Chadwick’s personal impressions of the Enfield Bullet

7 Апр 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Chadwick’s personal impressions of the Enfield Bullet отключены
Royal Enfield Bullet 500 S Clubman
Royal Enfield Bullet 500 S Clubman

Biting the Bullet — the one, I mean

By Ian Chadwick, (Royal) Enfield Bullet 500 Collingwood, Ontario, Canada.

updated May 24, 2003.

Later, I I must have been I had traded in a loud 500-pound and steel powerhouse — my Virago, a machine of superb ergonomics and style — for a puttering thumper with gears, low power, a quiet and a hard, high seat. I had become the owner of a ‘new’ Bullet, 500cc deluxe

And for some strange reason, I I really enjoyed myself on it.

I saw the Bullet in the early 1990s at the Motorcycle Show in Toronto America’s largest motorcycle I loved it at first sight. quintessentially British in everything, the hand-painting, to the drum brakes to the Speedmaster tires and Lucas

I had to own one, but it took a couple of to get around to it. When I did, I to get the deluxe model: a bright red with a chrome gas tank and (plus rubber knee like an old BSA Star, but there are colour choices available a beautiful hunter green).

motorcyclist Don Detlor first saw the while on holidays in India, years back. He joined motorcyclist Terry Smith to T D Impex, of Niagara Falls, to them into Canada. told me it wasn’t easy.

It the two men five or so years to get the Indian to manufacture the bikes to meet standards and design — moving the shifter to the left — and to get the glacial Canadian to approve them for import. then the bikes suffered initial problems with and electrics that had to be worked out the way (the regulator is now replaced a reliable American-made one).

Their first shipment of arrived in October 1993 and sold out. T D brought in 350 and 500cc models, with variations in paint and chrome, an India Army version looks like a WWII with its metal carriers, seat and olive-green paint. The company is working with Engineer Fritz Egli to more powerful models, a 535cc and a 650cc engine, as as a sport racer, but don’t them on the North American any time soon.

The 500cc pushes a meagre 22 bhp (18 for the 350). no crotch rocket, but it’s a torquey little bike that one cylinder and generally a ride at unhurried speeds. At the shifter is stiff and sluggish, and not always evident the gear has until you release the clutch. patience: I found it improves with use, becoming smooth after the first kms of break-in.

However, the space gears is smaller than on bikes, so it takes some used to.

You can’t upshift 1st to neutral, but you can easily downshift neutral between 2nd and 4th gear by a small neutral finder on the side of the gear box. nifty, that! Although the doesn’t tell you, taught me you can upshift from 1st by holding the clutch, leaning and pulling the neutral finder up a

Inelegant, but a simple solution.

is modest. During the break-in take it easy as the manual but it won’t be long before you can it up. or as much as it allows! The speedo 160 kmh, but 120 is really the max (it’s on the 350 I’m told). It’s to measure accurately, because the tends to swing wildly a lot after 100 kmh.

Using a pace car for a test, I the speedo on my machine was overly by about 10-15 kmh in the upper

At about 350 pounds, she’s a agile bike, and easy to into corners and around (although watch for those foot pegs!). And she gets an 75 mpg!

The front and back drum brakes (twin on the front, an improvement introduced by in 1990) work fine the Bullet’s power, but they’re a bit and I wouldn’t want to depend on sudden stopping ability. The encourages careful riding.

The seat is a weakness. It was probably by the Spanish Inquisition: firm begin to describe it. You become to it, although it never feels and I shifted around a lot on longer

At about 30-31 inches it feels like I’m a way from the pavement compared to I’ve owned. You can always some of the seat foam to it, or even splurge on a custom

I installed the single saddle (the old fashioned one), but it off immediately: it adds several inches of height on an unstable-looking supported by stiff chromed My biggest concern with it, was that it exposed the electrical to the environment (like rain). At the bench favours a good, riding position. Terry has his single seat, lowering it a of inches, but it’s still a bit than I like.

However, it adds to the vintage look. And promises it’s a softer than the bench. There are seats available: a Clubman seat and several other are available from England.

I the stock knobby rubber for standard cushion style because I prefer the larger, grip. Aside from the difficulty of removing grips, the grip gave me a problem I accidentally twisted too hard on a switch/connector and broke it, disabling my light (it was soldered, not screwed Terry sent me a replacement so it told me getting parts is not going to be a problem.

Since then I’ve several items and received quickly. That’s one major over many vintage all of the parts are still being byt the original company.

The Bullet a kickstart, but a decompression lever and make it relatively easy to over after a few tries. The can throw you if you don’t do it by the books, but the is simple (ask your to show you how — the owner’s is confusing). Most cold it takes five or six kicks to get once it’s warm one or two is the

I recommend letting her warm up or six minutes before riding to give the engine time to in properly. If you give her the time and she’s a reliable, sturdy Note: although the recommended for starting is standing on the right, the bike on the centrestand, I did learn to her over while sitting on the at a stop sign.

The 28mm carb is small, but British can purchase a kit and 34mm carb to power and, with a rebored port, get another 6 bhp from the beast. Terry the kit on his bike last spring, but was working out the optimum carb for it. Various dealers have upgrading the carb jet to a 135 or even 160 slot-type for a VM28), for better

But the needle position will adjusting too, to prevent running. One Brit magazine a 125 jet. other mechanics me less (it’s a 110, so I to think about 120 is tops).

The long stock peashooter chuffs very quietly, but I a shorter, slightly louder pipe available as an accessory was not required to change pipes). One Enfield rider suggests an pipe for better performance, but it may be a loud. Terry uses a slip-on that makes a chugging, slightly metallic

The accessory silencers should modestly improved performance, but you can get a bit by replacing the stock felt air with a more porous air filter (I bought an auto 3.5 and hand-fashioned it to fit). Another mod you can is a Boyer Bransden electronic (recommended in several Brit publications).

Despite some that the Bullet leaks mine proved pretty oil around most gaskets and There is sometimes a small when the engine’s been a lot (nothing significant, given the heritage) around the access on the chain side, caused by oil in the case at high speed, no There’s also sometimes a bit the neutral finder, but hardly than a few drops.

Royal Enfield Bullet 500 S Clubman
Royal Enfield Bullet 500 S Clubman

I’ve a lot more oil seep out of some American bikes (described by owners as ‘marking their

Given she’s a ‘thumper,’ a solid-mount engine, vibration was initial concern, but I was surprised at how the Bullet is, especially at high I can actually see in the mirrors at high (much clearer than on my At low revs, it’s more and the mirrors are hard to read.

At it’s very noticeable, but become accustomed to it. On long the vibration may prove tiring.

are several accessories available: bits of chrome, a seven-inch kit (stock is six but the seven has the original mufflers, clubman and single chrome horn, grab panniers and other items. accessories are coming, including bars and extra chrome, as as performance modifications. The bike tinkering and customizing.

The large cowling size and from the handlebars means windshields won’t fit, but I a Slipstreamer, designed for a Harley, worked fine (although its is not vintage). Some generic, bags are suitable, with a bit of Bullet-specific fairings are available in the UK.

The has two small metal toolboxes and with tool kit, tube, clutch and brake Add the usual spare spark fuse, spoke tool and wrench (you’ll need metric and imperial sizes) and have almost everything you

While it doesn’t snort and down the street like a Davidson, the Bullet draws its share of appreciative looks. think it’s a vintage and they approached me with about it, surprised to learn actually new. Even riders who look down noses at Japanese bikes curt condescension to the Bullet it’s so British (and many of the bikes they riding on).

And pricewise, the is a steal: mine was under Cdn. list for the deluxe or model, under $4,500 for the basic 350.

I came to motorcycling, getting my licence I turned 40. I was attracted to the cruisers for style, power and feel. some initial trepidation the Enfield, I rethought the entire metaphor in terms of its history and rather than power and

I’m riding on almost a of tradition, not simply the latest bit of or the loudest, baddest bike. grown to love the Bullet for its qualities and undeniable charm: it back to simpler, less days — times there were still left to climb and places to explore.

As a runabout in town or along the two-lane highways and roads ideal (we have some twisty riding around Mountain-Georgian Bay where the Bullet In towns, it turns heads, conversations, sparks old memories and more smiles per mile most bikes. It’s maneuverable and light, and fares in urban traffic too, I wouldn’t feel comfortable on a highway (I hesitate to ride on any bike, really).

My thanks to Smith and Don Detlor of TD Impex for patience, understanding and unhesitating Since this review was circumstances required that me to my Bullet and TD Impex has closed. years have passed and I am trying to find one.

contact me if you have one for sale.


Ian Chadwick. Comments, changes and welcome: please post on my forum .

Cruising on two wheels the Information Highway!

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Royal Enfield Bullet 500 S Clubman
Royal Enfield Bullet 500 S Clubman
Royal Enfield Bullet 500 S Clubman
Royal Enfield Bullet 500 S Clubman
Royal Enfield Bullet 500 S Clubman
Royal Enfield Bullet 500 S Clubman
Royal Enfield Bullet 500 S Clubman
Royal Enfield Bullet 500 S Clubman
Royal Enfield Bullet 500 S Clubman
Royal Enfield Bullet 500 S Clubman

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