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Old 15th August 2010, 15:23   #31
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Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
Isn't the Fazer a good option for this application?
FZ makes for a more sensible & VFM IMHO, If you look ahead of its poor FE(~35-40kmpl) and on par performance wrt to it being 150cc & a bit pricey, it presents a very strong case for itself.

Have ridden FZ/Fazer & R15 extensively for the past 1.5 years & have logged some 30k and the problem is at places you shall miss the R15 badly(good/curvy roads) & at some places FZ(no roads/off road).

FZ can cruise comfortably @80-85kmph all day.
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Old 15th August 2010, 17:39   #32
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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
FZ makes for a more sensible & VFM IMHO, If you look ahead of its poor FE(~35-40kmpl) and on par performance wrt to it being 150cc & a bit pricey, it presents a very strong case for itself.

Have ridden FZ/Fazer & R15 extensively for the past 1.5 years & have logged some 30k and the problem is at places you shall miss the R15 badly(good/curvy roads) & at some places FZ(no roads/off road).

FZ can cruise comfortably @80-85kmph all day.
Sheel,FZ is equally bad as a R15,over bad roads.
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Old 15th August 2010, 18:21   #33
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Sheel,FZ is equally bad as a R15,over bad roads.
I fly over bad roads in the FZ/Fazer and I am on avg. 30-40kmph faster.
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Old 15th August 2010, 18:26   #34
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I fly over bad roads in the FZ/Fazer and I am on avg. 30-40kmph faster.
Poor little Fazer
Its more of a city slicker than outright tourer.
and not meant really meant for bad roads.
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Old 15th August 2010, 18:30   #35
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Poor little Fazer
Its more of a city slicker than outright tourer.
and not meant really meant for bad roads.
It one day sneaked out & sold itself to a caring bloke & fetched 61K in return(had got 2nd hand for 64K in Nov, do the Maths)

It ain't an out-right tourer, its a fun bike nevertheless & you can really close on big Motorcycles in corners.
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Old 15th August 2010, 18:38   #36
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@Arun1.
I personally don't like to mod a bike. The best you can do is prepare a shortlist of the bikes.
Test ride all of them one after the other in the same day.

Then post here listing your observation w.r.t to each bike. Let us know what you feel about each one of them


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Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
enfields last long because we have to keep changing the damn parts every few months!

and yes i am a thumper too...
Cougar, maybe you need to either change your riding style or your mechanic.
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Old 15th August 2010, 20:33   #37
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@Arun1.
Test ride all of them one after the other in the same day.

Then post here listing your observation w.r.t to each bike. Let us know what you feel about each one of them


Sir this is why I haven't been posting much in this thread as I don't have much to add as due to one reason or the other I haven't been able to test drive the bikes mentioned in this thread.
I am for the time being biased towards the R-15 :-) but on the other hand it seems that how good the bike feels also depends upon the road one would frequent on.
This is why I request input from Chennai members of the board.
I'll be staying either in porur or poonamalle(Dad says its pronounced poontha malli but this is what is shown on google maps).Depending upon what area I find a home,I'll be taking the porur road and then 5-8km on the NH4 to Chembarambakkam or the poonamalle high road-->bypass road-->NH4
Would the R-15 be recommended for such travel conditions.I apologize for over analyzing the situation,I can be like that sometimes :P
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Old 16th August 2010, 06:55   #38
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Cougar, maybe you need to either change your riding style or your mechanic.
I don't think CDI blowing out arbit, or oil seals busting themselves every year etc etc are an pointer to riding styles or bad mechanics. Its more a problem with pathetic Quality Control at RE. Especially when it happens to 4.8 out of 5 bulleteers.

The difference is some RE owners acknowledge that a problem exists. Others, perhaps dulled by excess testerone running through their arteries/veins, prefer to live in denial!

Lets Face it: at a regular motorcycle manufacturer tolerances would be in micro-mm. at RE they are measured in cm and metres! THe long list of unpaid suppliers putting RE on cash-and-carry system is further evidence that as a company they have lost the script and are fast sinking.

Bajaj has made a good effort at mass-produced quality. They are hardly the best, but they have maintained a fair quality and fair pricing considering their huge volumes. Personally I am highly impressed by TVS bikes like the Fiero: now that is a SOLID bike for a great price. Unfortunately TVS just hasnt managed to play the volumes game and they have this irritating habit of making 10cc upgrades at a time when the competition has crossed the 200cc barrier long back.

Last edited by COUGAR : 16th August 2010 at 07:00.
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Old 16th August 2010, 07:46   #39
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@OP. I am going completely Off Topic and giving my advance apologies.

@ Cougar
I ride with a club. You mentioned 4.8 out of 5 right.
Ok. In my 7 years of RE ownership and being a member of a club.

Bike 1:
My own. 2003, Tb, Completely stock except for a large tank. Kms done in the range of 90k or so. Daily ride as well as highway bike. Parts replaced apart from the usual oils, chains and bulbs.
A small crown wheel that controls the tappets. Cost: Rs 200. Manifold connecting the carb to the engine cracked. Caused a drop in performance.

Bike 2: 2003 tb. Sold last year. Had done close to 50k kms. Issues 0. Did have a cracked manifold that connects the carb to the engine. Biker bought a Avl 500 because he wanted more speed.

Bike 3: 2003 tb. This had done almost 130k kms when it was sold. Issues 0. Sold because biker bought a Classic 500 last year. It did have a couple of rattling issues. But they could have been due to extensive tours on very bad roads.

Bike 4: 2002 tb. This is the most neglected bike in my club. Has done less than 30k kms. But 90% of that has been on the highways. Its called neglected because the guy who owns it is very irregular in his service. Oil changes once in a year or two. Infact after his long ride around, the bike simply stood in the same place for like 6 months. He suffered the first failure just a couple of days back when the rear wheel hub broke and caused excessive wheel wobbling. But was still able to ride back home about 40 kms away.

Bike 5: 2003 tb. This had a big messup in 2007. The gajun pin broke during a long ride. We were not able to figure it out. Ended up riding 400 kms in heavy rain inspite of the very noisy engine. The head had to be replaced and the bill was quite high. The guy also got his bike painted in some flames design so exact amount he paid, I don't remember.

Bonus Bike 6; Std 350, 2006. Biker forgot he was on a Standard. He wanted to keep up with everyone else and show off his tail lamp. Very heavy acceleration in initial gears got his tappets all messed up. We luckily found a decent mechanic some 300 kms from home. The bike went on to complete 1700 kms before it came back to our mechanic who worked on the head.


Quote:
I don't think CDI blowing out arbit, or oil seals busting themselves every year etc etc are an pointer to riding styles or bad mechanics. Its more a problem with pathetic Quality Control at RE. Especially when it happens to 4.8 out of 5 bulleteers.
The CDI blowing out can generally happen due to faulty wiring.
Faulty wiring is generally an issue with bikers who add a lot of extra lights to compensate for poor eyesight or because they are afraid of the dark or simply because they don't know how to ride in the night.
Its can also be due to replacing a seat and leaving the wiring system exposed to water without adequate protection.

The worn out seals is because of bike being parked in the hot dry weather for long periods of time. Or replacing the parts from non standard vendors. I have seen that sometime people replace non-oe parts. I myself made the mistake of replacing my side stand with a non-oe part and regretted it for almost 3 months. This is mostly due to non-availability of spares in some cities.

Quote:

The difference is some RE owners acknowledge that a problem exists. Others, perhaps dulled by excess testerone running through their arteries/veins, prefer to live in denial!
I don't think excess testerone would dull someone.
I think the difference is more due to people not understanding the bike and what it expects of them. In the words of someone who wrote on a Bullet on some other forum. A Bullet is like a harmony of parts. You add something extra to the bike, you will cause failure at some other place. Keep it stock and ride it everyday. The bike will serve you well.
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Old 16th August 2010, 09:03   #40
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@bblost: Its often difficult to have an honest discussion on the RE with a club fella: its like trying to preach Marxism to the Pope! But no harm in making an effort!

my own TB: completely stock except for BS29 carb in place of the stock BS26, and briefly a 110 tyre. no electrical changes or extra lights or anything of the sort. Yet suffered from a burnt out CDI at the fag end of a rather long ride through the hills. Never expected something like this to happen and I might have dismissed it off as a one off thing until i saw it happen to 3 others, 2 TB and 1 Electra.

Broken stays: unheard of any other bike, but a common and irritating problem on the TB, until RE decided to go the "Stay-Free" way. ok bad joke!

Worn out oil pump wheels: another problem. The oil pump just stops working and we wont even know it, until an alert mech checks for it during the regular service. Not something you expect, but something we now do as a matter of routine! Checked 3 other TB's on impluse and found worn the same part worn out on those bikes as well! What should have been a "fountain" of oil through the pipes is reduced to a trickle with the potential to cause damage over time if unrectified. It wont cause problems ofcourse if detected and rectified on time: which essentially means more checks and replacements during the service cycle: i.e. more maintenance cost.

Having clutch cables break every few months is not something you expect out of a bike that costs as much as an RE. And its not correct to blame it on poor riding: thats no excuse. The same rider rides a Pulsar for much longer distances without these problems.

I could go on.... Somehow RE bikes seem to have more than their share of niggling problems. Something is clearly wrong with Quality standards at RE.

Quote:
I think the difference is more due to people not understanding the bike and what it expects of them
So should one "understand" that the RE as a bike is going to require more maintenance and it expects more attention than other bikes on the market and accept that?

Sorry. Sure its a big bike and gets you attention like none other on the market. And owning a bullet brings with an opportunity to sign up with a "cool" club.

But someone who is serious about touring is looking for a bike thats reliable on the long haul without any of the nasty surprises lurking in the dark.

PS: Lets take the example of 2 friends from Bangalore who went out and purchased the Classic: the latest lemon from the RE stable. I think the 2 of them are from your club. One of them, barely 4 months old has been parked under covers in his garage for 2 months now awaiting some parts to be shipped down from the RE factory in Chennai! The other managed to get his 6 month old bike back on the roads but is forced to ride below 60kph for the next 1500 kms! It resulted in him loosing out on this years ladakh ride. Both arent exactly new found converts to the RE, having owned RE products for well over 10 years.

However while using the choicest abuses in the Kannad language for RE, both still vehemently insist on the RE being a very reliable bike in the same breath! I dont really know what to say to that so i just nod along!

Last edited by COUGAR : 16th August 2010 at 09:07.
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Old 16th August 2010, 10:31   #41
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Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
The difference is some RE owners acknowledge that a problem exists. Others, perhaps dulled by excess testerone running through their arteries/veins, prefer to live in denial!
Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
A Bullet is like a harmony of parts. You add something extra to the bike, you will cause failure at some other place. Keep it stock and ride it everyday. The bike will serve you well.
I see merit on both sides of the argument. But I have a LB 500, stock in every little way, and I tend to agree with the harmony will serve you well philosophy, because my bike has worked flawlessly. Except for a wiring short in the headlight box, which is not a surprise if you see the birds nest of wires there.

I have been often tempted to do some mods, but I have resisted this to avoid upsetting the balance of the system.

The thing is, one needs to know the RE better than most people at RE know it. Case in point is the engine oil levels and how these are to be measured. The LB500 engine needs a lot less oil than is commonly known, and responds to overfilling by blowing oil all over the place. If you measure the oil level on most of these bikes on the road the way it ought to be measured - by checking the oil level on a wiped dipstick 2 minutes after shutting down an engine running for 15 or so minutes at least, you will find that the level will be above the max mark. That is overfilling, and the engine hates anything above half-max. On a dead cold bike, if oil is filled to even the midpoint on the dipstick, you are overfilling. On a correctly filled LB500, that has not been used for a few days, the dipstick will probably show no oil on the stick. Now if one does not know this aspect of the LB500, one is not going to see it at its best, because it is very sensitive to overfilling. Tricky, but that's a Bullet for you. The new UCE may have similar idiosyncrasies, I don't know.
Also, the RE is very, very sensitive to how well it has been run in. Like bikes made 30 years ago, and very unlike bikes/cars made today. The problem is that most people no longer know how to run in the RE because the regime it requires is not common practice today. But correct running in is vital to long term reliability in Bullets.
On the electricals, a common practice is to rewire the new bike fully, using better quality wires/terminations. I did not do that, and paid the price in some blown fuses. Part of the Bullet experience.
Lots of people report failure of the ES parts. Again, there is a way to use the ES. It is not to be used like it can be used on other bikes. Not too many people know this, not too many at RE know this. Certainly there is no mention of the correct way in the manual.
A new RE needs to be seen as work in progress, that will be finished in the hands of the owner. If seen and used that way, it can be very reliable.
For those that haven't the inclination or the time to see it that way, it can be as fickle as the proverbial woman. Does that mean that these people are wrong - not a bit, but a Bullet is perhaps not the bike for them. Its not about testosterone, it is about loving the thing and reaping the benefits of the love bestowed on it by getting as good reliability as one can get from an old design.
PS: Not quite off topic all this, if it gets people to understand what it will mean to opt for a Bullet for these kind of applications!

Last edited by Sawyer : 16th August 2010 at 10:36.
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Old 16th August 2010, 22:37   #42
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Sawyer, I really hope everyone read your post before deciding on buying RE Bikes.
Else they will keep cribbing like babies.

Lovely post.
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Old 16th August 2010, 23:06   #43
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if ur willing to stretch ur budget by another 40k - 60k , u could pickup a second hand VFR400 or a CBR400 both 4 cylinder marvels . That or u could spend close to 3lacs on a Ninja250R , a parallel twin . U decide on which is more VFM

RE ?? Seriously U gotta be kidding me . U know i some times fantasize about what it would be like to ride/ own a CL500 but i always picture myself alot fatter and older in those fantasies and im not there yet . Honest to God I have alot of very good friends and buddies who all have RE motorcycles - from the T-bird to ancient Std 350s and old cast iron 500 , not to forget a couple of beautiful 535s in the mix . But i honestly find these bikes big , noisy , not rev happy , vibe filled , handle ok and cost alot in terms of maintainance . They givesu odles of road presence and the bullet is a very chilled out ride but its not my type . Id grow tired of it soon , i prefer a high revving , wheel popping , tyre smoking maniac ... so honestly it depends on what kind of rider u are .

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Old 17th August 2010, 05:45   #44
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Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
A new RE needs to be seen as work in progress, that will be finished in the hands of the owner. If seen and used that way, it can be very reliable.
For those that haven't the inclination or the time to see it that way, it can be as fickle as the proverbial woman.
Well it shouldn't have to be that way! Do we come up with similar arguments when buying (say) a Tata Safari or an Indigo? RE is a motorcycle competing in the marketplace: it has to be competitive in every way and not just on price but also with regards to quality. And this is where RE has been consistently slipping.

Its one thing if you have bought a bullet to fulfill a childhood fantasy or to overcome a mid-life crisis by treating yourself to a big, loud bike. When you are commuting around town or doing a long ride once in a lifetime, then maybe the reliability factor doesnt become evident.

But when you are clocking 40k kms a year touring, and you haven't acquired the blinkers that most clubs put across your eyes, then reliability certainly becomes a critical question.


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Originally Posted by bblost View Post
Sawyer, I really hope everyone read your post before deciding on buying RE Bikes.
Else they will keep cribbing like babies.
I am sure you like your bull a lot bblost, and so do I. But i would really expect a little self moderation from a moderator! Lets keep the smart-alec taunts out and debate like grown-ups shall we?

@bblost has just proved what I was referring to earlier: that many bullet clubs have made a tradition of covering up for RE's shortcomings by running down any criticism of RE and shooting the messenger: you must be having problems with the RE because YOU aren't maintaining your bike! Or yeah: the bullet is not for you! I mean please!

I get my bike checked out every three months: 3-month checklist is currently running at 48 items and counting! Every year before the BIG ride, the bike is thoroughly checked and worn out parts replaced. And yet, there is a sword of unpredictability over what can go wrong on a long ride! Should this be the experience for someone who has spent well over a lakh of rupees? On a long tour, 1/4 of my cramster and part of my duffel-bag is composed of spares of various kinds!

I have acquired too many memories and other sentimental baggage to sell off my RE now and go "plastic", but that doesn't mean that I am going to spare RE the company the tongue lashing they deserve! This is something I will never understand about some of these bullet clubs: they will buy a brand new classic, spending well over 1.3 lakhs, and then see it grounded outside their homes because of failure of critical parts and yet...!

There was a time when RE products were built to a much higher quality standard as compared to the competition. Since 1996 or so however, we see a degradation of the quality of RE products combined with the upgradation of the same in the competition. And the result of this has been a constant slipping of market share and revenues. There was a time when the Bullet was the first (and only) choice for someone looking for a tourer. Now the touring community has moved on with bikes like the ZMA or even the Pulsar (^#@&#^@&) increasingly becoming the first choice. Even the armed forces, once the bread and butter of the RE sales, have shifted over to the Pulsar 180!

By getting ultra-defensive for what is at the end of the day pathetic Quality Control at RE, bulleteers do themselves a great disservice. Due to this, RE finds no reason to pull up their socks and improve their products and market figures reflect this through their rapidly dropping market share. They have no reason to: there are enough pappus willing to stand up and defend their shoddy workmanship!

Put the kool-aid aside, and smell the coffee: With a plummeting market share, RE is in deep trouble financially with suppliers putting it on cash-and-carry and a dealer network that's shrinking with alarming speed.

The only way they can be saved is if they upgrade their processes and quality and bring it upto standard with the competition. RE needs to be taken to task for its shoddy quality control and manufacturing processes. Otherwise there will be no RE left in a couple of years.

P.S: ARAI had sponsored a study of different spare parts of various bike companies a few years back comparing stuff like tensile strength of cables etc. Parts of that report were published in a bike mag at the time. Reading it objectively(after removing the "bullet club" blinkers of-course) would be an eye opener indeed!

Last edited by COUGAR : 17th August 2010 at 06:03.
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Old 17th August 2010, 06:17   #45
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I get my bike checked out every three months: 3-month checklist is currently running at 48 items and counting! Every year before the BIG ride, the bike is thoroughly checked and worn out parts replaced. And yet, there is a sword of unpredictability over what can go wrong on a long ride! Should this be the experience for someone who has spent well over a lakh of rupees? On a long tour, 1/4 of my cramster and part of my duffel-bag is composed of spares of various kinds!
@Cougar. You know the irony here.
I get my bike serviced once every 8-9 months.
Generally every 7 to 8k kms.


I am repeating what I said earlier.
If your bike is giving you such constant niggles. Either you need to change your style of riding or your mechanic.
Or maybe you are just the paranoid sort. A shot of testosterone would do you good.
This might help: http://www.4-men.org/testosterone/te...rone-food.html



Since we are going way OT here. I strongly suggest you move over to another thread on Bullet reliability and both of us leave this one to the OP.

Last edited by bblost : 17th August 2010 at 06:20.
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