Author Topic: Save me from selling my E5 Bullet!  (Read 5018 times)

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Roy L.

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on: October 20, 2019, 07:26:25 pm
Hi all
Well, I've had my E5 (a G5 without all the chrome) from new for 7 years now and have put 25,500km on it.
I live in Finland where we only get to ride for 5 - 6 months, and I've just put her to sleep for the coming winter.
Well, much as I love my bike, it just isn't fast enough to keep up with traffic safely on the few times you have to take a faster road - with say a 100km/h speed limit.
And there are actually plenty of those in this country and often the only way to get from A to B.
Nothing is worse than being constantly tailgated and overtaken, as we all know.
Finland's actually a walk in the park compared to other countries. I was crazy enough to ride to Poland a couple of years ago. Holy Mother.. I've never seen such terrible driving anywhere in Europe, and I've been all over the place. But, I digress..
Can anyone tell me how to make my bike go faster? I changed the front sprocket for an 18 (or 19..??) tooth a few years ago, but there's not a world of difference.
I'd say maximum comfortable cruising speed is 70kmh. At 80 its starts to shake. Can I really make this bike cruise at 100kmh?
Could anyone please share their experiences?
Most gratefully yours
Matt
 


gashousegorilla

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Reply #1 on: October 20, 2019, 08:33:40 pm
   For better Top end on these bikes and to make them more highway capable ....  where you start hitting that Brick Wall at 70-75 mph indicated on the stock Speedo in their stock form  ?    For Starters ...I would say a Larger head pipe and freer flowing muffler on the Exhaust.     The Stock  head pipe may LOOK large on the outside , but it is really just a pipe , inside a pipe .  The Inner pipe is ridiculously small at around 1 1/16"  ID.   It's fine for around town and good initial bottom end power.   But it REALLY  chokes the motor off at Higher RPM's like on the Highway.   A Simple and Inexpensive 5 " UNI pod filter stuck right onto the Throttle body... instead of the stock air box.. free's up the intake nicely and will help as well.   Better Cams are a MUST have I personally think.  no matter where you get them ...  Anything is better then Stock !   The stock Cams are just so ridiculously conservative  for any kind of " Normal Riding"  where you might encounter a Highway now and then ?!  :o   The factory should put better Cams in these bikes for their export markets  , like the old  Brit bike manufacturers use to do.    You'll also need to tune  your fueling for any Change  in how that air is moving in and the exhaust  moving out of that motor though... to get the best results .   
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ace.cafe

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Reply #2 on: October 20, 2019, 08:52:37 pm
I generally agree with what GHG said above.
I would try starting out by freeing up the intake and exhaust flow, and optimize mixture with the Power Commander. See how that goes, and determine if you need more.
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Ove

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Reply #3 on: October 20, 2019, 10:38:31 pm
70km (c. 45mph) as your max comfortable cruising speed seems a bit on the low side though, especially with the 19t sprocket, dont you think? Mine isn't run in yet, but is very happy at 55mph to 60mph (just shy of 100kmh) on the stock sprocket (18t?). It feels quite a sweet spot. Haven't played much above that yet. Are your engine mounts, chassis bolts etc. all tight? My expectation is, even as standard, they should cruise happily at 100kmh.


Roy L.

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Reply #4 on: October 20, 2019, 10:55:36 pm
Great replies, thanks a lot!
I'll have to read more about the cams. Unknown territory for me, but I'll be reading up on that and maybe give it a go.
Yes, the freer-flowing intake / exhaust and EFI module. I was thinking the same.
Any good links for those?
Not in a hurry.. Bike's now holed up for 6 months..


Roy L.

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Reply #5 on: October 20, 2019, 11:03:40 pm
Hi Ove
Afaik (!!) everything is well-screwed down.
The engine is really nicely run in and purrs down the road. I've serviced it faithfully with fresh oil and filters every 10k. I always fill up with 98.
There's no way it has enough power to cruise at 100k. That's pretty much flat out, chin on the tank!
The difference between 70 and 80kmh is huge.
Maybe I should check the wheel alignment, but it's certainly a power issue.


Richard230

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Reply #6 on: October 20, 2019, 11:40:47 pm
I could see a 350 Bullet topping out at around 80 Kph, but a 500 should go faster.  ??? I have no problem holding an indicated 70 mph (an actual 110 Kph) on the freeway while riding my stock 2011 Bullet 500.
2011 Royal Enfield B5 500, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM Duke 390, 2002 Yamaha FZ1


GlennF

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Reply #7 on: October 21, 2019, 12:03:42 am
I can sit on 120 kmh all day on my B5. Top speed is an indicated 140kmh but it is probably actually more like 130 kmh accounting for an overly optimistic speedo. Still even 130kmh is vastly faster than 80kmh.

My B5 is a generic 500cc UCE engine and the only mod is a less restrictive exhaust.

If the OP bike is a 500 something is badly wrong.

What is the shaking referred to in the original post ? Is the engine out of balance ?  Or possibly the rev limiter is cutting in way too early.

« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 12:13:25 am by GlennF »


Bilgemaster

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Reply #8 on: October 21, 2019, 02:58:33 am
Like Richard230, at first I thought you might have been talking about a 350. If you're struggling to cruise comfortably at 100 km/h (62 mph), even on a stock 500 UCE, then something's just not right...and yours even has an extra tooth on that drive sprocket, huh? Even my old "iron belly" will toot along happily at that speed hour after hour when needed, though I tend to prefer poking along more gently in the low to mid 50s (80 to 90 km/h).

You could try a freer-flowing exhaust and some of the other suggestions found here for improved performance, but I have a hunch that something more fundamental is robbing your bike of the power it should already have.
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Ove

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Reply #9 on: October 21, 2019, 06:56:22 am
Brakes binding? Tyre pressures?


Rattlebattle

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Reply #10 on: October 21, 2019, 07:46:14 am
Is there a partial blockage in the tank vent? This would cause fuel starvation at wide throttle openings. Not sure gearing up to 19 tooth sprocket results in higher cruising speed without air intake and exhaust mods. BTW do you really mean servicing every 10k (6,000 miles)? If so it needs doing more frequently.
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suitcasejefferson

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Reply #11 on: October 21, 2019, 08:25:58 am
My 2013 B5 (carbureted with an aftermarket pipe) feels overstressed at much over 55-60 mph. While I'm sure it could go faster, and could be made a little faster yet, I'm a bit wary of running that antique design long stroke made in India too fast. A modern 500 single would keep up with traffic easily, but they are all short stroke, made out of better materials, and have much better build quality. When I need to go fast, I have a Kawasaki Vulcan 750 and a H-D Sportster 1200, both of which will easily top 100 mph with room to spare. I ride the Enfield for recreation only, because it is so much fun to ride. I also only have a 6 month riding season, but because of extreme heat, not cold. I have a safe place to keep it during that time, and start it up and warm it up at lest twice a week. Sometimes in the summer I will get up before sunup and take it for a short ride. There is no way it would keep up on our urban freeways, but we have a lot of slower secondary roads it can be ridden safely on. We also have a lot of speeders. When I see someone coming up behind me, I move to the right to let them by. Especially since putting the carburetor and pipe on it, I have developed an emotional relationship with it and don't want to give it up. For me, the Enfield is what it is, and I'm happy thumping along at 55 mph. Even my 234cc Honda Rebel will outrun it, I've had it at a GPS 80 mph for short periods before. Despite the small engine, it is a short stroke twin using late '70s Japanese technology, so it is built like an anvil. You can ride it at full throttle for a very long time without harming it. If the Enfield is your only transportation, and won't do the job, you may have to replace it with something else. Maybe one of the new twins?
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9fingers

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Reply #12 on: October 21, 2019, 12:23:47 pm
70km (c. 45mph) as your max comfortable cruising speed seems a bit on the low side though, especially with the 19t sprocket, dont you think? Mine isn't run in yet, but is very happy at 55mph to 60mph (just shy of 100kmh) on the stock sprocket (18t?). It feels quite a sweet spot. Haven't played much above that yet. Are your engine mounts, chassis bolts etc. all tight? My expectation is, even as standard, they should cruise happily at 100kmh.

I agree with Ove. Is the shaking you mention from engine vibration or is the bike starting to wiggle and the handlebars dance around? What tires and pressure are you running and how much do you weigh? My C5, with 19 tooth, cruises comfortably at 75mph indicated, probably closer to 70 actual.
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Roy L.

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Reply #13 on: October 21, 2019, 02:58:42 pm
Well.. That's all really interesting!! Thanks to everyone for all these replies.

I'll try and be more specific..
Had the bike from new (2012) and ran it in really carefully. Man, it was awful at first and could hardly pull 80kmh for the first 5000km.
I noticed a significant improvement in performance at around 12,000km when it started to run really nicely.
I've never had any trouble with it apart from a stuck starter relay solenoid earlier this year, which I quickly replaced.
It accelerates well in town traffic - I think! I've nothing to compare it to..
The engine pops along smoothly and it handles very nicely all day without a care in the world at 70kmh, but take it up to 80 and it's struggling. The engine noise increases significantly and it's starting to shake.
I have pushed it up to 100kmh (whatever that is on an Enfield clock) on a handful of occasions but that was flat out on the tank.
It starts first time, every time, No excessive smoke of any colour comes out of the exhaust.
I weigh about 100kg / 15st.

A blockage in the tank vent? I'll certainly get it seen to. Sadly I won't see it again until April, so I can't check immediately. The bike's now in a barn 50km away. I did have the tank resprayed first year I had it after it got a little bit scratched (and I had too much money..) by a magnetic tank bag.
 
My brakes are fine and I check my tyre pressures - which are fatter replacements pumped to 1.7 / 1.9 bar.

suitcasejefferson's reply was somehow reassuring that it's not just me, but you other guys are getting performance I never dreamed possible.

Glenn, could you tell me the details of your exhaust, please? Pipe and muffler? Are you also using a Power Commander or some such?

I was looking at replacement exhausts last night. Hitchcock's have a replacement free-flow "bend" model, but I need the straight one due to my front crash bar being so close. Hitchcock's mention nothing about free-flow mufflers. Does the factory muffler inhibit performance so badly? Do any of you kind chaps know of any good Indian suppliers and specific pipes and mufflers I could use? None of the suppliers I looked at mentioned anything about performance mufflers. I'm not worried about original model looks.

I reckon I should get a compression test, too.

Thanks again all

Matt
« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 03:12:28 pm by Roy L. »


axman88

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Reply #14 on: October 21, 2019, 04:13:30 pm
I agree with the previous comments that something is amiss with your bike and it's not achieving it's designed performance.  I'd look more to tuning / repair than to modification.

My 2012 C5 is entirely stock.  I bought it two years ago with just under 1700 miles on the odometer and it's at around 5400 miles now.  My bike is entirely stock, with 18 tooth front sprocket, stock air cleaner and stock exhaust.  The silencer is the shorter stock one, and is in need of replacement with substantial chrome pitting.  I haven't noticed any substantive change in performance, over time, except the exhaust seems louder.  There is a baffle in place at the back end.  Do these silencers have fiber or other material inside that may have been burnt / blown out over time? 

My C5 can cruise happily at 100kph and maxes out at around 120kph, with me in a "very slightly tucked" position.  One of these days I'll remember to extend the rear pegs before getting on the expressway and do a real full tuck max speed run.  I am 6'1" and close to 100kg (220).  My bike has 18" front wheel, so I'd expect "less" indicated speed inflation than the later bikes with the 19" front wheels

My 2012 C5 was a US export market bike, and therefore has fuel injection and an O2 sensor.  If your bike is the same configuration, consider that a dirty fuel injector could have major impact on top end power.

I read somewhere that going to a higher sprocket count had a negative effect on top speed for somebody's Royal Enfield, but it was a matter of a few mph, and not a consideration for what you are experiencing.  I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I did the ratio calculation, and the theorytical top speed based on hitting the rev limiter was something like 85 mph.  This means that the bike's top speed is power limited, not rev limited.  For this reason, and because the vast majority of my riding is city streets, I wouldn't choose to go to a higher front sprocket tooth count.

Engine management electronics are great when they work, but nothing but a nuisance when they don't work right.  Besides the partially clogged injector I mentioned above, any of the following items not working correctly could put your machine into a rich, limp home mode, that would have a major impact on top speed:
     -  Throttle postions sensor
     -  manifold pressure sensor
     -  engine speed sensor
If your bike has behaved like this its entire life, it's perhaps also possible that the cams were installed incorrectly and valve timing is a bit off.

What kind of gas mileage were you getting last riding season?