"Made like a gun, goes like a bullet"
So many Enfield stories. So little time!
Bullets were firstly introduced for military during the world war era due to its easiness to remove parts and maintenance because of its push-rod technology and it was a reliable machine at that time. I am admitting the fact that a new engine technology is mostly always better (In 98% cases). So new generation engine is comparatively more powerful and fuel efficient. My first bullet was a CI 350 1988 model-7.5 kg Lightweight crank. Lot of oil leaking issues and tappet maintenance was required on it before years but the ride was smooth. Then RE launched the new UCE models and i was tempted to try one. So sold my 1988 CI and bought a 2012 UCE Electra. Maintenance was less compared to CI but it was completely lacking the real bullet feel. Not the thump but the riding comfort, In simple terms more vibration produced by the UCE and most importantly the lack of torque. You left knee starts paining after riding it for 100kms over a road with lot of potholes. New gen UCE requires frequent gear shifts than a CI model that we can use like an autogear on its 3rd gear.Needless to say after after using it for 100000 kms I had to deal with the engine work for my Electra and it costed me a bomb. the I realized my 3 parts engine on a CI bullet was easier to dismantle and maintain but the UCE is very expensive to deal with and requires more time to repair it. I thought it might be a problem with my particular model Electra. So i sold it off and bought a Classic 2015 Classic 500-heavy crank.(10.5kg). Te story was nt much different in classic also. There was no feel at all, it was simply like riding a Karizma. Even a school kid with cycle balance can ride it. But the real old bullet it requires wisdom, strength and patience to start and ride.I was disappointed instead of buying another bike I borrowed different bikes from my friends. Tested almost every Bullet model. UCE classic 350, UCE standard 350-heavy crank. 1998 CI and a 2007 standard CI heavy crank.Here it is…..at last I found my match and it was the old gen 2007 model CI standard heavy crank. Less revv and Vibration free engine. Same old bullet feel. Less maintenance compared to very old models. More importantly the Engine repairs are quite easy and hustle free unlike UCE.So here is my take after using RE bullets for all these years.ADVANTAGES OF CI- Cheaper and easier for major works like Engine and gearbox maintenance due to its 3 parts design, Vibration free ride. More low end torque so less gear shifts are necessary. Neighbour kids will not t borrow your bike because they don’t know how to start and ride it. Can outlast couple of generations due to easiness in repairs and inter-changeability of parts. The legendary sweet thump (if that counts), Legendary world war Era design.DISADVANTAGES OF CI- Requires frequent care even though the parts and labour is cheaper. Lack of immediate throttle response and performance like other sporty models. Amateurs can’t ride it ( For me it s a plus point anyway)ADVANTAGES OF UCE- Requires less regular care, Good performance and economy. Easy to start and ride with self start, so less healthy people can use it.DISADVANTAGES OF UCE- Very expensive for major repairs. High revving engine makes more vibration than CI models. Lack of torque accompanies with 5 speed gear is a real pain on roads in bad condition and roads with traffic, Engine design seems like a 200cc small one even though its 350cc. It is horrible to see lean under aged kids who rides UCE bullets over 100km/hour easily on highways. Its just another bike, completely lacks the real Bullet heritage. Not reliable at all comparing to Japanese machines.In my opinion if RE wants to build reliable, economical easy to ride bikes with lesser pollution then make it reliable as a Honda or Yamaha or at least like a Bajaj. Now sadly the situation of Royal Enfield and UE Bullets are in the category of “NEITHER HERE NOR THERE”.
RE mistake to switch over to new engine, lacks authenticity...no pendulum effect...not a piece of time.