longest survivor in India. What the intention was for the English engineers does not make any difference to what it was for all these years to people in India. Does it ?

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The reason is simple. RE used it for fifty years. If its selling, why stop?!
I think it would not stop selling through showrooms ever if the emission norms did not cut it down.

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Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
As we know, the thump is "variable". There is no true definition. To prove that the Enfield has a true 'thump' is to disprove that the Nortons and BSAs aren't true thumpers.
What is a Norton/BSA thumper to the world now ? Probably because they did not open a shop in India, they did not survive. I speak for how I think, how Indians like me think.
The common indian biker does not look up the mechanical internals to classify thumpers. The only thumper available for over decades was Bullet. That defines the thump for us. I can rephrase my words. Its not 'Thump' ( Norton thump/BSA thump etc). Its the actual Bullet thump that I mean when I say UCE lacks thump.

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That sorted, I'd like to hear a UCE with a different silencer. One that will give it that sound. As of now if you go to the showroom, the Standard 350 and the UCE should almost sound the same.
No idea. A friend who did a test drive mentioned Classic 350 sounded just like thunderbird. In my opinion, it should be true, because of the same internals.
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Old 5th November 2009, 01:42   #80
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Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
A weird example -
Are the new cars really "cars"?! All our lives we've seen the Fiat and we've grown with it. It had a carburettor, it had a gear shifter just beside the steering, and an awesome exhaust note.

The Fiat 1100 was the true car. All the new plastic cars are just wannabe's and posers. They don't sound as good as the Fiat 1100 (which is a fact).

Are the disc brake on newer cars an imposing change? No.

Carburettor changed to EFI - Big change.
Body panels changed from metal to plastic-fibre - Big change.
Sound track lost - Big change.
Shifting the gear shifter - Big change.

Wonder why we didn't stick to the Fiat 1100. Probably Maruti should never have been launched in India.
I understand the satire here. Probably you heard me wrong -- I did not say all that about the changes and the old features because Bullet was old. Fiat got out of the market simply because it was outrun by other cars. While Bullet was there, a lot of bikes from Jawa(in India) to Bajaj Discover came in and went off. Why ? I still did not figure out the logic how you compared Fiat 1100 with Bullet ( Would have been better if you picked up Ambassador, which is a longer survivor).

I will make it clearer once more. I do not have even one bit of problem with Classic 350. My problem is with them taking off Std 350 and calling this as Bullet Classic 350. No real bullet lover has a big time problem with Thunderbird. Because they call it Thunderbird. And they still made std 350.
When there is a std 350, almost the same way as it came to India, they launch a new bike and call it as Classic Bullet.
The problem is not about the new bike. The new bike being showcased as the old one, and old one going off.
I am just sad, that the Std 350 is going to be phased out as soon as Classic 350 starts selling, and the emission norms chip in. I am more worried of the fact that CI engines going out would mean a few years down the line, CI owners start searching for parts. I am sure it would be available -- but at a premium.

All this said, I am not intending to win an argument, just letting it out here that I believe (so do many purists; who go with the Indian version of bullet) that calling a UCE engine which has no CI part in there, with a left side gear shift, and NO KICK start is not to be called a Bullet. However the paint scheme looks. Just that ! Its an opinion. I will put this statement up if that would make things look easy.
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Old 5th November 2009, 02:57   #81
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Originally Posted by Shashank.A View Post
and Gordon, I agree to your point that Original bullet was not anything like Std 350, however I guess you agree that it has been almost the same for last 50 years. And I guess that is probably the time when our Grand dads used to ride, then dads and now us. So the thing that has stuck around for 50 years for whatever reason, and still attracts love and awe (unlike Ambys and Fiats) would enjoy a cult status, and would be called the real thing.

Standard 350 is something that most of us knew as Bullet when we were growing up. And when you go out in the market to find the same legend, then standard 350 is the closest thing.
The answer is here:

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Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
The Standard Bullet 350 for fifty years continued production probably because of these reasons:
- Monopoly.
- There was no/very less competition back then. Enfield were in a class of their own.
- When you don't have competition, you tend to stick to what is selling.
- Poor management probably led to poor quality parts.
- When the company was bought by Eicher, the changes and improvements were made.
Our ancestors travelled in horses and bullock carts as that was the mode of transport then. Our dads/ grand dads used to live at the mercy of Bajaj scooter and enfield. I am sure they would have loved to have more choices, advanced, reliable products and be serviced decently by manufacturers as we are now. We have moved away from license raj where manufacturer was the king to the current global market where customer is the king. Our grand dad/ dad had to live with the few choices available then where as we are in a market where a person has so many choices. Just because we saw them making compromises with what was available then does not mean that it is the REAL THING and should stay forever. Reliability and hassle free onwership is very important for a tourer. I do not care about the technology as long as the product meet my basic needs and delivers more.

Bajaj graduated to motorcycles as they did not want to go extinct. It is great that Enfield has also realised that they cannot ignore the market demands and competition for long.

Last edited by PatienceWins : 5th November 2009 at 03:09.
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Old 5th November 2009, 08:33   #82
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Again. Thats "your" opinion. Does it change the facts? No.

1. Standard 350 is nowhere similar to the original Bullet, yet it retained the name.
2. For fifty years it underwent minimal changes for several reasons mentioned above (incompetency of RE India until it was bought over by Eicher).
3. Its the closest thing you got fifty years back? Yes, because its the same model with a lot of changes.
4. Since the Standard was never really a true bullet and yet retained the name, its purely fair for the next range of bikes to carry on the name with newer engines and newer technology.
5. Speaking about thump, if you go to an Enfield showroom right now and start up a Standard 350, it'll sound much lower than a Pulsar, CBZ and as good as an AVL.

Last edited by v12 : 5th November 2009 at 08:54.
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Old 5th November 2009, 09:38   #83
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Enough of Bullet/Non-Bullet chauvinism... shall we move on?
I reckon you guys haven't read I am Ok You are Ok ?

-BJ
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Old 5th November 2009, 11:04   #84
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RE survived for the sole reason the Ambassador survived - Government (Armed Forces and Dispatch services) bought it in bulk.

RE didnt care for the individual customer and was happy pushing their products down the throats of Indian consumers as long as they got their government orders.

To give an example - my grandad used to ride a 47 Sunbeam S7, even though they had a couple of cars in the garage. It was one of the worst bikes ever made by England. But he sweared by it then over the Bullet available in India during that period. He would not touch a Bullet - Made in India; by a barge pole.

He rode the bike from Mumbai to his village just across the Goa border on Maharashtra side in 1951. Alone. Without any issues.
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Old 5th November 2009, 11:07   #85
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I'm not nitpicking here but the fact is the newer engines cannot thump at low rpms like the STD350. Why? No heavy crank. So, it is the thump which has endeared the bullet to a lot of enthusiasts fir a better part of five decades. In fact, in Punjab, RE started selling STD350s with a lighter crank and faced immediate backlash which forced them to go back to the heavy crank. Such is the aura of the STD350s thump.

Moving ahead, the newer REs don't have the low rpm thump, and along with it, they also don't have the niggles that the STD350 has. Meanwhile, I hope RE considers making the STD350 with high quality parts, retaining the CI engine. Though it is a far fetched proposition with the ever tightening emission norms, if the STD350 were to live, albeit in the CI form, it would be a terrific occasion.

Ashok was worrying about CI350 parts drying up in sometime. Don't worry mate, there are many who are waiting to start producing better quality parts than RE does, once RE pulls the plug on the STD350. I still feel that the STD350 would be a great back-road motorcycle, "only" if it came with top quality parts. It is not the issue with the STD350, but with the substandard quality parts RE uses to make it. Period.

Cheers,

Jay
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Old 5th November 2009, 11:11   #86
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I hope RE considers making the STD350 with high quality parts
Quote:
I still feel that the STD350 would be a great back-road motorcycle, "only" if it came with top quality parts. It is not the issue with the STD350, but with the substandard quality parts RE uses to make it. Period.
I have been shouting myself hoarse saying exactly the same thing for almost a decade now. No one gets it and i get branded a RE/Bullet hater. LOL.

Even ended up getting some infraction on here, just becasue some folks didn't get what I was trying to say and sanity got the better of me.
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Old 5th November 2009, 12:28   #87
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I wrote my view and my opinion here; I hope I am not thrown infractions. Really dont have any intention to question any of you senior/distinguished bhpians. I am a novice.

Michael Jackson did not invent the moonwalk. Fact.
Michael Jackson started in 70s without competition. Fact.

Tomorrow a guy dressed up in black suit and hat and white socks comes up and says he can do cartwheels, copters, and all kinds of acrobatic break dance. But he cant moonwalk. But calls himself as Michael II.
Despite the facts, I would say he is not Michael Jackson II.

My logic is almost the same with the Std 350.

@Gordon, brother, may be I did not lay down facts, but I also put down my opinion. Like many other people in the country. To me, any other bike has an exhaust note which can be made loud only. Std 350 has a specific character sound, which is clearly distinguishable. Its not the volume, its just the character of the sound. Pulsar/CBZ to compare it against ??
Let's pull off this argument; or shall I say, I agree I lost, lets stop it.

@ spitfire, pls do not spit fire on me. Just a novice who grew up from 80s, have seen the world only from there. Have seen the poor quality RE Std 350 fight and win the high quality precise Jap bikes many times over. ( Because of X, Y, Z reasons). Hence my opinions. I lose again here.

@ patiencewins, patience really wins. And I will be patient to lose now. I do not understand the monopoly thing here. Nobody stopped Jawa/Rajdoot/Bajaj etc to start producing a 350 single which the Armed forces can take. The armed forces use Bullets to this day, because it is decided by people authorised to do that. Finally boiling down to how this large country decided to do (democracy and all that -- we choose the leaders, they choose the people to decide and rules). That said, I agree that poor management to poor quality thing. To me, customer being the king could also mean we get better quality std 350s. And then term those as Bullet classics. This UCE bike as something else. (My stupid opinion, pls let go off that).
Bajaj graduated to motorcycles as they wanted more money. Bajaj scooters would have never stopped selling. Even this day, there is nothing that can replace what a scooter can do to a middle class middle aged family man with two kids.


@Jay,thanks man. I also hope for aftermarket parts of better quality.
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Old 5th November 2009, 12:33   #88
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well anyhow, I don't think any point in going over this again and again, I call it quits. I stand by my point and others too, I cannot change anyones opinion with text, and I guess no one can do that for me.

Maybe, one day we meet, we will talk about it face to face and try to convince each other, without pulling each others hair

In the meantime, lets get back to technical things. Please look at post#65 and advice.
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Old 5th November 2009, 12:56   #89
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And btw..any long term UCE reviews yet ? When was TBTS launched in India ?

Here is something that I got through one of the communitites. Sounds like typical RE. orkut -
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Old 5th November 2009, 14:45   #90
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Originally Posted by ashokrajagopal View Post
I wrote my view and my opinion here; I hope I am not thrown infractions. Really dont have any intention to question any of you senior/distinguished bhpians. I am a novice.

Michael Jackson did not invent the moonwalk. Fact.
Michael Jackson started in 70s without competition. Fact.

Tomorrow a guy dressed up in black suit and hat and white socks comes up and says he can do cartwheels, copters, and all kinds of acrobatic break dance. But he cant moonwalk. But calls himself as Michael II.
Despite the facts, I would say he is not Michael Jackson II.
I would not have complained if Michael Jackson walked properly whenever required (Reliability), forget moonwalking (sound of the engine) which is a byproduct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashokrajagopal View Post
@ patiencewins, patience really wins. And I will be patient to lose now. I do not understand the monopoly thing here. Nobody stopped Jawa/Rajdoot/Bajaj etc to start producing a 350 single which the Armed forces can take. The armed forces use Bullets to this day, because it is decided by people authorised to do that. Finally boiling down to how this large country decided to do (democracy and all that -- we choose the leaders, they choose the people to decide and rules). That said, I agree that poor management to poor quality thing. To me, customer being the king could also mean we get better quality std 350s. And then term those as Bullet classics. This UCE bike as something else. (My stupid opinion, pls let go off that).
Bajaj graduated to motorcycles as they wanted more money. Bajaj scooters would have never stopped selling. Even this day, there is nothing that can replace what a scooter can do to a middle class middle aged family man with two kids.
All the manufacturers out there exist for making money. My only point is that they are forced to listen to customers, mend their ways and deliver what sells.

Bajaj was forced to change with customer preferences and competition. They took motorcycles seriously when their geared scooter sales plumped.

bajaj
Bajaj, LML scooter sales slides down
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