2003 Royal Enfield 500 Deluxe

Well Ray, you've inspired me. I'm now the proud(?) owner of a 2001 Bullet.
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Well Ray, you've inspired me. I'm now the proud(?) owner of a 2001 Bullet.View attachment 255119
Well, now you've been and gone and done it! 500? Just don't blame me . . .

It has the dreaded starter motor. DON'T USE IT. Sooner or later, the sprag clutch will do it's best impression of a hand grenade. Should be easy to kick start anyhoo.

Yours has gearchange on the wrong side - by reputation that gives a poor change with sloppiness and missed gears. I suppose you can convert it back to r/h change the way God and Redditch intended but that would probably be a big job so you'll just have to adapt. Slow, careful gearchanges - and at least you have the neutral finder. Or do you - that might be a feature of the Albion 4-speed so yours might be different.

Mine is 2002 which seems to have been a transition year to metric so yours might be Imperial fasteners? More likely, there will be some mixture so the best advice on spanners is use whatever fits.

The potential for a lot of fun but will respond best if you understand that life is a 2-way street - the Bullet will give of its best if you give necessary attention to all adjustments and routine maintenance. The good news is, everything is so readily accessible.

And please, it's Raymond.
 
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Raymond, don't worry. I don't blame anyone but myself. I came to grips with my sickness/obsession long ago. Yes, it's a 500 with a neutral finder. The shifter should not be a problem. I have other bikes (too many!) with shifters on either side. Thanks for the advice on the electric start. I was kind of leary of something like that on a bike that needs a compression release. It came with the carburetor hanging by the cable and a new one in a box so I installed that yesterday. Today is a busy day so I'll attempt a start, perhaps, tomorrow. 😀
 
. . . I'll attempt a start, perhaps, tomorrow . . .
So that'll be kicking? Push the lever down till it stops, take a look at the ammeter, use the decomp to finagle engine just past tdc, the ammeter needle should deflect a little to the left, bring the lever back up and give a long steady kick. With any luck, it starts. Bet you can hardly keep a straight face as you hear the engine give a wheezy breath during this procedure.
 
Got 2 RE's in the stable.. luv my 500 (2010)....3 wheeled fun.... cruises all day long at a steady 55 mph... solo camp'n trips... Sturgis round trip 1200 miles.... even the wifey likes to ride in it.... Does have a kick lever... had to use it once.... discovered at Road America... if you go from corner to corner... around the track.. lunch...... all day long.. with lights and two charging ports... Garmen and cell phone... in the morning I hit the starter button.. all I got was...." click click click "... two kicks.. off I went..... I turned on the lights and the bike didn't like that ! After running about 60 miles... the battery was happy again... 😎
 

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This afternoon I started by re-installing the air cleaner on the Enfield. Next, the freshly charged battery went in, sort of. This will take some more investigation but it's temporarily permanent for now. I decided to just fill the carb with gas through some tubing and fittings instead of using the tank. Next I followed Raymond's starting procedure and got,,, nothing. Hmm. Out with the plug. No spark. Following the plug wire back I found it was not connected to the coil. How did I miss that? It can be seen but not touched, unless I remove the air cleaner. Oh well, back off with it. Now I was able to reach in with needle nose pliers and work the wire back into place. Screw that air cleaner. Back to the starting procedure. The first kick got a pop. The second kick another. The third kick and it came to life! It was blowing an alarming amount of oil around the exhaust joint and belching clouds of blue smoke. I hadn't figured for wet sumping. It settled into a nice smooth idle so I let it use up the gas in the carburetor. It died, I refilled and restarted it and it again settled into a nice idle with no smoke. Success! A ride will have to wait. The TLS front brake link was MIA and a replacement is on order. From India. It should be here sometime between next week and January 10th. That'll give me time to figure out the battery mounting details.
 
This afternoon I started by re-installing the air cleaner on the Enfield. Next, the freshly charged battery went in, sort of. This will take some more investigation but it's temporarily permanent for now. I decided to just fill the carb with gas through some tubing and fittings instead of using the tank. Next I followed Raymond's starting procedure and got,,, nothing. Hmm. Out with the plug. No spark. Following the plug wire back I found it was not connected to the coil. How did I miss that? It can be seen but not touched, unless I remove the air cleaner. Oh well, back off with it. Now I was able to reach in with needle nose pliers and work the wire back into place. Screw that air cleaner. Back to the starting procedure. The first kick got a pop. The second kick another. The third kick and it came to life! It was blowing an alarming amount of oil around the exhaust joint and belching clouds of blue smoke. I hadn't figured for wet sumping. It settled into a nice smooth idle so I let it use up the gas in the carburetor. It died, I refilled and restarted it and it again settled into a nice idle with no smoke. Success! A ride will have to wait. The TLS front brake link was MIA and a replacement is on order. From India. It should be here sometime between next week and January 10th. That'll give me time to figure out the battery mounting details.
Hey Kojack, nice bike

Although, I'm sure, Raymond doesn't mind the odd sidetrack, it is impolite to hijack anothers thread.

Start your own thread, keeps every thing in the same place, easier to keep track of things for yourself and others.
 
Hey Kojack, nice bike

Although, I'm sure, Raymond doesn't mind the odd sidetrack, it is impolite to hijack anothers thread.

Start your own thread, keeps every thing in the same place, easier to keep track of things for yourself and others.
 
My apologies to Raymond and all. I didn't mean to hijack the thread. Since the Bullet ain't broke i ain't going to fix it and I didn't plan on adding more comments on it. I guess I could start a thread about myself, since I'm such an interesting and lovable character 😉, but I'm afraid it would have nothing to do with XS650s and I'm guessing that's why most everyone is here.
 
No worries, Kojak.

I expect to have plenty more comments to add to this thread. For them as might be interested, such as yourself.

Life with the Bullet, the good, the bad, the quirky, the comical. Uhm, haven't been back in the garage since, lemmesee, Monday I fink it was. Or mighta been Tuesday. Got the rewire to un point certain where it seemed a good idea to put the battery back and check what works.

Battery in, key in, switch on and MY GOD THAT HORN'S BLOODY LOUD!

Oops. To restore sanity pulled the horn wire off. Lights work, turn signals work. Not going to start 'er up again just yet.

But first need to go and have a look for the silly error and any more that show up in the wiring system.
 
No worries, Kojak.

I expect to have plenty more comments to add to this thread. For them as might be interested, such as yourself.

Life with the Bullet, the good, the bad, the quirky, the comical. Uhm, haven't been back in the garage since, lemmesee, Monday I fink it was. Or mighta been Tuesday. Got the rewire to un point certain where it seemed a good idea to put the battery back and check what works.

Battery in, key in, switch on and MY GOD THAT HORN'S BLOODY LOUD!

Oops. To restore sanity pulled the horn wire off. Lights work, turn signals work. Not going to start 'er up again just yet.

But first need to go and have a look for the silly error and any more that show up in the wiring system.
My headlight wouldn't come on unless the motor was running. Do I have issues?
 
My headlight wouldn't come on unless the motor was running. Do I have issues?
Kojak, not issues but the delightful world of an Antique British motorbike improved with a bit of Indian pragmatic thinking. Your humble bike has two electrical systems. DC to charge the battery, run the ignition, run nearly everything. And an AC system solely responsible for running the headlamp. Hence the headlamp won't even flicker till the engine runs.

Your suggested homework, start at the beginning and have a quick flick through this thread. In the early days especially, kept making discoveries like the AC/DC electrics.
 
My headlight wouldn't come on unless the motor was running. Do I have issues?
If I'm not mistaken, the bullet uses an AC light system. Alternator (or whatever they call it) has to be spinning.

.... kinda like every small Honda, Yamaha ... and whatever else I grew up with in the 60's
 
Homework completed, Raymond. I noticed your issues with a front brake switch. Did you ever consider using one from a BSA/Triumph front cable? The type that mounts midway in the cable sheath.
 
@Kojack, if you've just ploughed through that lot, you deserve a flippin medal, mate. Hope you just skimmed and maybe found sommat useful?

No, I'm not aware of the BSA/Triumph brake switch. But buying one from Hitchcocks cost me £9.51 plus postage which I didn't feel worth arguing about so ordered one and as usual here in a day or two. Note - I have no connection with Hitchcocks or any other business involved in the manufacture, supply, sales or marketing of front brake switches or any other electrical or mechanical spares for Royal Enfield Bullets or any other antiquated one-lungers.
 
Today, pulled the Bullet out into the yard and started the engine!

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So in that sense, the rewire is complete. Everything electric works, except the horn because I pulled the wire off. I don't think there's anything wrong with how I wired it, maybe the switch doesn't go off properly? But not an immediate issue.

Starting the engine was a PITA. Nuffin' doin', so tried a squirt of carb cleaner. Oh, yes, they all like that - ran merrily for a brief few seconds then stopped. In fact, would not consent to start and keep running until I consented to remove and dismantle the carb, blow through it, reassemble and replace.

After that, started and ran the bike, let it warm up for a good few minutes. Even stopped and restarted a couple of times just to make sure. There are still issues with the throttle cable - suffers interference from the tank which gives symptoms like tick-over too high, or throttle won't bring the revs down. One idea is a shorter inlet manifold - bringing the carb forward might avoid the cable being trapped by the rear of the tank. Or think about how to route the cable better. Might even look at running the throttle cable inside a slightly larger tube - would ideally be armoured, like say one of those wire-wound flexible fittings landlords use to hang curtains in cheap rental properties.

Next thing to look at, the engine. Slight oil leaks, not desperate but also not getting any better. Maybe remove cylinder head and barrel - access to deal with some of the leaks, such as rocker boxes and head gasket. Would also give me a look at the piston - does it still have the original Indian one? They have been known to fail - yes, it's true - but Hitchcocks have a British made forged replacement. Also, seizing manfully upon the con rod will let me assess the state of the big end.

But knowing me, probably end up pulling it all apart.

Oh well, bought this bike for tinkering.
 
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