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Thread: Royal Enfield Standard Bullet 350 (UCE)

  1. #1
    srs
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    Default Royal Enfield Standard Bullet 350 (UCE)

    It's been a while since there has been a proper ownership thread of the Standard 350 and since I got mine today, I thought I'd start off with my first impression. I am going to be as objective as possible and not get down to fanboy-isms of any sort. And do pardon the prose form. If this is approved, I will follow this up after crossing 1000KM.

    You Don't Know What You've Got Until It's Gone.

    I am no biker at all. To me a motorcycle has always been a mode of transportation to get from Point A to Point B. That's about it. I think this is because I learnt to drive a car before I got on to a motorbike, even if it was an RX100. With this philosophy in mind, I got by with a Yamaha CruxS for around 3 years and a Discover 125 for another 8 after that. So you can very well get a grasp of the kind of person I am with motorcycles. But with certain aspects of my life taking a completely different direction, I found myself bored with the usual choices I had in hand and decided to throw in some excitement in the mix.

    After shortlisting the likes of Gixxers and FZs, I decided none of them really rang a bell and, with pure skepticism in my heart, headed to the RE showroom for a test-ride. I liked the Standard 350 the best and booked it two weeks later after much deliberation. There was a 30-day waiting period which seemed like eternity. (I know I am lucky because I have read about waiting periods going into months.) I think this period was more grueling because I kept getting confused between the Classic 350 and the Standard. Later between the Standard 350 and the 500. The latter, for someone like me, seemed like a death-wish after the first test-ride.

    After much to and fro, I held fort and took delivery of my Standard 350 this morning.

    One of the first things I noticed, when the bike was parked at the showroom, was the openness of the electrical components behind the headlights. This was absent in the bikes I test rode. I took a look at the other 350s that were out for delivery and they all seemed to have more or less the same exposure of electrical components. It tugged at me a little because I am used to bikes that are clad in plastic and carbon fibre. Worried, I asked the salesman who assured me it was okay.

    Once I was off, I realized the foot peddle for the rare brake seemed to be angled lower than usual. I don't remember it being so in the test vehicles but I do remember the rear brakes being looser than usual. I assumed it was because it was a test vehicle. I am going to get this looked into over the weekend. The default rear-view mirrors are outright useless. They are so small in size that three-fourth of the mirror is covered by my body and only one-fourth covers the road behind me. I tried adjusting it but that's how far it would go.

    After years of having beeps reminding me that the indicators were on, the lack of the nag didn't help in turning off the indicators on this one after nearly every turn. I suppose, that is something that will need getting used to. The neutral indicator is rather dim in the middle of the day the eye requires some training to figure out when it's glowing and when it's not. I don't know what will happen if I wear sunglasses and look at it. The horn also seemed to require a greater push of the thumb as compared to my usual choice of vehicles but this was something I got used to quite soon. And by God, no fuel indicator! Of course, I can't say I wasn't warned but who realizes the lack of something so basic during test rides? You are aware of its absence but it doesn't hit you that hard because your mind is preoccupied with other questions which seem far more important.

    During my way to office and back, I did manage to stall the Bullet a few times but it came back to life after a kick or two. It was kind of hilarious but it also laced my mind with a little anxiety until I got moving again. I suppose this too shall pass with experience. As for the thump, there was none until I had completed 90KM on the odo. That's when the thump slowly started to kick in. I can only hope it gets better as I clock in more distance. Now, I know you CI engine chaps will feel smug and be more than happy to put the UCE down, but come on now. You know it was bound to happen. The vehicle is vibrating a bit and I can feel it in my fingers even after I get off. I hope this too gets better with time.

    I am not going to comment on braking right now because I never crossed 40-50kmph owing to the running-in period.

    As I chugged along happily, despite being reminded of everything that was not there, two things happened. One, the waiting period of 30 days had brought out the secret Bullet 350 fan in me and that hour-and-a-half ride back home was that secret fan's redemption for every single day's suppressed excitement during time of waiting. That retro look, those gold stripes on the tank and that regal feeling of just chugging along. It felt heavenly and I can't wait to get past the damn running-in period. Two, I realized that this motorcycle I was riding is more than just a nostalgia-tinted pair of glasses. It is a reminder that serves the adage going back to the rudimentary elevates your appreciation for all that's new and shiny. And for someone who is more than happy to take a step back from all the techno-wizardry that's happening these days, the Bullet 350 is the perfect getaway "car".
    Last edited by srs; 09-24-2015 at 08:29 AM.

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    Moderator Divya Sharan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Royal Enfield Standard Bullet 350 (UCE)

    Ownership thread approved!

    Congrats!

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    THE MOTORCYCLIST
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    Default Re: Royal Enfield Standard Bullet 350 (UCE)

    The little beeper for indicators can be bought from a local shop.

    Sent from my Lenovo A6000 using xBhp Connect mobile app

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    srs
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    Default Re: Royal Enfield Standard Bullet 350 (UCE)

    Quote Originally Posted by SIDDHARTH SINGH View Post
    The little beeper for indicators can be bought from a local shop.

    Sent from my Lenovo A6000 using xBhp Connect mobile app
    Ah! I will take a look, thanks

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    Rookie Jiten Mohangekar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Royal Enfield Standard Bullet 350 (UCE)

    Congratulations.... even i have the same kind of feeling before purchasing RE ..

    But i m a traveller and i like smooth rides.
    So i was using a avenger . But RE is totally different.

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    Default Re: Royal Enfield Standard Bullet 350 (UCE)

    I have the same bike and it just amazing...I did and do some issues but what to say it is part of RE's QC which is pass for them...still wondering how it clears QC...but the good news is "If you own Standard 350cc...remember you own the world's oldest running model in the world."

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    srs
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    Default Re: Royal Enfield Standard Bullet 350 (UCE)

    I need to get the front brake looked at. The sales guy told me it will be slightly loose. I had two instances when I had stop quickly. One was when a bunch of idiots suddenly decided to cross the road and once when the traffic police suddenly signaled everyone to stop. The first instance was fine but during the second time, I had a pillion rider with me and the progressive braking technique didn't work well. My heart nearly popped into my mouth :\ I was doing 45-50 during both instances.

    But I have a strong feeling because of the pillion rider, the weight transfer to the front wasn't effective and when I used the front brakes, the bike began to gait like a horse and slowed down but didn't stop as quickly as it did when I was riding solo.

    I am also experimenting various braking techniques because the momentum of the bullet is much higher and I need to understand what works and what doesn't.
    Last edited by srs; 09-27-2015 at 11:50 AM.
    Rumbutan likes this.

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    srs
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    Default Re: Royal Enfield Standard Bullet 350 (UCE)

    3500KM follow up review

    I had initially intended to write this review at 1000km but at that time I felt it was too short a period to draw any conclusions. So I decided to wait until I finish the 2nd service to write this. Here it goes -

    To be honest, after the first few days of riding the bike I did not like it at all. It didn't feel anything like the Bullet I took out for the test ride and I felt very disheartened. The breaks were too weak, the bike didn't feel smooth and the entire experience made me wonder if I should have bought the Classic 350 instead. Worst of all, I started developing a back ache that just wouldn't go. I was told that it was common when one started riding a Bullet.

    But things changed quickly after the first service. The bike started feeling better to ride, the breaks were adjusted to be more effective and the back aches also slowly faded away thanks to some yoga. While I love the bike now, I am completely unhappy with the service and the build quality.

    To start with, the rusting is ridiculous - from the rear suspension cover to the outer surface of the front drum brakes to the frame. It is appalling, to be honest. I have not idea what to do. The salesman at the showroom tried to tell me it wasn't rust. I had to ask him to cut the nonsense and he got an anti-rust solution sprayed on the rusted parts. The service centre guy said, that's how RE bikes and we have to just live with it. If the bike starts rusting like this within 100 days of purchase, how the hell is it supposed to last for years?

    Another gripe I have is that when I went to change the indicators from clear to white to orange, the service centre guys told me that the front brake switch was worn out and there's no stock to replace it. How the hell can a critical part of the bike get worn out within 90 days of purchase? For the past three weeks I've been riding around without the tail light glowing when I use the front brake.

    I have been told by friends to not go back to RE service centres anymore even though I still have two free services left.

    I took the bike out for some trips(200km per day) on the highway. I wasn't able to cross more 60-75kmph. I could feel the strain after hitting 70. Such are the times I feel I should have bought the 500cc. But inside the city, the 350 is a perfect fit.

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    Default Re: Royal Enfield Standard Bullet 350 (UCE)

    Hello SRS
    Congratulations on your new purchase. The bullet needs a lot of patience. You will have to find yourself a good mechanic. It is appalling how RE is in business with the dismal quality of service provided by the service centres.

    Secondly, in case you have any concerns, do write to RE. My BIL owns a TB500 and wrote to RE and the service centre contacted him to rectify the jobs that were ignored.

    Join a Bullet group.

    The 350 Standard is timeless and few bikes are instantly & universally recognizable.

    Keep updating this thread, as this seems to be the only definitive thread on the 350 UCE STandard.
    mit freundlichen Gren

  10. #10
    srs
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    Default Re: Royal Enfield Standard Bullet 350 (UCE)

    Quote Originally Posted by rapperswil View Post
    Hello SRS
    Secondly, in case you have any concerns, do write to RE. My BIL owns a TB500 and wrote to RE and the service centre contacted him to rectify the jobs that were ignored.
    .
    .
    .
    Keep updating this thread, as this seems to be the only definitive thread on the 350 UCE STandard.
    Thanks for the tip. I just wrote to RE with my most recent experience at the service centre. After making me wait for three months, they finally got the spare part WHICH BROKE while fixing it It is hilarious!!! Let's see what happens now. I hope they do something about it because I am planning for a Classic Chrome. But if such dismal service continues, I won't buy it

    As for top speed, I now hit 80kmph regularly... thanks to all long rides I do more regularly now.
    Last edited by srs; 02-22-2016 at 12:47 PM.

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