|Got a question about how to fix your Royal Enfield?|
Here are some people to ask.
You'll usually find that members are ready and willing to answer common questions, if they can, based on their experience. But one recent question really stopped the show.
"Hi folks," began the cheerful question on the Royal Enfield Yahoo Group.
"The last digit on my Enfield Bullet speedo is a different color: White face speedo (from) around 2006, in kilometers; six digits overall five black and the last white. Is this last one tenths of a kilometer or just kilometers? Thanks, Michelle (New Zealand)"
Perhaps because female members of motorcycle message boards are less common than males, the first answer was a gallant one.
"Michelle, The speedo runs up to 99,000 and then the last roll is tenths. Victor"
And that's where it might have ended except that you could sense board members biting their tongues. Finally came the response everyone wanted to make:
"...Surely you could've answered that by riding 200 meters and seeing if that last white digit advances twice. That's nearly as easy as typing, and probably faster. But it's good of you to liven up a slow day by asking. There's a little devil dancing on my shoulder, shouting in my ear that I'm being rude in pointing this out. So I apologize for that. But really. Like, come on: Whatever were you thinking?"
And there, again, it might have ended; except that members really were taken aback by the apparent naivety of the question.
"Maybe her bike isn’t running at the moment and she does not want to push it 200 meters!" one member guessed.
And, indeed, it was something like, as the next message from Michelle explained:
"Hi again. Thank you for the information. Have yet to mount it on the bike but will certainly take it for a 200-meter test ride when I do. Thanks, Michelle"
"OK, Michelle, that puts me in my place! Never make assumptions!"
Etiquette is almost as important as a thick skin when asking questions of knowledgeable enthusiasts on Internet message boards.
You will want to avoid alienating the people who might help by asking lazy or inappropriate questions, or failing to first search the group files and past conversations for answers to common questions.
For instance, if I want to know how to adjust the Gear Operator Selector Assembly of the four-speed Royal Enfield transmission, all I have to do is search conversations in the Royal Enfield Yahoo Group for "GOSA." The question has been answered there; there's no excuse for asking it again.
Members also get irritated when questioners fail to explain their problem completely or don't state what model Royal Enfield they have. Iron-barreled four speed? Five-speed AVL? Unit Constructed Engine (UCE)? These things matter.
Remember, you're getting free advice, and members may disagree about the correct answer. If advice you receive works for you, be sure to write back, thank your advisers, and report that the problem is solved.
And even though there are several helpful groups, resist the temptation to "cross post" your question on more than one of them. Many people belong to them all and don't need to read the same conversation duplicated.
There are many Yahoo groups, but here are the ones I return to again and again:
Royal Enfield: Worldwide members will tackle almost any question about any model but have your facts laid out when you ask a question or misunderstandings can ensue.
Ace Performance: Tom Lyons creates and sells performance equipment for Royal Enfield Bullets but also responds to complex technical questions in detail. Check the little stuff (just a dirty spark plug?) before you bother him.
Bulletech: Members have deep knowledge of the Royal Enfield Bullets common in India. The philosophy here is to guide you in learning the answer for yourself, as a true Bulleteer should. If you're not going to enjoy that journey, don't start.
RE Interceptor: Specialty here is the Royal Enfield Interceptor, but any Royal Enfield twin interests members.
Bullet-Mania: A once active group, but traffic has fallen off. Its Files section nevertheless retains a Mikuni VM Carburetor Super Tuning Manual and "How to Date Your Indian Bullet by its Engine and Frame Numbers," a valuable 2003 article from the Bullet-In magazine.