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Author Topic: getting a bullet 500 more reliable  (Read 2374 times)

pauldelft

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getting a bullet 500 more reliable
« on: January 29, 2011, 03:38:27 PM »
Hi guys,
Just joined the forum after being re-directed here by guys from advrider.com.

I own a completely standard 2004 Enfield bullet 500, which I purchased at the factory in India. I drove it around India for a while and then shipped over to Holland where i drive around on it. I love it when it rides... but quite often it doesn't ride. Some tlc, battery recharging, spark plug cleaning etc sometimes does the job, but this gets a bit tiresome after a while.

I realise this isn't a modern Japanese bike, I'm not asking it to be, but i'd love the bike to be a bit more reliable
Are there any people out there who have managed to get their Enfield more user friendly/reliable? Some websites offer different carbs, others offer electronic ignition kits, other offer different spark plug covers? If heard tips on rejetting, removing a pav(?), getting a different exhaust etc.
Whats worth while investing in/doing?
cheers
Paul 

The Garbone

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Re: getting a bullet 500 more reliable
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2011, 05:01:49 PM »
Welcome to the board..

There are a few things that can be done on the cheap to help your bullet be more reliable than stock...
1. Remove the pav and catch can breather setup- they just fail on you eventually
2. Free flow air filter and exhaust with new jets,  gives more power and lets the engine run cooler.
3. Add an after market Bosch coil,  your stock one is suspect at best
4. Add a In-line fuel filter
5. Never use the Electric start if so equipped.
Gary
57' RE Crusader 250
67' Ford Mustang
74' Catalina 27 "Knot a Clew"
95 RE Ace Clubman 535
01 HD 1200 Custom
07 RE 5spd HaCK

* all actions described in this post are fictional *

bob bezin

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Re: getting a bullet 500 more reliable
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2011, 05:13:43 PM »
why not just deal with things as they come up?replace anything that gives you trouble with a better part .
2000 RE classic ,              56 matchless g80
2006 RE delux fireball       86 yamaha SRX 600
65 500cctriumph
04 bonnie black
71 750 norton.
48 whizzer

Gunga Din

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Re: getting a bullet 500 more reliable
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2011, 06:50:14 PM »
You mention that you got the bike from the factory so we can assume you have owned and ridden it for 6 years now. I hope you have a copy of the owners manual supplied with the bike and also bought yourself a work shop manual by now. These books contain most of the necessary data you need to carry out engine tuning, regular maintenance and troubleshooting. There is no reason a stock Enfield in standard form can't be made to run well. I rode my 1994 Bullet for 10 years without doing any modifications except a right side gearshift conversion and 2 of those years it was my only means of transportion. I would suggest looking at the basic tuning and maintenance procedures contained in the manuals for the bike before you start throwing a lot of money into aftermarket or high performance parts. Try to figure out what (if anything) needs replacement before you spend money.       

Ice

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Re: getting a bullet 500 more reliable
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2011, 09:27:57 PM »
Hi pauldelft


All good advice so far .

 These machines like need love to be ridden regularly. For some reason it reduces the required amount of fussing and fiddling required.

My advice is stay on top of the maintenance and ride it whenever possible.



I can break it better,,,,at night, in the rain, on the trail,, 20 miles from nowhere.

REA #136

"TIMEX", the '06 Iron Barrel Military that takes me everywhere I want to go... and some places I shouldn't.

ChrisEnfield

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Re: getting a bullet 500 more reliable
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2013, 05:11:34 PM »
Hello Garbone,

Why do you advice not to use the electyric starter? I have one on my 2007 Enfield Bullet, and did not have problems so far. But I am always interested to learn from other experiences.

Hello Paul, I assume you live in Delft? Then we are practically neighbours, I live in 't Woudt!  Are you member of the Dutch Royal Enfield Club?

regards,
Chris

Arizoni

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Re: getting a bullet 500 more reliable
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 01:59:30 AM »
The electric starter uses a sprag clutch on the crankshaft to crank the engine.
This is a one way clutch which allows the crankshaft to rotate freely in the normal direction.

The sprag clutch installed on pre 2009 RE's is notoriously weak and, although it works for a while it has self destructed on more than one bike.

One of the chief reasons for it to break is these big singles will often kick back during shut down as the piston tries to compress the last fuel/air charge while coming to a stop.
  The backwards rotation this causes will lock up the sprags and direct the energy into them and the starter gear chain.
That often results in a overload of the sprags causing them to shatter.

This danger really has nothing to do with using the electric starter although if the clutch sprags have been slightly damaged, the impulse shock of the starter being activated could be enough to result in their breaking.

If they break, their bits of hardened steel will get into the moving parts of the engine causing no end of damage to the gears, roller and ball bearings, sliding piston rings and sleeve bearings etc.

One idea to help minimize the damage the crankshaft reversal during shut down is, when you want to turn the engine off, use the Decompression lever to kill the engine while it is at an idle.  This will prevent the compression kick back and this same idea has been incorporated into the new fuel injected models (although with them it is done automatically by the new design).

Anyway, it is a good idea to use the kick starter to start the engine whenever it is practical to do it.  Save the electric starter for those (embarrassing) times when the engine dies at a stop light. :)

Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

ChrisEnfield

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Re: getting a bullet 500 more reliable
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2013, 08:49:06 AM »
Wow, thanks for the interesting information! One remaining question; if the electric starter still works fine, does that mean that the clutch spraks are still oke? or in other words, how do I know if damaged pieces are flying around somewhere in my engine?

My 2007 Enflield Bullet ES 5 sp. has only 2.000 carefull miles. I must admit that it sometimes stands still for one or two months. One morning I took the bike and suddenly I did not have compression. It turned out that one of the valves was slighly damaged.  Does that have something to do with the sprak clutch?

regards,

Chris

Arizoni

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Re: getting a bullet 500 more reliable
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2013, 12:56:56 AM »
If the starter sprags were damaged your electric starter wouldn't be working.
Typically, you would hear the high speed 'whurrrrrrrrrrrrrr' of the electric motor winding up but the engine wouldn't budge.

No, the valves have nothing to do with the sprag clutch.
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

ChrisEnfield

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Re: getting a bullet 500 more reliable
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2013, 01:19:18 PM »
Thanks, Jim. It is a relief and I learned a lot!

GreenForce82

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Re: getting a bullet 500 more reliable
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2013, 12:11:55 AM »
Regarding the exploded bits of sprag getting into the engine oil, our bikes have seperate gear oil for that side of the engine so I though that those little bits could only damage things like the alternator, clutch, primary chain and gears (which are pretty durable) and whatever else is on that side of the enhine but seperate from the crankcase oil that lubes the piston and whatnot. Am I correct here in assuming no real damage to the engine itself could hapoen from an exploded sprag, just potential issues under the primary case and all her guts?
"Counted his friends in burned-out spark plugs
and prays that he always will.

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sold their souls straight down the line.

ERC

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Re: getting a bullet 500 more reliable
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2013, 03:51:44 PM »
Your correct. Could jam the motor and bring you to a quick stop if it decided to fail while running.   ERC
2-57 Apaches, 2-57 Trailblazers, 60 Chief, 65 Interceptor, 2004 Bullet, 612 Bullet chopped.