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Must See TV::Trigger, Weapons That Changed The World.

Random Notes

Be sure to check out the Military Channel’s new series “Triggers, Weapons That Changed The World” which premiers Wednesday, November 30th from 10-11 PM (e/p)

In the premier episode of this six-part series, host Wil Willis, from the Military Channel’s hit series Special Ops Mission, examines the COLT M1911. Keep your eyes peeled for a special cameo appearance by a Royal Enfield motorcycle and a machine-gun. We can’t really say more than that right now, don’t want to scoop the premier and ruin all the fun.

Just remember to set your DVR, get a blank tape or set the date aside in your calendar.

“Triggers, Weapons That Changed The World” Premiers Wednesday, November 30 at 10 pm (e/p) on the Military Channel

Find out more at the Military Channel’s web site here…

Tech Corner: Alternator Tips

Tech Tips

Iron Barrel Alternators

There are basically three alternators that were used in the Iron Barrels. From 1995 until mid 1999 they were affectionalty known as the “3 wire” alternator. It ran the entire bike from headlight to taillight. It had a two piece rectifier and regulator. It was also marginal in terms of being able to keep up with the needs of the bike. This was because all US bikes are wired with the headlight on all the time. This alternator was never intended for this type of load. It had a smaller 7 amp hour battery. The three wires of the alternator were reduced to two wires as they went to the regulator/rectifier. Alternators produced AC current and the rectifier turns it into DC. Two wires in, two wires out. The regulator’s job is to regulate the voltage so that it only charges when needed and does not overcharge the battery. These early units were plagued by weak rectifiers.

In mid 1999 the AC/DC system was introduced. This was a four wire alternator which produced more power. The alternator was split in half electrically with two of the wires providing power only to the headlight and the other two powering the bike through the regulator/rectifier. It has plenty of power to keep the lights and the bike running full time.The headlight could care less if you are pushing AC or DC through it. The headlight circuit has it’s own small voltage regulator under the seat – it looks like a flasher).  The regulator/rectifier units were upgraded from the earlier ones and rarely fail.

When the Electric starter was introduced in 2002 an even more powerful unit was required. Enter the third and final 4 wire alternator. This alternator was used with a 14 amp hour battery right up until the final production of the Iron Barrel. This unit is the “hot” setup for all Bullets. You can use them with any Bullet even the three wire units. The trick is to make sure you also get the upgraded regulator/rectifier that is matched to this alternator.

Changing an alternator and regulator/rectifier units is an easy and straightforward job. The only thing to remember is to make sure that when you tighten the stator coils up that you make sure there is at least 0.006 thousands of an inch between the rotor and stator all of the way around. It is also good practice to change the rotor with the stator as they do lose their magnetism over time.

Lean Burn Alternator

The Lean Burn uses a more powerful alternator of a different design than the old Lucas types that are found in the iron barrels. It also carries the ignition triggering unit as part of the assembly. There isn’t much to know about them and they rarely fail.

UCE Alternator

The UCE alternator is similar to the Lean-Burn with some important exceptions. It has a series of magnets around it’s circumference that tell the EFI system where the crankshaft is, what it’s rpm is and whether or not it is accelerating or decelerating. The EFI system then adjusts the timing, fuel flow etc to meet those conditions.

Tech Corner: UCE Lubrication

Tech Tips

For the UCE engines I am starting a series covering some of the design aspects. We are starting with the lubrication system for no particular reason other than the fact that we got a really cool video and slide presentation from the factory today (shown below).

Royal Enfield was the first motorcycle with a dry sump oiling system. In short this meant that the crankcase was empty and the oil is stored in a tank (internal to the engine). Pressurized oil is fed to the critical components and drops into the crank crankcase where it is picked up by a second oil pump and sent to the head. In a wet sump system like the new UCE engines the crankcase is full of oil. When the engine starts a pump picks up the oil, pumps it through a filter and then directs it to different areas under pressure. Because the clutch and transmission are all part of the engine case they all run in the same oil. The real advantage is that in the UCE we can move a lot more oil under a higher pressure than we could in the oil machines.

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Tech Corner: Carburetor Troubleshooting (Classic)

Tech Tips

Note: this is a Tech Corner: Classic Edition article pertaining to the traditional Iron-Barrel Bullet 500 engine design (based on the 1955 model Bullet). It was originally published in our Bullet-In newsletter in December 2003. These articles are being re-published for the new audience of used Royal Enfield owners.

Originally published 12/2003 – Earlier this week, the boys (actually young men) in our shop were converting my bike from the “Twingle” back to a single-exhaust 535 and couldn’t get it started. When they turned on the fuel, it would pour out of the overflow hoses. They assumed (as did I) that the float was stuck in the open position. This can often be resolved by a swift tap to the carburetor bowl. However, when no amount of “tapping” slowed the fuel down, I had them remove the carburetor and replace the needle and seat. These do need to be replaced occasionally and this is why it’s a good idea to get in the habit of turning off your fuel tap when the bike is not in use.
After replacing the needle and seat, the bike still wouldn’t start but was not overflowing. I felt the bowl and since it wasn’t cold, I checked to see if it had fuel in it. It did not. Again we tried the tapping method to see if it had jammed slightly when the bowl was reinstalled. We had no luck. I had the boys remove the bowl and look for any obstruction to the floats. Seeing none, it occurred to me that we hadn’t reset the float bowl height. This is a commonly overlooked procedure.
In short, you remove the carburetor and its bowl and turn them upside down. According to the factory specification, the distance from the face of the float bowl to the top of the inverted float should be between 28 and 30mm. I personally prefer to set it between 26 and 28mm. If it is too high or too low you can bend the tang on the float bowl where it touches the needle to adjust the height. Be very careful not to apply pressure to the needle and risk damaging it when doing this adjustment.
Sure enough, this cured our problem. The float had been set too high and was cutting off the flow of fuel before the float bowl had the proper amount in it. The wrong float height setting can also cause your bike to run too rich or too lean. So the next time you have the carburetor off or replace the needle and seat be sure to check it.

Earlier this week, the boys (actually young men) in our shop were converting my bike from the “Twingle” back to a single-exhaust 535 and couldn’t get it started. When they turned on the fuel, it would pour out of the overflow hoses. They assumed (as did I) that the float was stuck in the open position. This can often be resolved by a swift tap to the carburetor bowl. However, when no amount of “tapping” slowed the fuel down, I had them remove the carburetor and replace the needle and seat. These do need to be replaced occasionally and this is why it’s a good idea to get in the habit of turning off your fuel tap when the bike is not in use…

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EFI Made Easy

Tech Tips

Electronic Fuel Injection or EFI can be very intimidating to the uninitiated but I think I can tell you everything you need to know to take care of the system on your new EFI Royal Enfield in one short article.

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Preparing Your Motorcycle For Winter

Tech Tips

OK I guess I have to give it up. It is so cold here today that I can’t put off the topic of winterization another day. Here are some tips that I’ve picked up over the years for properly storing your bike for the winter.

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Enfield in Twighlight