Author Topic: 2019 Bullet B5 Rear Brake?  (Read 7226 times)

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Narada

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Reply #15 on: September 10, 2019, 02:37:45 pm
The rear drum brake on my 2015 C5 works great... for a drum brake, it is what it is... It does not require much pressure to engage and will skid anytime, if that's what you want to do.  That being said, I test rode a 2019 last spring just so I could stand on the brakes and see what happened... As one would expect, the 2019 ABS bike with front and rear disc brakes, stopped noticeably quicker than my 2015 non-ABS with the stock disc / drum set-up.

It was also interesting to let go of a lifetime of knowing I had to manage rear brake pressure to avoid skidding, and just stomp the brake. It works well, but seems very unnatural, and to be quit honest, I don't like letting go of my own judgement and just becoming a mindless idiot stomping on the brakes. The ABS with rear disc stops better, it just creeps me out...  ???
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ROVERMAN

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Reply #16 on: September 10, 2019, 03:37:08 pm
 The rear drums on my 03' IB and my 2013 B5 always worked perfectly. Whereas the front calipers on the B5 required stripping, freeing up, and flushing after 2 seasons.
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AK Mike

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Reply #17 on: September 10, 2019, 09:30:27 pm
Thank you all for the replies.  Think I'm leaning more towards the disc, but I also see the advantages of the drum.  As always, there are compromises and nothing is perfect.  You all really helped to highlight those for me.

Of course, just when I was decided on getting a B5, just a couple days ago a lightly used Moto Guzzi V7 Special reared its pretty little head and now I'm torn.  I know they are two completely different beasts.  I'm going to check out the Guzzi tomorrow, but my heart is still with the Bullet.  Those Italian gals sure are head-turners though  ::)


Carlsberg Wordsworth

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Reply #18 on: September 10, 2019, 09:33:42 pm
It's that lower piston that I always find sticks the most (understandably as it's closest to the road) but at least it means regular maintenance to something that usually gets left alone.

Rear drum? Well it's ok I guess. I've never tried locking it. Also had a go at that centralising mod as well if memory serves.

I do like the Guzzi, shaft drive etc. It felt real comfy in the showroom. Never rode one though. Maybe one day lol


GlennF

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Reply #19 on: September 11, 2019, 12:01:13 am
Thank you all for the replies.  Think I'm leaning more towards the disc, but I also see the advantages of the drum.  As always, there are compromises and nothing is perfect.  You all really helped to highlight those for me.

Of course, just when I was decided on getting a B5, just a couple days ago a lightly used Moto Guzzi V7 Special reared its pretty little head and now I'm torn.  I know they are two completely different beasts.  I'm going to check out the Guzzi tomorrow, but my heart is still with the Bullet.  Those Italian gals sure are head-turners though  ::)

The guzzi has a shaft. Back in the 80's I lived on the edge of what could loosely be termed the Australian "outback" near a major national park and a lot of my riding was on dirt and the roads regularly flooded.  I had two shaft drive bikes over that period a Kawasiaki GT550 and a bit later an XJ900. At that time a shaft drive was an absolute boon, I could cross flooded creeks and ride about on dirt all day and never have to worry about cleaning and lubricating the chain.  These days I basically ride to work across town when the weather is nice so a shaft drive is no longer essential for me.

The XJ900 was probably the most reliable bike I ever owned, it was still going fine 25 years later when I let it go because the tank had rusted out.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 12:04:41 am by GlennF »


AK Mike

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Reply #20 on: September 13, 2019, 06:03:48 am
I also just found out that the new 2019 B5 has an 18 inch rear wheel like the C5.  So I wonder... is this a good or bad thing?  For those with the older 19 inch rear wheel, do you think it has advantages over an 18 inch rear?

Thanks again


Richard230

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Reply #21 on: September 13, 2019, 01:59:02 pm
I also just found out that the new 2019 B5 has an 18 inch rear wheel like the C5.  So I wonder... is this a good or bad thing?  For those with the older 19 inch rear wheel, do you think it has advantages over an 18 inch rear?

Thanks again

I have no idea what difference that makes with the bike's handling.  ???  (I assume that there has been no change in the B5's chassis.)  However, I will comment that a larger wheel will roll over bumps a little smoother and will possibly make changing directions slightly less agile due to its larger size.  On the other hand (and perhaps the reason for the change), 18" diameter rear tires are a lot easier to source than 19" rear tires and therefore likely less expensive to purchase in bulk than one for a 19" wheel, especially when you are looking for a "low bidder" to "nickel and dime" your build costs.   ;)
2011 Royal Enfield B5 500, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph Bonneville T-100, 2002 Yamaha FZ1


mike_bike_kite

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Reply #22 on: September 16, 2019, 09:40:55 am
Well a disc brake is easier to maintain and will stop better, in my opinion. But a drum brake looks better, does not need its hydraulic fluid changed and is likely more resistant to sliding in the rain.  ???  Like everything, pros and cons, depending upon what floats your boat.   :)
The disk brakes definitely stop better, I took a newish C5 with a rear drum brakes out for a ride and I found the brakes a bit of a liability in busy city traffic. The same bike with disks at both ends actually had quite decent braking. The ABS found on the newer disk brakes should also stop the bike sliding in the rain as that's what ABS is designed for. The older drum brakes probably didn't slide simply because they didn't have enough braking power in the first place. I'd of thought maintenance on disk brakes is far easier than on drum - most folk don't do anything more than wash them every now and then. Looks wise - I guess that's up to the individual.
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AK Mike

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Reply #23 on: September 16, 2019, 06:38:58 pm
As always, I really appreciate everyone's input and the wealth of knowledge to be found here.

I'll be headed to Seattle in about a month, and think I'll take that opportunity to check out a B5 and probably a Himalayan at the dealer down there.  So I'm just trying to square in my mind now the things to look out for and consider.  I've also been tempted by Moto Guzzis lately, so I might take a closer look at them as well.

Thanks again.


GlennF

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Reply #24 on: September 17, 2019, 12:20:19 am
As always, I really appreciate everyone's input and the wealth of knowledge to be found here.

I'll be headed to Seattle in about a month, and think I'll take that opportunity to check out a B5 and probably a Himalayan at the dealer down there.  So I'm just trying to square in my mind now the things to look out for and consider.  I've also been tempted by Moto Guzzis lately, so I might take a closer look at them as well.

Thanks again.

Generally speaking the Guzzi will be a better overall build quality but expect to pay a  50% premium.

Also the single cylinder B5 and Himalayan are a different class of bike altogether to the various 2019 Guzzi models.  In some ways the Interceptor is closer overall to the Guzzi range but currently lacks an adventure bike model equivalent to the V7 Rough/V85  TT or Himalayan.  There are rumours of an Adventure Interceptor being in the works but there is no sign of it appearing, even as a prototype, before 2020 at the earliest.

TBH ... if I was looking to replace my B5 with something bigger the Interceptor 650 and the Guzzi V7 rough would both be near the top of my short list.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 12:29:49 am by GlennF »


AK Mike

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Reply #25 on: September 17, 2019, 12:38:38 am
Generally speaking the Guzzi will be a better overall build quality but expect to pay a  50% premium.

Also the single cylinder B5 and Himalayan are a different class of bike altogether to the various 2019 Guzzi models.  In some ways the Interceptor is closer overall to the Guzzi range but currently lacks an adventure bike model equivalent to the V7 Rough/V85  TT or Himalayan.  There are rumours of an Adventure Interceptor being in the works but there is no sign of it appearing, even as a prototype, before 2020 at the earliest.

TBH ... if I was looking to replace my B5 with something bigger the Interceptor 650 and the Guzzi V7 rough would both be near the top of my short list.
Thank you Glenn.  I know the RE 500s and the MGs are very different beasts, and I just need to decide what I'm really looking for.  I recently rode a used V7 so I have an idea of what they're all about, and I just have to decide what I want... I like both experiences, but don't think my budget can accommodate both.  So it'll be a tough decision.


suitcasejefferson

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Reply #26 on: October 05, 2019, 04:47:37 am
I much prefer the looks of a drum, and in the rear it doesn't really matter. Except on an Enfield. I had my rear brake lock up on my 2013 B5 Bullet around 6500 miles. Fortunately I was turning into a parking lot, and didn't crash. The pedal felt "different" when this happened. I was able to almost completely loosen the adjusting nut, and get the wheel turning again. It finished off the chain. It was actually twisted slightly. I wish RE would discover metal. I rode a couple of miles home, and the next day I took it apart and found out what had happened. The radius of the shoes was larger than the radius of the drum. The whole time I had it, only the very ends of the shoes were touching the drum. I wondered why it performed so badly. Finally, all the lining had broken off the ends of both shoes, allowing metal to metal contact between the drum and brake shoe backing plate, locking it up. The drum was full of bits of brake lining. I rode it a couple thousand miles with no rear brake (no issues, you have to get used to having very little brakes when riding an older Enfield anyway)Finally I decided to fix it, or try to. I sent several emails back and forth to Hitchcock's in the UK explaining the issue. They said they had seen this issue before, but it was not common. Apparently some older Enfield models had larger drums, I don't know if that was in the front or rear. They assured me they had the right parts for my bike so I ordered them. Sure enough they fit. It seems as though RE just uses parts they have laying around to build bikes out of. Actually that was one of only a few problems I had past 10,000 miles. But I rarely rode it above an indicated 55 mph.

So since my rear brake works fairly decent now (you don't want an easy to lock up rear brake) I would still prefer the drum. I would even like to get a drum for the front. I have no idea if that is possible or not. The old Iron Barrels made do with them.

As for ABS, the first thing I would do is disconnect it anyway. I do not ride bikes with computers. I have 6 bikes and none of them have computers. The RE was the first bike I ever bought with EFI, and I wasted no time in ditching that for an Amal carburetor setup with a conversion kit from Hitchcock's. It cost at least $100 less than a new fuel pump for the EFI system, and it runs 10 times better. The carb fattened everything up, it now pulls harder instead of wheezing, and throttle response is much better. Along with the aftermarket peashooter style pipe I put on it, without the baffle, it now sounds and feels much more powerful. It now has that THUMP THUMP THUMP that an Enfield should have instead of sounding like a sewing machine.

I will recommend a B5 if you want a vintage bike instead of a smooth quiet "modern" bike. I doubt the carb conversion kit is available for the new Euro model. Your only choice is a $500 electronic tuner, but I highly recommend it. The bike is set WAY too lean from the factory. And if you want it to sound right, you will need an aftermarket cat free exhaust. This is NOT a freeway bike unless you can ride 55-60 mph. Mine overheated badly in town with the EFI setup, to the point where the clutch wouldn't fully disengage. After going to the richer carburetor, that problem mostly went away. I can now ride through many miles of stop and go traffic without it overheating. And after 10,000+ miles, the shifting is buttery smooth.

Common problems on mine were:

1. The rear tire chewed it's way through the wiring harness to the rear lights. I repaired the harness and routed it above the fender.

2. The exhaust header nuts kept coming loose. I finally replaced them with bolts, drilled and safety wired. No more problems.

3. Battery cable ends broke off. I replaced the end on the positive cable, and completely replaced the negative cable.

4. If they still come with non maintenance free batteries, you will want to replace that. Mine only lasted 2 months anyway.

5. My headstay broke. I replaced it with an aftermarket one, which is much stronger. These bikes are shakers.

6 .Not a failure, but would have been eventually. The rear tank mounts do not line up with the holes in the frame. When you install the bolt and tighten it, it bends the rear tank mounts, and they will likely eventually break off. I used several fender washers on both sides to line everything up properly. It still has no rubber rear mount, but Sportsters don't either, and they vibrate even more.

7. The afore mentioned brake problem, which hopefully you won't have. Once sorted out, these bikes tend to be almost trouble free, as long as you respect their limits and don't push them. If you want to ride like a Japanese bike, I would get a Himalayan or one of the new twins. The basic design of the Bullet dates back to the '50s. 
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AK Mike

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Reply #27 on: October 06, 2019, 01:43:29 am
Thank you SCJ for that very thorough review and your personal experiences.  That is all very helpful and I'll use it when I make my final decision.  I'll be headed to Seattle in a few weeks, and will spend a fair amount of time at the RE dealer there... and I might just be barging a new Enfield back up the Inside Passage to my home in SE Alaska.  Right now I think it's down to either a B5 or a Himalayan.  I've already tested a Himmy, but need some saddle time in a B5 to see if it can win me over.  Oh... and I'll also be riding a few Moto Guzzis while I'm in civilization, so there is no telling  what might be heading back up to the North Country ::)


suitcasejefferson

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Reply #28 on: October 07, 2019, 05:34:26 am
I find the B5 to be very comfortable for 200 mile rides. Some hate it. I want the Himalayan, but dealers in AZ want too much for them, and I have problems getting on my Yamaha XT225. The Himalayan is only a little bit better. I have to wonder how long I would be able to ride it, or at least get on and off it. I am 60 and partially disabled, especially knee and hip joints. Very difficult to get my leg over the seat. The B5 has a fairly flat seat. The XT225 has a seat that is about 6" higher at the very back than the lowest part, where the rider sits. Once on it, it fits fine. I'm also wondering whether or not it would make sense for me to buy another bike with tube type tires. I am no longer capable of fixing a flat on a tube type tire by myself beside the road. The only time I take the B5 on long rides is when I already have a rescue set up with someone if I need it. But properly set up with the right pipe and in my case a carb conversion, it is an amazingly fun bike to ride. Kind of like riding a jackhammer, only it is a very soft vibration. You can just feel the pulses from that long stroke single.
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GlennF

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Reply #29 on: October 07, 2019, 07:27:27 am
I find the B5 to be very comfortable for 200 mile rides. Some hate it. I want the Himalayan, but dealers in AZ want too much for them, and I have problems getting on my Yamaha XT225. The Himalayan is only a little bit better. I have to wonder how long I would be able to ride it, or at least get on and off it. I am 60 and partially disabled, especially knee and hip joints. Very difficult to get my leg over the seat. The B5 has a fairly flat seat. The XT225 has a seat that is about 6" higher at the very back than the lowest part, where the rider sits. Once on it, it fits fine. I'm also wondering whether or not it would make sense for me to buy another bike with tube type tires. I am no longer capable of fixing a flat on a tube type tire by myself beside the road. The only time I take the B5 on long rides is when I already have a rescue set up with someone if I need it. But properly set up with the right pipe and in my case a carb conversion, it is an amazingly fun bike to ride. Kind of like riding a jackhammer, only it is a very soft vibration. You can just feel the pulses from that long stroke single.

That is one of the reasons I am looking at the Guzzi V7 IIIs for my next bike.  The seat height is about an inch lower than the B5. The v7 Rough still retains spoked wheels and comes with dual purpose tyres.