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Author Topic: My New Plan  (Read 10427 times)

AgentX

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2011, 12:03:22 PM »
I paid $1k for this one in non-running condition, after some bargaining and help from local friends.  A running-but-still-needs-a-rebuild 1973 was going for $1,250 or so.

If you're on vacation you might find the prices slightly higher as the "less inclined to walk away" and "foreigner" tariffs are super-steep.  And according to my friends they are getting harder and harder to find...I am lucky I did not  delay on snatching this one up when I could. (I also have no illusions; I did pay more than an Indian would have, and their encouragement likely had to do in some part to continuing business relationships they've established... "Hey, man, remember that time I got the American to pay $1k for that old army bike??!  Hook me up!!)

However, this is probably all very location-specific, too.  Dunno if we have more or less Army presence around here to furnish used bikes than other cities.

Baird, I am going to remove the casquette, use an integrated rear seat/fender cafe-style tail, might ditch the toolboxes, might use rear-sets depending on how the ergos work out, and was planning on bobbing the front fender quite significantly (although will NOT chop up the awesome one currently on there...will source a crappy old black one as a test model), so given the "keep it as is" sentiment running high with some people, I think I might be accused of blasphemy in the future.  

It'll look like a stripped-down hotrod of a Bullet, if my aim is true, but it's not going to be the classic snazzy-style 1950s British relic that many Bullet owners aim for.  Once in the States I'll go further with clip-ons and maybe an aluminum tank.  This might still look like a Bullet for some, but maybe not to others.

There was recently a whole thread on whether it was thinkable to remove the "face" of the Bullet by pulling the casquette...

Have to admit I love the bike as-is, too, but will sow my oats by tinkering with this incessantly.  Maybe I'll come around someday, in which case it's a few hours putting the salvagable original stuff back on, then I'm in business!

Of course, under all this superficial stuff I have to have a solid powerplant, but for now, I'm not doing anything too fancy with that.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 01:37:59 PM by AgentX »

Lwt Big Cheese

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2011, 12:49:05 PM »
Thanks AgentX. One story I was reading had a guy employ a local to buy the bike. He reckoned he got the best deal that way.

It's a bit steeper than I thought. By keeping your ear to the ground bikes come up for that price here in the UK, occassionaly. No shipping or importing and registering required then either.
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AgentX

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2011, 01:33:34 PM »
According to the local buddies, a non-military bike might have been significantly less than that, had I been able to locate one of suitable age.

I had been looking for one which would qualify as classic under US import rules.  If I'd have been looking for an early 2000s-late 1990s IB model, it would have been much easier to find and much cheaper to buy.  Another foreign friend here paid a hair over $1k for his completely repainted, super-polished, very well-styled bike built (in an Indian way) to his specs.

Of course, he found that they'd cheaped out on almost every part they could in an effort to save money.  (Finishing work here is super-inexpensive so they went hog-wild on that...with good initial results that are now flaking off in spme places)  But they used second hand ignition coil and some other expendable parts which led to some significant frustration at first.

I am happy that the mechanic I chose is of a mind to use as many new parts in the engine rebuild as I'm willing to pay for and bring to him.  I have seen false economy at work in India and it ain't pretty.

AgentX

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2012, 07:13:11 AM »
So, STILL working on this here.  Long hiatus as my mechanic's son has serious medical problems; couldn't work for a month or three and I really didn't want to kick him while he was down by taking away work. Almost took the bike back just to give the engine rebuild a shot on my own, but now things are moving and hope to be ridable near the end of the month.

The paint situation has been a big disappointment, but it is what it is.  I was going to do some hand touching-up where necessary and leave the bike as-is as possible. But it was stored chained up outside the shop without wheels, with other stuff stacked near it, and it's taken a pretty bad beating and scratching on a number of parts.  Mad at the mechanic about that, but with the medical situation, I am trying to keep things in perspective.

And when I took it down to the frame, the condition on the tubes wasn't good.  So I opted for the total re-spray of all parts, especially since it'd look worse to my eye as a patchwork of new and old.  Since I just want a ridable bike, and I'm not committed to preservation of the bike for its own sake, I have accepted that I'll have to get the bike a second distinguished history in my hands.  Given my usual penchant for abuse, shouldn't take long. :)

The military repaints these things all the time themselves anyhow...the paint that' s on there actually isn't all that old, and in a way, I actually don't see how neglecting annual maintenance would honor its past.  Last thing I need is the ghost of an angry motorpool master sergeant haunting me.

And once it's re-sprayed, I'm going to go to the hand-painters who decorate the local lorries and get a special design hand-done on the tank.  Should still be pretty rad, and I won't have to deal with harassment from authorities over using a real unit's insignia.


Enough about paint, though.  Bike's going to have pretty much stock engine bits; will upgrade for performance as practical in the future.  Couldn't find an alloy 350 barrel locally but am still hunting this week before we close the engine back up.  Free-flow exhaust and K&N pod filter for now.  External spin-on oil filter.  Airbox of some sort in the future.  Maybe an electronic ignition.

Stock shocks front and rear, but will install the YSS cartridge emulators in the fork myself once I get the bike running.  Rears are the modern gas-charged units.  May upgrade them in the future to Hagon or Ikon or something.

Upgraded the wheels to full-width drums, 7" dual front and a 6" QD rear.  Not as stylish as the single-sided drums, but I want the best performance.  Might try mailing a set of shoes to the US be re-lined by Vintage Brake. Running K70s on both ends.

Stripping her down for weight and aesthetics as much as possible, as discussed earlier, but for now, will keep the toolboxes.  Need them for practical purposes, although I like the profile of the bike without them.

Anyhow, not much new to show, but progress is definitely being made now.  Hope to have some pics next week or so.
 

Edit:  Oh, yeah, have a set of Tarozzi universal rearsets which I will be running in a mid-set position.  Wanted something further back than the chair-like stock riding position, but still want to be able to post up on the pegs for crossing obstacles and keep my body relatively upright for the 360-degree awareness required in Indian traffic.  Getting mounts and linkages fabricated has been one of the bigger deals in the bike's genesis, since this is definitely not common to do on these bikes!
« Last Edit: March 18, 2012, 07:20:29 AM by AgentX »

Blltrdr

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2012, 06:17:46 PM »
I bought some Ferodo shoes from Vintage Brake a while back. They are a little on the high side but had a rare set in stock for my Yamaha. If you can't get the Ferodo linings or shoes (my #1 choice) you might check out Hitchcock's for an upgraded relined shoe set they offer for about 45 pounds. An upgrade to a disc brake would be more worthwhile in my opinion if you are setting your bike up as a cafe bike. I like the look of the drum brakes on my Bullet and understand there limitations and adjust my riding style accordingly. Drums are fine for stock or lightly modified Bullets but IMHO an upgrade to a front disc should be made if a full performance build is done to the bike or if you ride in heavy traffic where stopping on a dime is a necessity.

Good luck to you and your project. It looks like things are coming along nicely.

Brad
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barenekd

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2012, 11:55:24 PM »
I used to take my brake shoes to automotive brake shops and have them reline them with whatever they had in stock that they would consider great for a motorcycle. They did it while I waited. I never had any trouble with any of them and they stopped great. The point being is that you could probably send your shoes to a company like Ferodo and have them do it quite reasonably, if you can't find a local place. I haven't looked for a local brake shop since the '80s, so I don't know whether or not they even still exist.
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AgentX

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2012, 04:13:10 AM »
I bought some Ferodo shoes from Vintage Brake a while back. They are a little on the high side but had a rare set in stock for my Yamaha. If you can't get the Ferodo linings or shoes (my #1 choice) you might check out Hitchcock's for an upgraded relined shoe set they offer for about 45 pounds. An upgrade to a disc brake would be more worthwhile in my opinion if you are setting your bike up as a cafe bike. I like the look of the drum brakes on my Bullet and understand there limitations and adjust my riding style accordingly. Drums are fine for stock or lightly modified Bullets but IMHO an upgrade to a front disc should be made if a full performance build is done to the bike or if you ride in heavy traffic where stopping on a dime is a necessity.

Good luck to you and your project. It looks like things are coming along nicely.

Brad

Does Vintage Brake have the Enfield shoes as stock?  I thought I'd have to send them a set to be re-lined...  (Edit:  Disregard; I fail reading comprehension for today.  Yamaha. Right.)

I was planning on the upgrade but wanted to see what stock was like so I'd understand the improvement... :)  I have the disc on my current bike, so I am already a bit spoiled...although I think even the disc setup lacks power and good feel compared to many other makes.

I will consider the disc upgrade for sure if I end up getting new fork lowers at some point.  And/or do a total front-end swap once the bike is back in the US, for a stiffer fork with a good disc setup.

For now, the bike's only a 350, will be lighter than stock, and traffic here is slow, but I am a firm believer in only going as fast as you can stop.  Well-tuned drums, I'd hope, would do me right.  On the other hand, I believe in braking late and braking hard, which is going to get me an autorickshaw up the ass sooner rather than later...maybe I should stick with less powerful brakes for my own good?
« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 04:22:52 AM by AgentX »

Lwt Big Cheese

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2012, 08:58:06 AM »
I've been wondering how you'd got on with your mods.

Thanks fot the update.

Now we need more pics!
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AgentX

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2012, 04:06:25 PM »
omgomgomgomg!

I am still super-pissed at the mechanic for continual runarounds and disappointments.  However, I am now doing a little secret dance of joy in my heart.

The bike is pretty much together.  Engine's starting, sounds nice...snarly and a little less mellow-thumpy due to the silencer choice.  The toughest bits of chassis work are still ahead...seat mounting and final positioning/linking of the pegs.  (Mid-set, on little brackets coming off the passenger peg mounts.) 

And manomanoman.  I was really having nightmares it'd come together as a lumpy mass of Frankenbikeish proportions, since I did a lot of speculating and SWAGing and dreaming as to how it'd all look together.  But it looks AWESOME.  Just awesome.  Not precisely how I'd envisioned, owing to practicalities and realities.  And in some ways better than I'd envisioned.  Quite the little street-tracker, it is.  Front end is pretty clean and minimalist, tail section is short and light.  Looks good with the toolboxes on, and I'll probably keep them for the time being.

Alas, I did not have the camera with me tonight.  Sad, because the partially-assembled bike against the background of a riotous Rajasthani wedding procession would have been an awesome visual.  But I'd just come from work and wasn't thinking.

Should maybe be ridable on Saturday.  We'll see.

I will have some work to do on my own once it's in my hands.  Probably have a new seat bracket fabricated, as the mechanic is trying some wonky-ass way that he insists will work and I'm really tired of arguing with him...I just want this thing in my hands so I can get it done right.  Gotta install the fork cartridge valve emulators, probably moving the ignition coil up under the seat, maybe clean up the wiring and swap out some switchgear.  Still looking for a 5-speed transmission and an alloy barrel.  Might send some brake shoes over to Vintage Brake for re-lining with super-duper stoppy stuff.



Maybe I'll buy another and build a bobber next, this time in my own front yard.  :)

Lwt Big Cheese

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2012, 06:34:15 AM »
Quote
Should maybe be ridable photographable on Saturday.  We'll see.


 ;)
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AgentX

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2012, 11:20:50 AM »
Hah.  Hope so.  This thread is literally worthless without pics, and is just a lot of useless blathering to this point.  I'm surprised there's even one person still tuning in.

But the only pics I've had since the initial round are a set of the frame, then the frame and partly-assembled engine with the new triple trees.  I'll put them up for a laugh when I get home tonight.

Won't be forgetting the digi camera on Saturday, that's for sure.  I'll probably be bringing the Leica or the Rollei, too.



Desi Bike

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #41 on: April 27, 2012, 02:33:41 PM »
Quote from: AgentX link=topic=12334.msg150956#msg150956

Won't be forgetting the digi camera on Saturday, that's for sure.  I'll probably be bringing the Leica or the Rollei, too.




I like your taste in camera equipment and look forward to your pictures.
میں نہیں چاہتا کہ ایک اچار
میں صرف اپنی موٹر سائیکل پر سوار کرنا چاہتے ہیں

AgentX

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2012, 05:06:31 AM »
Teasers as promised 2 days ago...

bike should be done today.  (Hah.)







Lwt Big Cheese

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #43 on: April 28, 2012, 06:35:28 AM »
Thanks for the pics.

Looking good.

Whilst the bike is tantalising, I love the pic with the street  in the background. I can only imagine what it's like going out there into the bright, hot sun - and all the smells. Spain on steroids?
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AgentX

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Re: My New Plan
« Reply #44 on: April 28, 2012, 07:31:04 AM »
Spain has got NOTHING on India.

Some other digi snaps from around the shop--it is in a rather picturesque part of Old City here.



Jelani's highly organized methodology contributed to the timely completion of the bike, I'm sure...





Beginning of a religious procession used to foment nationalist/communal violence in the following few days...there were many attempts by the drunk and high dancers to drag me bodily into the mix. 



Old Yezdi (2-stroke funky thing, very popular with some in India as a classic alternative to Enfield)



Someone's always parked just across the street.


(All photos straight from the digicam and not intended as an exhibit of photographic skill or editing... for informational purposes only!)