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Old 20th October 2011, 20:48   #2011
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Default Re: Royal Enfield 500 Classic 4100 km Ownership Review

Greg and Bradhey, can I join your ranks?

I'm far more cynical. REs run in procedure (and I'm not even getting into the lore associated with it) is essentially meant for
a) Cover up shoddy manufacturing/ processes
b) Put the blame on you, the rider if (when!) something goes wrong.

(Where's my bulletproof vest when I need it)

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Sutripta
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Old 20th October 2011, 21:34   #2012
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Default Re: Royal Enfield 500 Classic 4100 km Ownership Review

Hi friends, you get the chicken by hatching the eggs and not by smashing it. Patience is the key.Hope the following article by the Bullet guru Mr.Gurunandan explains it allhttp://www.nandanmotors.com/running.htmlYou may counter fire :-)

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Old 20th October 2011, 22:01   #2013
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Default Re: Royal Enfield 500 Classic 4100 km Ownership Review

^^^
Actually supports what I said:- shoddy manufacturing practice.
You want a 'running fit'. And you get it by starting with an 'interference fit' and it is the users responsibility to baby it till it wears to the required tolerance. In todays day and age?

Check out say Maruti's running in procedure. And its engine failure rates. And I do think they produce rather more engines (and those are all multicylinder) than RE. (And yes, I know the difference between air cooled and water cooled engines).

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Old 20th October 2011, 22:49   #2014
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Default Re: Royal Enfield 500 Classic 4100 km Ownership Review

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Actually supports what I said:- shoddy manufacturing practice.
That stems from a lack of quality culture and a lot of pompousness in the company owing to utter lack of competition in their segments.

I called their company contact number mentioned on their website for an enquiry I had, and I cant be blamed for thinking I was speaking possibly to a low-key garage.
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Old 21st October 2011, 04:51   #2015
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Default Re: Royal Enfield 500 Classic 4100 km Ownership Review

The nandanmotors article was interesting and it had some good points to make. It also mentioned several things that do not apply to the Royal Enfield 500cc UCE engines.

First, the new UCE 500cc engine does NOT have an aluminum connecting rod.
The connecting rod is made of much stronger forged material.

It also does not have sleeve bearings on the big end of the connecting rod or on the crankshaft journals.

These bearings are all rolling element (ball or roller) bearings which do not require a great deal of oil to lubricate them. Actually, the oil is as much a coolant as it is a lubricant on rolling element bearings.
The use of rolling element bearings greatly reduces friction and heating that is common with sleeve style bearings.

The 500cc UCE's hydraulic valve lifters (followers) do not skid on the cams like some of the older solid tappet style lifters.
They use a roller to follow the cam lobes.
This design greatly reduces the wear on the cam lobes that can occur with non-roller designs including the "bucket and shim" method often used on Overhead Cam engines.
As I understand it, these hydraulic valve lifters are made in the U.S.A. by a company who specializes in designing and building these. This was done because of the exceedingly small tolerances which are required for them to work correctly.

While I'm mentioning differences between the new 500cc UCE and the older 500cc engines, the oil pump now is a gerotor style gear pump driven by spur gears. This is a vast improvement over the worm drive used on some old models of the Royal Enfields (and BSA).

Unlike earlier reciprocating pumps, these gear pumps deliver a high pressure, large flow supply of oil. This was not needed for the rolling element rod and crankshaft bearings but it was needed to assure a constant supply of high pressure oil for the hydraulic valve lifters.

The comments in the article about dissimilar materials like aluminum pistons and cast iron cylinder bores were quite correct. They expand at much different rates and need to be gently broken in.
Gently includes not only minimizing the engine speed but allowing the parts to cool off often. By doing this "thermal cycling" the parts can adjust to one another easily.

Both in the nandonmotors article and in various posts in this Topic I have seen references to a 50kmph limit for 3000km (31mph for 1800 miles).

This may have been recommended for the older 500cc bikes or for the 350cc bikes but it certainly is not what the manual for the 500cc UCE engined machines says.

So that you people will know exactly what the 500cc UCE break in involves I will quote from my 2011 G5's Owners Manual.

0-300 miles 0-500 Kms):
The recommended speed for the first 300 Miles (500 kms) is 35-40 MPH (50-60) Kmph. During this period avoid riding the motorcycle with full throttle opening. Stop the motorcycle for about 5 to 10 minutes to let it cool down, after every hour of running. Vary the speed of the motorcycle regularly during running but avoid using the motorcycle above 1/2 throttle.

(Elsewhere the manual says to change the oil and the oil filter at 300 Miles (500 kms).

300-600 Miles (500 - 1000 Kms):
The recommended speeds are 45-50 MPH (80-90 Kmph). Avoid riding the motorcycle with full throttle opening. Vary the speed of the motorcycle regularly but avoid using the motorcycle about 3/4 throttle opening position.

600 Miles (1,000 kms) and beyond
Avoid prolonged full-throttle operation. Vary speed occasionally.

In my humble opinion, riding at 37 mph (60 Kmph) for 500 Km is a bit frustrating but by no means impossible to do.
After the 500 Km is passed and the first oil and filter change is complete a 50 MPH (90 Kmph) limit is not bad at all.

Hopefully the differences I mentioned above will help people new to the UCE engine understand that this engine is not a lightly "tweeked" version of the older engines.

Based on my Engineering background I must say it is a greatly improved design over the old traditional Royal Enfield engines.
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Old 21st October 2011, 08:03   #2016
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Default Re: Royal Enfield 500 Classic 4100 km Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaJim
The nandanmotors article was interesting and it had some good points to make. It also mentioned several things that do not apply to the Royal Enfield 500cc UCE engines. ...
Did it mention any thing on Uce engines? it was written years back when the term 'Uce' wasn't even known (for RE). As said here, running in 'by the seat of the pants approach' is good enough & yes, use common sense.
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Old 21st October 2011, 10:41   #2017
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Default Re: Royal Enfield 500 Classic 4100 km Ownership Review

There is a school of thought with air cooled engines, "start as you mean to go on". The reasonning behind this is as simple as the method. Take the bike out of the box and gradually over the first service stretch work it up to how you always plan to use it. Yep differential expansion is the key. With cold air against the front of the cylinder it expands to a distorted shape. The sooner the engine gets to it's typical conditions of use the sooner the piston can mate with the bore.

If your style and conditions vary, that's great. If you're a round towner, too easy. If you're a long haul guy like me, aquaint your bike with it's future. Some guys like Randhawa like pushing it hard and so on..

Engines wear a "butt groove" (or more often a ring groove) If I want a new bike to run smooth and hold a speed like say 110 I'll run it in to that. I've found powerful bikes I cruised around on at 90 for the first 5000km were hard to hold on 100. They buzzed my hands and kept sneaking back to 90. I made this mistake with 2 harleys and a 1900 roadliner. My second roadliner had been 105 all the way since 150km on the dial and it loved it, even with a headwind, mountains and passenger where the previous identical bike was a little different, and bear in mind jap bikes are pretty consistant one to the next.

Do I start ducking now with this way out theory?
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Old 21st October 2011, 12:08   #2018
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Default Re: Royal Enfield 500 Classic 4100 km Ownership Review

My reason for pointing out that some of the information given was not applicable to the UCE is because this particular topic is directed towards the Royal Enfield 500 cc classic which has a UCE engine.

Some who read the information in the link might be led to believe that it is speaking of the UCE powered motorcycles because the link was posted in this topic.

Hopefully you and the others will understand my motives?
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Old 21st October 2011, 18:59   #2019
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Default Re: Royal Enfield 500 Classic 4100 km Ownership Review

Just a point of interest, I had a quick look on youtube and found 3 different videos showing RE's factory testing. Each bike being held open on the dyno, needle sitting on 120 from odometer 0. This blows run ins right out the window. Start it up and hold it flat before the dealer even gets it.

I read that link and hey, it's an opinion, we all got them. Results speak louder to me, and so far the result I'm seeing of break in by the book is a thread full of people complaining of carbon choked combustion chaimbers. Has anyone put 100 000km on a UCE yet. I have done this and more on 2 of my past bikes and never had to even take the head off any of the 9 I've owned. The bikes were pulling as hard up my favorite test hill as they did when they were 10 000km old when I sold them. That is my result. Granted they weren't RE's though.

Do what ever gives you piece of mind and if it does go wrong, lay blame wherever it tastes right to you.
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Old 21st October 2011, 20:20   #2020
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Default Re: Royal Enfield 500 Classic 4100 km Ownership Review

^^^
We are digressing from the focus of this thread (as mentioned in the title) but I'd like to add one more paragraph.

The issue is not of design, but of manufacturing standards and product quality. And this has not changed over the decades. I'd say it is because RE management feels it is perfectly acceptable. After all people are queuing up to buy their bikes!

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Old 22nd October 2011, 01:08   #2021
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Default Re: Royal Enfield 500 Classic 4100 km Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post
It also does not have sleeve bearings on the big end of the connecting rod or on the crankshaft journals.

These bearings are all rolling element (ball or roller) bearings which do not require a great deal of oil to lubricate them. Actually, the oil is as much a coolant as it is a lubricant on rolling element bearings.
The use of rolling element bearings greatly reduces friction and heating that is common with sleeve style bearings.


As I understand it, these hydraulic valve lifters are made in the U.S.A. by a company who specializes in designing and building these. This was done because of the exceedingly small tolerances which are required for them to work correctly.

While I'm mentioning differences between the new 500cc UCE and the older 500cc engines, the oil pump now is a gerotor style gear pump driven by spur gears. This is a vast improvement over the worm drive used on some old models of the Royal Enfields (and BSA).

Unlike earlier reciprocating pumps, these gear pumps deliver a high pressure, large flow supply of oil. This was not needed for the rolling element rod and crankshaft bearings but it was needed to assure a constant supply of high pressure oil for the hydraulic valve lifters.

Based on my Engineering background I must say it is a greatly improved design over the old traditional Royal Enfield engines.
Yup it has needle roller bearing on big end and also on the RHS crank shaft.

UCE does not have gerotor type pump but a trichodial pump which is more of a high volume(9 litres @2750RPM) then high pressure of 4.5 bars.

Yes it's far better then the older design used in RE previously.

Yes the manufacturer of the hydraulic tappets is the same company which manufactures the tappets for Harley Davidson. The same company has 1 in 1,00,000 failure rate of the tappet. Now that is some quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
That stems from a lack of quality culture and a lot of pompousness in the company owing to utter lack of competition in their segments.

I called their company contact number mentioned on their website for an enquiry I had, and I cant be blamed for thinking I was speaking possibly to a low-key garage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
^^^
We are digressing from the focus of this thread (as mentioned in the title) but I'd like to add one more paragraph.

The issue is not of design, but of manufacturing standards and product quality. And this has not changed over the decades. I'd say it is because RE management feels it is perfectly acceptable. After all people are queuing up to buy their bikes!

Regards
Sutripta
I agree to you booth on this. Just few one to one with RE official from my experience. It dates back to my first year of ownership with all the main problems in the UCE encountered by me.

1. With the black smoke issue in the beginning- Three R&D RE guys and me having a chat about it. I sat listening to their crap for 15minutes with total silence and later asked why does it smokes black on startup. Rather then agreeing to it's mapping issue, I am told it's normal for a EFI bikes to emit black smoke.

My reply to them- Have I paid 1.25L for a petrol bike which pretends to be a diesel bike. I am greeted with silence after I tell them it's to do with mapping issue.

2. Rust at welding joints and touch up on paint with a brush 15 times on the engine bracket. Me talking to the top RE Quality head who is looking after the paint department, Sir could you have not changed the bracket rather then doing such a botchy job and how the hell you managed to do a quality OK before even shipping it out. I get a reply saying because it's a hand assembled bike and it's normal. He had the audacity to explain me in what microns is the paint applied. Then I ask him why there is no primer on the raw metal and why even striking the paint job with a wooden piece the paint comes off and the rust. I am again greeted by silence and then a question is put to me asking what is my profession.

3. I had the big end go on me at 350km only. I could hear the noise and drove lot of RE people crazy about it. I even recorded the noise easily audible but they could not hear it. I had to ride 6k before the piston started hammering the block into self destruction to convince them.

4. I told them about the crank shaft NRB quality problem that they need to source a better bearing but it took them 1.6years to admit and source one. Till now not fully implemented across all UCE. You have to make a special order if you want that German bearing and they still supply the crappy SKF NRB.

5. Told them about the Valve guide quality issue, rather it was the way it was being drilled across and problem associated with it. They still don't admit it.

6. Created fuss about the filter design problem on here and sent few mails at that time. Took them 1 year to give us the filter cover.


Had a chat with the ASM then who is now RSM about all the issues in first year of ownership. I am told that RE does not listen to them and they can't do anything. I am encouraged by him to write a review online and cry about it there. Which I did on here and within few weeks I get a call from RE engineer requesting unofficially to delete all the bad stuff I have reported about it. Later I found out that two chaps came to get the booking canceled at my RE dealership. I never obliged and they did started taking me seriously enough to get things going for me.

Above are just few of many incidents from my experience with RE and you lads have summarised it quite nicely, in-fact nailed it.

I just wish Triumph/Kawasaki/Yamaha comes out with some retro bikes under 700cc for Indian Market and see the tide change. Competition is what RE needs.

@Sutripta- Now getting back to what info I had promised to you-

CI/LB(ES) TCI upgrade to deal with sprag failure.

1. Before the TCI upgrade it had the delay circuit which was deleted upon the upgrade.
2. Timing was retarded from 10° at cold start to 5° at start up.
3. Timing climbed till 8° after start up/warming up with RPM below 1000.
4. After crossing 1000 RPM it was at 10°.
5. Max 22° at WOT.
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Old 22nd October 2011, 03:27   #2022
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Default Re: Royal Enfield 500 Classic 4100 km Ownership Review

Please don't get too angry with RE, they are a struggling company in a less than wealthy country. They have done well to keep up with modern emission demands and release an all new set of designs. Yep, there's gonna be a lot of management and structure issues, and a lot of sweeping customers voices under the mat and even more teething troubles. If they had Yamaha's budget, sales, and competition they would have to get big or get out overnight. Be careful what you wish for in terms a japanese bike invasion of the sub continent, it would spell the end for RE.

The one trick RE is missing is to use all this free customer feedback as its R&D dept. All the issues brought up and solved here could've been seen to way more quickly, in doing so they would've earned a better rep than they could buy in advertising.

I think the company is worth encouraging as long as it lives in this little bubble with its captive home market because it won't stay that way forever. It needs to intrench a reputation for reliability and capitallize on the fact that it is the only modern vintage bike manufacturer in the world.

Tough medicine to take in the face of spending your money on a problematic bike experience, but if you love RE don't kerb stomp it, be creative and persistant and find a way to nurture it or it will fail in the face of a fast changing world.

This thread is the classic 500 ownership experience. I'd like to see some more great riding stories to offset the tech issues.
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Old 22nd October 2011, 20:48   #2023
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Default Re: Royal Enfield 500 Classic 4100 km Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randhawa View Post
@Sutripta- Now getting back to what info I had promised to you-

CI/LB(ES) TCI upgrade to deal with sprag failure.

1. Before the TCI upgrade it had the delay circuit which was deleted upon the upgrade.
2. Timing was retarded from 10° at cold start to 5° at start up.
3. Timing climbed till 8° after start up/warming up with RPM below 1000.
4. After crossing 1000 RPM it was at 10°.
5. Max 22° at WOT.
Thanks.
Lets stick to the simpler UCE350.
A) What did the pre-upgrade delay circuit do?
B) 5 deg to 8 deg based on what? Temp? Does the UCE350 have a temp sensor?
C) Timing at 1000 rpm: 8 or 10 deg.
D) There will be two major influences on timing: rpm and charge density. Charge density information will come from the TPS. How does the TPS communicate with the Ignition module? Voltage? Current (very unlikely)? Resistance? PWM? Something else? And the values at idle and WOT, and at any knee point.

The reason why I'm so interested in this is because the the loadings on the sprag are MUCH more if there is a kickback during starting than the engine reversing just before stopping. And as I have said, the UCE350 does kickback. At least my TBTS does.

@Greg: What do you think of a company which refuses to sell its shop manual to its customers. (Actually make that rabidly loyal fans).

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 22nd October 2011, 21:19   #2024
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Default Re: Royal Enfield 500 Classic 4100 km Ownership Review

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Originally Posted by aussigreg View Post
The one trick RE is missing is to use all this free customer feedback as its R&D dept. All the issues brought up and solved here could've been seen to way more quickly, in doing so they would've earned a better rep than they could buy in advertising.

.
Agree with you cent percent. The Royal Enfield Bullet is one of the best things left back by the British people in India. Now what we have in the current situation is a great bike and a company mimicking the stiff upper lip attitude of the British and capitalizing on the trade mark and not on the quality of their products. You can see this Royal attitude the time you set your foot inside an RE showroom. Their attitude: “We are not desperate to sell you our machines; you buy them or get the hell outta here ! With what I have experienced talking to the company is like talking to a Radio. You get the speech but you can’t speak back! This attitude of the company multiplied with their infamously trained mechanics are killing the quality of the RE bikes. Frankly, in my opinion, without threads like this with the help of experts who are out there to help the fellow bikers, I don’t know in what condition our machines would have been. Below are some of the great jobs done by RE service:

1. During service, they always tune my carburetor with the engine cold.
2.When complaining about instability, they always reduce my tyre pressure dangerously low instead of looking for defects in tyre or sprocket alignment. (Later I would feel that the bike is not pulling (accelerating) as it should and when I check the tyre pressure, it would be 20 in the rear where it should be 30).
By being a blind and deaf (idiot too!) Bullet lover I pray “Long live the RE and their customer service, Amen!

Last edited by adrian : 22nd October 2011 at 21:21.
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Old 22nd October 2011, 22:56   #2025
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Default Re: Royal Enfield 500 Classic 4100 km Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Thanks.
Lets stick to the simpler UCE350.
A) What did the pre-upgrade delay circuit do?
B) 5 deg to 8 deg based on what? Temp? Does the UCE350 have a temp sensor?
C) Timing at 1000 rpm: 8 or 10 deg.
D) There will be two major influences on timing: rpm and charge density. Charge density information will come from the TPS. How does the TPS communicate with the Ignition module? Voltage? Current (very unlikely)? Resistance? PWM? Something else? And the values at idle and WOT, and at any knee point.

The reason why I'm so interested in this is because the the loadings on the sprag are MUCH more if there is a kickback during starting than the engine reversing just before stopping. And as I have said, the UCE350 does kickback. At least my TBTS does.

@Greg: What do you think of a company which refuses to sell its shop manual to its customers. (Actually make that rabidly loyal fans).

Regards
Sutripta

A) Delay Circuit - Delay spark, to what duration is what I don't know.

B) UCE 350 does not have temp sensor but a TPS to control timing which is adjustable by hand. 5° to 8° on non uce is controlled by the TCI getting signal through pulser coil on the magneto which tells TCI the RPM.

C) 10° at 1000 RPM

D)On a UCE 500 TPS it communicates with voltage and we know it's values but on a UCE 350 TPS I am inclined to say it's resistance. UCE 500 TPS has three wires, two for powering it up and one for low voltage signal for ECU. But on UCE 350 the TPS has only two wires. For the rest of the values I will get back with info later.


I understand your reasoning to get to the root of the problem then changing sprag all the time. But do consider getting the auto de-comp checked out. As rebound is most of time due to compression at low RPM when auto de-comp is not easing out the compression.
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