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Tejen

Ownership Experience: Royal Enfield Classic 350cc UCE (full report).

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Owing a Royal Enfield was a dream with which i was born. For the rest of the world (including my family: excluding the male members) it was a machine that made aloud noise and was owned by the richie rich notorious guys. But for me it was just something that nothing else could beat. It was a BULLET. The dream of owing one came true when my father gifted me one on my b'day. In fact it was a surprise gift (i didn't knew it was coming home) & OMG, within a minute i was owing an Enfield.

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Now the review....

FIRST RIDE

The first impressions were - 1.) Bike was heavy.

2.) Size of the vehicle was large enough for getting used to (it took me about a month to get the beautiful beast in full control).

3.) Ride quality esp. at bumps and the potholes was awesome.

4.) Riding it was like riding a time machine (became a rockstar in the hood' bike was an eye candy)

5.) Performance was real good for such a heavy bike. (0 to 100 kmph comes nearly in 15 16 secs.)

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LONG TERM INVESTIGATION

As the time passed excitement came down and seriousness started. The main engine aspects, that were discovered during a RE rally, and owing it a long termer were:-

1.) 350 UCE was much smooth, sharp and easy to use than the old cast iron.

2.) Gearbox was much better now, but, gears were a bit hard.

3.) Gear ratios were simply best for a cruiser like this. (even felt good than Calssic 500 ratios)

4.) Engine performed more aggressively after been used for a few minutes.

5.) Engine needed upshifts early to use the torquey powereband.

6.) Kick was as easy to use as a Hero Splendor.

7.) Fuel efficiency was awesome. It always gave 40+ kmpl ( the worst i got was 30 kmpl when i rode it at a mighty 120kmph :-p !!)

8.) Cruising capability was remarkable. I rode it for 18 hours with only 6 stoppages and it was right there! The best speed to cruise was 70 to 85 kmph. Below 70 kmph it feels slow and above 85 vibrations came down through the handle rod and footpegs.

9.) Vibration was an issue. As the bike went up to 90kmph mark everything started vibrating like hell!! But, as iwas a bullet maniac, to me it was like a massaging seat which massages faster as fast you go. It had it's own experience.

10.) Mirrors, though, looked retro classic were only half of use. As, i left off clutch they vibrated like have been shaked, but, as the bike went fast they stabled themselves. But, were not of much use.

11.) Overall quality, though made like a gun, was not as good as other models, say the Standard 350 UCE.

12.) Battery powered lights worked like projector headlamps. Illuminated road perfectly.

13.) Electric starter was a much convince in stop go traffic.

14.) The chain was half covered and now was on the right side of the bike, threw very much of grease. Made it a project to clean it every day.

15.) Saddle seat with springs was awesome but the optional pillion seat was a nightmare for pillion over long rides.

16.) Stock silencer felt a bit too long.

17.) Handle rod was a tad upright, thus, made handling tricky in city traffic esp. with a heavy pillion.

18.) Front 280 mm disc helped a lot in stopping the "Bigfoot" at high speeds.

19.) Broad rear tyre made stability very good on highways plus made it a joy to operate. The bike felt more stable than it's cousins with thin rear tyres like Electra and Std.

20.) Rear brake pedal fell loose off very often due to repeated use.

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THUMP SHUMP

Bullet is known for it's traditional thump and i too wanted same from mine. The stock silencer proved good and silent, but i was keen on having a bit loud voice. So, ordered the optional upswept silencer for Classic and my god, it had a 1 month waiting period. After 1 month got one of them, but what i see was a nightmare. It came with a manufacturing defect and looked defected too. The dealer promised to change it and what i got was another month of waiting period. Again the silencer came and it was a hell!!! Again it was defected!!!! After waiting for 2 months i decided to stick with the original.

The accessory truck of company came only once a month, thus, had to wait 1 month for every single part you order. Irritating.

Went out for some local one's but they were like just a loud pipe meant to scare the pedestrians and make you look odd, therefore cancelled the idea of changing it!

CONS

1.) Kick got jammed after 5000 kms. Took to the dealership, got it fixed.

2.) Big size means a lot of care while driving esp. in city traffic.

3.) All metal, very heavy plus prone to rust and color fading. So, polish it once in a week and keep it away from water as much as possible. I washed it every Sunday for 5 months regularly and as a result my tool kit got rusted (b'coz water leaked inside the tool box) HORRIBLE!!!!

4.) Vibrations. As, stated above, were always annoying. Despite of thinking it a massaging chair it distracted from high speed driving.

5.) Backup. The service is the main part of ownership experience and RE is lagging very much behind in this field. Every single part have a waiting period of 1 month in North India. Even the bike owns a waiting period of 5 to 6 months.

6.) Switchgear. Very light, need to improve quality.

7.) Small voices of metal rubbing start coming as the temp. fell down. It was whole december and january when a sharp voice kept off coming from rear springs. The service guys said "bhaisahab itni toh bullet se aati hi rehti hai" TERRIBLE!!!!!!!!

After the season passed off the voice too went off.

8.) Take it to a public place and you will find somebody definitely "TESTING" your bike. So, touching and disturbing the adjustments like changing mirror positions, switch gone from low to high beam, indicators on are some of the common things that you would find after returnig.

9.) Costly service. Every even numbered service cost around 1100 bucks!! Even the Swift petrol is serviced in only 2200 bucks....

10.) The axle lock. It's always need to be reminded off that the lock is at the front "neck" of the bike and not merged with the ignition switch. A bit annoying. But, still looks and feels retro, not much a problem.

11.) Handle rod. A tad up thus makes it a cumbersome to ride in traffic.

12.) Pillion seat. Very narrow and uncomfortable.

and at last my personal favorite part.......

FAQ's (Frequently Asked questions by JANTA JANARDAN)

1.) Bhaisahab kitne ki hai?

2.) Average kitni deti hai??

3.) Ktni top speed hai??

4.) Left side gear waali hai kya??

5.) Electric start bhi hai??

6.) Disc break kab se aane lage isme??

and this one stole my heart when a Sardar ji asked me this.... "BECHOGE KYA, 1 LAKH DUNGA??"

Anyway's this is a bit of what owing a RE feels like. It was dream came true for a hardcore bulleteer like me and loves it the most. I still own it and would never never sell this legend. NEVER!

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What a fabulous ownership review this is. Superb attention to detail. How old is your bike? It looks fantastic and I just love that paint shade. Well a Bullet does have its share of niggles but thats what hardcore Bullet lovers like about too.

Wishing you years of riding pleasure my friend and do keep updating this thread.

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What a fabulous ownership review this is. Superb attention to detail. How old is your bike? It looks fantastic and I just love that paint shade. Well a Bullet does have its share of niggles but thats what hardcore Bullet lovers like about too.

Wishing you years of riding pleasure my friend and do keep updating this thread.

PrancingHorse, thank you. My bike has completed a full year and all the 4 services too have been completed too!! I am an auto maniac so love to keep it shining plus the paint shade was my father's choice which was also mine favorite too, the Maroon.

In November i am going for a tour of Rajasthan with some of my bulleteer freind's and the next Himalayan Odessey is also fixed on the cards. Sure, i will keep this thread updated from time to time. Thank's again.

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Great review.. seriously makes one feel you should own it!

My cousin recently got the 500 classic and riding it was supreme pleasure.

My CBZ has nothing wrong to it... but I'm pretty sure that when i have to get it changed, it will be a bullet I'm going to replace it with.

I'll ask you the same question at that time the Sardarji asked.. "bechoge kya.. 1 lakh doonga" ;)

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Great review.. seriously makes one feel you should own it!

My cousin recently got the 500 classic and riding it was supreme pleasure.

My CBZ has nothing wrong to it... but I'm pretty sure that when i have to get it changed, it will be a bullet I'm going to replace it with.

I'll ask you the same question at that time the Sardarji asked.. "bechoge kya.. 1 lakh doonga" ;)

@ neerajd, thanx for liking & most welcome for the review.

And yes go for the bullet whenever you change the bike. you will experience an unforgettable experience!!!

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