2003 Royal Enfield 500 Deluxe

Jim

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Raymond

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I see Enfield went to the trouble and sheer expense / ruinous extravagance of fitting a grommet, but it looks as though the loom has sagged onto the tyre.
Have replaced the grommet with an XS650 head breather tube I happened to have lying around. Tough and has a right angle. Warmed the end, forced it through the mudguard, angled towards the clips around the edge et voila, an armoured tube to protect the wires.

Put the Bullet back together, went for the test ride and it seems like the electrics work.

But back to run half-a-mile then give up. One suggestion was blocked fuel tank filter or inadequate fuel tap. Easy one to test - pulled the petrol line off, held a jug to catch the flood, turned the tap on and . . . a dribble.

Excellent - now I know why the bike gives up after half a mile.
 

Raymond

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Armoured tail light wiring:

PICT0183.JPG


Miss November quite miffed at being upstaged.

Now, lets's see, next issues to deal with.

Seat securing studs - better solution is needed, might take to an engineer to drill out, tap and fit larger studs. Or maybe I ought to buy a tap and a coulpa bolts and have a go meself?

Mudguard mount - better solution is needed. Not sure if the 'guard is original, but the two metal stays are as useful as a toffee coffee pot. They locate too close to the mounting strap at the front, so there's no triangulation to hold things steady. The 'guard sags down on even a short trip, not good.

I have thought about putting a second mounting strap, located at the suspension top mounts. Even nicer would be a stainless bracket, sort of butterfly shaped, bent to fit the curve of the 'guard, mounting at the four frame points and holding the 'guard at four points too. That would be much more rigid but will need to take a drawing to the engineer and get an estimate - probably not cheap . . .

I took the fuel tap apart to clean it - the fuel runs a bit better, but the bloody tap now leaks from the little plastic filter bowl at the base. Cheap solution will be a new rubber washer/o-ring. But might be better to go to Hitchcocks for a methanol tap, which allegedly flows more fuel . . .

Front brake has a tendency to stay on. Not that it does much actual stopping at the best of times. Get the front wheel out, service the brake, might need to apply judicious grease to free up the action? Might manage to adjust the Twin Leading Shoe geometry to work better. Might need to go to Hitchcocks and buy better brakes shoes. And a better brake cable.

This bike wants to spend my money, but don't they all?
 

Raymond

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Lately been getting Google notices about a guy named Paul Henshaw who's been doing a lot of Bullet You-Tube videos
Yes, I've come across mention of Paul Henshaw since buying the Enfield - he is known as the Bullet Whisperer.

People take their Bullet to him in darkest Wales where he will tune the engine to customer spec. He has created a whole series of ASBO Bullets - stands for Anti Social Behaviour Order, the implication being that these are naughty bikes. He has learned from experience how to extract more power from the venerable 500cc single while keeping it fully reliable.

Have watched a couple of his videos, one of him road testing a customer bike on a wet day on the wee lanes in that part of Wales.
 

Raymond

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Today, first time the Enfield has been as far as Galashiels.

PICT0195.JPG

Went to the supermarket. Young lady in lycra, fair hair tied back, jogging past as I rolled to a halt. She stops, heads over, 'Ooh, I thought I heard it - I used to have one of those, well, it was a 350, that's the 500 isn't it?'

There follows five minutes of Enfield chat.

Blimey, that's the first time I've stopped in a public place with the Bullet - must be true that they are people-friendly motorbikes. Babe magnets even? That's just wishful . . .
 

grizld1

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Congrats on your successful rehabilitation of an obstinate machine, Raymond! Re. Bullet performance mods: Way back in the day, AMA racing rules set displacement limits of 45 ci. (750 cc.) for side valve motors and 30.5 ci. (500 cc.) for OHV. Back then, Shell Thuet offered tuning services and go-fast parts for the RE Bullet, as he was famously to do for the XS650 after the rules changed to allow 750 cc. OHV. He was committed to serving the privateer on a budget who was out to build points and pick up a sponsored ride and needed to finish reliably. The Bullet was a good fit, as the Yamaha was in later years.
 

Mailman

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Congrats on your successful rehabilitation of an obstinate machine, Raymond! Re. Bullet performance mods: Way back in the day, AMA racing rules set displacement limits of 45 ci. (750 cc.) for side valve motors and 30.5 ci. (500 cc.) for OHV. Back then, Shell Thuet offered tuning services and go-fast parts for the RE Bullet, as he was famously to do for the XS650 after the rules changed to allow 750 cc. OHV. He was committed to serving the privateer on a budget who was out to build points and pick up a sponsored ride and needed to finish reliably. The Bullet was a good fit, as the Yamaha was in later years.

That’s interesting, I never knew the Bullet had a racing history.
 

Raymond

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Congrats on your successful rehabilitation of an obstinate machine, Raymond! Re. Bullet performance mods: Way back in the day, AMA racing rules set displacement limits of 45 ci. (750 cc.) for side valve motors and 30.5 ci. (500 cc.) for OHV. Back then, Shell Thuet offered tuning services and go-fast parts for the RE Bullet, as he was famously to do for the XS650 after the rules changed to allow 750 cc. OHV. He was committed to serving the privateer on a budget who was out to build points and pick up a sponsored ride and needed to finish reliably. The Bullet was a good fit, as the Yamaha was in later years.
Thank you, Grizld, but we're not quite there yet. Still a seemingly endless string of little issues to solve. T'other day, after I cleaned the fuel tap, it started to leak. Fitted the best I could find, an O-ring which went into the tap. But today, the tap started leaking again - the O-ring had gone funny with exposure to petrol. So I took the original rubber washer, put it in a cup and filled with boiling water. In the hope of softening it up so it will seal again. Shoved that back in again. Tomorrow will show how effective that has been . . .

I have the feeling that there's a lot more fettling in my future.

But at those moments when it all works, the Bullet makes me break out in unbidden laughter. Might be the delightful improbability of this museum piece taking to the road or it or might simply be hysteria?
 

grizld1

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Improbability or hysteria: could it be some of each? One old time trick for O-rings that have hardened and shrunk is to soak them in brake fluid for a few hours (and give them a thorough water rinse afterward). That might buy you some riding time while you search for a new Viton O-ring.
 

Jan_P

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On the XS650 I smear some gasket chemical on the old O ring against the tank ..
And at other places quite often.
With good results .. Plastic padding liquid gasket mostly but Permatex most likely will work also
depending how it looks

the original rubber washer

I think it will / can work
 
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