Author Topic: Hitchock's carb conversion  (Read 13422 times)

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Tommy_C

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on: August 30, 2021, 02:34:03 am
Hello All... I just wanted to post about my experience converting a 2016 Classic 500 to a carb set-up. I bought the kit from Hitchcock's and received the Mikuni round-slide VM32 plus parts. I am not a mechanic, but I had no problem following the instructions and installing the carb. The bike started right away. I also installed Hitchock's stainless 'vintage' style exhaust and silencer

I have never used a power commander, powertronics or booster plug, so I can't compare the results to them. But this bike went from being good to great. I expected maybe 5% to 10% improvement in perfomance and it feels more like 20%. It pulls like crazy in the lower gears and the top speed is higher. This is with the carb 'out of the box' with no tuning.

Just want to put it out there in case anyone is considering this conversion.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2021, 02:36:24 am by Tommy_C »


viczena

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Reply #1 on: August 30, 2021, 03:03:18 am
Your Bike lost half of what its worth and is not street legal anymore.

And feelings are no substitute for a test bench. If you deliver numbers.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2021, 03:05:21 am by viczena »
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AzCal Retred

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Reply #2 on: August 30, 2021, 05:36:18 am
Tommy_C - thanks for posting your success. Many here share your feeling & enthusiasm about carburetors.

Viczena is a very smart guy about EFI but not too big on "live & let live" regarding other folks equipment. Legality largely hinges on where you live, so without knowing that, it's all just noise. Save your old parts as insurance for if it became an issue, or maybe to "sweeten the deal" to the next owner. Mostly the US law enforcement folks do not care, and you could always slap the EFI back on for any mandated testing.







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Silverback

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Reply #3 on: August 30, 2021, 05:40:33 am
Why did you decide to switch?
Is the gas mileage the same?
2011 uce classic 500,  carb converted !


Ove

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Reply #4 on: August 30, 2021, 07:57:12 am
Your Bike lost half of what its worth and is not street legal anymore.

And feelings are no substitute for a test bench. If you deliver numbers.
I'd guess it's got nothing to do with value for the OP and more about pleasure.


dickim

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Reply #5 on: August 30, 2021, 08:14:27 am
Azcal - you beat me to it, stick bits on shelf, more potential value to next owner than selling on ebay 👍
Your bike and YOUR Choice.
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Richard230

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Reply #6 on: August 30, 2021, 02:11:25 pm
California has very strict laws that prohibit removing the original muffler and exhaust systems of motorcycles and cars. My brother, who was the president of a 1970's "muscle car" club, told me a couple of years ago that his club had been warned by the DMV (via some sort of mass mailing program) that driving their cars without the original muffler could result in a $1000 fine. But no one was ever caught running a replacement muffler. Besides original mufflers for cars that old were pretty much impossible to locate.

What caused this subject to raise to my conscious recently was hearing all of the super-loud mufflers of "tuner" cars driving around and past Alice's Restaurant yesterday morning. The noise was worse than that that made by open-pipe Harleys. You couldn't hear yourself think. And it went on all morning. It would appear that it is one thing having strict emission and noise laws, but if they are not enforced by anyone, what is the point - other than to make legislators and regulators feel good about passing the laws?  ::)

And noise should be easy to enforce, but who would ever catch a motorcycle running a carb, especially one that looks like it should be carburetored? And that goes double in a state like California that doesn't have a yearly MOT inspection system.  ;)

However, automobiles do have a strict bi-yearly emissions inspection requirement before they can be re-registered every other year. When I asked one of the car owners how they could pass emission inspection with his "performance" muffler, he told me that he just removes the goofy muffler and installs the original muffler every other year when the car needs to be inspected and then reinstalls the noisy muffler after passing the inspection. So much for that save-the-planet-and-the-neighbor's-ears regulatory system.  ::)
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Carlsberg Wordsworth

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Reply #7 on: August 30, 2021, 09:20:28 pm
It might just be that the carb delivers it smoother hence the choice of switching.

For me, I found EFI a bit annoying at low throttle but maybe that's just me. Or a case of being a 2012 Bullet. Or it's because it's a single and a thumpy one at that.


On the flip side, the Meteor felt great to me though. No hesitancy at all.

Here in the UK, bikes aren't currently emission tested or mine certainly haven't. At least not yet. I may have read somewhere that it might be the case in the future but don't take my word for it.


ozpacman

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Reply #8 on: August 30, 2021, 09:54:09 pm
Well done Tommy C!

I must admit this is something I'd like to do as well. The Hitchcocks kit looks like it has good quality components and it's good to hear that you were able to fit it without any problems.

I still believe there's a lot to be said for a good quality carb on a big single. I have a mate who owns an Aprilia Pegaso 650 which was fuel injected from new. Despite all the fettling in the world he could never get this bike to run well. He is a very capable man who actually builds Manx Norton crank assemblies from scratch, so is no dummy.

He told me one day that he finally got the Aprilia sorted. You guessed it - the F.I. set-up was relegated to the bin and he retrofitted a carb. The thing runs like a top now! :)
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Silverback

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Reply #9 on: August 30, 2021, 10:07:56 pm
I am a newly so be patient with this question.   What is it about the EFI system that is lacking?  What benefit is there to switching?  Doesnt a carb system require more maintenance?
2011 uce classic 500,  carb converted !


Tommy_C

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Reply #10 on: August 30, 2021, 10:44:06 pm
To answer why I changed....'cause it's cool! I feel like this is the enfield the way it was supposed to be.

Fuel consumption....worse. Don't care.

Sound of the bike when I hit the throttle in 3rd? Like a choir of angels.

I'm going to try not to be a d!ck here, but to the person that chimed in about resale value and emissions...go ahead and clutch your pearls. I'll be off riding the best bike I've ever owned.

Everyone else...thanks for your comments and support!



viczena

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Reply #11 on: August 31, 2021, 04:42:54 am
Removing the front wheel and driving just by wheelie is also cool. It saves a lot of weight and gives you at least 20% more power. When you incidently drop the front, you really hear the choir of angels.

Does not mean it makes sense.
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dickim

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Reply #12 on: August 31, 2021, 12:01:09 pm
That pontificating response makes as much sense as NOT just letting people do what they want to do with THIER Bike....to each thier own, not RIGHT or WRONG just THIER'S!
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Bilgemaster

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Reply #13 on: August 31, 2021, 02:29:43 pm
I am a newly so be patient with this question.   What is it about the EFI system that is lacking?  What benefit is there to switching?  Doesnt a carb system require more maintenance?

To hopefully answer your question, I'd say a carb requires a different and arguably simpler type of maintenance than EFI. Gravity ALWAYS works. For many like me, set in their old carby ways, all those pumps and sensors and the other electro-rigamarole of EFI just overcomplicates matters. EFI may be "better" or "more efficient" when it works, but when it doesn't then all that troubleshooting talk of "ohms readings" and such to troubleshoot them may as well be Colloquial Romulan to the likes of me. My eyes just glaze over. I'll take a good old fashioned simple clogged carb jet as my gremlin opponent any day over some impenetrable black box requiring a degree from Caltech to understand its innards. And if my Mikcarb really  goes belly up, I can get a whole new one with fuel lines and everything for like $24 delivered. Compare that to just the cost of a fuel pump for EFI. £200? over £400 for some models? That's a big "Nope."

It's probably not for nothing that at least until 2017 in its home and in some export markets like Australia, Royal Enfield was still shipping carbed 350s like the lovely one shown here: https://youtu.be/Jrt9V0tnF7I. And I seem to recall there being a similar "Carb or EFI" choice offered for their home market Himalayans as well. Whether this was merely for reasons of economy (reduced construction cost) or an appeal to more "traditionalist" riders, or perhaps both, only Sid can say for sure. Suffice it to say that all else being equal were I given a choice of a UCE with EFI or a well set up carb, I'd likely go with the carby one. I do not concur with our man Viczena that a carb conversion would harm the later resale value of any UCE here in the States. If anything, particularly if the old EFI doodads conveyed with the bike, I'd guess quite the opposite.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2021, 02:41:44 pm by Bilgemaster »
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India. Yet it squeaks by here in Virginia.

 


dickim

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Reply #14 on: August 31, 2021, 02:47:42 pm
Nicely Balanced Bilge 👍
2020 RE 650 GT (Mr Clean)
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