Share your knowledge, post technical queries or just showcase your passion for your Royal Enfield with like minded folk. Be a part of these discussions or browse through debates packed with loads of information, from the experts themselves in our archives.

sign up login

thread

Bullet reliability
  • Bullet reliability

    created by: Neeraj12:00 AMWed, February 18, 2004
  • I bought my first motorcycle, the Royal Enfield Thunderbird, around end August, 2003. I plan to travel a lot with my wife. However, since I have a very theoretical knowledge about the technical aspects of the motorcycle, I am scared about breakdowns on the way. It would be really nice if all the Bulleteers post their opinions and suggestions about how reliable are Royal Enfield motorcycles and what kind of problems and breakdowns they may have faced during their own travels.

  • Chacko Jacob

    12:00 AM Thu, February 19, 2004
  • I have 3000 miles on my RE500 and the only real problems were a faulty condensor, a broken tail lamp, a few loose nuts and bolts, and a few blown bulbs. All of these were either caused by me or by the high speeds ridden on the roads here. Usually in excess of 100 kmph. Learn how to check your timing, change your plug, and adjust your carb. Check all nuts and bolts at end of day and you should be alright. Happy motoring!!!!!! DEW.

  • Anand V

    12:00 AM Thu, February 19, 2004
  • Hi Parikshit

    I bought mine during Apr 2003 and I've done many long rides so far and I've (Touch Wood) not had any break downs during any of my rides.

    I too am not a techie, however these are the basic things that I've learnt to do.
    Changing the clutch, accelerator cables, adjusting the clutch, brakes, chain. I leave it to fate if something goes wrong with anything beyond these. Let's say, a flat may be, though I know how to fix a flat, I haven't done it so far (again Touch Wood :-)

    However, I strongly beleive that if your Bike is periodically serviced and goes through a thorough check-up prior to the start, you're not likely to face a break down.

    In addition to this, try to learn the basic things like the ones mentioned above and a few other things along with it which, would help you during long distance rides (I'm way behind and need to learn a lotta things). Carrying the necessary spares is a must!


    Cheers:-)
    Shriram

  • mughilan ramajayam

    12:00 AM Thu, February 19, 2004
  • As a fact this bike is unreliable for long distances especially with (wife) but is repairable (to be ridden back home) at any garage on the road. U have to learn some of the basics like fitting cables acc / clutch, gear lever spring, kick spring, tappet setting, carb setting, air filter cleaning, engine timing, (if old bike CB setting) and also learn what are reasons for engine sounds and what they mean.
    Problems encounterd all above and when least expected have learnt them gradually and now can go anywhere as long as the piston keeps pumping. 3 years after purchase of my bike once at high speed the exhaust made a series of high explosions on the (Pune Ahmednagar highway) i did all that i knew at that time but in vain. Finally went to a mech on the roadside and the problem clutch slip done in 2 mins. asked mech why explosions said high speed and engine hot is the reason.
    Other than this the bike is fanatstic (again depends what u get) as each bike is unique even if it is the same model. So u should be very lucky on this. If you dont know anything about basic engine issues simple in nature and also dont like getting ur hands dirty then go for a Fiero or Pulsar these bikes dont need much attention and if pollution aint much a worry then take the rxg135 but if attitude is whats all about then enfield is for u.
    miltz

  • Hemant Verma

    12:00 AM Fri, February 20, 2004
  • Amigo,
    You need to first define reliability for your own self.. if you are lookin for very high speeds..BINGO buy a pulsor.
    mileage..? BINGO Victor..
    well you need to tune in yourself to the way a bullet runs(itis ACTUALLY the other way round) I dont think Anyone across the world has more Psychic fears than I have.. well... My new Electr04 is THE MOST RELIABLE BIKE that could happen to me.. make sure you chekc your engine oil levels bfore anyt long rides.. learn how to remove the rear and the front tyres.. just in case.. :)
    You will have a proper Physical workout then.
    Keep you rsparkplug clean , lube your chain properly.. and voila.. bet you ..
    You would not find an attitude better than a bullet.

    Safe riding Pal

    Godspeed

    peace
    Navnit

  • Noushad Abdul rahman

    12:00 AM Fri, February 20, 2004
  • Dear Parikshit,
    My first bike was a std 350 way back in 1986 and still is.You have to know few basics without any compromise.
    1) Clutch n accl. wire fixing
    2) Plug cleaning
    3) Keep ur battery in healthy cond
    4) Carburator cleaning
    5) Front n rear wheel fixing
    They are very easy to learn compared to other Jap bikes.Once you know them,you will be riding the best reliable bike in the world.Ride safe buddy.

  • Neeraj Tundkia

    12:00 AM Fri, February 20, 2004
  • Hey guys,

    Thank you for all the comments and suggestions that you guys have posted. I would never buy any motorcycle other than a Royal Enfield even it means coping with a Bullet's idiosyncracies.

    Thanks again, Parikshit.

  • Hemant Verma

    12:00 AM Tue, February 24, 2004
  • Hey guys,

    Thank you for all the comments and suggestions that you guys have posted. I would never buy any motorcycle other than a Royal Enfield even it means coping with a Bullet's idiosyncracies.

    Thanks again, Parikshit.

    Make sure you give birdies ( the middle finger) to all kids who zoom around with their tin cans ...and dont get affected by them


    Peace

  • Ankit Saini

    12:00 AM Fri, February 27, 2004
  • Keep your cables well lubed. Tighten all bolts b4 long distance trip.Keep the tires inflated to 20/32 psi. Tune the engine once every 6 months.Listen to your engine!!
    There'll b no probs. I've been travelling with wifie since '84..

  • Rajendra Gowda

    12:00 AM Mon, May 10, 2004
  • So far I have over 2000 klms of trouble-free running from my 500. I do about half an hour of maintenance per week, and most of that is just checking for loose nuts & bolts, oiling chain & cables. Tappets needed adjusting regularly at first (ten minutes at the most), but seem to be settling in now.
    I ride the bike to work every day, and whenever I can get away on weekends. I have had Jap bikes that were less reliable than this!
    Ride Safe, Don (Australia)

  • mughilan ramajayam

    12:00 AM Mon, May 10, 2004
  • So far I have over 2000 klms of trouble-free running from my 500. I do about half an hour of maintenance per week, and most of that is just checking for loose nuts & bolts, oiling chain & cables. Tappets needed adjusting regularly at first (ten minutes at the most), but seem to be settling in now.
    I ride the bike to work every day, and whenever I can get away on weekends. I have had Jap bikes that were less reliable than this!
    Ride Safe, Don (Australia)

    i personally know that the jap bikes are more reliable than the bullet as long as you are a layman with regard to the engine. The bullet does have its stupidity to stop misfire and do many crazy things when u least expect which is not the case with jap bikes as long as u let in the recommended fuel octane and the engine oil. So no wrong info please!!!.
    miltz

  • mughilan ramajayam

    12:00 AM Thu, June 10, 2004
  • Hi,

    Just to add my paisa contribution to the various attestation of bullet relaibility. I have been riding with & W/o wife on bullets cross country since 1988, and am just now planning a trip to Leh from Delhi on my good old bullet. One lesson I learnt: "Take care of the bullet and it will take care of you"
    Vinoj

    HEY DUDE FOR THIS U GOT TO LEARN THE BAISCS WHICH TAKES APPROX 4 YEARS WHEN YOU COME ACROSS MOST OF ALL THE MINOR MAJOR PROBLEMS ON AND OFF ROAD. ONCE U BEGIN TO LEARN THIS PART THE NEXT TIME IT STALLS FOR SOME MINOR REASONS U KNOW WHERE TO FINGER THE MACHINE TO GET IT MOVING.

    AGREE OR DISAGREE ITS UPTO U BUT FOR ME IT WAS THIS WAY.

    MILTZ

  • VIJAY JAIN

    12:00 AM Thu, June 10, 2004
  • Hi,

    Just to add my paisa contribution to the various attestation of bullet relaibility. I have been riding with & W/o wife on bullets cross country since 1988, and am just now planning a trip to Leh from Delhi on my good old bullet. One lesson I learnt: "Take care of the bullet and it will take care of you"
    Vinoj

  • MANOJ KUMAR NEGI

    12:00 AM Mon, July 5, 2004
  • Dear Parikshit,
    My first bike was a std 350 way back in 1986 and still is.You have to know few basics without any compromise.
    1) Clutch n accl. wire fixing
    2) Plug cleaning
    3) Keep ur battery in healthy cond
    4) Carburator cleaning
    5) Front n rear wheel fixing
    They are very easy to learn compared to other Jap bikes.Once you know them,you will be riding the best reliable bike in the world.Ride safe buddy.

    if you know how to do these things there will be no breakdowns that owners of enfields complain about .. unless you screw your piston and the bike seizes .. normally the breakdowns or lets call them kinks will be fixable if you can know how to otherwise it will be mech time i hope i dodnt confuse you i seem to have lost my train of thought :)

  • Yashveer Lauly

    12:00 AM Wed, July 28, 2004
  • Sell it and buy a good second-hand shaft-drive BMW750 or 850. The Bullet made for the domestic Indian market is JUNK. It should be labelled, "Made In China".

    I've got one in Papua New Guinea. After 4500km, the seat vinyl is splitting, the paint is flaking off, the spokes in the back wheel are loose, the cylinder head bolts have stretched, rust is coming up from below the paint on the tank, the exhaust valve has bent, the chrome is vibrating off the crash-bars, the gear box is always finding false neutrals instead of 2nd gear, and the tool-box won't stay closed-and I have had a lot of experience wioth British bikes in the past.

    I forgot to mention that the alloy in the cylinder is grbage and distorts under the 24 ft lbs load of the head nuts so that it spreads below the washers and into the thread of the head studs, which meant that I had to use a hydraulic jack to get the head off; and the threads on the rocker box studs strip if you get anywhere near the manufacturer's torque setting; and that the alloy in the distributor is so soft that the bolts holding the point mounting plate strips even if you go so so easy on them with a small spanner.

    I am told that the export Bullets are better than the Indian domestic market ones. But for touring, by a BMW if you can. You have to be a nut like me to enjoy the Indian Bullet.

  • Yashveer Lauly

    12:00 AM Wed, July 28, 2004
  • Sell it and buy a good second-hand shaft-drive BMW750 or 850. The Bullet made for the domestic Indian market is JUNK. It should be labelled, "Made In China".

    I've got one in Papua New Guinea. After 4500km, the seat vinyl is splitting, the paint is flaking off, the spokes in the back wheel are loose, the cylinder head bolts have stretched, rust is coming up from below the paint on the tank, the exhaust valve has bent, the chrome is vibrating off the crash-bars, the gear box is always finding false neutrals instead of 2nd gear, and the tool-box won't stay closed-and I have had a lot of experience wioth British bikes in the past.

  • SOMA KONIJETI

    12:00 AM Mon, August 23, 2004
  • Dear Parikshit,
    My first bike was a std 350 way back in 1986 and still is.You have to know few basics without any compromise.
    1) Clutch n accl. wire fixing
    2) Plug cleaning
    3) Keep ur battery in healthy cond
    4) Carburator cleaning
    5) Front n rear wheel fixing
    They are very easy to learn compared to other Jap bikes.Once you know them,you will be riding the best reliable bike in the world.Ride safe buddy.

    Gautam,

    I'm looking around for a bullet..one of my friends knows of a 86/87 bullet in chennai..going for 15k..thought i'd ask you how the model is?

    I'm located in bangalore and would have to transfer registration from TN to KA.what you think of the deal?

    Thanks
    Karthik

  • ramalingom sundaram

    11:19 AM Fri, December 25, 2015
  • Hi, Now a days, royal enfield not provide quality delivery , any specific reason?