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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, my name is Alan, i am a 20 year old wanna be rider hahaha, ive riden my fathers motorcycle a couple of times, it is a dirt bike and i have decided i would like to try it myself since ive always been hungry for the whole horse of steel concept.

I am a Paramedic student in Tucson AZ and i dont have a lot of money, i am considering in buying the Royal Enfield military as my first motorcycle. I have a dog and have in mind adding a sidecar for him since I have familly down in Mexico, six hours away from Tucson.

I was wondering if you think this motorcycle is not powerful enough for this regular trips i have in mind?

Is it a good begginers motorcycle? What would you recomend?

General opinnion on the matter?

Thanks
 

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There are 3 types of engine, depending on the year;
Up to about '08 was the iron barrrel, 4 speed. It was designed in the 50's for post WWII English country roads for commuting and delivering the mail. The design changed very little; it requires a fair amount of regular maintenance that is not difficult- just time consuming. Top freeway cruising speeds are around 50-55mph.

From '08 to '10 is the AVL / aluminium barrel, 5-speed. They look similar, but are actually quite a bit different- using some better internal parts. They come with an electric start that is an abortion and should be considered kick-start only. It was not designed into the engine, it was added on as a sales incentive. Your lawn mower has a much better sprag in it. It is not as maintenance intensive, but does need the contempletive hands on moments that create man-motorcycle bonding. It is a great bike for the maountains, while cruising the freeway is comfortable at 60-65.

The new (starting in '10) UCE- Unit Construction Engine- seems to be almost Japanese like in it's lack of maintenance needs. Electronic fuel injection, hydraulic valve lifters, etc. On one model they attempted to just leave off the kick-start lever but people got too upset- so they put them back on the bike (Basically for looks) It should do freeways at 65-70 no problem.

So- you're probably looking for an iron or aluminum barrel bike.

Sidecar; a whole new animal- no longer a motorcycle. It will not handle anything near to how a motorcycle does- because it's no longer a motorcycle. There are only a very few sidecars small and light enough for an Enfield. You might get away with one as long as you stay in the flat lands, but hills are going to kill you.
A great place for sidecar info;
www.sidecar.com
Mod Edit: <Links to external forums not allowed>

Several people get Enfields as a first bike, actually. While it's not for flustery light-weights, there is a ton of support for anyone who has one and wants to learn how to take care of them. Here's the American forum;
Mod Edit: <Links to external forums not allowed>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey thanks beans! you sure know a lot about engines i appreciated it. So if I am looking to get an Enfield it needs to be either a 2010 model or a 2011 so that it can reach 70 mph on the highway, groovy.

Do you think maybe a Honda shadow would be a better choice?

And when you say that a sidecar is whole other thing, what do you mean? Its maximum speed will diminish wont it?
 

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Do you think maybe a Honda shadow would be a better choice?

And when you say that a sidecar is whole other thing, what do you mean? Its maximum speed will diminish wont it?
A Honda Shadow will be a lot better on the freeway.

Running flat out to keep up with traffic on the interstate is not a comfortable situation to be in for long periods of time. The Enfields are fun little bikes for running around town on (or for learning to ride), but a long-distance slab-cruiser they are definitely not intended for.

A sidecar rig handles much differently than a standard motorcycle. Turning especially takes some practice to get used to. The top-end speed will diminish on a bike such as the Enfield as well.
 

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Hey thanks beans! you sure know a lot about engines i appreciated it. So if I am looking to get an Enfield it needs to be either a 2010 model or a 2011 so that it can reach 70 mph on the highway, groovy.

Do you think maybe a Honda shadow would be a better choice?

And when you say that a sidecar is whole other thing, what do you mean? Its maximum speed will diminish wont it?
First of all, I feel that cruisers are an advanced riding technique to be avoided by new riders. For maximum control, you should be sitting up or leaned forward a little, and your feet under you- not forward. The recliner is good to watch TV, but not for controlling a bike. Obviously, many people disagree.

There is the "Fireball", but it is a total rebuild of an iron barrel and probably not something a new person wants to deal with unless money is no object. As you say, you would want a 2010 and newer UCE. However- there is a new base model UCE (B2?) that comes in at a real good price! Worth looking into.

Adding a sidecar turns a single track vehiclke into a 2-track vehicle. For one thing, the bike no longer leans in turns. This means it take a COMPLETELY different set of skills to drive. Aside from shifting and braking, there are zero similarities. Some bike riders have actually freaked out and totally hate sidecars. Personally, I like them- but they are a LOT more work in twisties and curvy mountain roads. OTOH, it's a great way to bring the dog along. Dogs love sidecars.

One way to deal with lack of power is to lower the bike's gearing. This will get you going, but it also lowers top speed tremendously- especially on smaller bikes. Oftentimes big bikes don't need to re-gear/change ratios. Depending on the sidecar weight, you'd need at the very least a 650 IMO. The 2 sitres I provided links to are slam packed full of knowledge on sidecars.
I imagine a "Search" will bring up questions about tubs and RE's.

Back to Royal Enfield, the company was bought about 5 or 6 years ago by a commercial truck manufacturer and quality control has gone through the roof. They are well aware that the reputation sucks ("Loud Valves Save Lives" and "Make a mechanic out of an ordinary man") but the new company has bent over backwards to do a good job. IMO- it shows. The UCE seems to be as good as anything Japan puts out. Personally, I like screwing around with a bike more than just changing oil.

IMO, the Enfield will not be as fast as a Honda Shadow, but it will be just as relible and WAY more fun to ride. Even as I sit here, lexicographers are working on words to describe how much more fun.

Read the RE website.
 

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I remember when those Enfields were on the road. They are great around town bikes. Even with regearing you will burn one up on the freeway.
As a new rider, you should be avoiding high speed any way.
If I lived in town, Id have one just because they look the way they did 50 years ago.
 
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