Author Topic: Bullet Bobbers!  (Read 183 times)

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axman88

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on: February 13, 2020, 08:59:20 pm
I started a discussion along the lines of "Why are Bobbers Popular?" in a general motorcycle forum I spend a little time in, and suddenly realized what a science teacher in the Bible Belt must feel like on the day after they send the kids home with an assignment on evolution.  Let's just say, the older rider does not particularly care for Bobbers.

In the process of trying to put into words what I personally enjoy about Bobber motorcycles, I came across this bit of video: 
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcGUIVH1dU8

Two Englishmen in India, having what looks like one hell of a great time on what I would call "Bullet Bobbers".

I don't anticipate a lot of positive response here, but to me, that sort of riding looks like a LOT of fun.  I love how minimal their machines are, wheel, engine, seat, wheel.  Nothing fussy or fancy or classic or chrome.  If you drop it, there's nothing left to get scratched up.   A part breaks off, just snip off a new piece of baling wire and get on with living.

It occurred to me that with a bike that low and that lean, if you get into a bit of a spot, you just drop your flip flops off the forward pegs and let the bike go its own way.  With not much of anything behind you, mounts and dismounts are quick and easy.

Being as I am, I looked deeper, and found a couple of sites selling used bikes in India.  It appears that a guy could easily get himself a weary old CI Bullet to chop up, plus a new set of bearings, valves, oversize piston and gasket set, and still get change back from his 35,000 Rupees.  ( ~ $500)

What do you guys think?  Blasphemy or a Blast?


cyrusb

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Reply #1 on: February 13, 2020, 10:10:08 pm
Let me break the ice. Not Blasphemy, But not me. It reminds me of the junk we put together as kids. Now that" Man Bun" THATS Blasphemy! AND...Riding that crap half naked in India just begs two words, Staph Infection. But yeah, other than that...
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 05:19:58 pm by cyrusb »
2005E Fixed and or Replaced: ignition, fenders,chainguard,wires,carb,headlight,seat,tailight,sprockets,chain,shocks,fork springs, exhaust system, horn,shifter,clutch arm, trafficators.


Ove

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Reply #2 on: February 14, 2020, 08:57:23 am
I like them. To build one properly takes a bit of skill. Some of us bolt aftermarket stuff on and make the bike heavier and lose the character of the original, almost like we should have bought a different bike. For me, this celebrates the essence of the bike, it's engine. I also like the look though. Each to their own. There's enough of them to go round!


Bilgemaster

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Reply #3 on: February 14, 2020, 12:12:31 pm
Thanks for that link axman88. Not only was it interesting, but it also caused YouTube to offer up, to me at least, a whole buffet of new behind-the-scenes and expanded offerings related to that lovely "Chasing the Bullet" documentary.

As for "bobbing" those Enfields, I suppose I like them well enough as expressions of individual style, and there's no shortage of clapped out 350s in India to play with. On the other hand, I still find it curious that one might go out of their way to remove the shocks and swingarm of a Bullet, when those were the very features that distinguished them in the first place early on. After all, they were the first to have them, right?
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India.


Tarnand

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Reply #4 on: February 14, 2020, 04:57:31 pm
How we want our bikes to look is very personal like the clothes we are choosing to wear.  Some time ago when someone invented the bobber concept it understandably created excitement because then it something new, original.  In 2020 seeing yet another bobber is to me like hearing yet another version of a very old joke.  It is just boring.  But again, if  someone likes it that way it is fine with me.
The only “new”,  or maybe after all not so new,   element in this video  is how this bikes are ridden.    Is it not what we call  "lugging the engine"?  And that is what I see as the “Blasphemy ”  part.  Who on Earth would want to enjoy riding them like that?
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Ove

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Reply #5 on: February 14, 2020, 05:20:04 pm
  Who on Earth would want to enjoy riding them like that?

I guess they would. They seemed to be having fun.

I thought there was a fair bit of smoke being thrown out the exhaust, then realised it was the pipe blowing up the dust. Must be nice to have that climate to ride in. I'm thinking of lifting the angle of my air intake, to cut down the amount of water it's breathing in off the road!


axman88

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Reply #6 on: February 14, 2020, 09:43:20 pm
   Is it not what we call  "lugging the engine"? 
I interpreted what I was seeing as being video playback in slow motion.  I figured that was how they got the waves and other phenomenon governed by the laws of physics to be similarly slowed down.

But it is apparently "a thing" with the CI engine owners in India to get the idle rpm as low as possible.  That seems to be a point of some pride and something I've seen in various videos from India.

I do enjoy showing off my slow speed cruising ability to anyone who shows interest.  This is a Chicago urban alley demonstration.  I'll put the bike in first gear and demonstrate how it will chug along happily while idling, for the length of the block, without a hand on the throttle.  It seems wrong to do it in 2nd, although I think it would manage without stalling.


axman88

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Reply #7 on: February 14, 2020, 10:06:36 pm
Thanks , it also caused YouTube to offer up, that lovely "Chasing the Bullet" documentary.

I still find it curious that one might go out of their way to remove the shocks and swingarm of a Bullet, when those were the very features that distinguished them in the first place early on. After all, they were the first to have them, right?

I found "Chasing the Bullet" a few years ago, and very much enjoyed it.  That video is non-technical, and in my view, attempts to capture the spiritual / emotional side of RE Bullet ownership.  One thing I particularly love about that video is the wonderful saturated colors.  The work is very professionally done, and I can recommend it to other members here, especially CI riders.

I don't think that RE was the first to have the swingarm rear suspension.  Indian had some sort of swingarm as early as 1913 http://www.classic-motorcycle-build.com/vintage-indian-motorcycles.html  ,and there were others.  https://thevintagent.com/2018/02/13/whence-came-the-swingarm-frame/ 

It was before my time, but from what I've read, Bullets from 1931 to 1948 had rigid frames and got a swingarm in 1949.  Perhaps this was the first that took the modern form with combined spring/shocks on either side, and a swing arm hinged from the approximate center of the final drive sprocket?

My curiosity is with the springer forks on the guys' bobbers.  I wonder where those came from?


Tarnand

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Reply #8 on: February 15, 2020, 06:42:53 am
One thing I particularly love about that video is the wonderful saturated colors.  The work is very professionally done, and I can recommend it to other members here, especially CI riders.

The video by all means is something that required quite a bit of work and skills. 

My curiosity is with the springer forks on the guys' bobbers.  I wonder where those came from?

In India they manufacture such things.  However, since these are "home made" I would not risk installing them on my bike because of plain safety concerns.
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Bilgemaster

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Reply #9 on: February 15, 2020, 12:26:59 pm
I too love the look of those girder forks, and have seen them from Indian vendors via eBay from time to time, but I think you'll find some serious criticisms of the quality of at least some of them by searching past postings to this Forum mentioning "girder forks". Still, I'll bet 350s with front end damage might be had all day in India for next to nothing. A little chopping, a little welding, some reasonably firm girder folks, and "Bob's your uncle", as they say.
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India.


Adrian II

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Reply #10 on: February 15, 2020, 05:29:52 pm
Don't forget India probably still has a few Norton and BSA spares left over from WW2, maybe a set of Norton 16H or BSA M20 could be had?

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