Monday, June 29, 2009

Royal Enfield Machismo 350cc

ENFIELD BULLET - A dream for a clan of individuals who find travelling on two wheels is much more than just reaching from point A to point B. I belonged to this clan.

Owning and maintaining a bullet is fun. Yes pains are there... but with No pains No Gains

Like every other prospective bullet owner me too had the problem of chosing between Standard, electra, thunderbird and machismo.

My reasons for chosing Royal Enfield Machismo are

  1. I’m used to left side gear shift. hence standard ruled out

  2. Thunderbird has got good looks. But in my eyes only the view from front was great.. In all other views any other bullet will outclass this so called cruiser, but not a complete cruiser. The bulletish look was missing. If your height is less than 5ft 6in then this is an option coz the seating is too low and both legs could be firmly put on ground, which is a must for a heavy machine like bullet.

  3. So the contest in my mind was between electra and machismo... for electra the pros were bulletish thump due to cast iron engine, cons were it looks like any other 100cc bikes maybbe due to its fancy colors.... for machismo pros were the looks (no other bullet can match its retro look), the aluminium engine eventhough it lacks thump is more reliable and efficient than cast iron... I wanted to have a reliable one, coz I am not the kind of technical expert of these machines and rely heavily on mechanics advise. The cons were lack of thump.

I fitted the RE windsheild after getting the vehicle. The ride quality on a bullet is unmatched. The stability which it offers is great. The feeling which the rider gets while riding this machine can be best understood by just riding this machine. I am not going to tell in detail about the rides and its quality becoz it is known to all.

But for all this great feeling and riding pleasure there is something to be given back.. It is not a fill it, shut it and ride it kind of a bike. This machine is bound to have problems. But by careful observation, some technical knowledge upgrades and ensuring regular service can solve all these.

Some tips are given below, based on my experience.

When it comes to technical stuff I am still a novice.

  1. Running in the bull is extremely critical. The power and pick up offered by this mean machine tempts the owner to ride it faster and faster from day one.. If u do this then it is gone.. Keep your fingers crossed and be ready to have a rough time with ur machine. Running in means not only to ride below a certain speed, but each gear has a maximum speed and minimum speed clearly specified in owners manual. Adhere to that and most of the problems are prevented.

  2. Regular servcing is MANDATORY. Especially oil change. Once in every 3500 - 4000 km oil needs to be changed. for machismo oil level should be checked only when the engine is hot. Try to adhere to a single mechanic who is an expert. Then history of ur bull problems will be known to him. If not u should keep track of all the problems. Coz solution of similar problems in different bulls can be different.

  3. Oil leaks are bound to happen. Don’t panic. Take your bull for atleast 2 or 3 long rides during the warranty periods itself. Before each ride and immediately after each ride visit the mechanic. Immediately after, means, you have to drive straight to the mechanic after the drive. When the engine is hot, tighening some screws may solve this problem.

  4. Oil leaks from the right sidebox during long journeys also happens.. But it is not a problem at all. It can happen if the oil level is more than what is required. Also what is coming out is only excess oil. While replacing oil, tell your mechanic to ensure that only right amount of oil is poured. Don’t finish of the entire bottle. By careful study after 2 to 3 oil changes u will also be able to judge how much is sufficient.

  5. Don’t run ur machine with loose chains. If chains are loose, the sprockets will become worn out. If chain tightness is maintained, the chain sprocket will last for 17k to 20k kilometers.

  6. Try to hear the sounds produced by ur machine when it is new or just after service when it is in normal condition. Once u r familiar with this sound, atleast once in a week just try to hear this without your helmets on, to identify whether any abnormal sound is coming. There can be a hiss hiss sound of air leaking out, the chains can produce a sound if it is loose.. Spend atelast 30mins of dedicated time with your bull per week for this..

  7. Never overtight the clutch screw near the clutch lever for tightening the clutch. If overtighted the clutch cable will break. If the cable is breaking frequently, during replacing check whether the cable is bent or rubbing against some metal in the clutch box. If yes do something to ensure that this rubbing is not happening viz rubber sleeve, grinding the metal to avoid touching etc

  8. If windscreen is fitted, ensure that all the nuts and bolts that comes with the packing are used. The standard nuts provided are lock nuts. If other local nuts are used, cracks will soon appear. After fitting and doing some riding check whether there is any sort of scratches near the nuts. Monitor for about 100 to 1000 kms. If scratches are appearing it is symptom of wrong fitting. If continued in this mode cracks will soon appear. Take action to change nuts or put some rubber washer. I did this with good effect. If lock nuts are available in the standard package write to RE people. They will immediately help. This happened to me.

  9. If lack of thump is a problem, fit a free flow exhaust. Then ur machismo will sound like thump....

  10. The machismo comes with a short handle. this short handle combined with low position riders seat may not be of best match to all. If you r feeling pain in your elbow (right hand) then it be most probable due to this handle. Replace this handle with the high rise and wider handles (electra handle/ LB 500 handle/ RD 350). When handle is replaced ensure that the vibration dampeners fitted at the end of the handle is fixed. To know the effect of vibration dampener, ride ur machine with and without this, watch ur rear view mirror. U will not be able to c anything in the rear view mirror due to the vibration of the handle, if there is no vibration dampener on a bigger handle.

I started to write a small review with some useful info for prospective buyers or owners who complain about bull problems.. But I think became a rather big review, just the same way as I do my rides. Starts with some 100kms in mind, but end up doing some 500kms... with urge for more and more rides... :)...

I do not claim that what ever I have said is correct. These are the conclusions which I arrived based on my experience. Plz correct me if I am wrong in any of the judgements.

So all in all it is a nice machine to own...

Give due care to the machine and it will take care of the rest :).....

Hope this review is useful for all those looking out for a bull :)


Nishant said...

hey thanks a lot for this post..

me gettign a bullet machismo 350cc. but according to your review, it has a left side gear shift but this one has has right side gear shift....?

the bike is really old and it is my uncle's and he is giving it to me to use it until i get bored of it lol...

anythings I need to do to keep my bullet in proper condition without affecting the bike much?

Reeto said...

Hi. I am the owner of a Bullet Electra 5 speed. Firstly, it does not look like a 100cc bike. Secondly, a cast iron engine is far durable than an AVL engine on the Machismo. My Cast Iron engine has never given me any trouble, so pls refrain from putting up such comments and thus misguiding ppl.

Anonymous said...

Hi I have a Machismo 350 model 2009 comes with disc break. There is one serious fault of bike knocking after riding 100kms per hr...I observed it is due to timing wheel ...ti-pad settings needs to be done...can any one help me on getting rid- out of this issue?


Amit said...

Hi I am just crazy about Bullet Enfield Bikes....i hv been reading these and many articles abt Bullets and gettin confused, i just cant hold on to my heartbeat anymore to hear the thump, so finally i thought of going for one for a Second hand(as do not have enough money for a new one)so, i got a Machismo(2002 - 5600KMS) & A thunderbird (2006-27000KMS)now i ma confued which one to go for..PLZ PLZ PLZ PLZZZZZZZZZ if some one could kindly help me regarding this as i am undergoing through a severe dialamma regarding this said...
This comment has been removed by the author. said...

hello Amit
2002 model machismo: Is it the one with right side gear shift. Then it will be one of the initial models with the Austrian engine. There were some recalls for this particular model. This bike has just run 5600Kms means it has not run enough for all the problems to surface. If it is the left side gear shifting one then there is not much problem.

According to me it will be better to go for the Thunderbird with 27000 kms on the odo.

What ever be your selection just check both the bikes with the help of an enfield mechanic.


Amit said...

Thanks Subu,
yea , i think yr right.. in fact i was also thinking the same in some subconcious mind or the other, that the Thunderbird may have ran a 27000 on odo but, somehow i felt that it wld be better in terms of hazard free more thn the Machismo....
thanks again mate.., i ll let u knw which 1 i bought

skywalker1 said...

i got the machismo350 2007 model i have serious problem with oil spitting from the air filter. its spits oil till the measuring is dry and anoying sound from the fuel tank plz help

Anonymous said...

can anyone tell whether i should go with a used 350 with alloy wheels 1997 model right side gear @ 50000 or a 350 machismo with right side gear @ 55000 2002 model...plz advice said...

GO for 350 - 1997 model.
Most of the 350 machismo's with right side gear had some sort of problems. said...

@ skywalker1, Oil spilling from the air filter is not a serious problem. As far as I know, there is a recycling method for the excess oil. When you ride real fast continuously, the amount of oil which comes out to the excess oil collection box will be more. This will spill out through the air filter. This is quite normal. Don't worry.

varean shawrann said...

Thanx for this beautiful article, I own a Thunderbird 350 ,model 2011 with uce engine, I don't get a bullet feel on dis so called cruiser bike ,now I hv 4 options : 1. To modify my Thunderbird into classis.
2. I can buy machismo avl from my uncle.
3. I hv to search and buy a gud conditioned CI engine Electra, which has better thumb.
5. Buy a new uce engine classic bike.
Hope u will reply.

arut said...

Please help me with ur suggestions. I do not wish to sell my bull.

Arut Prakash said...

Hi everyone! I own a 350 cc machismo right side gear. Can anyone suggest me a proper exhaust because the current one is bad . I have a lot of problem first with my gear box , engine fizz sound of air .. Can anyone please please suggest a good mechanic in bangalore

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Uni Meckauto said...

Prime the unit before fitting it and check all components before replacing them - if they're old and worn, they too should be replaced. Don't grip the piston rod with pliers or place the unit itself in a vise, you'll damage it.
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