HPRE

Menu

Members Rides

Sunset ride


in
Members Rides

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
August 30, 2014, 04:38:39 PM

Login with username, password and session length

 

Author Topic: beefing up a Bulllet 500  (Read 3126 times)

winterfire

  • Neophyte
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Karma: 0
beefing up a Bulllet 500
« on: January 28, 2008, 05:19:42 PM »
          Hi. This is my first post and I realize this subject has been beaten to death and beyond but hear it is again. I've been looking at RE Bullet 500s for a while now. I'm looking for a bike that is diffrent from the other bikes on the road and that will teach me to repair and maintain a motorcycle. The bullet 500 fits the bill. However, I commute mostly on the interstate. I've been told by some that the REs are not suitable to commute with, others I've talked to advise me to get the Electra.
       My thoughts are that the Bullet 500 has been used as a commuter bike for 50 + years in India and England. And I like the looks of the 500 better than the Electra. So, the question is, will swapping an engine from an Electra in to a 500 enable the Bullet to run at 65-70 mph for an extended period of time (after the break-in of course)? I have the RE catalog that lists many parts that increase horspower, torque ,better oil flow, cooler temps, etc. Is there anyone who can recommend a parts package that will accomplish what I am trying to do? I realize that these brand new antiques were never meant for long distance riding at interstate speeds but thats the only thing keeping me from my dream bike.
      Sorry to beat a dead horse. I look forward to your replies.
I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it. You can't prove a thing!

birdmove

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 743
  • Karma: 0
Re: beefing up a Bulllet 500
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2008, 06:20:19 PM »
  First, I think that Royal Enfield is going to have basically a model with the Classic styling, but with the newer "lean burn" engine.You'll have the bike you are wanting in that model I believe. The 2008s are supposed to be getting unloaded as we speak and shipped to the dealers.
    Second, you may be asking too much from any Bullet.They are a great looking classic motorcycle designed for lower speed back roads.I'm still breaking my 2007 Classic in so I'm not taking it over 36 mph yet.So I'm not sure, but I'm guessing that my 500 will be happy at maybe 50 mph or so.From what I know, if you buy a Bullet with the idea of adding a bunch of horsepower to it, you are asking for reliability problems. If I wanted a mid sized motorcycle capable of extended US freeway riding, I would have bought maybe a Suzuki GS500F or a Kawasaki Ninja 500. The Bullet has way more character and I love the looks, but I view it as a 50mph machine with maybe short bursts at 55-60.
    Others may disagree.

    jon
« Last Edit: January 28, 2008, 06:22:18 PM by birdmove »
Jon in Keaau, Hawaii

Thumper

  • Psalm 23
  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 1065
  • Karma: 1
  • Classic Wannabe
Re: beefing up a Bulllet 500
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2008, 07:00:20 PM »
The brand new (and as of yet unavailable) Unit Construction Engines might be able to handle the 65-70mph for an extended period of time that you're seeking. Maybe someone else has those specs - I haven't heard yet.

In my opinion, the Electra X AVL-based model is not suitable for 65-70mph for an extended period of time. Modifying a Classic-based platform is not a good solution for this kind of use either.

Matt

GreenMachine

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 3008
  • Karma: 0
Re: beefing up a Bulllet 500
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2008, 09:10:51 PM »
agree with thumper...just got back from a ride today..went the back roads but had my classic es up to 70-72 for about 20 secs or so...mostly buzzing around between 40 - 60 mph...haven't had a long enough straightaway with a downward pitch to see if I can hit 80 mph...probably will do it but does get a bit hectic at those speeds on green machine.....that's why i have a 1100 cc yamaha for those other days..cheers
Oh Magoo you done it again

luoma

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 779
  • Karma: 0
Re: beefing up a Bulllet 500
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2008, 09:18:40 PM »
Couple of solutions:
1. An AVL with a 19-tooth front sprocket and performance kit can run down the road pretty good, but the bike is small, light, and a bit twitchy at 70 mph. When I have to get on the super slab for short periods, I try to find a knot of traffic that is going aroud 65. Not too hard to find. Then just tuck in and cruise.
2. Find an alternate route. Not too many places you can't get to on secondary roads. It may take a bit longer, but one thing aboout an RE, once you're in the saddle, you are not looking for the ride to end too soon.
3. Get a boring bike for the commute, and save the RE for weekends.

birdmove

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 743
  • Karma: 0
Re: beefing up a Bulllet 500
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2008, 09:34:28 PM »
  You could get a used 250 Ninja for your freeway commute.They'll pull close to 100mph and cruise at 70. Get the Bullet for the scenic routes.
    You can request routes on mapquest that avoid the freeways. Sometimes, if your going very far, the routes might get a bit complicated, but often they are there.
    My commute is on backroads with 35-40 mph speed limits.But the cars often run at 50, so I'm waiting until my break in is over before commuting on my Classic.I know it'll pull 50 safely after I get enough miles on it. No riding today-got snow this morning.Did go on a 25 mile ride last night. Froze but had fun anyway.

    Jon in Puyallup, Wa. USA
Jon in Keaau, Hawaii

dogbone

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 799
  • Karma: 0
Re: beefing up a Bulllet 500
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2008, 09:49:50 PM »
 ;D Winterfire   What an understatement !! You will be an excellent mechanic after just one year of Bullet maintenance...   The largest problem would be that the bikes are too light to cruise over 55... Unless you never pass trucks, or get caught in the rain.  The engine could be modified & geared to do a ton,   If you had the balls on a 375#  bike with skinny tires.   If you want speed & stability in a classy bike, talk to Dr Norton, or find a pre unit Triumph.
99 Enfield Bullet 535
a man isn't drunk,if he can lie on the floor without hanging on

Bankerdanny

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 646
  • Karma: 0
Re: beefing up a Bulllet 500
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2008, 11:27:33 PM »
I use my stock engine/drive train '02 500ES to commute to the office 1-2 times a week during nice weather in Chicago. My trip is about 12 miles one way with about half on Lake Shore Drive where speeds can hit 60 mph+ for 3-4 miles.

I have also used it for a several 80-100 mile round trips that involved freeway time and I ran an indicated 65-70 for half an hour or more with little problem.

I dumped the stock tires for Avon m26's., which are more rounded, so lane changes work better, and they seem much more compliant. I also have Ace cafe bars.; not the most comfortable for slow speed riding, but over 45 mph the forward tilt is a big improvement over the bolt upright stance of the stock bars.

In the end though, I agree with the others. The Bullet is just happiest at 40-50. If you want extended highway time, invest in an older Jap bike. You can pick up an older sport bike for a couple grand that offers a fairing for wind protection and the ability to not just run with traffic, but run away so that you don't get run over by some speeding big rig or idiot in his SUV.
Endeavor To Persevere

dewjantim

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 430
  • Karma: 0
Re: beefing up a Bulllet 500
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2008, 03:58:53 AM »
I ride my Bullet at an indicated 60-65 mph all the time, with short bursts at 80+. With 6000 miles on it I have had no trouble, except the usual adjustments in the first 1500 miles. I don't know about your interstate but I 64 traffic travels at 70-90 mph. The RE will not hold up to this kind of use for long, it simply wasn't designed for it. You can hot-rod the engine and change the sprockets around to get higher speeds, but with this usually comes reliability problems. If you want to poke along at 60 mph on the interstate I would say fine, just be sure and check the oil frequently because it will use some. As for continuous 70-80 speeds, you will blow it up.......Dew.
If it hurts, you're not dead yet!!!!!

LJRead

  • Guest
Re: beefing up a Bulllet 500
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2008, 05:08:16 AM »
There's some good advice on this thread.  For example, I've always thought in terms of having two bikes, having a slower type (R E ) and a bigger touring bike like maybe an oil head BMW. But the idea of a cheap Japanese bike, used, but in good shape has a lot going for it.  If you mod-out an R E  you are still limited in top or continuous high speed, and you will put a couple grand into beefing it up in a blink of an eye (check the catalogue).  I came close to buying a couple of Japanese bikes that would have fit the freeway purpose, in seemingly very good shape, for less than two grand.  Of course there are other factors such as registration and insurance costs on two bikes, so ideally maybe a bike should do all things, but having a really nice, show-piece R E  for casual use, and the other as a work horse that you don't feel you need to make shine, isn't a bad idea.

winterfire

  • Neophyte
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Karma: 0
Re: beefing up a Bulllet 500
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2008, 02:47:13 PM »
   Thanks for the great advice. I think I'll go with the "08 with a different sprocket and leave the rest alone. There are enough back roads here and if I do need the interstate, even the big Harleys keep there speed around 55-60 mph.
   I read a lot about letting the engine cool down while on long rides, do you just shut it down, or let it idle for a few minutes like we had to do with the old duce and half trucks in the military?
I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it. You can't prove a thing!

t120rbullet

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 1950
  • Karma: 0
Re: beefing up a Bulllet 500
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2008, 03:05:25 PM »
   Thanks for the great advice. I think I'll go with the "08 with a different sprocket and leave the rest alone. There are enough back roads here and if I do need the interstate, even the big Harleys keep there speed around 55-60 mph.
   I read a lot about letting the engine cool down while on long rides, do you just shut it down, or let it idle for a few minutes like we had to do with the old duce and half trucks in the military?

Wise decision about just changing the sprocket and leaving the rest alone!
An air cooled motor is going to heat up at an idle. If it ain't moving it's heating.
Your better off just shutting it down for a bit.
CJ
1999 Enfield 500 Black Deluxe "Silver"
2012 Concours 14 (no name yet)
2013 Royal Star Venture S  "Jelly Roll"

jonapplegate

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 535
  • Karma: 0
  • you stand tall when you stoop to help
Re: beefing up a Bulllet 500
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2008, 09:03:29 PM »
Watercooled engines benefit from letting idle if they are overheating. Allowing the engine to keep running lets the coolant continue to flow. No benefit on an aircooled engine. In fact it would definitely have an opposite effect from what you want.
     I am not trying to dissuade anyone from a Bullet, I dig mine, but a really cool looking modern bike that is popular around the world and unfortunately was a little ahead of its time hear in the States is the Kawasaki W650. It has the vintage look of an old T100 but can run with modern road speeds. You occasionally see them for sale used. I saw one a couple of months ago on Craigslist for I think 3500 U.S. Check them out by searching W650 images. 

fredgold52

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 352
  • Karma: 0
  • Macomb, IL Flatlands Rule
Re: beefing up a Bulllet 500
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2008, 12:17:23 AM »
I agree with you about the W650.  Good looking bike with good performance.  Too bad the US market couldn't properly appreciate it.  I was looking at them now and then on Ebay and Cycletrader.com with lust in my heart.  But since I have my Bullet 65, I don't think the w650 can measure up on the "coolness" factor.  Yes the W650 will go faster, but I don't think my Iron Lung will leave me wanting in the cruising speed department if present performance is any indicator.
2006 '65' and a 200cc Stella, Indian all the way

birdmove

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 743
  • Karma: 0
Re: beefing up a Bulllet 500
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2008, 12:35:59 AM »
  I had a friend that had a 196something Kawasakli W2SS-a copy of a pre unit twin old BSA.It was a single carb model and was a real torquey machine and loads of fun to ride.

Jon
Jon in Keaau, Hawaii