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Author Topic: My New Plan  (Read 7554 times)

AgentX

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My New Plan
« on: September 11, 2011, 02:58:29 PM »
So, I am aiming to remain an Enfield rider when I return to the US.  Would like to have a bike that's come back from India with me, just for sheer sentimentality/originality.  But my bike is a 2010 350 model, which can't be imported and is really underpowered for use in the US anyhow.

Here's my new plan.  Would like some feedback if anyone has ideas on feasibility or methodology.

I am going to find a 1988 or older bike, which will make it 25 years old and easily importable to the US as an antique when my time in India is up.  Will look for a 500, but they are very, very rare here.  Thus, planning on finding a 350.  I'll just have to adjust to right-foot shifting, I think.

Would like a low-brow cafe style bike, a la Project Badger, but I think the riding position would be a nightmare for Indian traffic.  So I'm going to try for something that looks like the love child of a three-way between a flat tracker, the McDeeb Six Days scrambler and the Bulletproof Badger conceived after a night of heavy drinking in a bowling alley.  

Will get rear-sets and flat-track bars, probably keeping the stock tank.  Probably lose the casquette and go with a Thunderbird triple clamp setup to get the bar mounted a bit more forward than standard Bullet positioning.  Very minimalist overall, small round headlamp, likely dropping the toolboxes and going with a very chopped front fender in flat black.  Gauges mounted to the bar with simple clamps, old-style polished metal controls and switches.  Don't need turn signals here but the jury's still out on those--probably best to have some on when importing to the US, at least.

Still trying to decide whether to chop down a stock seat and fender to make it look like the Six Days but with a minimal stub of a fender, or go for a fiberglass tail section.  (The one thing about Bullet styling that bothers me a lot is the stepped seat.)  Also debating a low or high exhaust setup.

(I want to avoid the nightmares of proportion that is the modern EFI Fury, in any case!)

Anyhow, more importantly, for return to the States, I hope to also bring back the necessary parts (with guidance from Ace Cafe) to convert my engine to a 535 Fireball.  At which point I can also add clip-ons and maybe a cafe tank, and get some suspension updates (cartridge emulators and a brace for the fork, and modern shocks with adjustable damping for the back).  Might try to throw a 5-spd box on it, too.


Here's a pic which inspired me a bit.  Was also intrigued to hear that they're going to set the Badger itself up for flat-track.



Edit:  Pic's not working but I can "open in new window" by right-clicking to get it.


Am I making this harder than I have to?!  Am I bound for failure somewhere?  Am I going to regret turning a classic old Bullet into a personalized freakshow of a bike :D ?
« Last Edit: September 11, 2011, 04:20:44 PM by AgentX »

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2011, 03:58:52 PM »
As far as modifying your bike goes I am totally behind your ideas. As an American you know it is  your duty and in your DNA to fool around with the bike and modify to suit you and you only.

Beware of a 1988 or older 500. They were not made then and a sharp customs agent will bust you. The only way you might find one is to find one that has had the case bored out and a 500 top end installed. Also beware of a "good as new restored" engine. Buy the thing but be prepared to rebuild it yourself. For what it is worth a 500 will bolt into a 350 frame (more or less).

If you avoid fake Indian paperwork (extremely common) and do a legitimate import of an older bike you should be fine. If it is fake paperwork (a newer bike with older bike documents) you might be busted and the bike seized.

AgentX

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2011, 04:10:27 PM »
I didn't know they didn't make 500s then...350 it is!  And yeah, I'm really wondering if there will be legit paperwork with any old bike (it's bad enough with my brand-new one!) but I was planning on getting a genuine letter from Chennai affirming the model year of the VIN on whatever frame I end up getting.  Figure the bill of sale and vehicle registration will be enough to prove my ownership of the bike, which should be the only other thing I need to show.  Will get in touch with some other forum members who've tried this in the past when the time comes.

(I work in anti-fraud stuff, so I'm going to be particular about the paperwork...)

Ace Cafe told me I'd need a 500 head, alloy barrel, and crankcases to make the 350 into a Fireball...plan on pursuing that once I finally have a bike and things are underway.

Thanks for the advice!

jartist

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2011, 05:25:18 PM »
Good luck with your project- sounds epic!!! There's bound to be a few hurdles along the way but well worth sticking with it. When it's all sorted you'll end up with an heirloom bike and the envy of all here in the states. Its really cool when there's history and a special bond between man and machine when plans like this come together!

Maturin

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2011, 07:29:35 PM »
http://www.royal-enfield.net/articles/articles.html

On this page you´ll find several articles about the Bullet. The most interesting one is the last, written by Royce Creasey, you may know it already.
In case you don´t: here´s an excellent description how to tune up a Redditch´ 350. I guess most mods will work for an Indian bike aswell,  just in case you have fun to do something noone else does. Anyway, Royce´ articles always have been a lot of fun to read. Regards
Maturin
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AgentX

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2011, 04:56:24 PM »
Wow, almost forgot I'd actually posted this!  My mind is still a mess thinking of the possibilities, but I'm excited.

Thanks for all the encouragement and input so far.  Really appreciate the articles, Maturin.  danke sehr.

Main task now is finding a bike to begin the project.  Everything in India takes a long time and hunting down a good bike for a good price is a challenge.  Although with the work I'm planning on doing, I should probably find an old barely- or even non-running bike and just tear down and rebuild from the frame up.  But even then, India is always about the search.


I would love to be ordering every little bit I want to use online and have it ready when I get the bike, but it's sort of a catch-22 on where to start.  Every decision depends on something else, and I probably need the bike in hand to finally take a bit and see where I can go with it.  I have started talking to one of the guys on Ebay about a custom seat, though...

Biggest debate for me right now is to use a flat bench seat with a severely bobbed fender or a cafe/dirt track style tail.  I am leaning towards the bench but we'll see what the custom maker says.  Really love this seat but the cost and the real leather cover are probably not what I need right now, so trying to get it done either locally or by the ebay guy.  This leather and fiberglass unit is pretty cool, light, and has great reviews, too, though.  In any case, will be an adventure mounting the SR500 seat pans to the Enfield.

Will stop posting about my dabbling for now, but when I have something going I'll try to keep everyone in the loop on the build.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 04:59:15 PM by AgentX »

AgentX

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2011, 02:02:07 PM »
OMFG.



My ride is a surplus military 1977 model year which served in Kashmir.  Still has its military registration/serial numbers on the fenders and the battalion logo on the tank.  Pretty busted up around some of the periphery but all told, she's in great shape.  Looks like a bunch of privates with a bucket of OD green housepaint were told to re-finish it every few months of its life.


Not in running shape now but will be rebuilt; unfortunately it's gonna take a few months with the mechanic I'm working with.  He's a busy man in demand, but he's not going to balk at what I want to try, which is gonna seem pretty weird to most Indian eyes.  And he seems to have a clue about what he's doing.

It is going to be a mishmash of styles, but I really want to keep the bike's patina and do service to its heritage while making it into a real hot-rod.  I'll hang on to all the original parts in the event I want to do a more classic restoration someday.

So, right now, I plan on:

Putting a front TLS brake (OD green with red laquer between the cooling fins, maybe drilled a la Project Badger for venting)

New 5-speed transmission box

New rear shocks (RE stock with the piggyback reservoir)

28mm Mikarb, K&N pod filter, might experiment with a snorkel-style intake like Ace was using once the bike is running.

upswept megaphone muffler, pipe wrap (once header is de-rusted and hi-temp painted)

Motolanna black cafe tail with no rear fender beneath.  Dry cell battery and ignition coil under seat.

Replacing casquette with Thunderbird yoke (puts bars right atop fork legs, lengthening the stance) and a sheet-aluminum minimalist dashboard with replica Smith speedo and maybe idiot lights.  

Black dirt track bars with moderate pullback, minimalist bar setup (no signals on this one...really clean bar with the original setup.)

Stock peg position for now, consider rearsets once it's ridable and I can see how they'll feel.  (Can fab or order locally for a LOT less than Hitchcock's...)

Taillight (the style that looks like the Lucas lamp with an erection beneath) tucked under the hump of the cafe tail on the support bracket for the seat.

Pull long shrouds off the fork, go with full or bottom-only fork boots.

Spot-sanding and touching up paint on frame and bodywork where necessary.

Will retain the toolboxes and against my usual thinking, both the case/leg guard and the giant front fender intact.  Gonna look weird on what's supposed to be a lean-and-mean bike, but both are practical here and they speak to the bike's heritage (and the fender numbers look awesome.) Might pull off the guard at some point and if I decide to bob the front, I will do it to a second spare fender I can find at the scrap heap.



Holy crap.  This is gonna be awesome!!




boggy

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2011, 06:21:39 PM »
AgentX,
That military is sweet - I love the insignia.

I meant to post these for you back when you first mentioned your plans.  Maybe not the overall look for you but some pieces here and there for inspiration maybe.  These are the three bikes I've been looking at for the possible future of my Bullet.  Great for tearing up the city.

This is the Jack Pine Triumph from Hammarhead.
http://www.smithbutler.com/sb/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/jbikefinal.jpeg

This one is the Streetmaster Triumph:
http://www.bikeexif.com/custom-triumph

And the CRD Triumph Bonneville.
http://www.bikeexif.com/triumph-bonneville-9
2007 AVL
2006 DRZ400SM

barenekd

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2011, 06:28:28 PM »
You can keep the casquette and use Ace bars to move the grips forward. Save you a lot of work on the front of the bike. that's the way I'm leaning on mine. Working on a putting together a minimal Clubman "S". Probably keep the stock tank and seat. I had a Norton Manx style cafe racer, miserably uncomfortable on a 200 mile ride. I want to maintain a bit more comfort this time.
Bare
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 06:31:48 PM by barenekd »
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boggy

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2011, 08:45:05 PM »
These clubmans I have on have a 2" drop/2" pullback so they are pretty flat.  Took my wrists a few hundred miles to get used to them.  I love the riding position, even with standard foot positioning, but I'm not super tall at 5'8".

http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/forum/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view;id=3572

If you hit "next" you'll see the bars from the front.  I love the way they look.  I "may" go with a super bar setup next year, like the Triumph's I posted. 

I have a more typical set of ace bars that I'm not using.  I think its a 4" drop/4" pullback.  EMGO brand, which might be what the NField Ace Bars are since my NField Megaphone was also EMGO.  Think I bought'm for 40 or 50 bucks but I'd be willing to fire sale them if anyone is interested.
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barenekd

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2011, 09:31:56 PM »
Quote
I have a more typical set of ace bars that I'm not using.  I think its a 4" drop/4" pullback.

But will they clear the tank? I'm looking for something that will clear the stock tank. I don't want to have to put steering stops on the bike and end up with something that steers like a Ducati. Could we get a top view of the ones you have on there now?
Bare
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 09:35:14 PM by barenekd »
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http://www.controllineplans.com

boggy

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2011, 11:20:14 PM »
On the current setup the control switch housings will hit the tank, but my hand would make contact first preventing a ding.  It's not a problem at all. 

The NField site says their Ace bars are made to clear the tank.

Here is another pic of my bars that might give you a better look.

http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/forum/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view;id=3712

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AgentX

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2011, 01:18:08 AM »
You can keep the casquette and use Ace bars to move the grips forward. Save you a lot of work on the front of the bike. that's the way I'm leaning on mine. Working on a putting together a minimal Clubman "S". Probably keep the stock tank and seat. I had a Norton Manx style cafe racer, miserably uncomfortable on a 200 mile ride. I want to maintain a bit more comfort this time.
Bare

Thanks-want to drop the casquette anyhow, just to achieve a more stripped-down look.  As a side benefit it'll let me use cool-looking pullback flat track bars.

When I get Stateside I think I'll go with clip-ons.

Definitely want to make it something distinctly different than it was when it served.  From solid workhorse to hot-rod toy in its retirement/renewal.

AgentX

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2011, 02:40:42 AM »
AgentX,
That military is sweet - I love the insignia.

I meant to post these for you back when you first mentioned your plans.  Maybe not the overall look for you but some pieces here and there for inspiration maybe.  These are the three bikes I've been looking at for the possible future of my Bullet.  Great for tearing up the city.

This is the Jack Pine Triumph from Hammarhead.
http://www.smithbutler.com/sb/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/jbikefinal.jpeg

This one is the Streetmaster Triumph:
http://www.bikeexif.com/custom-triumph

And the CRD Triumph Bonneville.
http://www.bikeexif.com/triumph-bonneville-9


I see your three and raise you one Johnson Motors Trophy:


Lwt Big Cheese

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2011, 10:12:08 AM »
AgentX: If it were me I'd get that bike re-built with new bearings etc and ride her as is. She is absoluty wonderfull.

Don't forget the more you change stuff the harder it will be to get it serviced/rebuilt on the trip.


But it's yours, do whatever you want with her...
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