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Author Topic: Trashed my engine today -- maybe an RE isn't right for me  (Read 1018 times)

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Bert Remington

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on: September 20, 2018, 12:06:03 am
Coming up on 4.5K miles, driving middle lane in 35mph evening traffic on major 3-lane street with no shoulders, pulled away from traffic light as normal, suddenly something started clattering, pulled in clutch, truck driver to my right noticed and let me pull into bus stop about 50 feet from traffic light (thanks buddy), finished trip on tow truck.

* last oil change 4K Castrol Actevo 4T 20W50; previous changes at 2.8K; 1.7K; 0.7K; 0.2K all Castrol Actevo
* opened 19mm rear drain plug; at least 1 qt oil came out; minor sludge on magnet; didn't check other two drains
* this ain't good: NGK BPR6ES (7131) side electrode smashed down; center electrode missing ceramic insulation; oily interior; 2K miles ago this spark plug was a clean and lean gray
* this ain't good: cleaned and adjusted (CMW adjusters) RX Racing Gold X-ring chain at 4K; now sagging almost 2 inches; this never happened before; unit construction case oil seeps and drips where things were dry before
* this ain't good: starter won't turn motor (always started within 0.25sec so reliably I removed kick starter); tried turning engine by hand in 5th gear no success; can push motorcycle in neutral (that's how we loaded it on tow truck)
* intake: twin-fin manifold; Wix fuel filter; throttle body EVP port blocked
* exhaust: wrapped pipe; loud EMGO megaphone (both previous-owner installed)
* ignition: MSD wire and cap; Shorai LiFePO4 battery always good for 13.8V minimum; starter and battery wires upsized

This engine has been driven at most 50 miles on a freeway; no single occasion longer than 4 miles.  This engine has at most 75 minutes above 60mph indicated; no single occasion longer than 4 minutes.  After I reached 2.5K miles I started using full throttle on open roads to get up to speed in 2-3-4 gear occasionally redlining in 2nd gear.  When cold the engine pops and backfires when not under load; much less so when warm.

I suspect either (1) something got into the intake tract (I checked the right-hand box bolts -- all there; will check intake manifold Friday); (2) the piston top fragmented; (3) the connecting rod broke or seized; (4) a valve head separated from its stem; or, most likely, (5) something else.

Through mischance I have a 2010 C5 in NC whose seller wants me to get it out of his garage.

Some options I'm considering:

(1) scrap or part out both the 2010 and 2016 -- I'm done with RE's
(2) put the 2010 engine in the 2016; scrap the 2010 remainder
(3) put the 2016 farkles on the 2010; scrap the 2016 remainder

In a half-century I've done many dumb and even stupid things with cars and motorcycles but this is the first ever engine I've trashed to undriveability.

I'm not looking for diagnoses, suggestions, etc.  I'm just venting.  But a $10K writeoff is looking mighty attractive.
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wildbill

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Reply #1 on: September 20, 2018, 12:55:38 am
if it was me i'd just scrap it and buy another bike BUT seeing it isn't here's what I think. if you class the motor as completely stuffed I would put the 2010 motor in the 2016 frame. well I wouldn't do that because I couldn't...lol but you may be able so ...that's the plan.
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JVS

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Reply #2 on: September 20, 2018, 05:22:05 am
Hi Bert

Really sorry to hear. I know you mentioned that you're not looking for diagnosis etc but I had a quick look through your posts about the mods you've done and came across these two posts.

Refer:

1. https://forum.classicmotorworks.com/index.php/topic,25986.msg300091.html#msg300091
2. https://forum.classicmotorworks.com/index.php/topic,16630.msg301443.html#msg301443

IMHO and layman's view, in the first link, @500mi, the spark plug shows that the bike was running very lean. Similarly, in the 2nd link @2k miles, one can note the pitting and deposits on the spark plug electrode and tip due to over-heating.

You also mention that the bike would backfire/pop when cold but a bit less when warm. How often was this backfiring happening? If it was consistent, then it might be another indication of lean running at zero / higher throttle openings  :(
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Arizoni

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Reply #3 on: September 20, 2018, 01:46:11 pm
Bert.

If you do decide to put the 2010 engine in the 2016, pull the sprag clutch out of the 2016, clean it of all bits of debrise and put it into the 2010 engine. 
The 2010 has the old, easily broken sprag clutch and to make matters worse, that year is the only one that is missing the kick starter.
Without a kick starter, that older 2010 engine needs to have the best sprag clutch that's available.

Even if you don't want to keep the re-engined motorcycle, changing the sprag clutch will be doing the next owner a big service (and it's worth mentioning to the potential buyer as a selling point).
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no bs

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Reply #4 on: September 20, 2018, 05:12:03 pm
the dismantler I got my engine from(pinwall cycles) had another one with only 478 miles on the clock. might be worth a look. sounds like what my first engine did, shit the exhaust valve. ::)
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ace.cafe

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Reply #5 on: September 20, 2018, 08:18:39 pm
Sorry to hear. :(

My guess is exhaust valve dropped.

Not too hard to swap engines. Probably could do it in a day, or a weekend.


Bert Remington

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Reply #6 on: September 21, 2018, 08:25:50 am
In this post I'll discuss options; in the next I'll discuss diagnoses.  The options were:

(1) scrap or part out both the 2010 and 2016 -- I'm done with RE's

(2) put the 2010 engine in the 2016; scrap the 2010 remainder

(3) put the 2016 farkles on the 2010; scrap the 2016 remainder

Option 1: for the 2016, the San Diego public radio station accepts donated motorcycles.  For the 2010, I've asked the seller about a similar program in Wake Forest (near Raleigh) NC.  This is an attractive option.

Option 2: the 2010 is in NC so needs to be shipped to CA for $600+.  I trust the seller when he says the engine is in good running condition.  It includes an uninstalled PC V and I have an AT-200.  The AT-200 UEGO requires an 18mm bung so I would get a stainless steel pipe from Hitchcocks (p/n 91086); weld the bung to it; paint the pipe with VHT Flameproof (I can't afford Jet-Hot at this point); and use the quieter 2010 silencer which I believe came from CMW as part of the PC V package.  CA tracks engine serial numbers so at this point I either can't sell the resulting hybrid or I get an inspection by the CHP which, thank you, I'd rather avoid as they are very very knowledgeable about vehicles and the 2010 engine is not CA emissions certified.  Another consideration is the RE appropriately matched, reliability-wise, to my 300-3800ft commute, particularly the last 1500ft Alpine-Descanso run in 90+ temperatures?  I know Arizoni goes higher and hotter.  More discussion in the diagnoses post.  The final consideration are my engine modification skills, at least for REs.  Evidence to date says they aren't.

Option 3: because the 2010 is not CA emissions compliant, I would not be able to register it until 7,500 miles or 10 years (Jan 2020).  I have an approach to meet the mileage requirement although I would have to cross my fingers when signing the title transfer.  I much prefer the 2016 Lagoon Blue over the 2010 Black so would move bodywork along with farkles.  But as noted in Option 2 there is a legitimate question about my skills to perform this work.

I really really enjoy riding the RE; my smiles are much wider than with the BMW.  Its light; nimble; routine maintenance is easy; the 18T 5th gear and farkles are a perfect match to my needs; and everyone enjoys seeing it on the road.  But you already know that.

And you already know that reliability is both a throw of the dice and the rider's hand on the throttle.  And I'm not changing the latter.  So do I want another go at the former with Options 2 or 3?

In a few hours I'll inspect the intake tract and some other areas to report in my diagnoses post.
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Vince

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Reply #7 on: September 21, 2018, 09:10:20 am
     The engine probably failed because of the exhaust. Wrapped = excess retained heat. Loud Emgo muffler = exhaust flow incompatible with EFI programming = overly lean condition. Together this means you probably melted or broke the exhaust valve and/or guide and/or the top of the piston.
     I understand that riders want to personalize/customize/ improve their ride.
     When I carried Enfields (vincesmotorcyclestore.com) I had many customers "fix" their bikes to the point of un-rideability. Can a motorcycle be improved over factory set-up? Certainly, but not by applying the thinking your grandfather applied to his 1935 Model A.
     Now you are talking about getting another bike to modify to the point of being a Franken Bike.
     My suggestion is to properly and PROFESSIONALLY repair what you have.  Reinstall the stock exhaust. Then ride it and enjoy it for what it is.
     I have RE customers with over 40K miles on the engines, and other customers with phenomenal mileage on their Japanese bikes. The mechanical commonalities are either a stock exhaust, or a well thought out modification of the entire intake, exhaust, and electronic support systems including EFI remapping. Not EFI modifying.
     As for the chain. You cleaned it. Did you ever lube it with a motorcycle specific chain lube? The lube must go between the inner and outer link plates, then allowed to sit for an hour to set up. Even an o-ring chain NEEDS to be lubed every 300 to 400 miles, and every time you ride in the rain. Most people adjust the chains too tight, causing rapid and excessive wear on the chain and sprockets. On any bike you should adjust it to have 3/4 in. to 1 in. play, midway between the sprockets, on the bottom run, WITH YOU SITTING ON THE BIKE. Your weight changes the swing arm angle and tightens the chain.
     In 45 years in this industry I've found that most rider dis-satisfaction stems from customer 'improvements".
     "If it ain't broke, don't fix it.


Narada

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Reply #8 on: September 21, 2018, 04:13:41 pm
My 2 cents... I would guess exhaust valve too. Either the keepers let go or the most mind boggling scenario where the valve itself just drops it's lower half into the cylinder. Sometimes they just do that.

I'm not exactly the poster boy for leaving things stock.  :o. I've done a few mods on my C5 (and Triumphs) and since I do believe paranoia has it's place, I always pay a competent dyno shop with exhaust sniffer to dial things in.

You can change maps yourself, but then, how do you verify what is really coming out the tail pipe? Theory is fine, but I feel better with a good reality check! Anyway, that's how I see it.

Now, (with all due respect to those who think differently) I would say get back on that horse, order a new (or used) engine, put your mods back on, dyno-tune and ride happily ever after.  8) I think that's the best thing for your spirit.  ::) Never say die!  :)
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Bilgemaster

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Reply #9 on: September 21, 2018, 06:16:49 pm
Bert: Like every other owner here of these "quirky" rides, I was very sorry to learn of your troubles. It's hard not to take it kinda personal. After all, this sort of sudden disaster could befall any of us riders of the archaic at any time with no warning. Nobody could blame you if you decided to throw up your hands and bow out of the whole Royal Enfield arena and just got a nice no drama Honda or Beemer or whatever. Still, a little drama's a fine thing--In my case it keeps my interest piqued. I guess I just like keeping such an outlandish gurken on the road. So, I'm gonna hang in there with this often troublesome marque. I hope you find your second wind after this body blow soon, and you keep hanging in there too. Maybe it ain't  really so bad: new valves, a piston. Maybe it's actually just an opportunity to really tarten and tighten that motor up to be better able to truly excel on your challenging Californian freeways, with fewer compromises. Which kinda leads me to wonder: How or why the hell do you have another  Bullet way over hereabouts in my neighboring state of North Carolina?
« Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 06:27:33 pm by Bilgemaster »
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Bert Remington

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Reply #10 on: September 21, 2018, 07:05:25 pm
I purchased the 2016 at 104 miles.  The previous owner was going to Colorado and needed something more powerful at 9K elevation.  She had wrapped the exhaust pipe and installed the EMGO silencer as well as other modifications.  I restored everything back to original except wrap, silencer and mirrors.

Early modifications were Shorai LiFePO4 battery; NGK BPR6ES spark plug; MSD wire and cap; and upgraded starter/primary wiring which I believe provided an improved spark for more complete combustion.  The motorcycle never required more than 0.25sec cranking.

Other early modifications were Pete's twin-fin intake manifold; removal of the bi-starter cable (the slug was left in the TB and the cable entry was sealed); removal of the EVP canister (the TB port was plugged); and installation of an external fuel filter (the hose bend tightened).

I temporarily installed the AF-XIED O2 signal adjuster from my BMW.  It seemed to make a difference and then it didn't so I removed it.

The MIL light never illuminated except during initial fuel priming.

Break-in was mostly the 45 mile and 1.5 hour commute between San Diego (elevation 300ft) and Descanso (elevation 3800ft) on surface roads at least half were 55mph speed limit.  For 1K miles I kept speeds at 45mph (indicated) which meant I pulled over to allow traffic to pass 4-5 times per trip.  While there were some city trips, they were at least 0.5 hours long.  Therefore in the first 1K miles there were at most 35 heating-cooling cycles which isn't good for combustion chamber component break-in.

There was popping and backfiring from the very beginning.  Sometimes it lessened and sometimes it worsened.  As the miles went by the engine vibrations smoothed and then they didn't.  Adding a second head stay restored smoothness.

Lean-condition indicators:

* popping and backfiring
* white/gray spark plug insulator; deposits when checked 1.5K miles later
* silencer discoloration
* required 2-3oz oil every 300-400 miles
* spitting oil back into right-hand air box

Lean-condition contra-indicators:

* sooty silencer exit and interior
* engine accelerated strongly and evenly throughout RPM range
* forum contributors said RE's ran rich and FI duty cycle about 40%

Examination results: I did not find any intake or exhaust leaks.  The two bolts in the right-hand airbox were both present.  The twin-fin intake manifold was intact.  There were compression ring fragments in the intake tract.  Based on my car knowledge and experience together with Arizoni's RE knowledge and experience (thank you), I expected the piston would fail before the valves under long-term, moderate-load lean conditions.  I did not open the exhaust tract nor did I remove right-hand case cover.

Summary: I believe the combustion chamber component failed due to long-term lean conditions exacerbated by insufficient heating-cooling cycles during break-in.  I also believe the unexpected chain slack is due to transmission case failure due to engine lockup.

----------

WRT JKS spark plug observation -- I completely concur.  If I saw a similar spark plug on my other vehicles, I would have immediately investigated an obvious lean, hot condition.  But a forum contributor mentioned RE's run rich and the end and interior of the silencer were sooty (in retrospect probably oil not gas) so I took no action.  I even bought a compression gauge but didn't use it.  Obvious mistakes on my part.

WRT Vince exhaust observation -- the original owner wrapped the exhaust and installed the EMGO silencer.  I didn't like the looks of the wrap nor the volume of the silencer and planned to replace both.  In my car experience we didn't wrap exhausts (unless they were open on dragsters) because the resulting high temperatures would damage the mild steel tubes.  I can see how the wrap would cause excessive exhaust valve temperature in an air-cooled engine.  My reading of the UCE forum posts indicated the ECU could accommodate the silencer flow within its trim range.  I planned to replace both exhaust pipe and silencer.  I should have done so 4K miles earlier.

WRT Vince chain observation -- I replaced the OEM chain with an X-ring to achieve a longer service interval and I chose RK Racing (recommended) because that's what CMW offered except I missed their sale so purchased elsewhere.  My service interval was 500-700 miles.  I scrupuously followed the Dupont chain degreaser (recommended) and PJ1 Blue Label lubricant (recommended) instructions including outside air temperature, chain temperature, wipedown (new cloth shop towel every time), application location, and wait period (I believe overnight in all instances).  I adjusted the chain on the centerstand same as the lube process.  The UCE is a 2009 motorcycle with a centerstand; requiring someone to sit on the motorcycle to measure chain slack is an RE fail.  Similarly rear brake centering required three hands which is why I installed the CMW adjusters (recommended).  I used digital calipers to measure adjuster distances within 0.05" for chain alignment.  If the swing arm manufacturing tolerances don't support this method, that too is an RE fail.

----------

Option 2 or 3 (replacing or repairing the engine) will result in the same minimal-cycle break-in process.  Adding the PC V with AT-200 combination improves air-fuel management and monitoring but may not be adequate for reliable engine operation in the presence of my other mandatory engine modifications.

At this time, Option 1 (donation of 2016 and 2010 motorcycles) appears most appropriate.  The RE and I don't seem to be a good match.  Decision forthcoming but I've already started parting out both the 2016 and 2010 -- neither will be complete and operational if I choose Option 1.

PS this is on me.  I have enough experience and knowledge to recognize lean combustion and yet I didn't.  That's part of my exit decision.
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Bert Remington

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Reply #11 on: September 21, 2018, 07:51:45 pm
Bilgemaster -- I gained the 2010 C5 through mischance (misadventure?).  Shortly after buying my 2016 I saw a GHG post on Pete's cams which were (I assume, I never installed them) an exact match to my riding profile (45-65mph 5th gear torque on surface roads) so I bought a set.  Pete and I enjoyed a dialog which included his plans for additional 500cc upgrades but he needed a UCE C5 for development and testing.  So I bought the 2010 C5 with the intent of shipping it to him in NJ; registering it in his name; D&T of upgrades; and then selling it on.  The 2010 C5 was in super lovely condition and included a PC V (not installed) which I needed for Pete's cams, etc.  Then Pete bought his own UCE C5.  And sadly the dialog ended.:(

I can't register the 2010 C5 in CA until 7,500 miles or 10 years (Jan 2020) for emission compliance reasons and it will cost $600+ to bring it to CA in an open trailer (closed is higher).  The seller and I have both tried to find another buyer.  Lots of nibbles but if you haven't noticed the used RE UCE market is really soft (ask CMW about their recent 2012 C5 sale experience) (the Iron Barrel market, as expected, is weird) (an exception being wildbill who seems to be single-handedly supporting both ends of the UCE market, at least in Oz).

And that's why I have a 2010 C5 who's best value to me seems to be donation to a charitable cause.  The seller is investigating that now as I am for the 2016 C5.
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Bilgemaster

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Reply #12 on: September 22, 2018, 12:19:49 am
Bert: Somehow I missed that bit about the suddenly loose chain, possibly indicating more extensive drive line damage. So yeah...maybe that was just one of those so-called "Monday Motors"--like all those ones they did there in Chennai  when they were still so trashed and hungover from Ramesh's birthday party that weekend that Fat Sanjay kept barfing into the crankcases and the whole day's run went out with no rings in the pistons. Maybe a post mortem will  confirm this (Hint: look for diced carrots in the crankcase) and reveal that the best possible use for it at this point might be to fill a remote hole somewhere in the Mojave Desert. Maybe not. However grave its issues, from your past postings I am gathering the growing notion that you'd be far likelier to be able to deal with whatever carnage may lie within that motor than I...though you with your dusty shovel also have every right to instead enjoy  that famous Smackaroni and Cheese  at the Mojave Moon Cafe.

You mention parenthetically that "the Iron Barrel market, as expected, is weird." Since I myself ride such a 2005 "iron belly," I wonder if you might expound on this a bit. I am led to understand that the old iron cylinder thumpers now command a bit of a premium in India, but since hardly anyone I meet here in the Land of the Plastic Spork has ever even heard  of Royal Enfield, let alone been aware of its various models, I am curious to read your take on the matter.

I also wonder roughly how many miles are presently on the clock of that nice-looking 2010. Might it be roughly 3,000 or fewer before it hit that magic 7,500 you mention needed for your California emissions? 'Cause it's not like I couldn't be talked into gently nursing a nice UCE along the Google Maps--Avoid Highways route to San Diego and flying back. I'm an early retiree, so my dance card's wide open. Hell, I was already mulling over such a transcontinental jaunt anyhow on my own ride. I'm no snob though. Why not a UCE?
« Last Edit: September 22, 2018, 01:03:33 am by Bilgemaster »
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ace.cafe

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Reply #13 on: September 22, 2018, 02:05:13 am
FWIW, none of the other C5 that dropped exhaust valves(if that is what happened) had wrapped exhausts, so it appears that would not necessarily be the cause.

Sometimes these things just happen on these machines. I have seen 3, and we have seen 3 others posted here on the forum. All of the ones that came here had stock exhaust and ECU, and still failed. One under warranty period and was replaced. All had valve stem separation at the point where the stem is friction welded to the valve head.

However, we are not sure until we see a post-mortem of the engine.


Bert Remington

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Reply #14 on: September 22, 2018, 02:10:00 am
Bilgemaster -- I watched the RE market (eBay, Cycle Trader, Craig's List via David Blasco's site) for over a month.  The Iron Barrels were either ridiculously low (eg, dear departed grandpa's collection) or high (eg, my faithful riding partner [insert female name here]).

I'm getting ready for KPBS to clean out the stable: 1998 BMW 750iL, 1991 track-tuned Acura Integra, and probably 2016 RE C5.  No shovel, no tears, and no names; I ain't that kinda guy.
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Bert Remington

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Reply #15 on: September 22, 2018, 09:32:56 am
If I donate the 2016 C5, my plan is to bundle up all the farkles together with select components (eg, fuel pump) and hardware (eg, replace rear shock fasteners with SAE bolts and non-chrome acorn metric nuts); put them in one big box; and sell it as one item on eBay.  Donating the 2016 C5 with the trashed engine means it will be sold to a parts dealer for pennies so someone else should get the good stuff.
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gashousegorilla

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Reply #16 on: September 22, 2018, 04:46:46 pm
Bilgemaster -- I gained the 2010 C5 through mischance (misadventure?).  Shortly after buying my 2016 I saw a GHG post on Pete's cams which were (I assume, I never installed them) an exact match to my riding profile (45-65mph 5th gear torque on surface roads) so I bought a set.  Pete and I enjoyed a dialog which included his plans for additional 500cc upgrades but he needed a UCE C5 for development and testing.  So I bought the 2010 C5 with the intent of shipping it to him in NJ; registering it in his name; D&T of upgrades; and then selling it on.  The 2010 C5 was in super lovely condition and included a PC V (not installed) which I needed for Pete's cams, etc.  Then Pete bought his own UCE C5.  And sadly the dialog ended.:(

I can't register the 2010 C5 in CA until 7,500 miles or 10 years (Jan 2020) for emission compliance reasons and it will cost $600+ to bring it to CA in an open trailer (closed is higher).  The seller and I have both tried to find another buyer.  Lots of nibbles but if you haven't noticed the used RE UCE market is really soft (ask CMW about their recent 2012 C5 sale experience) (the Iron Barrel market, as expected, is weird) (an exception being wildbill who seems to be single-handedly supporting both ends of the UCE market, at least in Oz).

And that's why I have a 2010 C5 who's best value to me seems to be donation to a charitable cause.  The seller is investigating that now as I am for the 2016 C5.

       That Cam thread has been DELETED.     I should have done that a while ago !  :-\   Very very sorry to hear about  this current issue , and in particular the experience you had prior to this.  >:(   
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wildbill

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Reply #17 on: September 22, 2018, 05:23:06 pm
i think you should fix it up and give it...one more chance...lol if you have drama again take it out to a quiet backroad and bring out a 6 iron and bash the shit out of it...lol even enfield's deserve a second chance ;)just do it and ride on in happy mode
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Bert Remington

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Reply #18 on: September 22, 2018, 07:26:16 pm
Thanks everyone for the support and suggestions.  After discussing them with my friends, I'm going to do the following:

(1) I will ask the 2010 C5 seller if he will keep it for another month so I can save up the $600 to ship it to San Diego (we're buying furniture so cash flow got constricted :) )

(2) meanwhile I will take the trashed 2016 C5 engine to my workshop in Descanso; disassemble it (I'll take pictures for you); and see what can be salvaged.

(3) when the 2010 C5 arrives, I will mix and match engine parts (eg 2016 sprag into 2010) to achieve a working engine.

(4) when I have enough money to buy the Hitchcocks stainless exhaust (est $200) I will match it with the 2010 C5 silencer and install the AT-200 UEGO to support the PC V air-fuel management and monitoring.

(5) if I get lucky and someone buys the Integra then I'll get a professional upgrade of the head assembly (eg Hitchcocks p/n 90273) and maybe even piston (eg Hitchcocks p/n 90225).  I'll check with GHG, ace.cafe, et al before taking action in these areas.

(6) while waiting for the leprechauns to drop off the pot of gold, I'm going to stop wasting my time on foreign policy news and address fine-tuning details such as resurfacing the rotor and pads per Ducati Scotty, etc etc.  Driving the Windstar is a motivator.

I understand and appreciate those who recommend keeping it stock and driving it appropriately.  But that isn't me.  The RE is like my Mustang; its tidy and "Ford-like" for the tech inspector but there isn't a single part I haven't touched.  And while I keep it to 55mph, on open roads I use full throttle to get there and I ain't changing that.

In summary, this motorcycle is such a pleasure to ride and so well matched to my needs that I'm throwing the dice again.

Thanks all.
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Guaire

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Reply #19 on: September 23, 2018, 06:30:48 pm
"In summary, this motorcycle is such a pleasure to ride and so well matched to my needs that I'm throwing the dice again."

As the Aussies say, 'Good on ya mate!'
ACE Motors - sales & administration


wildbill

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Reply #20 on: September 23, 2018, 07:25:45 pm
or they could say..i will give it one more hit! ;D
2011 C5 black/chrome
2012 C5 maroon/chrome 
2013 B5 black
2014 Continental gt
2014 C5 tan
2015 black/chrome
2015 limited edition dispatch
2016 lagoon blue 500
2016  ash white 350
2017 graphite/chrome 500
2018 gun metal grey 500
2018 C5 Pegasus 500
2017 C5 Redditch 500


Bmadd34

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Reply #21 on: September 25, 2018, 07:20:01 am
As we say here in the South, "Try 'er one more 'gain".
When Life hands you lemons, Squeeze them in his eyes and take his wallet.


suitcasejefferson

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Reply #22 on: October 05, 2018, 11:20:05 pm
A stock EFI Enfield runs ridiculously lean. My plug insulator was white. This is not necessarily the fault of RE, but the EPA. My solution was to convert my 2013 from the very poorly designed and excessively lean EFI to an Amal carb, using a kit from Hitchcock's. It runs several times better, and the plug is now a nice dark tan. I stuck a borescope in the spark plug hole and it looks ok in there. If you want to keep the crappy EFI with the failure prone $500 fuel pump, you can spend another $500 on a Power Commander and retune the EFI to make it run richer. But I wasn't about to spend $500 on more electronics I didn't want anyway. It's a motorcycle, not a computer.

You could tear the engine down and see what happened, it might be repairable.

Don't overestimate the value of a Royal Enfield. I have $7,000 invested in mine, I'd be lucky to get $1500 for it. Fortunately it is still running with 11,000+ miles on it. Never been on a freeway, oil changed very frequently, rarely ever ridden above 55 mph. I didn't buy it for transportation, I bought it for fun, as a replacement for a mid '60s Triumph I had when I was much younger, and foolishly sold. It has been babied to death, and runs and looks like new. But Royal Enfield's poor quality is well known, and nobody will pay much for a used one.
"I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker"
"Some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best of intentions'


Bert Remington

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Reply #23 on: October 06, 2018, 10:34:53 am
SCJ -- the engine, and probably the transmission, is a total loss.  The exhaust valve head separated from the stem.  It fragmented into at least three pieces; broke the piston into four pieces (I believe there are more in the crankcase): bent the top end of the connecting rod both forward and leftward; damaged exhaust valve seat; damaged cylinder head combustion area especially perimeter; and took small chunk out of cylinder skirt.  The crankshaft does not move in any direction.  The transmission in Neutral does not rotate more than one-third turn without using prybar force.  While I will remove left and right side covers to retrieve salvageable parts, I will not bother separating cases.

My next step is to ship the 2010 C5 from NC to CA, remove the engine/transmission, upgrade the valve train and seats, install Pete's cams, and install it in the 2016 C5 along with PC V with AT-200.

The 2010 came with a PC V and I purchased an AT-200 a month ago.  So I'm sticking with closed loop ECU.  Amals are complicated. ;D

One of my mistakes was not diagnosing and correcting the popping.  I blamed it on the EMGO muffler and stopped thinking about it.

You're correct about the used RE market.  Soft as a down pillow.  Ditto for used parts.  Barely worth the cost of shipping.

We need to compare farkle lists sometime and see how we both got to $7K.  Except I jumped to $10K by replacing the engine.

The motorcycle I wish I kept?  Suzuki GS750.  Light, simple, a refined version of Honda's CB750.
2016 RE Classic 500 CA version
2000 BMW R1100RT


wildbill

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Reply #24 on: October 06, 2018, 07:56:56 pm
I think its hard to beat these bikes in virually stock standard for - add sports exhaust and ejk
speaking of ejk I sold mine about 3 weeks ago because I had no intention of every buying a euro 3 again.
a week later I bought a euro 3..LOL
I asked the guy I sold it to for $200 would he like to sell it back and naturally he said NO! bike runs great with it.
so I had to shell out another $370 with postage to buy a new unit for the REDDITH
so I thought I might as well go for a new exhaust system too.
2011 C5 black/chrome
2012 C5 maroon/chrome 
2013 B5 black
2014 Continental gt
2014 C5 tan
2015 black/chrome
2015 limited edition dispatch
2016 lagoon blue 500
2016  ash white 350
2017 graphite/chrome 500
2018 gun metal grey 500
2018 C5 Pegasus 500
2017 C5 Redditch 500


gizzo

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Reply #25 on: October 06, 2018, 11:10:02 pm

The motorcycle I wish I kept?  Suzuki GS750. 
That's one I should have kept, too.
simon from south Australia
Continental GT
Pantah
Monster
DR250
TRX850
DRZ400SM


Chilliman

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Reply #26 on: October 07, 2018, 12:40:05 am
G'day mate,
Damn shame to hear your RE died.
There could be any number of things to cause the failure, but a blurry photo of an oily looking smashed up spark plug is not much help.
It never fails to amaze me the number of times I hear about owners only doing 35mph for 75miles in top gear.
All this lugging and chugging around in top gear.
ANY motor would fail driven like this.
I was VERY scared of my C5 when I got it. Very careful. Conservative.
Then I decided to do regular services and just ride it like a bike.
 I live in the NT of Australia where it is hot as hell then wet and humid as hell.
The only modifications I have done to my C5 are an 1 3/4" engine pipe with a Mostyn reverse megaphone exhaust.
Just those 2 mods made my Royal Enfield perform almost like any other 500cc single.
Fuel consumption dropped by 40% over that choking drinking straw size standard exhaust.
The bike is ridden 2 up always and regularly sees 120kmh and I have done 32000kms since I bought it aver a year ago with NO breakdowns.
Do yourself a favour and ride your Enfield like a bike and not like your were riding an old lady.
I would love to see what the inside of your motor looks like.


Bert Remington

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Reply #27 on: October 07, 2018, 03:05:56 pm
Thanks Chilliman.  You're right about the plug picture being a bit inadequate for diagnosis.  Except for a few spare parts, the engine is a total loss so I didn't bother with pictures.

2016 RE Classic 500 CA version
2000 BMW R1100RT


Bert Remington

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Reply #28 on: October 07, 2018, 03:55:49 pm
Oops still not used to no Tab in posts.

So I removed left and right covers yesterday and removed rear sprocket; cams with spindles; oil pump gear; alternator with CPS; starter assembly including sprag and idlers; clutch assembly; primary chain with tensioner; and some other stuff.  Oil looked clean.  Oil filter O-ring (cover to crankcase) in place and intact.  Wear surfaces looked good.  There was a small amount of metal particles in the front of the left cover but I expect that occurred in the self-destruction phase as oil filter looked clean.  One the other hand that could be their sanctuary in RE's lubrication labyrinth.  One curiosity: five of the six cylinder studs were finger-tight in the crankcase.  It sure was easy to disassemble with the crankshaft and gearbox frozen.

Originally I thought it was piston failure due to lean burn but another possibility is I didn't properly seat the valves during break-in leading to a tiny flex in the stem every revolution until the exhaust valve head separated.  And then there's always karma.

Certainly I had a few occasions when I chose the wrong gear and lugged the engine.  And before I added the second head stay I tended to shift up to avoid vibration.  So...maybe.  With only 18hp at the rear wheel you need to be a bit aggressive with the throttle here in SoCal's SUVland.  I rarely took my chances in the fast lane.  You may have road trains but we have helicopter moms in Range Rovers.  Sluggards don't survive.

Gas is a current topic: 87 (R+M)/2 from name brand stations only.
2016 RE Classic 500 CA version
2000 BMW R1100RT