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Old 25th January 2010, 14:23   #1
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Unhappy Disappointed with RE CL500

Hello all,

Sometime back, I got a chance to ride my uncle's RE Standard 350 for couple of months. After riding this bike, I had decided that my next bike would be an RE one and Standard in particular.

Recently when I planned to buy this bike (after pestering my parents) I realised that the production of Standard has been stopped and sales have stopped in Karnataka. But the Classic 500 caught my eye. Thought the bike was not available for TD at the showroom when I went, the sales guy explained me with all the features of this bike. It sounded very interesting. I came back home and did a bit of research on this bike. The reviews were great, everyone complimenting the looks and UCE engine.

I had the photo of this bike as my wallpaper and everytime I saw the pic I wanted to own one asap.

I wanted to take a TD of the bike before booking. I went to my friend who owns this bike, to take a TD. I was full joshed up to ride this new machine from RE.

I sat on the bike thinking the feel would be similar to Standard. But it wasn't. This bike is low. I took the bike for a small ride. It didnt impress me much. The riding position disappointed me, the RE thump was missing (very obvious because of new engine), and I couldnt feel I was riding an RE bike. It didnt give the majestic feel of riding as compared to Standard. I understand that the technology used in CL is far superior than the one used in Standard, but still CL let me down.
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Old 25th January 2010, 14:42   #2
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CL is not a letdown by any means
it stands its ground very well and does what its built for after ironing out a few minor hicccups hear and there
You are comparing 2 different bikes.
the only similarity between the two being the cosmetics
Its kind of like you want your New girlfriend to be exactly like your ex-girfriend..
It is the next generation of Enfields
If you want the "feeling" of a standard then pester a dealer to get you one. Money always talks in such cases.
i am seeing a lot of Standards and Electras over at the Mumbai Showroom in Bandra
if nothing works then there are many people who are selling their 4-5-6 year old Electra's and Standard's to buy the Classic. Get a good one one from there
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Old 25th January 2010, 14:44   #3
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Depends on what you are looking for. The CI engines have that exhaust note that won't be reproducible on the alloy and UCE engines. The short bottle helps to some extend, but you'll still have the clatter and extra noise to live with.

What most CI users forget to mention to you is that the older engines need a good amount of care. Sure, routine care makes sure that the engine and the bike lasts longer, but if it's your first bullet be prepared for rough patches with the bike. The newer generation is as good as the Japanese and other Indian bikes. You should be able to expect a certain level of reliability without hassles.

If you're thinking of touring, the classics are by a huge margin the best you can get in India. The lower height can be fixed by moving to bigger tyres. Also, the split seats have a lower height than the standard's and depending on how you look at it it's an (dis)advantage.

Ultimately, the bike has it's shortcomings. It's not for everyone. I'll suggest you take it out for a longer ride, and maybe try a TD again after the bike has been through one or two services and has started developing a better "character".
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Old 25th January 2010, 15:33   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iron View Post
If you want the "feeling" of a standard then pester a dealer to get you one. Money always talks in such cases.
i am seeing a lot of Standards and Electras over at the Mumbai Showroom in Bandra
I have tried my luck for Standard CI Engine in Kerala. Will be getting the confirmation within 2 weeks. Just hoping I get my bike allocated

Quote:
Originally Posted by iron View Post
if nothing works then there are many people who are selling their 4-5-6 year old Electra's and Standard's to buy the Classic. Get a good one one from there
Are you sure? This is shocking/surprising news for me. Because I dont think people who are having Standard/electra will trade it for any other bikes
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Old 25th January 2010, 15:39   #5
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this bike was being boasted by some the forums. it is supposed to be far superior in tech and performance. except the old chasis,handling,tyres the rest of it is great being for a bike from RE.
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Old 25th January 2010, 15:40   #6
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about the sitting position i don't agree , the sitting position is way too good ..

for the sound one can always change exhaust to make the bike loud

CL 500 is far more better than Std.

From reading it looks like only the sound of the bike is what you didn't like much , cause is made to produce sound and was missing in stock bike
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Old 25th January 2010, 15:44   #7
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2 months - CI 350. Few minutes - CL500. Good enough to form an opinion?

Me:

2 CI 350's - one preowned - 20k odd kilometers. Second Brand new - 40k odd kilometers. Both over 4 years.

CL500 - One week in Goa - Better, much better then the CI 350.

Rework on your expectations.

Stuck on a ghat at 3 am with a broken connecting rod - thump and riding height are the last of your worries.

Last edited by Spitfire : 25th January 2010 at 15:45.
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Old 25th January 2010, 16:09   #8
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Abhishek,

You say you know that the technology of the CL500 is much more advanced than that of the CI350. So, you seem to know what you're getting into. The STD350 will be maintenance intensive. If you can cope with that and are prepared for a motorcycle that will behave like the ones our grandfathers rode, go buy the STD350. Nothing on Indian roads today can recreate the thump and the low end torque that lets you putter around town like the STD350 does. If you're a DIY guy who can ride along sedately, you'll love the STD350 for it's sheer simplicity and maybe even for it's idiosyncrasies too. Servicing the STD350 is a task that consumes more time than the CL500. All said and done, the STD350 isn't for everyone as I have seen plenty of people sell theirs off pretty quickly unable to cope with the Bullet's idiosyncrasies. Bottom line, if you like it, go buy it.

Cheers,

Jay
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Old 25th January 2010, 16:11   #9
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spitfire, similar probs can occur with alloy/UCE ... ?
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Old 25th January 2010, 16:26   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
spitfire, similar probs can occur with alloy/UCE ... ?
Its a machine. Its as good as its weakest part. Unfortunately on the CI 350 there are a lot more.

If you tour the way one is supposed to. Keep at 80+ kmph whole day (i do).

CI - No good.
CL - Yes. Panjim to Belgaum and back 280 odd kms in 8 hours.

Touring at 60kmph whole day to save the bike. Better catch a Bus.
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Old 25th January 2010, 17:51   #11
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I had an opportunity to ride the "CL500" for few kms and i was very impressed with this bike!

I feel its a machine one would love on the "High way"!
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Old 25th January 2010, 18:00   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lohithrao View Post
I feel its a machine one would love on the "High way"!
I will second that. I rode it for about 1k kilometers in a space of 5 days. 40% highway and 60% city - Goa. Works well in both environs.

Hit an indicated 110 kmph (Honda City for company) on the highways beyond which the engine struggles a bit to accelerate. But at those speeds you feel you are doing no more then 80 kmph. Perfectly in sync with the road, with good feedback from the handle bars and the rear wheel. Engine noise is muted at these speeds (I was wearing a full face helmet). No nervousness or that shallow feeling deep in the heart that this is a RE and sometime soon expect the unexpected.

I need to write down a full review, but since I am not a camera guy a report without pics wont help. So until I get my hands again on one, I will keep this for a later time.

But overall 4 stars out of 5 for the product. Some inherent glitches are there but nothing that can take your life - as was the case on the CI.
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Old 25th January 2010, 18:20   #13
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yes very true, forgot to mention the handling part
also i was very happy with the sound/beat !



Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
I will second that. I rode it for about 1k kilometers in a space of 5 days. 40% highway and 60% city - Goa. Works well in both environs.

Hit an indicated 110 kmph (Honda City for company) on the highways beyond which the engine struggles a bit to accelerate. But at those speeds you feel you are doing no more then 80 kmph. Perfectly in sync with the road, with good feedback from the handle bars and the rear wheel. Engine noise is muted at these speeds (I was wearing a full face helmet). No nervousness or that shallow feeling deep in the heart that this is a RE and sometime soon expect the unexpected.

I need to write down a full review, but since I am not a camera guy a report without pics wont help. So until I get my hands again on one, I will keep this for a later time.

But overall 4 stars out of 5 for the product. Some inherent glitches are there but nothing that can take your life - as was the case on the CI.
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Old 25th January 2010, 18:22   #14
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@abhishek-
Really don't understand why you don't like the bike. It's a true marvel. Had the luck for an extensive TD of last week. It's just brilliant.
Btw, even i know of 4 RE std and electra owners who've put there rides on sale because they want the RE500.
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Old 25th January 2010, 18:38   #15
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There is a pipes replacement for Rs.3000/- at the showroom itself. Supposed to give the authentic beat. Voids your warranty though.
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