2003 Royal Enfield 500 Deluxe

Raymond

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Have I made a terrible mistake? Part-exchanged the Honda NX250 for this:

PICT0152.JPG


PICT0154.JPG


PICT0153.JPG


(ignore the dates on the pictures, obviously)

I don't even know what it is yet. Apart from it's a pre-unit, old-school, single cylinder 500 made in Madras. Which we must remember to call Chennai now. Bullet 500, supposedly Deluxe and said to be a 2003 bike. 4-speed, r/h change, iron barrel.

But such notable authorities as MCN (Ha!) clearly state that electric start didn't come until 2004. And that by then the Bullet had a 5-speed gearbox and l/h change.

Oh well, it's getting to know you time again . . .
 
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Raymond

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Have been out for a very brief ride on local lanes. Lots of false neutrals and evident clutch adjustment needed. So, tackled the clutch mechanism, at the gearbox end. Went out again and much better after 5 minutes of fiddling. Here we go again . . .

Bike now in the garage until I sort out road tax or SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification).

PICT0156.JPG


Anything you need to know you can find here.
https://forum.classicmotorworks.com/index.php

Thank you. The best route forward is to send the VIN & engine numbers to the Royal Enfield club, whose address is on the Hitchcocks website. I have a couple of workshop manuals, which has already been handy. Look up 'adjusting the clutch' on a 500 Bullet and find Youtube vids which all seem to relate to the newer UCE bikes. Doh!
 

Adamc

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Have I made a terrible mistake? Part-exchanged the Honda NX250 for this:

View attachment 201820

View attachment 201821

View attachment 201822

(ignore the dates on the pictures, obviously)

I don't even know what it is yet. Apart from it's a pre-unit, old-school, single cylinder 500 made in Madras. Which we must remember to call Chennai now. Bullet 500, supposedly Deluxe and said to be a 2003 bike. 4-speed, r/h change, iron barrel.

But such notable authorities as MCN (Ha!) clearly state that electric start didn't come until 2004. And that by then the Bullet had a 5-speed gearbox and l/h change.

Oh well, it's getting to know you time again . . .

Looks really cool Raymond; I like it.
 

Raymond

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Thank you for your comments, Gentlemen!

Managed a very brief run on local lanes this morning but then the Cooncil lorries came out to spread the salt. So I will SORN, not likely to be out again till Spring and will have to be content with a bit of tinkering.

The first impressions from a brief ride - it's tiny, but heavy for its size, so perhaps solid is the word. Sounds like motorbikes used to sound in the black & white days. Nice torque. Abundance of false neutrals, though that improved markedly after I adjusted the clutch pushrod. Leans a helluva long way on the side-stand - look for longer one. The bike looks pure 1950s except for the switchgear - look for more antique looking handlebar switches. Very easy to kick start. Have not troubled to use the e-start.

Seems to have been well looked after - doted on?

I would like the seat to evolve to a darker shade of chestnut in place of the pale tan.

Sent email to the RE Club with the VIN and engine number - they confirm manufacture July 2002, 4-speed, 500cc, export model, Deluxe. Which I think refers to the trim, chrome tank mainly.

Useful side boxes. Electrics in the l/h one, the r/h one for a gentleman to store his gherkin sarnie?
 

5twins

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Well, as long as you're in no hurry to get somewhere, lol. But you like to tinker so you should enjoy this machine. I think it will require even more "tinkering" than the 650 though. It's not a "put-gas-in-and-go" bike like the Honda, lol. But I say "good riddance" to the Honda. I have one of their lawn mowers and snow blowers, and they're wonderful, well-built machines. I just don't care for their bikes that much, too "refined". I like my bikes a little "rough around the edges", lol. The 650 fits this bill perfectly.
 

jetmechmarty

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Well, as long as you're in no hurry to get somewhere, lol. But you like to tinker so you should enjoy this machine. I think it will require even more "tinkering" than the 650 though. It's not a "put-gas-in-and-go" bike like the Honda, lol. But I say "good riddance" to the Honda. I have one of their lawn mowers and snow blowers, and they're wonderful, well-built machines. I just don't care for their bikes that much, too "refined". I like my bikes a little "rough around the edges", lol. The 650 fits this bill perfectly.
@desmoman900 says Honda has "boring engineers." Their job is to make sure Hondas are boring or dull.
 

5twins

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And they're very good at it, lol. My first couple bikes were Hondas, way back when I was a teenager. I started out riding in the woods before I was old enough to get a license on a Honda 65. Then I got a "big bike", a Honda 350, lol. Well for a 15 year old it was. I plum wore that out in about a year and a half, and moved on to some Kawasakis, then BMWs, and finally got into Yamahas.
 

Mailman

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Nicely bought Raymond. This should give you the true vintage bike experience for sure! It should be a very reliable little tank, and knowing you, you will have it very well sorted and ready for adventure by spring. Looking forward to hearing about your experiences with it. Those RE 500 singles have caught my eye in the past as well.
A988F4E6-4251-4948-BDF3-5E349F926975.jpeg
 

Raymond

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Thank you, Bob!

I wanted to find one of the old, pre-unit engine Bullets. Looked at a few before buying this one and glad I splashed a little bit more because ending up with the Deluxe it really does look like summat you'd find in a motor museum.

Here's one of the dealer's pictures:

royal-enfield-bullet-500-a.jpg
 

Jan_P

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@desmoman900 says Honda has "boring engineers." Their job is to make sure Hondas are boring or dull.

Aeehh Honda is in My view a bit Like Mercedes Benz. its not before you look at the specs and see what it is
there on tap.. On some Models
Or when you see the rear lights of the Bankers Merc at the stoplights. Leaving you smelling at the burnt rubber

The Honda Fireblades are like dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Come 7 -8000 rpm Need to pay attention
Wiping the smile of you face have to stop looking at the Scenery.

Dull may not be the right word for all Honda Models
Perhaps not the sensations the gentlemen here are after
a 10 Year old Honda may well be among the fastest on the real road
for the non professional rider.

Don't try this at Home

 

Raymond

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Is that a sight gauge Raymond?

Looking at the pictures on-line, I wondered about the holes. So when I phoned the dealer, spoke to a helpful bloke called Rob, said to him, I take it the knee-pads are missing then? Rob says, I've been asked about those holes in the tank a couple of times and I've never known the answer, I'll make a point of finding out from somebody who does know.

So when I phoned him back later and actually bought the bike, Rob says, You are correct, the bike should have knee pads so I'll see if I can source a pair and get them fitted for you. Which he duly did.
 

Mailman

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I would like the seat to evolve to a darker shade of chestnut in place of the pale tan.

Do you think something like mink oil would darken it? I’ve used that on leather gloves and jackets before. I’ve also applied it to brown work boots and it does darken it, though I’m not sure you would hit just the right color you’re shooting for.

Also, is that the factory muffler? I know a lot of guys put a slightly louder muffler on theirs.
 

Raymond

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Do you think something like mink oil would darken it? I’ve used that on leather gloves and jackets before. I’ve also applied it to brown work boots and it does darken it, though I’m not sure you would hit just the right color you’re shooting for.

Bob, you can buy nice looking saddles, like this one:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Royal-En...MI8Kq1nseh9AIVMoBQBh0aIQ_xEAQYASABEgJMOfD_BwE

But I'm thinking about having a go meself. Apparently, would need to obtain some isopropyl alcohol to remove the present finish, then apply some leather dye, then polish it up again. I'm sure you or some of the others on this forum would be able to advise on the materials and methods needed?

Aim would be a nice chestnut or dark reddish-brown patina? I think it's too pale just now:

PICT2750.JPG

On the muffler question, I don't know. Have assumed that is the standard exhaust but might have been changed. One for me to look into.

Plan is to look at every area of the bike and see what can be improved. Such as look at the condition of the front brake shoes, possibly replace the cable if it's the original, get the adjustment just right and that way maximise the stopping power. And so on through the bike.

Starting from a much better place than with the XS650. Do you remember Miss November arrived with a tank full of rust, valves un-adjustable due to a too-long cam-chain, wrongly assembled clutch, bodged & unreliable electrics, petrol-soluble paintwork . . .

Obviously, the Bullet has a lot less potential as a really useable bike for serious distance. But I hope to end up with a gentleman's motorcycle for dignified puttering around the area. Mrs thinks I'll need to don a brown leather jacket and brown boots. C'mon now, brown boots?

It's all about having some fun.
 
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