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Old 2nd May 2012, 12:21   #31
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Default Re: Restore and modify 1979 bullet or wait for Thunderbird 500

Please keep the 79 bike after getting it restored through a reliable guy. When it comes to Bullet, the classics are indeed classics. I own an Electra which i bough recently, but every time a Cast Iron model passes by me I feel so jealous
I do agree to the comparison about bike being similar to the Woman... It is what you like at the end of the day ...
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Old 2nd May 2012, 14:08   #32
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Default Re: Restore and modify 1979 bullet or wait for Thunderbird 500

Holy cow! A '79 model bullet, and you are contemplating whether to restore or not?

Without a doubt, restore!!!

And even if you don't restore, do not sell / give it away!

Trust me, I had a '72 model bullet that I had bought from a Parsi gentleman in 2000, for about Rs.25,000. Rode it around for a few years, and then since I was traveling overseas had to sell it in 2005. Sold it for about 42,000, but then again, sold it with a lot of stuff (2 tanks, 2 silencers, 2 handles etc). The current market rate for a vehicle like that is easily 80-90k if not more.

1. The issues listed by you can easily be fixed. A decent paint and chrome job will no doubt set you back by 15-20k all-in-all, but in the end it is worth it.

2. Will be good to check the piston and ring sizes once. If I recollect the rings can be up-sized (at a marginal cost), before you need to go in for a re-boring.

3. The short silencer is very easily available in spares stores. If you love the thump - you could also look at a BSA silencer - very crisp and power-packed.

4. As for the paperwork, needless to say, if the older paperwork is still ready, having it renewed is easier, as opposed to getting a fresh set of papers made. Chances are that the folks sitting outside your local RTO (read: agents) can help you here.

5. As for the chain & sprocket change - is there an issue with them? Are they worn out or loose. If this is the older variation of the bullet, there were be a set of two cams on either side of the rear wheel for adjustment, with the help of which you can still squeeze out some more life out of it. However, 10K is a steep number to change all this - it should get done at less than half the price.

6. For the cam pinion set, suggest you run with the clatter. After all what is a bullet without some noise. I remember my mechanic telling me years ago - you can never make the bike completely silent. If the tappits are making noise, and you work on silencing them, the next to make noise will be the rockers. Silence them, and the next will be the cams! By the time you end up silencing them, chances are that the tappits will start making noise again!!!

7. The starting problem may be just a points adjustment or a similar small issue. Can be easily resolved.

While this is a fairly long reply, the bottom line is, do not sell / give away. Instead restore (even in phases - with the appearance portion being the last think to fix), and enjoy riding the bike!

Oh and I would like to shamelessly add, that incase you still want to sell the bike, I would love to buy it!

--RR
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Old 2nd May 2012, 16:36   #33
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Default Re: Restore and modify 1979 bullet or wait for Thunderbird 500

Quote:
Originally Posted by writeramesh View Post
Will be good to check the piston and ring sizes once. If I recollect the rings can be up-sized (at a marginal cost), before you need to go in for a re-boring.
I think your talking about an up-sized piston

Quote:
Originally Posted by writeramesh View Post
3. The short silencer is very easily available in spares stores. If you love the thump - you could also look at a BSA silencer - very crisp and power-packed.
Wouldn't a BSA silencer be extremely hard to source/expensive to purchase? With the number of BSAs under restoration, their silencers are in very high demand. Why not a good short bottle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by writeramesh View Post
For the cam pinion set, suggest you run with the clatter. After all what is a bullet without some noise. I remember my mechanic telling me years ago - you can never make the bike completely silent. If the tappits are making noise, and you work on silencing them, the next to make noise will be the rockers. Silence them, and the next will be the cams! By the time you end up silencing them, chances are that the tappits will start making noise again!!!
IMHO, this is not how an engine should be dealt with. Worn cams, bad timing is not something that should be dismissed by the belief that if one noise is taken care of, another will creep up. That is to say, it's possible that (in your example) you tappets could be warped/badly set, rockers could have play and the cams can also be worn; these are not something that should be overlooked. In such a scenario, the engine is far from running at it's optimum because of the timing system flaws. A healthy engine should take precedence over a vehicle that offers a pristine visual appearance.
To clarify, I'm not implying that this is the case with your motorcycle.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 20:08   #34
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Default Re: Restore and modify 1979 bullet or wait for Thunderbird 500

Hi lemme tell you something something that happened just about an hour back. I have been looking for a old standard for quite some time. My location is in the interior Karnataka.

Just about 5 pm I got a call from my car mechanic about the availability of a bullet. I went to his garage. and in rolls an immaculate looking bullet done up in the electra looks. But I loved the number (MYH 9250). It belongs to the sarpanch of the neighboring village. I asked him the price he insisted that I ride it first.

Its done beautifully. One decomp and a small swing the vehicle came to life. Its beat told me that it has the old heavy 9kg crank that always adds to the sweetness of the beat. I literally fell in love. Gears were smooth as ever. Its pick up was low (running 17teeth sproket & Hero Honda carb ... for mileage he claimed!!!!).
I took a test ride fro at least 10km doing various bullet special checks (I have been riding them for quite a while now). It passed all of them. When i brought it back one tap on the neutral finder and the bike was there on neutral.
I was impressed and was already thinking how ro give it the rugged bullet looks.
Now came the show stopper. I asked him the price. It was a 1979 (coincidence!!!) redone and the ride told me is capable of a Khardungla and back without much problems.
HE ASKED FOR 90K and was in no mood to bargain.. Its beyond my budget. So I had to come back with a heavy heart.

For you my friend, I would say
1. find a good mech (there is one guy in the lane just ahead of Park Circus Siraz)
2. Don't try to complete everything together. Go step by step. Resolve the innards first.
3. Keep denting, tinkering and painting as the last in your list.

If you are worried about long distances.. check Prashant Kumar a good friend of mine and also a known bulleteer. His favorite is is original 1969 which has done multiple trips to Ladakh and beyond.

There is a bunch of keen bulleteers in Kolkata - Eastern Bulls. In case you need help get in touch with them.

Dont let your bull go.. If still you are in a mood to swap please drop me a PM.

HALF THE FUN OF OWNING A BULLET IS BUILDING IT.

Keep it and have fun

Update on the work you are doing.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 22:40   #35
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Default Re: Restore and modify 1979 bullet or wait for Thunderbird 500

The feel of the cast iron engine - and a bullet from that era (pre-85) is so much different from the latest incarnation, that a real passionate biker would love to restore a bike like yours to her former glory.

In a practical world - the question is - what is it that you want to do after restoration ? If you plan to keep it for a long time to come with your occasional rides as you do now - its a sensible proposition. Also consider that classic bikes are now appreciating in value so you are assured to recover your investment.

On the other hand if you are not sure of being able to maintain this bike and if you are seeing it as your daily choice of transport et al - then you better think again.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 12:32   #36
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Default Re: Restore and modify 1979 bullet or wait for Thunderbird 500

Re-building a Bullet is a time honered process. I love watching the bike stripped, everyting painted and nickled and buffed, stuff coming back in batches wrapped in newspaper, then the assembly (new piston, rings, carb, battery and tyres usually), and finally the bike is rolled out, started, tuned, and takes her first ride.

Its like re-birth! And it can be done to an old Bullet more than once, and each time she comes out like new!!!

Don't even think man - re-build her and ride her with realistic expectations.

There are few bikes out there today which could be re-built and look and work like an old Bullet after 10,20, 30, or even more years.

My dad had a 1975 Deluxe (red and chrome) which was rebuilt once after 10 odd years. Sadly my dad sold the bike off before I could legally start riding.

I will never be selling my own Std 500, though I did sell my LB500 and Classic 500. I still have mixed feelings about selling the LB ....

My Bullet will be turning 10 this October.

Last edited by ebonho : 3rd May 2012 at 12:49.
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Old 22nd July 2012, 18:57   #37
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Default Re: Restore and modify 1979 bullet or wait for Thunderbird 500

Thanks to all for the sweet suggestion. By the way came to know it's not 1979 but 1976.
Mods please change the title accordingly.
I started riding the same for office and daily chores and kept finding various issues and kept solving them. In the process changed following
1. Handle racer
2. Front wheel bearing,
3. Carburator
4. Front fork pips, oil seals and springs
5. Speedometer and Amp meter
6. Air filter
7. All engine gaskets
8. All fluids
9. Clutch plates
10. Battery charger
11. Chain and sprockets
12. Rear shock absorbers
13. Spark plug
Also did engine decarbonization and fixed one auxiliary light.
At the end found a magic machine that works as mood booster. After any kind of day one small ride is enough to raise the happiness level.
Sometime I work one machine (many parts listed above are changed by me). Working on it is also different it makes me calm, confident and happy. Working on my octavia or dire always used to make my mood down, tensed and timid.
This is different.
It rides comforatably between 40 to 90. Gives between 35 to 40 KMPL. But numbers are not at all related to this machine.
This weekend took by brother ( who has ANHC automatic and Eliminator but preferred to ride along) to Bakkhali (A sea beach 150 KM from my home). Had a nice ride and trip.
Few photos from the trip. The person riding on the beach is my brother.
Sorry for cosmetics. Will have money and time soon to do painting and chroming.
Attached Images
          

Last edited by sinhsha : 22nd July 2012 at 18:58.
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Old 22nd July 2012, 23:04   #38
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Default Re: Restore and modify 1979 bullet or wait for Thunderbird 500

Sinhsha: I hope you know this is the deluxe model which went out of production long time back. These are limited edition models, so take it to a good restorer like Old Delhi Motorcycles, for a genuine restore......or any other knowledgeable restorer of your choice...........
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Old 23rd July 2012, 00:52   #39
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Default Re: Restore and modify 1979 bullet or wait for Thunderbird 500

Any idea about a good restorer I can trust with my bike in Kolkata
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Old 5th November 2012, 14:46   #40
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Default Re: Restore and modify 1979 bullet or wait for Thunderbird 500

10 months of riding and then a 1000 KM trip
First would like to thank all fellow bhpians to guide me. I fixed my possession handed over to me by my dad and fixed the small niggles (mechanical niggles most of which resulted from being stranded for 12 years). Things like carburetor, shock absorbers, chain sprocket, tires, gaskets, oils etc costed total 16K. At the end got a nice running bullet which I am using daily for office commute. Handed over my dzire to my wife and Octavia to dad.
I started having smallish trips like from Kolkata to Bakkhali in May(300KM), Kolkata to Durgapur(400KM) and got a lot of confidence and respect for my bullet.

Then on 2nd November morning started for bhitarkanika national forest. Total 5 bikes (2 bullets, 1 pulsar, 1 yamaha SZ-R, 1 unicorn) and rode nonstop to bhadrak (excluding ciggi breaks). As usual road was awesome and bullet ran like a bullet indeed. 80 to 90KMPH for 400 KM. Then Dinner and again ride of 60 KM on worst possible road.

Then nice stay in chandbali (whole night 36 year old bullet under heavy rain and started on first kick ).
One whole day in bhitarkanika national forest on boat. Experience was awesome like some Hollywood movies, on river in the middle of jungle with company of big salt watet crococ and a lot of them.
Then in the evening started again on bullet reached highway (near civilization) and stayed in tents (by the way all tents were carried on bullets…so bullet carry loads for japs).
Next day morning breakfast and 300KM straight ride (non stop) to Kolkata.

Please forgive my awful writing skill.

Through out the ride I thanked bhpians million times and was smiling with pride every moments.
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