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October 23, 2014, 03:14:54 PM

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Author Topic: Clubman Build  (Read 208 times)

Mike_D

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Clubman Build
« on: October 18, 2014, 05:12:35 AM »
I've been wanting to Fireball my Bullet pretty much since I started reading Tom's posts.  I came to Enfield via India, got hooked and bought one when I returned to the States.  Well, we can all guess what happened.  The bike that I fell in love with in India couldn't keep up with American SPEED.  It's not like I'm the type of rider that needs SPEED, in fact I'd prefer riding country roads doing 50 mph all day. 

I live in Brooklyn but was riding up in the Hudson Valley frequently and my '02 Iron Barrel, with minor upgrades would shine on those roads.  But getting up there, that was a chore.  FDR to the GWB to the Palisades.  All right lane, no passing and feeling quite exposed.  I felt like I needed just abit more power to make the bike functional for my needs, I needed the highway capability.  I, like many others, I'm sure, briefly thought of buying a second bike for longer trips.  But I loved that stock Enfield.  It was like 90% the bike I wanted it to be.

So I toyed with the idea often.  My main concerns were the cost, doing the work myself and having NO BIKE while the build was taking place.  Before the Enfield I had zero mechanical ability.  Zero, I assure you, never even changed oil on a car (or anything for that matter).  By the time I was seriously considering the build I had put some considerable time in: dumped the hump (including drilling into the crank case and tapping the holes!), new clutch plates, 18-tooth sprocket, new pipe, new carb (plug chops and all).  I felt like I had learned quite a bit in two years. 

I emailed Tom, he assured me that I could pull the engine and bring it to Chumma's, he said it was pretty easy.  I spoke with Chuck D, "do it!" he urged me, call Chumma.  OK, I called Chumma, we spoke for about an hour and a week later I pulled the head.

That was around the end of March.  After speaking with Chumma, I had decided to go the Clubman route with the bronze bush in the bottom end.  I had a budget and after speaking with me, Chumma assured me that the Clubman head would meet my needs.  We were hoping to have the build finished around June/July giving me a good chunk of the season for riding.  I thought I could deal with not having a bike, turns out I couldn't and ended up getting a '76 XS650 in great condition to ride the meantime.

I gotta say, Tom was right, pulling an engine from an Enfield is quite easy.  Mildly distressing, but pretty straight forward, you just gotta take it easy and stay organized.  It took me two days, about 5-6 hours work each day.

I picked everything up from Chumma's in early August.  Three days later had everything back together and ready to go.  I was so stoked.  The engine went in as easy as it came out.  Had to cut the pushrods to get them to work with the new cams but other than that, pretty straight forward.

The thing blew me away on the first ride around the block.  I was a little worried that with months of riding the XS, the Enfield, even with the new engine would feel slow.  Not the case at all.  It was like a sling shot, power from the first pull of the throttle and seemingly more to give.

Gotta say, breaking the bike in in NYC was hell.  Constant paranoia about blowing up the new engine and finding the time to ride when there would be no traffic -- impossible.  It took weeks to put on 200 miles.  Plus, for whatever reason, I didn't listen to Chumma when he suggested a 5-plate Barnett clutch.  I tried to have a go with a 4-plate Barnett setup and it just didn't work.  The bike kept popping out of gear.  Eventually, Chumma and I got the clutch to work pretty OK with the 4-plate set up but I just went to the 5-plate and I gotta say it is a must, hasn't popped out of gear since.

I've got 600 miles into the build so far and I have to say it has exceeded expectations.  I'm stoked every time I throw my leg over.  It is 100% the bike I want; I had no problem selling the XS last month.  I already took it on a 300 mile trip to the Catskills and it ate up every hill I threw at it.  This is the bike Enfield should be making.

OK, this is getting waaaay to long.  Few things before I go: I kept the 4-speed box and am running with the close gear ratios and ceramic bearings, right side shift, of course.  I love it, but can see the value of the 5-speed box.  I have Hagon rear shocks and ceramic wheel bearings (hub too) and it handles like a dream.  Blue coil, one of those fancy Shorai batteries.  Probably some other stuff too that I'm forgetting.

Feel free to ask any questions.  I'm pretty tired, it's late, and, though long, I'm sure I am missing some important stuff.  I'd like to encourage anyone seriously thinking of a Clubman or Fireball build to just get ahold of Tom or Chumma and have a chat.  Don't be put off by the work, it's not that hard.  Plus, Ace proves amazing support

One last thing.  Seriously, the best part about this bike is that it is the SAME BIKE.  It's the bike that I fell in love with -- then WAM, 5000RPMS!  It's quite a feeling.

flyboy

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Re: Clubman Build
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2014, 11:54:25 AM »
Nice post...and encouraging.
Does the Clubman build include a bigger piston or just the ported head?
What advantage does the 5spd offer that you're not getting out of the 4spd with the CR gears and ceramic bearings? Got me thinking here, but I have too much invested in the 4spd box at this point.
Thanks!

motorman2whel

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Re: Clubman Build
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2014, 12:02:55 PM »
Are you still running points with the blue coil & if so does it burn your points up sooner than the stock coil did?.

Mike_D

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Re: Clubman Build
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2014, 03:55:25 PM »
The build has the Ace piston with the magnum cams....I should have mentioned that in the post.

Also running a boyer mark 4 ignition.  It came with the bike when I bought it 2 and a half years ago.

The only advantage I see the 5-speed box having is the extra gear for better shifting points.  The 4-speed is fine with the close ratio gears and the ceramic bearings, its functions very smoothly.  Currently no missed shifts or fasle neutrals.  With the extra gear though, I feel like I'd get a better, efficient use of the high rpm power.  Either way, I'm happy with the 4-speed and I encourage you to stick with it.  I'm glad I did.

cafeman

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Re: Clubman Build
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2014, 09:18:38 PM »
I've got the 4-speed with close ratio gear set and it made a world of difference over the original gearing. If you ride in mainly flat or rolling terrain it is perfectly fine, if you ride in mountainous areas the 5-speed might be a better choice. But all you really have to do is learn to keep your momentum in the turns with the cr 4-speed.

dginfw

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Re: Clubman Build
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2014, 03:46:50 AM »
Mike, this sounds a lot like what I was considering for my '06.  I wasn't sure I needed -or would use- the full potential of the Fireball, but i do want more top end and durability. Your post definitely makes me consider the options...
Dave in TX:   '01  W650
                    '14 Continental GT
                    '06 Iron Barrel Bullet

ace.cafe

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Re: Clubman Build
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2014, 11:54:34 AM »
Mike, this sounds a lot like what I was considering for my '06.  I wasn't sure I needed -or would use- the full potential of the Fireball, but i do want more top end and durability. Your post definitely makes me consider the options...
The only difference between the Fireball and the Clubman is the valve gear and the ceramic coatings.
The Clubman uses slightly different valves, and uses standard Enfield valve springs which fit those different valves. Enfield has a very unusual collet locking style on their valves which is different than normal, and requires these special valve stems to fit with their valve gear. So, the stock style stuff needs to work together. That is part of the cost savings. We recommend 5000 rpm limit for the Clubman head, but if you use Hitchcock competition valve springs, it can go higher than 5000 rpm then.
However, the porting is the same as the Fireball porting. It can be upgraded to Fireball specs by sending it in an having us install the Ace valve gear and doing the coatings on the chamber and exhaust port.
We just cut costs where we could, but still provided most of the benefits of the Fireball head for a much reduced cost.
We don't know how long the availability of these factory style performance valves are going to hold out, but we can do it as long as we can get those valves.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 01:33:30 PM by ace.cafe »
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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Chuck D

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Re: Clubman Build
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2014, 03:24:24 PM »
Glad you're likin' your bike,Mike. :)
2006 Bullet Sixty-5 w/ Ace "Fireball 535" Kit (#10)
Ace "GP" head in the works.

'76 Honda CB550Four K(sold)


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