Buying the Royal Enfield 500 CC



After coming back from Sri Lanka we wanted to go south and slowly move up along the westcoast of India. Arriving in Kerala we realised that if we wanted to get out of the tourist area’s where the prices are adjusted to the foreigners, we needed to rethink our idea of getting a motorbike. Doing a little math made buying a Royal Enfield a feasonable idea. With a bike you don’t need to pay for rikshaws anymore. And these things can cost you a lot if you start counting. Arriving by train in the night in Goa, for just 2 km we got charged Rs 400!

Beside the transport being cheaper with a Bullet, also food gets cheaper. That is if you like the local food and don’t mind to eat a little spicey. Eating in the tourist restaurants will get the bill easily to Rs200 a person if not double or triple. Local food will give you a Tali for between Rs. 60 and Rs 120! And then the freedom. With a bike you can avoid the touristic route an sit in the rural area’s in India with locals who might hardly ever seen foreigners.

Foreigners cannot buy new Royal Enfields. The price of a new one differs very little with a second hand, but not only can’t we own a new bike, the waitinglist for a new one is about 5 months!

So our decision was made. Checking the internet for cheapest Enfields it came obvious that the bikes are cheapest in Delhi. But then, did we really wanted to go shopping in Delhi. I had been there before, 8 years ago, and it is a stinking big city. I had no wish to go there, as did Ilse. So we decided to go back to Goa and see if we could find a bike from one of the tourists.

We were extremely lucky to find a Royal Enfield with Lucky Enfield shop within a week! There are many bikes for sale. Guys like to sell broken bikes without mentioning it has problems. Specially the locals and the Israeli’s. They really like to sell you their broken bikes for a lot of money. (Sorry guys, but it’s a fact). Look for a dude that is into Yoga and has some moral sense. They tell you what is the status of the bike honestly. If you have little experience with bikes you’re in for an adventure.

Most bikes that are for sale have issues. Enfield is known for it’s continuous demand for maintanance. I have strong doubts if it is because of the Royal Enfields or it is because of the terrible Indian roads… But if you buy an Enfield, count on it you will have to do some repair soon… there are always some hidden malfunctions.

We thought we were lucky… NOT. After one month test drive in Goa we were ready to leave for Kathmandu. I had a ladakh Rack mounted on the bike, had a huge backrest made for Ilse, a strong headlight and a big horn, and leg protection on the front. Just to be sure Lucky’s mechanics checked the oil. And surprisingly, there was only one liter oil left where there should be two and a half! Where had it gone?

I had an exhaust test done, it’s mandatory in India, and that test came out fine. No black smoke, so the engine must be good I thought. No, Lucky’s team suggested there was a problem with the paper packings or the piston. Checking the packing was Rs 300. Changing the Piston was Rs. 8500! No choice but to open the engine. And the worst came to be true. We needed to change the piston…

This is the old block with piston that was replaced. The piston was moving sideways in the motorblock and oil was coming op from the sides when the piston moved up and down. This is an expensive repair!

So just before we planned to leave the joke was ours… We had to arrange to stay another night at Luciano’s Guesthouse.  Next day repairs were done. The bike felt more powerful than ever before. All was well and we started to prepare for our trip.

We wanted to visit Hampi, Ellora and Arjanta caves, Khajuraho, Varanasi and Bodh Gaya before going to meet my friends in Kathmandu. Ronnie was there from the states and planned to leave to the states on the 15 of march. We had 3 weeks and no clue how long we needed for the road. Best estimates we would be driving 500 km a day. According to some locals this was possible. We had seen the new highways in Goa, and they looked great! Others said that we needed to calculate 150 km a day for safety. It sounded rediculous and Ilse and me decided that 250 km a day should be feasable.

Well, who would have known what we were up against…

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2017-05-14T02:02:04+00:00 April 24th, 2016|Blog, Goa, India, Royal Enfield, Royal Enfield Bullet 500cc|

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