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RE Continental GT

Discussion in 'General Classic Motorcycle Discussion' started by acotrel, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    'Elgin has the royal enfold concession for Switzerland I think.

    Looks great, but what a waste of a great frame.'

    You could say that, however it depends on what it's competition is. If it was raced against Seeley BSA Gold Stars, it would not be all bad, especially if you paid Steve Linsdel some money to help you.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9NMd2Wnt0o
     
  2. daveh

    daveh

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    You're right, they're slow. One of the Motorcycle News testers in the UK managed to coax 80 mph out of the one on test: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTREfmxWM0o. Indians won't mind because it looks very stylish and few things travel much faster than about 50 mph there anyway.

    RE claim 29 hp but I reckon it's more like low 20s at the wheel. It needs a free flowing exhaust, a higher compression ratio and a carb, for starters. Maybe have a look at the bottom end first, to see if it could take it. I wouldn't be surprised to see a tuning kit for them in due course.

    I don't want to sound like I am dismissing the company, because I really admire RE's approach. They have no intention of building performance bikes, just simple, rugged, economical machines. Long may it continue.
     
  3. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    'I don't want to sound like I am dismissing the company, because I really admire RE's approach. They have no intention of building performance bikes, just simple, rugged, economical machines. Long may it continue.'

    Wasn't that Norton's mindset in the 1920s ? Was Linsdell playing with a special sports model RE ? Have a look at the parts lists for JRM and think about what could be. I'm certain an Indian Enfield can be as good as a Gold Star BSA. After development about 40 BHP. Not a performance bike or even a classic class winner against Molnar manxes, however it would be up there with the other old garbage in a level playing field. We are not talking about superbikes. There are risks in a manufacturers racing, however also potential PR benefits.
    What BHP does a standard SR500 turn out ? And what does the Enfield GT weigh ?

    http://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/model/ ... 0%2078.htm
     
  4. Rohan

    Rohan

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    What, while competing in EVERY IoM TT race along the way....

    Nortons competition history was that they were the ONLY maker to compete in EVERY race - 1907 to 1975 or somewhere thereabouts, wasn't it.
    And a few more since.

    Royal Enfields did well in 1913 wasn't it though.
    Those little v-twins they had were very strong.
     
  5. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    They still had to maintain liquidity. It wasn't only about racing, and that had a lot to do with building reputation. I suggest their demise came about because of their inability to suitably reconcile the two aspects. If I'd bought a featherbed dominator, it would have been because of the success of the manx.
     
  6. Bernhard

    Bernhard

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Steve Linsdell started racing in 1977 on a hand built Royal Enfield with a 1959 Bullet 500cc engine and a Colin Seeley frame.
    For 1981 he built up a 1959 engined 500cc Royal Enfield Bullet, mounted in a Colin Seeley frame, to compete in the unlimited single cylinder Kenning "S" series, and to make his debut at the Isle of Man Manx Grand Prix. He was moderately successful on this bike on the short circuits, but it was in the Isle of Man that he stunned his opposition and all spectators by finishing in an astonishing second place in the newcomer's race at an average speed of 94.87 mph. This was despite competing against machines over 20 years newer. Linsdell is still the last ever Royal Enfield racer to stand on the Isle of Man podium.
    All Steve Linsdell did was fit a higher compression ratio piston in the engine & used the 750 2ls, or was that a 4ls?, Enfield front brake to comply with the rules.
    On top of that, he was a dam good rider .
     
  7. Rohan

    Rohan

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    ALL he did ?
    Enquiring minds would suggest that no Bullet ever went like that with just a hi-comp piston fitted, so there must be some more to it than that.
    And to get it reliable with the sort of power output that that would require is no mean feat either.
    i.e. he could have taught the factory a thing or 2, by the sound of it...
     
  8. daveh

    daveh

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Have a look at Hitchcock's web site to get an idea of what they offer to pep up the pre-unit Enfields: http://www.hitchcocksmotorcycles.com/home

    They have a big-bore performance kit that takes the engine output up to mid-40s hp, among other things.

    Whatever Lindsell did with his Enfields (and from what I understand, that was a lot), he didn't do it with Indian-made cranks and other vital components. Hitchcocks emphasise that the performance parts they sell are made in England, and they say this for a good reason.

    A friend had a test ride on the new RE yesterday. His conclusions: comfortable ergonomics, nice handling, great brakes and an asthmatic engine strangled by emissions laws and crying out to be 'liberated'. The engine has tuning potential but the bike is expensive for what it is in the UK and only a minority would be willing to spend another few grand tuning it. I'm guessing here, but I think they will sell on looks alone and most will be kept close to standard, with maybe a Power Commander to tweak the EFi, and a less restrictive pipe.
     
  9. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    I think the RE would respond well to an injection of Jawa speedway engine parts as long as the crankcases stand up to the beating. it is not difficult to get any OHV 500cc single going fast - usually 10% behind a manx - however who cares, you simply ride that much faster ?
     
  10. Rohan

    Rohan

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Care to share your engine tuning secrets Alan ?

    Offhand, I can barely think of a touring ohv that has been pepped up to being remotely within cooee of "10% of a manx".
    Even a Goldstar.
    And the one I can think of had been TOTALLY reworked, and was a tuning magicians work.
    The full fairing helped, too...
     
  11. daveh

    daveh

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    The argument is academic, unless you are discussing the old Bullet engine. The new RE engine is no more classic than a Hinkley Bonneville and it will not be eligible for classic racing. However, we might see a dedicated race class for it, like for MZs.

    I would sum it up as a neat, stylish, retro runabout. It leaves me wondering if only they had managed to produce such a neat, affordable little single in that price bracket in England. Previous attempts, like the Rotax-engined "Matchless", came to nothing. The RE looks the part, harking back to the original Continental GT, whereas the "Matchless" looked no more Matchless than a Suzuki.
     
  12. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    If you took the lights off that bike and fitted number plates and attended to a few minor details, it would be essentially no different to most of the cheaters in Australian Historic racing. And the kids could buy them off the shelf and come racing. It is all about critical mass and spectator appeal to make meetings economically viable and affordable for competitors. We never achieve the nostalgia kick at most events, so why continue the pretense ? Genuine bikes are only needed at national and state historic championships and we have log books for that. Let's go classic racing ?
    When it comes to being purist, I am much more purist than most people, however it is only necessary in classic racing at certain prestige events where the gate takings are based on selling the nostalgia kick' For the rest of the time it is a real turn-off. It stops real racing from happening.
     
  13. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    The last time I rode in an historic race, at scrutineering there was a guy beside me with an old Aerial with more rubber oil pipes running around it than the Queen Mary's engine room. It even had a WLA Harley style carrier rack on the back so the oil cooler could be mounted, it was filthy dirty - yet still had a log book and passed inspection. I felt like putting my bike back onto the trailer and going home.
    The funniest thing was the response of four old guys who brought their beatifully restored old road bikes to one historic meeting. They looked at the racing bikes and nearly vomited.I know how they must have felt. What a lot of bullshit.
     
  14. daveh

    daveh

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Aco, I hear you when you complain about racing in Australia, but you have already made your point many times before. I know you are a good sort, so please don't take it out on us in the Northern Hemisphere - we can't do anything about it. :(

    Back to the new RE?

    Dave
     
  15. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Dave, What you do in historic racing in the UK has a lot of potential to influence what we do in Australia. If you guys get it right our fellas will always follow. People here will strongly deny that we respect the British, the truth is that many of us feel we have to defeat them whenever possible. And why would that be ? - part of the cultural cringe. Last year a few of our guys went to Goodwood Revival - do you think they did not notice that the manxes were 20 KPH faster than ours ? The best thing that has happened recently is that guys like Steve Maney have turned up at Phillip Island to race. This year Kenny Cummins and Dave Roper will be here. It all helps make our Australian racing better. I love classic racing, and some of the historic racing is OK, however a lot of it lacks something. We have never tried the alternative, so historic racing is the only development class in Australia. It means that any future tuners and builders learn their trade butchering old bikes.
     
  16. Rohan

    Rohan

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    We note you are a pommie import Alan. ?
    Maybe you have 'cultural cringe', but most aussies would rather just thrash the poms at cricket.
    And KNOW that we will never ever ever beat em at football (soccer).
     
  17. daveh

    daveh

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    A small point - I don't live in the UK but I get what you mean. Britain has the best classic race scene in the world, and all within such a small geographical space. I would like to get over there more often but the ferry ride across the Irish Sea makes for a very expensive weekend's racing. The cost of ferries and fuel has stopped quite a few British competitors from travelling over here too. We used to have a round of the British Superbike Championship at my local circuit, Mondello Park. That was before the recession started to bite. It was the best thing that ever happened to the Irish racing scene.
     
  18. Rohan

    Rohan

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    If you have a look, acotrel is all over the racing forums with these complaining views too.
    Not surprisingly, they didn't think much of them either.
    So is no spokesperson for the current state of classic racing.... ?
     
  19. Chris

    Chris VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Hi

    Couple of things.
    Classic Racing Motorcycle club allowed Indian Enfields to race back in the 90s. The intension was cheap racing, good starter bike/class, looked classic, & will bring the youngsters & born again into the fold.
    Funnily enough we had RJM of Luton (who raced classics) support this class as they were Enfield dealers. Acrotel, it died. Nobody wanted to build & race one! Different times because classic bikes were a lot cheaper then. Only Robin Reed put in a season & he said he was bored. Nice idea but it wont catch on.

    Historic racing
    Couple of the Enfield lads wanted to fit the gearbox from the Indian bike into their racers (5 speed) safety was used as the reason. They were refused.
    Nearest an Indian Enfield got to the track here.

    Chris
     
  20. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    'Historic racing
    Couple of the Enfield lads wanted to fit the gearbox from the Indian bike into their racers (5 speed) safety was used as the reason. They were refused.
    Nearest an Indian Enfield got to the track here.'

    Chris, we even have pre-war side valve Indians using Triumph 5 speed boxes in Australia. The argument which is used is 'well, it COULD have happened'. I've seen an H1 Kawasaki two stroke triple at one meeting with the full go-kart digital electronics mounted on the top yoke - thermocouples in the chambers, digital display etc. and it still passed scrutineering. My own bike has been criticized for having a 'trick' frame - the Mk3 Seeley frame of 1966. Historic racing is my only option besides one only modern class, and BEARS racing which never happens in Victoria. Australian historic racing is garbage worse than Allpowers C Grade ever was in the 60s and 70s. I just wish these bloody idiots would devise some real racing for old bikes.

    When your bikes are scrutineered at your historic meetings, do the officials actually check the number of gears in the gearbox ? Or have you got people standing around listening to the gear changes during races ? How do they know when the Indian Enfield 5 speed box has been fitted unless you tell them ? If I wanted to do it, I'd have a very nice 5 speed close gear set made and give the motor a nice big dose of nitro at the same time - then argue from there.
     

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