|I pulled off the cotter pin, put in a new bushing and replaced the pin; that's the dirty, worn out 113066 I'm holding. Note the unused and oversize extra hole in the lower linkage arm. My dealer denied drilling it. Was the factory experimenting?|
You could nominate lack of speed. You could complain that the old ones need sustained mechanical attention (the new ones don't).
But the single biggest problem, at least in the U.S., at least for some years, is the silly linkage that allows the four-speed gearbox to shift on the left. That linkage is a bodge, intended to get the motorcycle past U.S. regulations by making a transmission designed to shift on the right work instead from the left side of the motorcycle.
The linkage introduces slop that saps the pleasure of using the transmission. The introduction of the new Royal Enfield five-speed gearbox, designed from the start to shift on the left, eliminates the linkage and its problems.
Those of us with four-speed Royal Enfields initially had only two choices:
Buy and fit a kit that converts the motorcycle back to right-side shifting.
Buy and fit the famed DRS "shift kit" that promises improved results by improving the linkage itself.
I only recently became aware that there is now a third (and vastly more expensive) option: fit a new five-speed transmission, converted to shift on the right.
Naturally, compelled by my personal motto (Take the Easy Way Out) I have done none of these things. I simply live with the bodge, as delivered, rebuilding it as necessary to keep it operating at "peak" inefficiency.
Oh, I BOUGHT the DRS kit. I just never put it on the motorcycle.
Why? Because the DRS kit expects that you will drill neat 5/16-inch holes in the existing linkage arms, and the kit supplies lovely metal bushings of that dimension to fit in the holes. The linkage on my Royal Enfield, however, has some 5/16-inch holes and some gaping 7/16-inch holes, as delivered by the factory. The lovely little bushings rattle around in the varied-sized holes, as loosey-goosey as the original linkage.
I knew the time had come for another linkage renewal on the way home from church one Sunday, when the motorcycle stopped being able to reach first gear. I limped home with second-gear starts, very unkind to the clutch.
On examination, I found that the linkage had become so sloppy that its movement was exaggerated. The linkage now contacted the frame of the motorcycle, coming to a halt before forcing the gearbox into first gear. I would have to get rid of at least some slop.
So, as I've done before, I fired off an email to email@example.com
"I need those little, oh, you know, THINGS, that go in the whatchamacallit. You know?" I wrote.
The answer came back immediately from Jane Seene:
"The part number you need is 113066. They are $5.95 for a set of two plus shipping. I can put this order in for you."
The two little plastic bushings arrived right away and I popped them in, replacing the now shrunken and battered plastic items I've replaced so often before. They wear out fast, because they're soft plastic. But, because they're soft plastic, they seem to compensate somewhat for the odd sized holes they fill in my linkage.
It's a case of "close enough" being better than "perfect." Someday I'll spring for that expensive conversion kit. Or, maybe, I'll just Take the Easy Way Out and buy a couple extra sets of 113066 to have on hand.