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Author Topic: Bringing Military up to speed  (Read 2317 times)


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Bringing Military up to speed
« on: September 22, 2007, 12:10:52 am »
Hello everyone, I'm a newbie here and forgive me if my questions sound stupid.  I've always been a fan of the classic WWII vintage look and just discovered the Royal Enfield Bullet Military and fell in love with it visually. I live in Phoenix and was able to find the one dealership that carries Enfields and, as I expected after checking out the specs online, was slightly put off after discussing it with the staff.

I understand that the bike is not fit for freeway travel. I was mildly interested in whether or not the bike would make it on day trips to the Tucson area or Payson, and was told that more than likely the engine would seize half-way there.  It just wasn't built for that kind of sustained speed.

Here's where my stupid newbie questions come in, and any help would be greatly appreciated!  Is it possible, feasible or even advisable to somehow upgrade the engine or other components of the bike without altering the design too drastically, that would allow for extended freeway driving or even touring? The dealer told me about one man who upgraded his for freeway driving but that he still felt that the frame just couldn't handle what would be asked of it.  What do you all think?

I still love this look and would seriously consider purchasing it just for tooling around town and having fun. But being able to take it out further and having more fun on the open road would certainly be a very attractive option.  Again, sorry if the question sounds lame. Don't know much about motorbikes but always willing to learn!


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Re: Bringing Military up to speed
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2007, 12:25:35 am »
I would suggest that you read a lot of the posts already on this forum - your questions are the most commonly asked here, and there is a wealth of information available for you to browse.

Put simply, the Enfield is not a freeway machine, and cannot be made into one. I am not sure why the frame that can drive half up Everest would collapse on the freeway, but the engine wouldn't like it. It is a machine that likes to travel at 55 - 65 mph, with emphasis on the lower speeds. IT will do this on roads less traveled happily and safely - for round town it is perfect, has sufficient 'zip' to get out of the way of fools, and is a very stable and forgiving ride.

But, it will not, and cannot adapted to take 75mph trips on Arizona freeways.  If you like the WWII type bike, ride around at WWII speeds - the British Enfield Army Dispatch bike would tear around the war zones, at about 55mph. They would do it all day, but if the squadie riding it opened it up to wot, he would blow the engine - they just do that.

For a period type bike, that looks good, is tough and can cope with dirt better than any other street machine, look no further, and get an Royal Enfield - but don't take it on I 10

There are plenty of places around there, that I have ridden my bikes - until July, I was in Tonapah (exit 94) west of Phoenix, and rode hundreds of miles around there, at speeds up to 60mph, with no problems, but I knew the limitations of the machine, and never considered getting onto that mad interstate - the bike could not do it.
aka Indiana Bulleteer.
''99 Classic Bullet. '05 Ural Tourist sidecar rig, converted to 2wd. '05 Harley Davidson Sportster.
Jefferson County, WA


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Re: Bringing Military up to speed
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2007, 07:17:16 am »
after 1,000 miles you can take them up to 60mph. don't let anyone tell you they are unreliable or junk, they are just an old design, you need to break them in properly and do simple things like keep the valves adjusted properly. all of this becomes 2nd nature and actually brings you closer to the bike.

I've had the most fun i've ever had on any motorcycle with my royal enfield. taking the "long way" and avoiding highways make for a more enjoyable ride.


  • 8 mph slower than indicated
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Re: Bringing Military up to speed
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2007, 11:14:42 am »
I have 1800 miles on my 06 military and it holds 65 comfortably and sounds good doing it.  I had thought I was doing 73 mph but I just strapped on a Tom Tom one (yesterday) and it shows that the speedometer has an optimistic reading of 8 mph on the high end and 5 mph when its at the lower range. 

Another point to consider is that I belong to the Little people club and weigh in at 155 with riding boots and jacket.

I guess I haven't been riding it as aggressive as I thought.  I love this bike but I probably will be buying something for regular interstate travel in the spring.  If I can I'll keep the military too.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2007, 01:47:24 pm by little_a_o »


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Re: Bringing Military up to speed
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2007, 01:08:50 pm »
   I keep reading that the 500 isn't equipped to handle sustained 65 mph for very long.

   Is it the High rev's at prolonged periods that breaks 'em up? 
   I also heard/read that its the excessive heat that gets to them.

   If its the heat, then what are the folks who are dragging the sidecar with the additional payload doing?  I would think they are producing and dissipating as much heat per revolution as a solo rider doing 20 mph faster.

   Is it the combination of heat and rev's thats doing them in?



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Re: Bringing Military up to speed
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2007, 05:23:59 pm »
I've run my RE 500 Classic at 60-65 all day long on several long rides and don't have any trouble. That is the way it has always been riden. On most roads where I live, if you do 40-45 you will get run over. Now on some of the country roads where there is little or no traffic I will cruise at 45-50 when riding by myself. Most of my riding is done with friends who like to run 60-65 mph. Just check the oil after a long day at those speeds, it will probably use some......Dew.
If it hurts, you're not dead yet!!!!!