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November 26, 2014, 06:43:24 PM

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Author Topic: Can Iron Barrel be driven too slowly?  (Read 611 times)

GGRider

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Can Iron Barrel be driven too slowly?
« on: November 26, 2013, 11:28:34 PM »
Most speed questions for the classic iron barrel are "how fast?" type questions.  What I haven't run across here is what happens if most riding is just putt-putting around?  I get it up to the 50-55 mph now and then but a lot of where i ride is town/residential 25-45 mph.  Are there any precautions or different maintainance I should be doing? I always use my battery tender when I'm done and haven't had any battery problems.  2003 RE ks\es soon to be kick start only.
2003 Iron Barrel Bullet 500- Velvet Green

mrunderhill1975a

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Re: Can Iron Barrel be driven too slowly?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2013, 11:40:09 PM »
All I can say is that my '99 is used in the same manner as you describe  and I just passed the 25000 mile mark on my odometer.  The only problem I have had recently is some oil fouling of the exhaust system that I cured with some simple green solvent.


GGRider

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Re: Can Iron Barrel be driven too slowly?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2013, 11:45:09 PM »
Good to hear, mrunderhill!
2003 Iron Barrel Bullet 500- Velvet Green

High On Octane

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Re: Can Iron Barrel be driven too slowly?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2013, 11:59:37 PM »
Absolutely not.  In fact it is in these bikes' blood to putt around.  Remember, when these bikes were designed the main road speed limits generally didn't exceed 40 mph.

Scottie J
Denver, CO

1958 Enfield/Indian Trailblazer

ace.cafe

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Re: Can Iron Barrel be driven too slowly?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2013, 12:18:53 AM »
Yes, it is important to not "lug" then engine at too low rpms, with a high load such as going up hills. The ignition system has no auto-retard mechanism, and the mechanical advance goes full advanced very early in the rpm range. It is very easy to encounter a condition where the load is too high for the ignition advance to deal with, and ping occurs, which is potentially damaging to the engine.

So, when going up hills or riding with two-up, and if you feel the engine laboring and needing large throttle openings to deal with it, then you should downshift and take the hill or load at a higher rpm where the ignition advance is in its proper setting, and avoid pinging.
It is very common for Bullet owners, especially Bullets with the 4-speed gearbox with  it's large ratio gap between 3rd and 4th, to not want to downshift when they should, because it causes the engine revs to go pretty high when they do. It's better to slow down a bit and take the hill in 3rd, than to lug the engine in 4th.

This is a fairly serious matter,  because lugging in some cases can cause the piston to seize in the cylinder, and can blow the whole engine.
Just keep the engine operating in a happy rev range, and all will be okay.
Home of the ACE Fireball 535 Bullet,  Ace GP Hi-Lift Roller Rocker Head . Pistons, cams, etc. Highest performance Bullet engine mods available .  AVL mods. Redditch 700/750 Twin mods. UCE kit soon.

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GGRider

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Re: Can Iron Barrel be driven too slowly?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2013, 01:31:35 AM »
Ace, your lugging point is one I've seen you make before and one I really pay attention to. The mechanical advance is the reason I'm considering the Power Arc ignition.  I haven't seen a good source for the VOES switch in the threads so that I can take advantage of the second retarded curve. I know I could use a manual switch but I like the idea of switching it automatically. Any ideas?
2003 Iron Barrel Bullet 500- Velvet Green

02Electra

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Re: Can Iron Barrel be driven too slowly?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2013, 08:33:29 AM »
In the Indian scene here, the best some CI bikes do in their entire lifetime is a rare 80kmph/50mph with no set maintenance schedule. Still they last donkey miles. It's a tough engine this one. Loves to putter.

When I had the points iggy CI350 it loved to do nothing but putter around in 4th gear at 25mph. My CDI Electra350 likes to rev, though.

The point made by Ace regarding lugging on hills is very pertinent. Thanks :)
2002 RE Electra CDI
India

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Re: Can Iron Barrel be driven too slowly?
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2013, 01:00:36 PM »
Yeah, lugging is bad.  (I should have been more specific with my previous statement).  As a general rule, if you're working the motor, keep the RPMs up in a lower gear.  Or as Ace said best, "keep it in it's happy place".  It's far cheaper to burn extra gas than burn up your motor.

Scottie
Scottie J
Denver, CO

1958 Enfield/Indian Trailblazer