Author Topic: Intro and question: Smooth Left Side  (Read 1720 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

nonfiction

  • Scooter
  • **
  • Posts: 50
  • Karma: 0
  • New Bullet Owner/Longtime Bike Guy
Reply #45 on: October 16, 2020, 07:06:39 pm
AzCal! Thank you for the nudge.

I have been having trouble sourcing parts, specifically the chain cases, from India (via Ebay)--it seems the virus has slowed people down quite a bit. They're probably out there, but I'm trying to be sure I get good ones, and the folks I'm talking to, in spite of the fact they have the parts listed for sale, are saying, please be patient, sir!

My wife fell in love with the headlight nacelle on my bike, so for now I'll be holding off on buying the trials top yoke, even though I've already bought the Bates headlight to go with it. I'll probably polish the nacelle to match the 0000 steel wool finish on the rest of the tins.

I did fit a seat I like, and twiddle the angle of the rear fender stay, and the bike's lines are coming into shape very nicely. This weekend I'm planning on a late-season high country outing that will require gearing down (but hopefully not be too picky about ground clearance!), so I'll be trying out the big 50t rear sprocket, along with a new chain. Assuming things go to plan I will post some pictures.

Had the bike on a hundred mile* dirt road romp a couple weekends ago. It comports itself really well in the rough. I find the long rear shock a bit softer than I like on the road (it IS a trials bike after all), but it really keeps the tire connected to the ground well. On the street, the bike feels like a BMX bike--makes me want to hop curbs and cut across people's lawns. I'm always grinning when I ride it.

(*I carried a couple liters of extra gasoline in an OJ container in my Camelbak. Needed it! Fun ride, too, the VME's (Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts') annual Bonehead Enduro, a kind of poker run type scavenger hunt thing in the hills on the west slope of the Cascades. Logging roads and creek beds. Socially distant Moto-hangouting. Good stuff.)

For now, here's an ugly picture of a couple pretty bikes, not from the Bonehead...


AzCal Retred

  • Chennai Wrencher
  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 493
  • Karma: 0
  • Laissez le bon temps rouler! Fresno, CA
Reply #46 on: October 16, 2020, 09:37:42 pm
Sounds like you're having a great time in the Cascades! Glad to hear the off-road manners are good - I was worried it would be too twitchy, but sounds like it's working. Your VME group is a real find!
The shocks soft spring rate sounds like the Feked site's listings for their trials shocks. I'm thinking that's a good compromise to make.
I'm interested to hear how the 50T works out. I know my Bullet 18/38 is ridiculously too high for tight trail. You still should be good for 45-50 in 4th, and that'll get you home.
Polishing up the casquette sounds like a very Grumbernesq, should be quite striking!
How about a skid-plate - I didn't see one in the picture. Lots of exposed pricy guts down there...?
Your primary cases are for the electric start engine, so I believe there's some surgery required to retrofit. I think the engine studs are in a different location on the KS cases. Adrian has done this routinely, but it's a process. H's has inner & outer KS cases for about $230ish USD, plus shipping, and most importantly YOU KNOW they'll be dimensionally correct... :o

I after seeing how much fun you're having, I believe I'll "trail-out" my Green Bullet. It has a hinky shifter bellcrank from some "mekanikin" by a PO, so whilst I have the transmission out I'm planning on adding the Hitchcocks Trials 2-gear set. That and the sprocket conversion will get me a long way towards a plonkable trail bike. The cone-shaped passenger peg mounts look about right for a second set of plonking pegs. I'll leave the 4 gallon tank on, as I can't abide running out of fuel. The plain Trials top yoke and a 21" front hoop and voila, an ISDT winner! ;D

Thanks for the update, & post some more pix - we all need to see more success stories! - ACR -
A brace of 1999 Bullets: 1 Red Deluxe, 1 Green Standard. Also, 1 wee orphan 1956 Fire Arrow project.


nonfiction

  • Scooter
  • **
  • Posts: 50
  • Karma: 0
  • New Bullet Owner/Longtime Bike Guy
Reply #47 on: October 16, 2020, 10:01:34 pm
The shock spring is 75#. I weigh 245#. Fairly convinced I got the right rate, per Matt at Speed & Sport. 

There is a vestigial steel skid plate under the sump to keep me from tearing off the family of drain plugs down there--that's a stock part, right?Anyhow, I DO plan on fabbing up something a bit more comprehensive, at least to cover the oil pump areas and that vulnerable chin of the primary.

Footpegs REALLY want to come back some for off-road. Trials guys seem to like them about 8" back from stock (though maybe not quite as high as the pillion mounts), but I think I can get them back 2-3" for a good compromise position and still not foul the kickstarter. I want to be able to haul my tired carcass to the standing position easily, but I don't want to cruise around all the time with my heels up my bum either.

I might spring for the Hitchcocks chain cases... likely after Christmas if so, because budget. It's about 2.5x the cost of getting them from India (and about 0.25x the risk of being stuck with faulty or wrong parts, I reckon).

Super curious just how slow the 50t will make the bike go. Likely it will get swapped on for dirt days along with the extra length of 530 chain, then back off for city duty.

Really hoping I have luck getting this pup to the woods this Sunday.


AzCal Retred

  • Chennai Wrencher
  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 493
  • Karma: 0
  • Laissez le bon temps rouler! Fresno, CA
Reply #48 on: October 16, 2020, 11:40:48 pm
I used the stock passenger pegs to get a feel for standing position. They are mounted on a "Z" bar looking item with a taper & 1/2" bolt to secure them to the frame lug. It takes a lot of rearward distance to get your feet in a good position for standing. I've seen some pix of old school trials Enfields using these for actual competition. I plan on leaving the front pegs untouched and adding the rears for standing. That lug is very robust, so no strength concerns; maybe it was intended for sidehack attachment...? I'll just modify the bolt-on tapered lug to accomodate a proper metal peg. Not too worried about rear brake or shifting mods, as compression braking is good on these and normal practice is to pick a gear in a tough section & ride it out. Quick shifts on the 4 speed are just an exercise in hope. Anyway, it's for trail use, not competition. The side boxes definitely need to go, even fooling around on my driveway they were digging in to my legs.

About your exhaust - do you ever find it cooking your leg when standing? I like your longer "Woodsman" exhaust style, but I think I'll need to go with the tucked-inside-the-frame trials model. With more rearset pegs it could get tight there.

Thanks for the heads-up on spring rate! None of my stock machines have a skid plate - must have come with the trials kit? I've seen aluminum ones, but I think I'll just use a flat-point steel shovel - go real old school. Steel slides on rock, aluminum is "stickier". Weight isn't a real concern on a 1940's design...I think Enfield mostly used the lighter, smaller unitized 250 motor for serious factory trials efforts. ;)  - ACR -
A brace of 1999 Bullets: 1 Red Deluxe, 1 Green Standard. Also, 1 wee orphan 1956 Fire Arrow project.


nonfiction

  • Scooter
  • **
  • Posts: 50
  • Karma: 0
  • New Bullet Owner/Longtime Bike Guy
Reply #49 on: October 17, 2020, 12:08:51 am
The silencer is tucked in pretty tight. There's a mark on it from where it baked some color out of my jeans one wet day, but I have gotten burnt exactly once, from the first day I had the bike; was wearing shorts dinking around in my parking lot.

If I set the pegs back I might revise my evaluation, or at least fit a shield. I'd love to see a picture of the inside-the-frame exhaust you refer to.

One thing to note: I have less than 1/4" clearance on either side of the tire; the swingarm is pretty tight. This is with the axle pulled pretty far back on the snail adjusters. I lucked out that the wheel was built so nicely centered. If I were building it fresh I'd consider cutting and welding a plate to clearance the inside of the swingarm to make more clearance. So far no problems though.

I cannot WAIT to get my side box (and battery and breather remnants) off this thing. Love the coal shovel baseplate--crossed my mind as well. I'll likely go aluminum, just because, well, it fits the color scheme...


AzCal Retred

  • Chennai Wrencher
  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 493
  • Karma: 0
  • Laissez le bon temps rouler! Fresno, CA
Reply #50 on: October 17, 2020, 06:51:25 am
I was thinking specifically of the H's "https://accessories.hitchcocksmotorcycles.com/accessory-shop/High-Level-Exhaust-System/20108"; everything stays within the frame loop. I have seen trials pipes that snake behind this loop and exhaust farther back, but they have that "one off" Grumbern look to me. If the exhaust outlet tended to blast your calf, I guess it wouldn't be too hard to cut it & rotate it down.

This jewel "https://accessories.hitchcocksmotorcycles.com/accessory-shop/rear-suspension/21138" for about $350 USD would allow "more meat"...maybe need to buy more lottery tickets? ;D

And Send More Pics!! Any of your 100 miler?  - ACR -
A brace of 1999 Bullets: 1 Red Deluxe, 1 Green Standard. Also, 1 wee orphan 1956 Fire Arrow project.


nonfiction

  • Scooter
  • **
  • Posts: 50
  • Karma: 0
  • New Bullet Owner/Longtime Bike Guy
Reply #51 on: October 17, 2020, 06:18:55 pm
ACR, that first exhaust you've linked is the one I have mounted. I think the muffler's outboard edge is a hair wider than 1" beyond the outer edge of the frame rail it's mounted under. The headpipe could be shortened as much as 3", which I think would enable one to tuck the silencer in tighter yet if desired.

Here's the sole picture I took on the ride. My bike is in the background. SL350 sunk in a sasquatch bed or something. Greeves/XL185 in nearground. Good times in the temperate rainforest.

« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 06:28:31 pm by nonfiction »


AzCal Retred

  • Chennai Wrencher
  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 493
  • Karma: 0
  • Laissez le bon temps rouler! Fresno, CA
Reply #52 on: October 17, 2020, 08:54:55 pm
Looks like a great group! I don't see anyone out there that doesn't know about maintenance. I'm sure you had good fun with the rider of the SL175 buried to the axles. I took a ribbing when I managed to fall off the trail & 20' down a bank on my 300 pound Rokon. Lucky for me one of my pals carried a deer hoist! Thanks for the photo & enjoy your group rides, that's a very special thing to have. - ACR -
A brace of 1999 Bullets: 1 Red Deluxe, 1 Green Standard. Also, 1 wee orphan 1956 Fire Arrow project.


AzCal Retred

  • Chennai Wrencher
  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 493
  • Karma: 0
  • Laissez le bon temps rouler! Fresno, CA
Reply #53 on: October 18, 2020, 11:43:10 pm
Today I inadvertently "trail rode" my painfully stock I.B. down a Forest Service jeep trail parallel to a powerline access rode. The (up to then pleasant) FS road made an abrupt downhill left hander into a 45 degree talcum silt rutted descent. Too late to stop, I rode it down about 30 feet before the front wheel shod with a K70 at about 30 PSI washed out. Laying under the bike in a puddle of dust ( it's California...), I assessed. #1 - Shut off the engine. #2 - get left leg free, as fuel from the tank cap was dripping on me. #3 - stand the whole sorry mess up in the middle of the hillside, find neutral, horse it around until it was pointed somewhat down hill, find neutral, restart motor, cross fingers.

Two unsuccessful attempts to climb back up this silty dropoff later, I reassessed. The parallel Powerline road was NOT covered with power-sucking silt, just helmet sized rocks. I traversed the burned-over 30 yards across to it on the flattest route I could see. From another flat spot on the power line road I attempted a climb. Not enough motor - feels like second gear? Nope, I was in first. Back down. Attempt #2 saw a faster start, as I knew this was going to be all about momentum. Up we go, the Duro HF308 hooking up well on the hard dirt, steering around the boulders, standing up on the too-forward pegs - 1/2 way, still good - 3/4 upslope, the motor is grunting but still pulling - YES! The top of the hill presents itself. A reprieve for the Geez!

The moral of this story is that I see more clearly why the big twins evaporated from desert racing. The courses got more "technical",  it became just too rough for that equipment to successfully compete. Two strokes, with their light weight and superior horsepower and more user-friendly gearboxes put the spike in the coffin. The Bullet needs significantly lower gearing, and obviously more appropriate tires, to function as a trail bike. Picking up a near 400 pound machine on a loose hillside and not being able to start it in gear gives the competition riding a 250 pound machine a real advantage. To its credit, that venerable ancient tractor motor did drag my carcass up a near 25 degree slope and blithely steer around the boulders while doing it. A 50T rear sprocket and at least some 4" wide trials tires would have helped considerably. I'll henceforth stick to tarmac & flat hard dirt on the Red bike, and wait on the fire roads until the Green machine is properly kitted! - ACR -

A brace of 1999 Bullets: 1 Red Deluxe, 1 Green Standard. Also, 1 wee orphan 1956 Fire Arrow project.


Adrian II

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,255
  • Karma: 0
  • Sharing my ignorance with anyone who needs it
Reply #54 on: October 19, 2020, 11:34:28 am
Glad you and the bike coped with the ordeal.

Quote
I have seen trials pipes that snake behind this loop and exhaust farther back, but they have that "one off" Grumbern look to me.

Did you meant the Indian Woodsman exhaust? Originally a factory fitment on that model, though similar exhausts were common on British pre-war roadsters.

http://re-indian.com/56catalogue.html

Looks the business for a street scrambler, but for actual off-roading the trails exhaust tucked out of harm's way might be better. Wasn't there some requirement in parts of the US for trail bikes to be fitted with spark-arrester exhausts?

A.

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


AzCal Retred

  • Chennai Wrencher
  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 493
  • Karma: 0
  • Laissez le bon temps rouler! Fresno, CA
Reply #55 on: October 19, 2020, 05:29:58 pm
No - more like these, where the pipe gets a bit snakier. I thought "Lampy's" & "19 trials 1954" were good efforts. It takes a bit of welding finesse to achieve a nice install; most of my welding greatly benefits from a grinder & paint! I have a cracked rib as a result of my "learning experience", a small price to pay as compared to many other outcomes. A bit of codeine and a hiking stick are doing the trick for now, I'll be right as rain in a couple weeks. The trick is to actually learn from the experience, and pain is a great incentivizer... ;D

Info on approved USFS spark arrestors:
https://www.pegasusautoracing.com/advcat.asp?CategoryID=SUPERTRAPPSA
https://supertrapp.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=forest+service+approved
https://www.fs.fed.us/eng/pubs/html/03511307/03511307.htm
A brace of 1999 Bullets: 1 Red Deluxe, 1 Green Standard. Also, 1 wee orphan 1956 Fire Arrow project.


Adrian II

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,255
  • Karma: 0
  • Sharing my ignorance with anyone who needs it
Reply #56 on: October 19, 2020, 06:37:01 pm
I think you'll find it is the same exhaust as the Hitchcocks' trials for the first three, but look at the frames on those bikes, they're not Indian built Bullet frames but Crusader frames from the Redditch unit construction 250 bikes, different shape and a bit smaller to boot, though fitting a Bullet engine and gearbox can be and often is done for building trials bikes, Grumbern's Project "Laubfrosch" is another example.

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


AzCal Retred

  • Chennai Wrencher
  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 493
  • Karma: 0
  • Laissez le bon temps rouler! Fresno, CA
Reply #57 on: October 19, 2020, 09:21:42 pm
Adrian - are these trials machines built using the 250 frame mainly to save weight, or is the geometry more suitable? About 1/2 of the forks from the conversions I've seen use an inline axle which affects trail. Are we looking at shortening the wheelbase as a rationale? I assume the 250 is shorter...? The hubs are different from the Bullet, so I'm guessing they are 250 units too. With a pre-Unit machine there will inherently be more weight in the powerplant, so the Unit 250/350 should have been a real boon to builders...yes?  - ACR -
« Last Edit: October 19, 2020, 10:04:37 pm by AzCal Retred »
A brace of 1999 Bullets: 1 Red Deluxe, 1 Green Standard. Also, 1 wee orphan 1956 Fire Arrow project.


Adrian II

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,255
  • Karma: 0
  • Sharing my ignorance with anyone who needs it
Reply #58 on: October 20, 2020, 01:32:18 pm
I think the Crusader frames are a fairly easily obtainable item (at least in the UK) which can form at least a classic rolling chassis for using an Indian Bullet engine and gearbox in pre-65 trials. That said there was also quite a Trifield cult over here too, involving the unit 350 or 500 Triumph engines fitted into Crusader frames. Unity Equipe still sells the Converta engine plates, just add your own oil tank.

The (nearly) in-line front fork axles were needed when Redditch brought in 17" wheels, the steering geometry is off if you fit a 17" wheel in the standard offset forks. RE India had problems (or some owners did) with the early C5 EFI Bullets using 18" wheels with the usual offset, 19" wheels were eventually re-introduced, and the C5s got in-line axle forks.

The Crusader frame is a scaled-down version of the later Bullet/Twin frame, so with less steel used, I guess there will be a weight (and slight length) saving.

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


AzCal Retred

  • Chennai Wrencher
  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 493
  • Karma: 0
  • Laissez le bon temps rouler! Fresno, CA
Reply #59 on: October 20, 2020, 05:28:24 pm
Adrian - thanks for the info! - ACR -
A brace of 1999 Bullets: 1 Red Deluxe, 1 Green Standard. Also, 1 wee orphan 1956 Fire Arrow project.