The RevZilla Redline – Ep. 4
Articles,  Blog

The RevZilla Redline – Ep. 4

Welcome to RevZilla
Redline for April 2018. I’m Spurge. And here at RevZilla we’ve been
listening to your feedback, and that’s why
we’re kicking things off this month with a
ride down here in Texas on the Royal Enfield Himalayan. We’ve got a lot
of great questions about this motorcycle. So we figured we’d
start off by answering a few of those
questions, starting with, what are the highway
capabilities of the Himalayan, realistically? Now, I was able to get this bike
up to about 85 miles an hour. Honestly, it doesn’t
feel comfortable there. It feels much more comfort
around 60 to 65 miles an hour. So if you’re looking
at getting this bike to be a highway burner, probably
not the best option for you. But if you just want to go
explore back country roads, this might be an excellent
option for you to consider. Now the other
thing– we’re talking about highway capabilities–
is the engine on this. It was far less buzzy and
vibey than I was expecting from a single cylinder engine. It doesn’t really give you
the old tingle in the butt sensation until you’re getting
right up to the red line, really pushing it close
to that 7,000 RPM mark. I have no faults with how
comfortable this engine is for regular riding. We also had a question
come through on ergonomics. And I think a lot of times when
people hear “adventure bike,” they think tall, big,
heavy, intimidating, and this is really
the antithesis to any of those things. Aly, our camera woman,
was able to get on it, and she’s about 5 foot 4. She was able to throw
her legs over and get both feet in the ground. So I think for shorter riders,
this might be something for you to consider if other
adventure bikes have been too intimidating for you. Now, coming up in
this month’s episode, we do a lot of
great stuff for you. Alessandra’s going to be
hitting some wet weather riding tips for
those of you looking to ride through April showers. I will actually be
coming back around to talk to you more about
the Royal Enfield Himalayan from a reliability standpoint. Then Lemmy’s going to wrap
things up with a shop tip, and to give you a
little more info on what you can expect from
Redline this coming summer. I will check back in with
you guys in a little bit. Now, while Spurgey was out there
tearing it up on the Himalayan, I took a trip to
Boyertown, Pennsylvania, for Martin Moto’s 8th
Annual Modern Classic Show. Now, if you read Common Thread,
you know Spurgey and I are both a huge fan of this show. I personally feel this is one
of the best vintage bike shows on the east coast. We’re always really
pleased to go there. So I wanted to bring you back
a couple of my highlights from the show– some bikes that
I really thought were nifty. And first up we have
a ’97 KTM Duke 620, one of the very first
factory supermotos. It’s also a bike that
offers modern performance. Sure, it’s still got
a kicker on there. It reminds you that it
is an older motorcycle. However, you’re
getting very modern performance out of this bike. This bike was definitely
the bike I most wanted to ride in the show. So moving on from
there, there was also a first gen Suzuki Katana. How cool to see this thing. Those of you who are old enough
to remember when this bike hit the streets know that
the styling was super controversial on this bike. Nowadays it looks pretty
tame, but it really does speak to the
fact that this bike influenced a lot of motorcycles
going forward, styling wise. It was really awesome to see
how well the design has held up now, all the way to 2018. Now moving on from
there is another bike that I really lusted
after, and that was a Victoria Bergmeister. Now, some of you may not
be familiar with that make or model. Victoria’s a German brand. Bergmeister is actually
German for “mountain master.” It gives you an
idea of exactly what they had in mind for this bike. This bike jumped out
at me immediately, simply because the
engine architecture utilizes a transverse V-motor. The other cool thing
about this bike is the space race era styling
is definitely evident. Everything is sleek and
streamlined on this bike. They even covered
up the carburetor. It was just a remarkably
styled motorcycle– caught my eye instantly as
soon as I walked past it. Now I’d probably be
remiss if I didn’t mention the big talk of the
show, and that was a 1905 Reading Standard Thoroughbred. This bike took home both
the People’s Choice Award, as well as an
Exhibitor’s Choice Award. This is actually the oldest
known Reading Standard motorcycle in existence today. It was really cool
just to see this thing. It’s an obvious link between
bicycles and early motorcycles. It hit you right in the face as
soon as you walked in the door. Really neat bike to see. So if you’ve never been to
the Modern Classics Show, I would recommend that you mark
it down in your calendar now. For just a few measly
bucks, you really are going to a museum for a day. You’re going to
see 100 motorcycles assembled that you’ll never
see together again for as long as you live. Always a very good time. Right now, let’s go over
and meet up with Alessandra and we’ll talk rain gear. I’ll be the first
to admit that I used to hate riding in the rain. And it wasn’t until I found
the perfect combination of wet weather gear
and tires for my bike that I realized it’s all
about comfort and confidence. Now on the confidence
end of things, I recently upgraded my tires
to these Pirelli Route 66s, and it’s really changed
the way that I ride. In fact, the first long
trip that I took with these, it was cold, it was
wet, it was rainy, but I still took the long
way home simply because I felt really good on my bike. Now, when I was
looking for tires, I knew that I wanted a
classic tread pattern and something with better
wet weather traction, So I read a ton of reviews. But there are a few
other things that you should really look for when
you’re shopping for tires. If the idea of reading
a jillion reviews doesn’t really
appeal to you, there are two terms you can
keep your eyeballs out for that will tip you off to a
tire’s wet weather performance. The first one is silica. Silica charged rubber
compounds tended to perform really well in both
cold as well as wet weather. The other word you want to
keep your eyes peeled for is siping– siping are small slits made into
the rubber surface of the tire. They help the tire take
water up inside of itself and then eject it as it
rolls over the pavement– both lead to really
good wet weather grip. So bikes are one
thing, but you want to be equally as comfortable
and confident in your gear. One thing that you
need to keep in mind is that there are
basically two options– there’s gear that has
a waterproof shell, and gear that comes
with a liner system where the waterproofing
is on the inside. For instance, when I know that
I’m going to be in the rain and I’m touring, I
use my touring jacket because the shell itself
is actually waterproof. But one thing to keep in mind is
that when you have a waterproof shell, it’s also windproof,
which means that it can get a little bit hot. So something you
want to look for is direct venting,
like these pit zips that I have on my jacket here. Those vent directly to my body. Now all of this holds true
for jackets and pants. However, if you’re shopping
for boots or gloves, you should know those
are kind of binary- they’re either waterproof
or they are not. Now, if you tend to do a
lot of wet weather work, you might want to
do the same thing that many motorcyclists
before you have done as well, is simply have two sets of gear. Now thankfully, when it
comes to jackets and pants, you do have the options
of a liner system. Now personally I don’t
like using liners, because it usually means that
you have to pull over and zip something into the
inside of your jacket, or remember to zip it
in before you leave. The upside though is that, if
you do have a liner system, you get to retain the
look of the jacket, keep those abrasion
resistant materials and reflectivity on
the outside as well. Now, it should be noted
that you can make just about any gear waterproof
by using stuff like this– stowaway rain gear. I tend to use this
stuff very frequently, and part of the reason is
because this stuff doesn’t leave me super duper hot. Gear with waterproof
elements built right in tend to trap in heat, and I
don’t really care for that. Now, the downside
to gear like this is that I have to pull over
to the side of the road in order to actually get it on. A lot of times I wind
up a little bit wet before I find an overpass to
tuck it under when I’m throwing on my waterproof stuff. So stowaway gear is
really best for those just in case scenarios. That said, if you don’t have
regular motorcycle rain gear and you just have
something like a parka that you maybe had for
years, that’s another option that you can stow in your bike. For example, when I’m
wearing my leather shot I keep this North Face parka
right in my sissy bar bag, just in case. One thing to keep in mind
whenever you’re wearing something that’s
non-motorcycle specific is that it’s not as durable. So for example,
recently on a trip I threw some cheap rain
pants into my sissy bar bag. And once I actually got out on
the road, it started raining. I put them on. They didn’t have any
heat-resistant materials in there to protect
against my exhaust, and they melted to the bike
and it’s been pretty tough cleaning it up since then. So that’s just something
to keep in mind. Another critical
piece of rain gear we haven’t really discussed
thus far is the helmet. Now regardless of where you
stand on the law, or safety, the reality is that a full
face lid is simply the best at keeping your kisser dry. Now, if you tend to do a
lot of wet weather riding, you’ll probably find
that fog is a real issue. So if you’re looking for either
a helmet or a face shield, you may want to consider
one with this set up here– pinlock. Pinlock is a method of
attaching basically a face shield for your face shield. If you note along the
perimeter of this face shield, you’ll see this
line– that’s actually a silicone gasket that’s
separating the two plastic components of this. It traps a pocket
of air between them. It acts a lot like a
double-paned window as far as keeping fog at bay. Now if you don’t want
to spend the coinage, you can simply do
the low-tech thing that I do all the time–
simply crack your face shield, or just flip it open and
the fog will dissipate. So let me tell you
about why Royal Enfield has a bad reputation. Over 50% of the questions
that we’ve seen roll through on the new Himalayan have
to do with the quality of the bike itself. And that’s because for
the past almost 60 years, Royal Enfield really hasn’t made
any changes to the processes in which these bikes
are being built. They’re using the same
factories, the same toolings as they’ve been since the
company was brought to India in the middle of the 1950s. The problem there is that the
rest of the motorcycle world has passed them by,
so their reputation has slowly just fallen off. I got a chance to have a
conversation with the president of Royal Enfield North America. They understand that there’s
a negative perception here, and there’s two main
ways that they’re looking to address this. The first is with the actual
assembly, the manufacturing. Royal Enfield opened
up two new facilities last year– a technology
facility in the UK, as well as a brand new
manufacturing plant in India– the third manufacturing
plant to date, and it’s the most advanced
of all the plants. It’s using new
tooling, new tech. And they’re really
working to slowly innovate and update the
Royal Enfield motorcycles that are being produced. But the second thing that
they talked about that really intrigued me was getting the
bike to America, because it used to be where the bike would
come over and the dealership was the first point of
contact for that motorcycle. They were the ones in charge
of assembling the bike and putting it together and
handing it off to the customer. And the real problem
lie in the fact that if you had a
good dealership, you got a good bike. If you had a bad dealership,
you got a bad bike. There was really no quality
control in the Royal Enfield that you were receiving
as the customer, and Royal Enfield North
America said that’s just not working anymore. And about two years ago they
opened up a pre-delivery inspection center and
the same techs assemble the same bikes every day– they go through the same
100-point inspection. And that’s a big deal. The customer’s
perception of when they get that bike fresh
off the showroom floor is slowly changing. They really understand
the fact that there’s a long-term goal
here for the Royal Enfield brand in North America. And for me, I now get to go
out and ride the Himalayan, so we have an upcoming first
ride review of this bike. [RECORD SCRATCH] I’m like right in here. Those are tears of pain. Feels like I’ve been on
crutches my entire life. I’m gonna go for some lunch. You were expecting a video
bike review on the Royal Enfield Himalayan, well,
the joke is on you, because I have crashed– Oh, god! Oh, the pain! Oh, I just– I laid it down! But fear not– I’ve got plenty
of seat time on this puppy, and there will be a written
review on Common Tread that you can check out if
you want more information on the Royal Enfield Himalayan. So in today’s shop
tip we’re going to discuss a simple
yet daunting task, and that’s mixing up
two-stroke pre-mix. Now you may be watching
this saying, Lem, I don’t have a two-stroke bike. You still might want
to hang in there though in case you have,
say, a weed-eater or a chainsaw at your house– process is exactly the same. So it’s really important that
we get this correct, simply because the lubricant
for a two-stroke is contained within the fuel. You have to add
the proper amount, or you might be facing
an early engine rebuild. Now the first step
in this process actually isn’t to
do anything at all except for hitting the books. You need to find out
what ratio your fuel and oil need to be mixed at. Older machinery
uses often a 32 to 1 mix– that’s 32 parts
fuel to 1 part oil. Now, newer stuff
like this KTM we’re going to be gassing up today
often has a much leaner mix. You might be looking at a
mix ratio of, say, 60 to 1. So it’s important
to find out exactly what your manufacturer
recommends and stick with that guideline. The other important
thing is knowing what to put in your motorcycle. So if you have one of those
older 32 to 1 machines, something like this
conventional two-stroke oil might be just fine. However, there are some
bikes, much like this KTM, that spec out a synthetic oil. You want to make sure you’re
putting in the correct oil to make sure that,
again, you’re not facing that early rebuild scenario. Now, before we get
kicking here, I want to talk about our
gas can just a little bit. We’re going to be using this
to fill up our bike today. Now you can see here
on the side of this, this thing is actually
graduated out. We have a two-gallon mark here. This is a good can to use this
for, simply because there’s lots of room up
above here so we can actually add the oil
in– we’re not going to be overflowing the can. Now, one of the ways
you can cross-check to that two-gallon mark
when you’re filling up is also look at the dispenser. Make sure that the two-gallon
mark here roughly correlates with the two gallons you should
be getting out of the fuel pump itself. Also notice that I’ve
labeled this can. I think this is
really important. First we have the
ratio on there– 60 to 1. This can be important for
those of you who might have a weed-eater or a chainsaw
sitting in the shed next to your dirt bike. You don’t want to mix up the
wrong ratio between equipment. The other thing that’s
really important, too, is also having
the fact that it’s two-stroke marked
right on there. One of the most deadly things
you can do for a two-stroke is straight gas it–
that’s not a good scenario. Again, you’re going to be
looking at an early engine rebuild. So once we’ve got two gallons
worth of fuel in our can, it’s time to add some oil. To me, the easy way to do
this job is with a ratio cup. And a ratio cup has all
sorts of information on it that should make this job
really, really simple. So we’re going to go to
the two gallon column because we’re using two
gallons worth of fuel, and slide right down the ratios
here until we hit the 60 to 1 line. That’s the amount of oil we’re
going to add to the fuel. Throw the oil in the cup,
drop it into your gas can. Now at this point
you’re not quite done. One of the things I like to do
is to take some of that pre-mix and slop it back into the cup. Cap the cup, mix it
around just a little bit so you catch all
that residual oil, and then throw that
back into your gas can. From there you’re going to
want to take your gas can, vigorously shake it up
to make sure you disperse that oil throughout
the fuel, and you’re ready to rock and roll. You’re set to gas up your bike. [COYOTE HOWLING] [SNORING] Psst, Spurge. You hear that? Did I hear what, Lem? I just got to sleep, bud. Did you put the hot dogs away? What the hell are you guys
doing in the parking lot? We’re testing. Testing for what, a concert? No. We’re testing camping gear. You guys are idiots. Buzzsaw and I already
picked the best gear. It’s in the studio. We are idiots. In fact, we’re idiots
going on a camping trip. Next time you see
us will be in June, and we’ll be
sleeping in the dirt using the stars for a blanket. That’s right. RevZilla’s sending
us out into the wild to have an adventure–
specifically, to show you some of the high jinks that
Lem-Lem and I are getting into on a regular basis. And in fact, we’re gonna
reach out to you guys and ask for your input. What would you like to see Lemmy
and I cover in future episodes of the Redline? So if you’ve got any
really cool ideas, send them over to
[email protected] And as always, if
you want anymore info on any of this
stuff you’ve seen, cruise on over to where you can check out articles,
videos, and our hot takes on all things motorcycle. We’ll see you in June


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