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Author Topic: Waking up an AVL  (Read 2226 times)

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MagnusMaximus

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on: August 01, 2017, 12:55:44 pm
So, almost 10 years ago I bought an AVL-engined Bullet 500. Then life happened, and it got parked almost immediately, while I moved to the other side of the world. I have a Japanese 4cyl now as my main ride, have owned a ton of other bikes in the meantime, but I'd like to wake up the old Bullet from its garage slumber.

The bike is an 08, with something like 72 miles on it.

Unfortunately it seems like between then and now, the aftermarket for these has almost completely dried up. Can anyone recommend reputable Indian sites for things not sold by our hosts? 

Research seems to say that these bikes were pretty choked up from the factory, so from what I've read so far, it sounds like it's almost de rigeur to rejet or replace the carb, do away with the massive air filter inside the right toolbox, and replace the entire exhaust assembly (header pipe and gigantic torpedo muffler) in order to restore this bike to the basic state of tune the designers originally envisioned.

Is a TM32 with Ace can the clear and obvious choice? Where would I find the little bits to make this work, like manifolds, boots, throttle cables? 

I guess my noob side is definitely showing itself. Everyone says "if you change out the exhaust you will have to upjet," and of course I quite understand this, but it all seems very vague since everyone seems to be using different silencers, different carbs. I just want to get my bike back on the road, running decently, without spending 2-3k trying various combinations. (That might come later.) Since the bike is a clean slate, 100%  factory, is there an optimal way to proceed?

Also, what's the agreed wisdom regarding the sprag? I have a black TCI box, and of course the exhaust valve decompressor. Can the thing be safely started, ridden, and stopped with this setup? Seems the optimal (or at least most drastic) solution is an Iron barrel decomp/chainsaw decomp, and removing e-start entirely... with a green or "performance" TCI. But I kind of hate to pull the head on what's effectively a new bike.

Sorry if I sound petulant, just trying to plan the best method of attack. 




heloego

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Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 06:38:43 am
Hi, and welcome to the REal world.  :)
!
   Any good free-flowing exhaust system (my '06 has a Gold Star) makes a BIG difference in performance.

   And you definitely will get some excellent jetting advice in the following threads. Mikuni seems to dominate, but you'll see settings for a lot of different altitudes and temps, so there should be something there for you.

https://forum.classicmotorworks.com/index.php/topic,24551.0.html

https://forum.classicmotorworks.com/index.php/topic,16053.msg174102.html#msg174102
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 06:42:16 am by heloego »
'18 Bonneville T-100, Blue/White
'12 C5 Classic
'06 Electra X AVL w/32mm Mikuni and Gold Star system.


DanB

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Reply #2 on: August 02, 2017, 07:16:38 pm
Welcome!  Nice you have that low mileage avl sitting there!

Here's what I would do with it if it were mine:

Every 1st: change all fluids. Put full pint of slippery stuff in the primary case; helps the sprag.

1. Check change the rubber stuff. Especially the intake manifold.

2. Remove and plug up all the PAV crap going from the exhaust side of the head to the PAV and then back to the carb.

3. Remove the silencer and chop out that hot tube in the exhaust pipe. Replace with silencer of choice. Many folks like the gold star. I'm using a cocktail shaker from emgo. It's straight thru and loud.

4. Up jet your carb; pilot to 15 or 17.5; mains to 115 or 120. Get jets from JetsRUs.

5. Now break the motor in slowly.

You can of course change to the TM32. Ace makes a nice alloy intake for it. I'd wait a season and break it in first. Honestly, hindsight being 20/20, I would have updated the rear suspension before the carb. Makes a HUGE difference.

I also pulled all the estart stuff. Saved a good 10-20lbs ;). Easier than losing weight. That is personal preference of course.

Good luck!  Send pics.
Suppose I were an idiot, and suppose I were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself. ... Mark Twain
2006 AVL Electra


ace.cafe

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Reply #3 on: August 03, 2017, 10:15:40 am
B.W. and Adrian seem to prefer larger carb, such as 34 or even 36mm.

The first step IMO, would be to set the squish, just like we do with the UCE. This gives more compression and fights detonation.

Give it a good free flow exhaust, or at least core out the hot tube from the tail of the header.


Adrian II

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Reply #4 on: August 03, 2017, 06:12:16 pm
I tend to use a 36mm carb because I can't bear to leave the inlet port flange with that strange oval shape and take it out to a fully round 36mm, but apart from my own preferences, both the TM32 and VM32 Mikunis have been used very successfully on the Electra-X (same engine) over here as well as on your side of the Atlantic. A few years ago I pointed someone in the direction of the TM32 settings for Ace's original C.I. Fireball conversions, and he assured me they were very successful for the 500 AVL too.

I am a sucker for the looks of the Dell'Orto PHF carbs though, and Malossi make a carb mounting rubber for these with the correct 60mm centers for the AVL inlet flange.

A.
Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


MagnusMaximus

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Reply #5 on: August 04, 2017, 02:47:01 pm
Thanks for the thoughts.

I think I will do this in stages.

Roughly, stage 1 being, get it on the road with a freer-flowing exhaust, upjetting the stock carb, and changing all fluids.

Stage 2, upgrade carb and ephemera. Snag some S cams if any come up for sale.

I bought a short bottle silencer and open header pipe from eBay, along with a 7" headlight conversion kit. Now for the waiting game till they get here. I also snagged what appears to be a NOS AVL head, so... not sure what I'll do with it yet but the price seemed very right.

Is it best to leave the stock air filter setup in place with the CV carb, or will I need to open up the air intake somehow? In the Jap bike world, CV carbs are notoriously difficult to tune for pod filters. Don't really relish cutting more holes in my toolbox however.


Adrian II

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Reply #6 on: August 05, 2017, 06:33:59 pm
It does help if you know EXACTLY what you're buying if you're getting stuff from ebay in India.

For starters I have never seen open header pipes for the AVL models on ebay, they have always been for the cast iron models. The AVL pipes have a small ring welded onto the cylinder head end, a loose flange fits over this and is bolted to the head at the exhaust port to secure the top end of the pipe. The AVL pipe also will not have any bracket to fit over the front engine to frame bolt. With the different syle of engine there is no guarantee that the pipe will line up properly, though you might get lucky! If you do you could always cut a 1.75" bore washer from a piece of 1/8" steel plate and get it tack welded onto the pipe at the cylinder head end about 3/4" in from the end of the pipe. I have had this done with high-level pipes intended for the original Redditch Woodsman models.

With the 7" headlamp, did you check to see whether it was left hand or right hand dip? I think India drives on the left still.

Well done if you have scooped a new 500 AVL head, the only one I have seen on ebay recently has been for a 350.

A.
Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


1 Thump

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Reply #7 on: August 06, 2017, 02:18:05 pm
I have a TM-32 carb that leaks gas. I ran ethanol for a while through that carb, and some rubber bit got corroded, or so I think. Any case, its yours for $10+ the cost of shipping. PM me.

If Magnus is not interested in it, my offer is open to anyone else interested. Also have a used electronic ignition kit (about 2500 miles on it), for stock bullets. This is the older non-programable version. $10 + shipping.


REpozer

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Reply #8 on: August 06, 2017, 04:12:29 pm
I have a TM-32 carb that leaks gas. I ran ethanol for a while through that carb, and some rubber bit got corroded, or so I think. Any case, its yours for $10+ the cost of shipping. PM me.

If Magnus is not interested in it, my offer is open to anyone else interested. Also have a used electronic ignition kit (about 2500 miles on it), for stock bullets. This is the older non-programable version. $10 + shipping.
My AVL  has electronic ignition stock from the factory. Why are you selling yours?
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1 Thump

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Reply #9 on: August 06, 2017, 07:52:25 pm
My AVL  has electronic ignition stock from the factory. Why are you selling yours?

Its an electronic ignition for the iron barrel.


MagnusMaximus

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Reply #10 on: August 07, 2017, 08:29:55 am
It does help if you know EXACTLY what you're buying if you're getting stuff from ebay in India.

For starters I have never seen open header pipes for the AVL models on ebay, they have always been for the cast iron models. The AVL pipes have a small ring welded onto the cylinder head end, a loose flange fits over this and is bolted to the head at the exhaust port to secure the top end of the pipe. The AVL pipe also will not have any bracket to fit over the front engine to frame bolt. With the different syle of engine there is no guarantee that the pipe will line up properly, though you might get lucky! If you do you could always cut a 1.75" bore washer from a piece of 1/8" steel plate and get it tack welded onto the pipe at the cylinder head end about 3/4" in from the end of the pipe. I have had this done with high-level pipes intended for the original Redditch Woodsman models.

With the 7" headlamp, did you check to see whether it was left hand or right hand dip? I think India drives on the left still.

Well done if you have scooped a new 500 AVL head, the only one I have seen on ebay recently has been for a 350.

A.

Good points.

I'm afraid the header pipe may be a dud, I just assumed (bad idea) that because I have a Bullet (vs Electra) and it was 500cc, the pipe would work. Bad idea obviously. We'll see if the situation is salvageable once the pipe arrives. I can always get a hole saw and attack the stock header, I was simply hoping that a cheapie from India would be less weight, as I've heard the stock item is very robust. On a bike weighing around 400lbs and making 20rwhp, a pound here and there can make a big difference. Pretty sure the silencer I got should work on either pipe, we shall see.

I'd never heard of headlight dip before, made for an illuminating 10 minutes of reading (ha ha.) Fortunately I only bought the trim bits and clips from India, the bulb I will source locally. Haven't quite decided whether I want the serviceable Sylvania from Walmart or the fancy Hella, but I'll decide after I have the rings in hand.

Head came from the eBay store of our hosts in Texas, right here in USA. It was a bit of an impulse buy but as soon as I saw it I knew I'd be kicking myself later if I didn't grab it, if only, as the ad suggested, as man cave sculpture.


Ice

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Reply #11 on: August 07, 2017, 04:01:45 pm
Magnus,

 Site search here for threads about the Harris Scrambler.  It belongs to our brother Bill Harris. Or perhaps he belongs to it. ;)

 Intake, exhaust, cams, the modifications he has done to it are repeatable and not overly expensive.

 It starts easily and idles cleanly. It is a very Spritely machine both quick and fast for a Bullet.
I can break it better,,,,at night, in the rain, on the trail,, 20 miles from nowhere.

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Yamahawk

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Reply #12 on: August 08, 2017, 08:53:10 am
1 Thump,
 PM sent!
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Adrian II

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Reply #13 on: August 08, 2017, 03:14:02 pm
The pipe might fit, the outside diameter of the 500 AVL and 500 Iron Barrel exhaust down pipes is the same at 1.75", however as I explained the iron barrel exhaust will still need modifying to be properly secured at the cylinder head.

A spare 500 AVL head is of course fun to play with...









A.
Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


DanB

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Reply #14 on: August 08, 2017, 10:48:31 pm
Where did u get the extra head??
Suppose I were an idiot, and suppose I were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself. ... Mark Twain
2006 AVL Electra


Adrian II

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Reply #15 on: August 09, 2017, 10:11:13 am
Quote
Head came from the eBay store of our hosts in Texas, right here in USA. It was a bit of an impulse buy but as soon as I saw it I knew I'd be kicking myself later if I didn't grab it, if only, as the ad suggested, as man cave sculpture.

That's what our man said!

I bought mine from Watsonian-Squire over ten years ago when they were the UK importers for Royal Enfield. Hitchcocks' are listing them for £295.00 before shipping and any import duty (or VAT this side of the Atlantic).

A.
Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


MagnusMaximus

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Reply #16 on: May 27, 2018, 07:56:55 am
Hey guys, I’ve been slowly accumulating parts and my AVL is almost ready for the road. A kid who just turned 1, plus working way too much, another move, and a new (old) house that needs a thousand things, means funds and time for the poor AVL have been lacking.

I decided to go with the VM32 carb because it looks better and should perform better than a 29mm cv, and my existing carb was so varnished that I despaired of getting it clean; the icing on the cake is that the VM32 could be had from Niche Cycle in a kit with a big k&N filter.

Problem is, the supplied cable is for an Iron barrel, which, to my surprise, is very different from my stock item. Mine has a single throttle cable and exits the throttle twistgrip housing with an L-bend ferrule with integrated adjustment. Mine also has integrated adjustment on the carb end for the Bs-29. Obviously hooking the new cable to the new carb was straightforward, but the twistgrip is another affair altogether. Should I find a split ferrule a la iron barrel? (will that work with my 2008-era Minda controls?) Or do I need the L-ferrule type cable. Will the Indian home market cable do the job? It looks right on both ends.

Old-style cable: https://m.ebay.com/itm/Royal-Enfield-Bullet-Throttle-Control-Cable-4-Speed-Brand-New/122014192427?epid=1673618216&hash=item1c689cd32b:g:OfwAAOSwwpdW5pwF

My stock cable: https://m.ebay.com/itm/GENUINE-ROYAL-ENFIELD-THROTTLE-CABLE-MACHISMO-350-500cc-540069-B-DSTRADERS-US/273201265284?hash=item3f9c107a84:g:nHgAAOSw6T9ayipe

“Electra 5S cable” that looks right: https://m.ebay.com/itm/ROYAL-ENFIELD-5-SPEED-THROTTLE-CABLE-145713B/163030131973?hash=item25f55a6505:g:AjcAAOSwDFBaN7BJ

Second issue: what’s the best way to remove that pesky hot tube from the exhaust? Whoever welded mine seems to have been dedicated to making sure it could survive a nuclear apocalypse. I spent about an hour grinding with a stone in my electric drill and still have plenty of weld to be seen, and a tube totally fixed in place.


tooseevee

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Reply #17 on: May 27, 2018, 09:03:01 pm
Hey guys,
Second issue: what’s the best way to remove that pesky hot tube from the exhaust? Whoever welded mine seems to have been dedicated to making sure it could survive a nuclear apocalypse. I spent about an hour grinding with a stone in my electric drill and still have plenty of weld to be seen, and a tube totally fixed in place.

            I pretty much used up two Dremel cutting wheels cutting the welds loose on mine. Slowly, slowly, catchee monkey.

            Keep at it with any weapons you have. It's an evil, strangling thing - all it's good for is getting rid of.     
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


Philbomoog

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Reply #18 on: May 31, 2018, 03:57:22 am
Rather than trying to cut the welds, I just cut 1/2 inch off the end of the pipe. The whole hot tube, welds included just slid out. Make sure you have enough play in the silencer position first.


MagnusMaximus

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Reply #19 on: June 09, 2018, 10:03:54 pm
Rather than trying to cut the welds, I just cut 1/2 inch off the end of the pipe. The whole hot tube, welds included just slid out. Make sure you have enough play in the silencer position first.

This is what I ended up doing. I didn’t want to cut my pipe unnecessarily but no amount of grinding or carbide cutters seemed to be accomplishing anything, so I used a cutoff wheel and it worked well.


MagnusMaximus

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Reply #20 on: June 10, 2018, 04:09:44 pm
Can anyone comment on the necessity of the strut or support that runs between the top of the engine ( just above the carb) to the frame where the rear tank bolt is located? The darn thing is right in the way and is making it next to impossible for me to run a fuel line between the petcock and the VM32. It’s also ugly. I’d love to ditch it, but if it plays some important role in damping vibes or preventing metal fatigue or rigidity or something like that then obviously it should stay.

Thanks!


MagnusMaximus

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Reply #21 on: June 10, 2018, 04:22:40 pm


As she sits. (Yeah I know my garage could use a cleanup!) Still haven’t figured out how to install the rear lycett solo seat springs either. The brackets were straightforward enough but it seems that the springs themselves will require nuts to be fished inside them somehow. Anyone got a closeup pic or helpful advice?


Arizoni

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Reply #22 on: June 10, 2018, 06:14:16 pm
Can anyone comment on the necessity of the strut or support that runs between the top of the engine ( just above the carb) to the frame where the rear tank bolt is located? The darn thing is right in the way and is making it next to impossible for me to run a fuel line between the petcock and the VM32. It’s also ugly. I’d love to ditch it, but if it plays some important role in damping vibes or preventing metal fatigue or rigidity or something like that then obviously it should stay.

Thanks!
That is the "head steady".

It is a required part that must be left in place unless you want to have a bad case of extreme engine vibration, bad enough to shake the whole motorcycle.

Not only will the engine shake the frame but the loads thru the lower engine mounts will be much higher than they are designed for which can lead to a cracked frame.

What it really does is, the engine has a tendency to rock back and forth in a forward/backward direction.  The head steady at the top of the cylinder keeps this from happening.

This "head steady" is notoriously weak on the RE and because of the high stresses it has when the engine is running it will break.  When it does the rider gets the idea his engine has developed a bad case if imbalance.

IMO, you will just need to figure out a way of working around it.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2018, 06:32:32 pm by Arizoni »
Jim
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1999 Miata 10th Anniversary


MagnusMaximus

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Reply #23 on: June 10, 2018, 08:55:30 pm
That’s exactly what I  was afraid of, Jim. Thanks for the info. I think I’ll try to find some thinner fuel line, I spent an hour yesterday swearing at the heavy black stuff.


portisheadric

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Reply #24 on: June 11, 2018, 01:33:28 am
An aftermarket head steady of tubular rather than flat design would give you slightly more room to play with unless the locknut gets in the way, then it’ll probably be worse!


Adrian II

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Reply #25 on: June 11, 2018, 04:10:25 am
+1 to Arizoni, you do need that head steady. Having had two of them break on my AVL hybrid I made my own from 1/4" steel strip. Ha!

You can mount it either side of the engine, though you may have to play with longer bolts and spacers for it to clear everything. Don't forget you can also get 90° angle adaptors to fit the ¼" BSP petcock if this makes routing the fuel line easier, and stainless steel braided PTFE fuel hose is slimmer than the nitrile rubber stuff.

A.
Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


tooseevee

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Reply #26 on: June 11, 2018, 07:14:32 am
As she sits. (Yeah I know my garage could use a cleanup!) Still haven’t figured out how to install the rear lycett solo seat springs either. The brackets were straightforward enough but it seems that the springs themselves will require nuts to be fished inside them somehow. Anyone got a closeup pic or helpful advice?

            I had the "Lycette" seat on my '08 for a couple years. Yes, you must put nuts and washers on both ends of the springs. It's very fiddley and a Royal PITA to get the lower nuts started, but you just hafta do it. Once the nuts are started you can easily tighten them with an open end.

             I replaced it with a little lower seat to get a bit more flat-footed on the ground. Anybody want it?
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.