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Author Topic: 2002 U.S. 500 Iron Barrel?  (Read 2268 times)


  • Bulleteer
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Re: 2002 U.S. 500 Iron Barrel?
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2013, 06:02:01 pm »
Hello there Br Arizoni,

I ride my 03 Iron Barrel with drum brakes in Phoenix traffic all the time. I can tell you that a properly adjusted front brake is sufficient. Like Ace said, and I have proven (to some expense), the heat is the real problem for you and I. I am hoping my current iteration will help me out there, while I wait for the modified crank bushing they are working on to get out of R&D.

I have the left shift Albion, with the improvement kit for the shifting action, and sealed bearings. I get a very positive sense of change of gears. I suspect it merely needs a little attention. Perhaps that little screw thing in the gear box needs adjusted inwards, or sharpened a hair depending on miles ridden.

Cleaning and lubing the front brake parts and cleaning the drum real well significantly improved my action and stopping power. Plus, Hitchcocks has a good primer on their site for how to properly setup that little adjuster bar for good solid drum contact.

If you wanna come ride mine around the block for a comparison, you are more than welcome. I'm no master mechanic, but I feel like I have mine in a good place right now, and might make a good basis of comparison.

Be safe man.

2003 Royal Enfield Military
2009 Genuine Blackjack - MrsMilk's ride

I'm trying to make my Enfield an adventure machine:

Ever want to ride a scooter to Canada??


  • Hypercafienated
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Re: 2002 U.S. 500 Iron Barrel?
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2013, 07:47:34 pm »
Congrats on your Iron Barrel Br. Arazoni and welcome to the club.

 My break in was a lot of on the brakes-off the brakes-start-go-stop-honk the horn so by the time the engine was bedded in so were the brake shoes.

 The "Hitchcock mod" is pretty popular and allows for optimal front brake shoe adjustment.


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.


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Re: 2002 U.S. 500 Iron Barrel?
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2013, 08:15:03 pm »
I'd also make sure the brake cable is properly lubed, and that the lever/cable freeplay is'nt such that you can't get good grip or leverage because it's too tight or that it's so loose that you bottom out the lever trying to get hard braking action, this along with what others have mentioned about the brake rod adjustments. My brake cable was really stiff, and at first I thought "wow, these brakes on these bikes truly are horrible like everyone says", but after thoroughly lubing it and setting the freeplay, the action is smooth and relatively easy, but I still have to lay on it to get good bite for anything I'd deem aggressive. But it's worlds better than it was, and under normal use, adequate. I really believe it is poor owner (or mechanic) set-up and maintenance than the actual brake system itself, and I think just another unwarranted strike against the bike. I wouldn't worry about any of this stuff, it can be adjusted out or fixed for very little money.  You'll just have fun remedying it all and marvel at how you were able to sort things out and what a fun bike it is! 8)
Current Fleet: 2001 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Cafe Racer
                     1996 Yamaha Seca II
                     1991 Husqvarna 350WXE
                     1991 KTM 250MX
                     2004 Husqvarna TC450
                     1995 Honda VFR750


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Re: 2002 U.S. 500 Iron Barrel?
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2013, 11:49:46 pm »
yea, these front brakes aren't perfect but that is part of the fun, you get to
bond and become one with your machine. Definitely needs some attention,
prolly hit the inside wit some emery cloth, I'm betting on some rust or corrosion....
   Gosa  is easy to to tune and adjust for better shifting. A loose chain can cause
bad shifting as well. Yea, these older jobs are not plug and play like the UCE;
you get to do more than just ride....
                    - mike
'My dear you are ugly,
 but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly'
 - Winston Churchill


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Re: 2002 U.S. 500 Iron Barrel?
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2013, 05:27:43 am »
Arizoni, you'll love the bike like a troublesome woman.  Welcome to the frustration and obsession.  (I also swapped a UCE for an iron barrel...the UCE 350 in India, in my case.)

The brakes can be sorted out; the drums actually can work surprisingly well in the face of the abuse heaped on them.  I'd recommend checking out what www.vintagebrake.com offers if you're going to overhaul them...

That said, I swapped my drum for a disc because 1) I [kind of] needed new fork sliders and only disc setups were available new and 2) the cost of doing so in India was cheaper than having work done on my brakes in the US. in the future.

You may wish to consider an electronic ignition as well.  The points can be fussy IMHO.  Tried two sets and both had manufacturing problems that made accurate timing setting very frustrating.  Waiting on my Boyer in the mail now...

You have to come to terms with a personal philosophy with the bikes...are you going to ride it and sort things out as they become unbearable, or are you going to try to head off potential problems at the pass?

There are degrees of and merits to both attitudes.


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Re: 2002 U.S. 500 Iron Barrel?
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2013, 12:18:41 pm »

A nice looking 2000 for sale in Buckeye, $2500
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death


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Re: 2002 U.S. 500 Iron Barrel?
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2013, 05:01:45 pm »
I thank you all for all of the good information I've recieved.

After mulling things over for awhile I decided not to buy this one.
I'm sure I could sort out the front brake issue and get it working at least as good as my old Ducati but I think Ace made some good points about looking for a 5 speed.

It might be tough finding a 5 speed in the condition this 4 speed was in.
Except for a slight yellowing of the exhaust chrome the rest of the bike looked to be in brand new condition.  It also had a brown solo seat (plus the old two up seat) that looked almost new.

Oh well.  It seems used RE's come on the market around here about 5 times a year.

bare:  I saw that one over in Buckeye.  It looks like it has the aftermarket disk brake on the front.  Still, it's a 4 speed.....
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

Lwt Big Cheese

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Re: 2002 U.S. 500 Iron Barrel?
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2013, 04:50:44 am »
All the old chesnuts coming out again.
The drum brakes cab be set up so they make the tyres squeel.how much braking do you need!
Theengine is very flexible so notmuch gear changing is required, think of the fourth gear as an overdrive. The gearbox has been around since the 1920s, the rest of the world copes with it ok.
No warranty implied or given.
Packed in a protective atmosphere.
May contain nuts.


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Re: 2002 U.S. 500 Iron Barrel?
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2013, 10:47:54 pm »
Glad I do not realize how deficient Jolly is.
Wont stop,wont shift.I will bet you plenty that i will see no evidence of any of this tomorrow on my first ride of the year.Probly be too pleased to notice.Never can say for sure,tho'.