Home Motorcycle brands My Royal Enfield needs engine work; should i repair or sell

My Royal Enfield needs engine work; should i repair or sell


The bicycle is exclusively used for trips with a minimum of driving in the city. Due to this and Covid, usage over the past two years has been very low.

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The backdrop:

I have an RE Electra. The bike has served me well over the past 7 years – 50,000 km and has been a fantastic companion on road trips. Few of them are captured in this thread.

[Note to self – Need to update the thread with a few other memorable trips]

The bicycle is exclusively used for trips with a minimum of driving in the city. Due to this and Covid, usage over the past two years has been very low. Recently I took the bike for service in anticipation of a trip. The FNG told me that something was wrong with the crankshaft assembly and gave me a quote of Rs 20k to fix it. Although the guy is super reliable, I still took the bike to the RE service center for a second opinion. I received the same diagnosis and unsurprisingly got a much higher repair quote.

The dilemma:

Considering this is a 7 year old bike, I see two options in front of me:

  • Option A: Give the bike to my FNG for overhaul (including the engine). Thinking about getting a new seat, better headlights, maybe a paint job. The tires were already improved a few months ago to reach the maximum possible size in the original configuration and I am very satisfied with the performance.
  • Option B: Sell this bike and buy something newer. I recently rode on my friend’s Meteor and while the refinement left me puzzled, I didn’t have the same feeling I get with my bike. Maybe because of the emotional connection or maybe because I’m still stuck in the 90s. If I had to choose something today, I would probably buy something like a Himalayan, KTM ADV 390, GS 310. I was very happy with my current bike and am not much into new launches. So, practically, I’m not even sure what to move on. But I think it’s a good problem to have given the options available in the market today.

Analysis of the ape’s mind:

  • Option B is going to cost me at least 6 to 10 times option A.
  • Option B provides me with a modern bike and would require fewer trips to the garage.
  • Option A allows me to keep my dear bike for longer. It can also make me feel like I own something personalized with minimal inconvenience. My FNG and RE mechanic confirmed the bike is in good condition except for the engine crankshaft assembly [I never change things from stock setup in my cars and bikes except a few functional accessories here or there]
  • Option A saves a lot of money.

The trap :

There is an impending move (to India) looming over me once we get past the pandemic and my cycling trips may actually decrease as I move to a new city. My riding, say from 2022, will depend on my ability to find people who are also interested in bike travel and at the same time riding bikes as slow as my Bullet Electra.


Need to finalize on what to do in this situation. At this point, I’m inclined to option A. Mainly because of the lower cost and ambiguity about future travel.
What do you think? Is there another option that is not being considered? Thanks in advance.

Here is what GTO had to say about it:

I would go for repairs, since you clearly love your bike. More reasoning in a thread I wrote for cars, but the points are also applicable here.

Here is what tharian BHP had to say about it:

Go for option A and keep the bike because you like to ride it and later choose a faster bike and keep the Electra for city use.

At first glance I think the main bearing or big end bearing is what they call crankshaft repairs. Not much from what I know of the same work done on a few AVLs and CI 500s. The engine should be fine for a long time after this is fixed.

Here is what BHPian abhishek46 had to say about it:

Option A, eyes closed. Just look at the prices of new RE bikes right now!

Have the engine serviced and enjoy the ride.

Personally, I would prefer the service center for the engine overhaul (original parts, warranty on labor, etc.).

Here is what BHPian SidharthaN had to say about it:

Repair and conserve the Electra. The long stroke pusher is a gem and a heritage. They continue to run. I have a 2015 TBU which is running hard at 1,17,000 km with the engine intact. I would say that as long as you don’t think that something is wrong, there may be something wrong. I never ask the robot if something is wrong, unless I personally think there is a problem. As a result, my TB still walks and does 90 km / h with ease. Think about what makes you think the engine needs work.

And on any day old school REs can go around the world, yes a little slowly, but certainly with confidence. So to think that you don’t need a new bike to tour, if you’re okay with going 80 km / h, it will keep chomping on the miles. I keep the TB until it collapses over the next 9 years … which I know it won’t since the old RE continues to operate.

Here is what Ashwinprakas BHPian had to say about it:

Even before I got into it myself, I always used to admit that a Pushrod engine is legendary in itself, as even traditional brands like Harley Davidson switch to OHC and EV, only RE offers the privilege of own an OHV in 2021! And that also for peanuts in comparison.

After going through a few lakhs the CC fanaticism goes away and you start to appreciate the finer things in life and that’s when you really appreciate a push rod.

So believe me, DON’T SELL THE PUSHBUTTON! Especially not for an OHC which is similar to exchanging a Citizen Eagle 7 for a Modern Retro Casio, only the less informed participate in such blasphemy!

PS Are you really sure your motorcycle needs a rebuild? I wouldn’t trust any mechanic, better consult a BHPian colleague who knows his motorcycles and doesn’t hesitate to get his hands dirty.

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