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Author Topic: 350 vs 500  (Read 3010 times)

Franko

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350 vs 500
« on: September 05, 2007, 03:57:31 AM »
Can anyone describe the performance differences between the 350 and the 500?
TIA
Franko
Baton Rouge

RagMan

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Re: 350 vs 500
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2007, 08:35:37 AM »
The bikes are basically the same - frame, wheels, transmission. The difference of displacement makes the 500 a faster, stronger pulling bike. Both are lighter than modern designs, and more fun than most. The 350 is not available in the US, and the neither are available in California.

This could well be contradicted by someone with more knowledge than I have.
aka Indiana Bulleteer.
''99 Classic Bullet. '05 Ural Tourist sidecar rig, converted to 2wd. '05 Harley Davidson Sportster.
Jefferson County, WA

Spitting Bull

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Re: 350 vs 500
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2007, 10:08:56 AM »
The bullet in its present form was introduced in the UK in 1949 and it was a 350.  This was the model which was introduced to India in 1955 and which was later produced there. The 500 came later.

The 500 is faster than the 350 but not really all that much faster.  Neither is really a fast bike, though it all depends on how you define "fast." For example - I've just been to the shops for my wife and took the 350.  When dealing with the job of going  through town to the shops and back, the 350 is "faster" than my 2 litre fuel-injection car.

The 500, as IndianaBulleteer says, produces more torque and pulls harder.  In the UK in the 1950s, people would have bought a bike like this to use the extra power to pull a sidecar, not for extra speed.

Some people think that the 350 runs better, as that displacement, in that frame, and with that suspension, is what was originally designed.  

The Bullet is pure, unadulterated fun.  Speed is actually less important, I think.

Tom
One cylinder is enough for anyone.

Franko

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Re: 350 vs 500
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2007, 10:28:27 AM »
Thanks.  Years ago I asked a similar question about 883 and 1200 Sportsters.  The answer was also somewhat similar, but I will always remember someone told me the 883 will do about the same thing as the 1200, the 1200 will just get there a little quicker. ;D
I have located a number of 350's for sale.  Since the bike is not a highway cruiser, I was considering a 350 for putting around the country side.  Like someone else mentioned here, a quick jaunt to get the cob webs out, and the oil hot is around 100 miles.
I rode a 500. but not the 350, and I did not want to make a mistake with a bike that was too under powered, if in fact the 350 is compared to the 500.  I am not too worried about speed and I would guess that both bikes will hum along fine in the 50mph range, but I would like to get to that range before the day is over, particularly carrying my 230lb body around. :)
Thanks again, I enjoy reading the insight from this group.

Franko
Baton Rouge

Al

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Re: 350 vs 500
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2007, 11:01:35 AM »
 I am a 350 owner. The 350 is generally believed to be a "sweeter running" machine and experiences fewer mechanical problems because it is less stressed. Also, there a few other differences; such as the 350's fenders being better valanced --- that is they afford better protection from splash on wet road as well as looking more "period authentic' for a roadster. And, the carburettor is bolted directly to the cylinder head and thus is not subjected to the problem of air leaks that develop in the 500's rubber hose connection to the head. Let me say in ending that I have never felt a need for more power with my 350 as I understand that is a roadster ,not a sports machine, and ride it as such.

Thumper

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Re: 350 vs 500
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2007, 12:02:29 PM »
The 350's are about 18bhp while the 500s are about 22bhp. I would think (but don't know firsthand) that the handling characteristics are very similar.

Matt

jdrouin

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Re: 350 vs 500
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2007, 04:45:03 PM »
What about gas mileage? Is the 350 any better (or worse) in that respect?

Franko

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Re: 350 vs 500
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2007, 01:02:05 AM »
I did read where the 350 was rated at 75mpg compare to 70mpg from the 500.  YMMV ;D

Franko
Baton Rouge

RagMan

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Re: 350 vs 500
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2007, 05:03:47 AM »
My 500 gets 74mpg every fill.
aka Indiana Bulleteer.
''99 Classic Bullet. '05 Ural Tourist sidecar rig, converted to 2wd. '05 Harley Davidson Sportster.
Jefferson County, WA

Franko

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Re: 350 vs 500
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2007, 01:37:21 AM »
Man, 74mpg is great!
I think I found a place to buy a rebuilt 350 (early 80's) at a very good price.  I just need a little more info from the sellers then I'll place my order.  I think the bike is coming from India because I will have to pick it up at the port of New Orleans.  I am fired up about it.  I can pick the color, chrome, and seat type also.  Hoooraaah. ;D ;D ;D

Franko
Baton Rouge

RagMan

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Re: 350 vs 500
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2007, 03:41:29 AM »
Be Really careful about bringing any bike into the country - it is not a simple task - do all of your homework, and make sure your papers are perfect.
aka Indiana Bulleteer.
''99 Classic Bullet. '05 Ural Tourist sidecar rig, converted to 2wd. '05 Harley Davidson Sportster.
Jefferson County, WA

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: 350 vs 500
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2007, 10:13:37 PM »
Franko,
Be very careful if you decide to do this. It can be all but impossible to get a grey market bike thrugh customs and then almost if not impossible to register the bike in your home state. Here is some information:
http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/forum/index.php/topic,57.0.html you should also check wiht the US Customs service and your state DMV. It is not as easy as it sounds to bring a bike into the US.
We get a lot of calls from people who have had their bike either seized by Customs or are unable to register them and there is no help to be at. If you are hell-bent to do this at least do not pay up-front under ANY circumstances.

Franko

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Re: 350 vs 500
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2007, 12:55:35 AM »
Yep, I am believing that Nova may be a scam.  If you read the customer comments, many of them seem to have the same trouble with English. ;D
I wanted a 350 and it seems to be possible, but apparently it must be a pre 1975 bike so it can be brought in and registered as an antique. There are one or two seemingly legit Indian dealers who will rebuild a bike and ship it over.  For their price, I don't think the risk is worth the return.  :(

Franko

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Re: 350 vs 500
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2007, 02:28:23 AM »
BTW, many thanks to Indiana and RE1 for the heads up and excellent information.

Franko
Baton Rouge