What To Do After Buying A Royal Enfield?
on June 1 2013, 8:23 pm
Royal Enfield may be the oldest motorcycle company in continuous production but it also has a history of quality issues. Most of the buyers tend to customize their bikes and often change the stock parts. This customization is a grey area and the buyers are forced to go through numerous online forums and take advice from fellow bikers often leading to confusion.
Based on user feedback we have made a list of things that you can do after getting your bike and those you better avoid.
Before Buying the Bike: The PDI (pre-delivery inspection) is very important before buying a Royal Enfield. Royal Enfield bikes are popular scratch-magnets and checking the motorcycle thoroughly for scratches, dents and unpainted areas is essential. Acid leak from battery is known to spoil the finish over the engine cover. Also, there have been numerous cases of front forks being misaligned right on delivery.
These things should be taken care of before taking the delivery of the bike.
By RE company policy, your dealer should fill the fuel tank above reserve and the reserve light should go off. But most of the dealers steal the petrol money and give you only 0.5-litre (or even less) to get you to the nearest petrol station. You can actually demand from the dealer to fill up more than reserve as per company policy or else you should inform RE about it and even better argue with the dealer!
Run-In: The manual warns you; the dealer warns you; your friends warn you: run it in correctly, they say, or else…
Running-in is essential during the first 2000 kms to achieve optimum performance. During this period you need to take care of the speed limits according to the gear, not exceeding the payload and warming up the engine for few minutes before riding. Even though the cast iron engines used in old bullets which required careful run-in have been phased out in favor of UCE engines, it is recommended to run-in at least 3000 kms.
Accessorizing Your Bike:
Crash Bar: A strong and solid crash bar is required for safety given the heavy weight of the bike. Nevertheless, people are very confused about which crash bar is the best one? The answer to this question lies in whether you ride with a pillion or solo.
A straight rod crash bar is best suited for solo driving and gives a good look.
Straight-Rod Crash Bar:
When riding with a pillion, the butterfly and diamond crash bars are suited well. Most of the bikers choose diamond crash bar as the safest of all.
Also, wrapping your crash bar with a nylon rope can make it look good and also prevent it from rusting.
Crash Bar wrapped with Nylon rope:
Exhaust: When it comes to exhaust, using the stock silencer is the best option. People generally do not like the little thump of stock silencers and tend to change them. Make sure that you change the silencer only after running-in for a proper period. The best ones available after market are the glass-wool silencers (gold star or wild boar) or else the short-bottle (market name – Indore silencer).
Both of these do not compromise on anything and are the best options. Also, the upshift silencer generally used in classic models are company made and hence are optimum.
Wild Boar Silencer:
Avoid the loud-thump punjab Silencer and the tailgunner.
Electricals: Royal Enfield provides a 55W headlamp in the Classic and Thunderbird models and a 35W headlamp in other models. To add to the coolness factor, people generally prefer HID (high-intensity discharge lights) which look pure white and have a blinding effect on people in the opposite direction!
HID’s which come stock with the vehicle like the new Thunderbird are legal because it is approved and comes in a casing with a reflector which we call projector but using HID in a normal reflector setup is illegal. Also, there are a lot of fakes in the market, which do not have proper warranty and the good ones are hard to find.
A Chinese HID . Beware of these!
Another alternative is to use LED fog lamps which come at a fraction of the price of original HID’s and do not draw excessive power while providing excellent illumination. These are extremely reliable and the only component which can blow off is the LED drive which can be replaced at a low cost.
You can see the whole area illuminated only by LED fog-lamps:
Electrical work requires a lot of expertise and it is always advisable to get it done from someone who is experienced. Using an electrical relay and a dedicated switch for the additional electrical is recommended and will prolong the life and ensure safety.
Increasing The Performance:
Filters: KN filters are popular among enthusiasts and people generally use these for that rushing sound and increasing power. When it comes to Royal Enfield, one of the important things that common people are not aware is that the carburetor needs to be rejetted when replacing the stock filter with a performance one. If not done, you may get the sound without any increase in power.
For the fuel-injected models, there are custom ECU re-maps from companies like Racedynamics but the price will set you back by at least Rs. 17,000/-.
A RaceDynamics ECU in a Classic 500:
Tyres: The choices are very limited for the 19-inch tyres fitted on Royal Enfield bikes. There are a lot of options available for the 18-inch tyres in Classic and Thunderbird models. However, if you want to replace your 19-inch rear tyre to an 18-inch one, you need to: alter the swing arm, replace the chain-sprocket, modify the gear–ratios and even after doing all this you will experience a drop in fuel–efficiency and handling.
So, it’s better not to modify your rear tyre in the Electra, Standard and old Thunderbird models but if you own a Classic or the new Thunderbird, you will have a lot of choice in the market.
Regarding the tyre pressure, there is a conflict between what the manual says and what experienced mechanics and bikers say. However, based on feedback from enthusiasts and mechanics, the optimum tyre pressure is:
Front- 20-22 PSI (solo/pillion)
Maintain around these values and you will feel it’s right. Also, having a bit low pressure in monsoon helps to maintain grip on the roads.
Spokes: If the spokes get rusted/oxidized DO NOT get them chrome plated again as it may affect their strength. It is advisable to replace stock spokes with stainless steel ones available aftermarket as they do not rust. Also, truing the tyre once in a while may help to reduce the vibrations and prevent wobbling.
Note for People In Coastal Areas: There is no magic way to protect the chrome parts from rusting. All you can do is to clean it till it shines and maintain it. Buffing the chrome parts, painting the exposed areas, polishing the bike and cleaning it regularly will protect it from rusting.
This machine needs care and lasts as much as you care.
* A chain cleaner and a good chain lubricant is always better than using grease.
* Warming-up the bike for a few minutes before riding prolongs its life.
* Never race-start and always avoid clutch and brake riding.
* Never use accelerator when starting the bike, this may displace the carburetor from its position.
* Cables near the handle are known to wear off the paint on the fuel tank, tie them to the handle properly and make sure they do not make any contact with the fuel tank.
* Always keep a spare clutch-cable as they may not be readily available everywhere and the market is flooded with counterfeit cables.
* Locking the fuel-tank may be difficult immediately after filling up. You can replace the thick gasket on the fuel cap with a thinner one or wait for some time till it expands and then it will lock properly.
* Backrests on all models except Thunderbird are prone to bending and it’s better to get a strong aftermarket one.
* Royal Enfield still does not provide side-handle on the right side (ladies handle) and it’s better to fit it.
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