Royal Enfield is one of the oldest brands available in the Indian market. Over the years, market forms a general perception about a brand, especially if has been around for a while now. The brand has a cult following in India but there are as many criticisms and myths about the brand. What are the biggest myths about Royal Enfield that everyone should know about? Let’s find out.
Higher displacement is much better
There are many such customers who put the Enfields in high regard because of their engine size displacement. Bigger displacement is not always better. Royal Enfield’s smallest engine is of 346cc but the power output is similar to many 150cc bikes.
This is because of the design of the engine which inherently is a very low rpm, low compression ratio engine. Royal Enfield engines have high torque, which is helpful in moving the heavy bikes but their performance is not up to the date with modern bikes and it is a character of Royal Enfield bikes. The big engines are not as efficient in producing power as they should be.
Royal Enfield makes outdated products
Most Royal Enfield bikes look like a vintage bike and the general perception is that the company is not modern enough. Well, apart from the UCE engine, which can be regarded as outdated technology, Royal Enfield is the company to experiment a lot in the recent times.
Royal Enfield introduced India’s first affordable cafe racer bike in the form of Continental GT and then introduced the most affordable touring bike in the form of Himalayan. The company will soon launch India’s most affordable twin-cylinder 650cc bike soon. Yes, the engineering of the bikes can be regarded as outdated but the products are quite modern and show brand’s forward thinking.
The ultimate mile-muncher
The knack of using Royal Enfield by many long distance riders have given them the reputation of the ultimate long-distance riding bikes. However, the Enfields like the Classic, Bullet and the Thunderbird are far away from being comfortable while riding at high speed.
The unrefined engine and the exhaustive vibrations cause the body to tire much quicker. In general, Royal Enfield riders take breaks more often than the long distance riders of other bikes.
Can break down any time
Royal Enfield bikes have this dubious distinction of being highly unreliable. However, it is not true. Royal Enfield bikes need more care and more attention because of their engine architecture and how they are made. If proper service and preventive measures are done regularly on the bike, they will act just as any other bike on the road. Royal Enfield motorcycles do have higher maintenance cost than most bikes but you do get the Royal Enfield aura and presence that only a few can match.
They are as modern as their counterparts
As mentioned above, there are Royal Enfield bikes that showcase the company’s modernity but the technology used in them are from the previous era. All the Royal Enfield bikes are quite expensive and none of them offers features like ABS and closed loop fuel injection. ABS is not offered even as optional whereas the fuel injection system that they use is open loop, which means that there is no oxygen sensor.
Not fuel efficient
Another myth that is related to the higher displacement of the Royal Enfield engine is the low fuel efficiency. Many think that the bikes do not return high fuel efficiency because of the big engine set-up. It is not true. The Bullet 350 returns about 35 km/l, which is quite good. Royal Enfield engines are relaxed and do not rev to high rpms. It can churn out the maximum power at a lower rpm, which means lesser work and in turn, lesser fuel consumption.
Starting them is a pain
This would have been true a few years back but modern Royal Enfields have become much easier to start. Modern-day Royal Enfield bikes come with electric start, which can be as easy as starting a TV. Even if the electric starter fails, the new Unit Construction Engines (UCE) of Royal Enfield get the decompressor unit, which makes them easy to kick-start and without any back kick.
Royal Enfield bikes are known for oil leaks, which is often termed as “marking its territory”. Oil leaks need constant oil level check and failing to do so can cause the engine to seize. Modern Royal Enfields have overcome this problem and most customers do not complain by any oil leaks. The modern engines use better sealing and have much better protection against the oil leaks, unlike the older models.
Are easy to handle
One of the most widespread myths about the bikes is their easy handling capabilities. This is the reason most tourers using the Enfield will tell you but it is a big myth. The heavy bikes need a lot of energy to manoeuvre. Yes, they are stable on the straight roads but on the twisted mountain roads, the riders can get easily tired while handling an Enfield. The low output engines also do not help the cause.
We all have heard this one quite often. Royal Enfield bikes have long waiting period because they are handmade and take time to be manufactured. Well, Royal Enfield uses modern robotic arms on their production lines. Nothing is handmade in a modern day Royal Enfield. Earlier, a single family of painters used to put the pinstripe on the fuel tanks of the Classic 350 and Classic 500, which made the myth go wild.