Friday, October 21, 2016

My Royal Enfield's speedometer cable took a bad path

I'm very proud that my 1999 Royal Enfield Bullet has covered more than 42,000 miles. So I was saddened recently when the odometer stopped cold at 42,480 miles — although the motorcycle was still moving.

My speedometer kept working! It was only its odometer that froze up.

Chatter on the Classic Motor Works Community Forum tells me that the original equipment speedometers do tend to die at about 40,000 miles.

One forum member, Singhg5, pulled his speedometer apart to see what makes it tick.

"It is pretty much non-serviceable," he wrote. "It is like a fine clock/watch with small, delicate and precise parts inside. ...A small change in its parts or misalignment or loose joint can mess it up. It can't be put back together."

Singh5g posted a helpful YouTube video on how he replaced his old speedometer with a new one.

I decided first to examine my speedometer cable, to make sure it was not the problem. What a surprise I got!

Speedometer cable on my 1999 Royal Enfield Bullet was begging for trouble.
View into the nacelle is from right side of the motorcycle facing forward.
First, it was apparent that the way the cable was routed into the nacelle, turning the handlebars to the left caused it to squeeze the wiring loom tightly against the headstock. The wiring bundle had literally rubbed paint off the headstock from the intense pressure and friction. Clearly not a good thing.

Secondly, turning the handlebars to the right pinched the speedometer cable itself between the stops on the frame and forks. The cable's outer sheath was slightly kinked and rubbed down to its metal at the point of contact.

Since the speedometer continues to work, I re-routed the cable back into the nacelle in a way I hope eliminates these two problems.

Even though the outer cable is slightly bent, the inner cable appears to turn normally, so I may put off replacing the speedometer and its cable until the speedometer, too, quits working.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Royal Enfield shows off its wares in Milwaukee

Royal Enfield's new showroom and North America headquarters in Milwaukee, Wis.
Readers of this blog got a look inside Royal Enfield North America's new headquarters/showroom in Milwaukee last month, thanks to photos from John Donlon.

I got a first-hand glance inside the showroom myself last week while in Milwaukee briefly on family business. The store is  closed on Mondays (my only day to visit) but a Royal Enfield employee spotted us and let my wife and I in for a quick look around.

"You just can't buy anything," he said.

Bonnie takes a photo of me taking a photo of a tasty Royal Enfield.
You can instantly see that it's tastefully designed, like the other "brand stores" Royal Enfield has opened around the world. It's also very spacious; it will lend itself to hosting events.

It's strictly a showroom. As is typical in the U.S., if you want to buy a motor vehicle you have to go to a dealer, not the company headquarters building. (There is plenty of merchandise on sale, though.)

Showroom puts the new Continental GT in the light of past glories.
Royal Enfield is busy recruiting dealers and the employee who admitted us explained that the Milwaukee showroom gives prospective dealers an idea of the kind of ambiance Royal Enfield wants to create around its products.

Nadine De Freitas rode No. 83 at Bonneville and here it is.
Upscale, definitely. But dealers won't have such treasures as No. 83, the Nadine De Freitas Royal Enfield Continental GT from Bonneville.

The building is historic but, then, so is the Royal Enfield brand.
The building that houses Royal Enfield dates from 1914. It's located in the city's up-and-coming historic Third Ward.

Milwaukee's historic Third Ward has food, shopping and night life.
Fifteen luxury apartments are being constructed on the floors above the Royal Enfield showroom. Each comes with two parking spaces, a legacy of the fact that this was among the first buildings of the century developed with basement parking for motor cars.

My wife and I grabbed a bite to eat at the foodie Milwaukee Public Market just down the street. All-in-all, the Royal Enfield showroom is a fun place to visit.

Royal Enfield has its names up in lights in Milwaukee.

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