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Old 20th June 2014, 18:43   #1
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Default 2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-img_4184.jpg


My Need


Now Iíve owned quite a few motorcycles over the years, if you go through the forum youíll find a few ownership threads. But this purchase of mine is by far the most unconventional buy for me. Coming to the bike, Royal Enfieldís never really rocked my boat, and it was nothing against the bikes per say but just about how I ride. I was never the long distance guy and sport riding and track-days is what endeared to me the most.

2010 was when I decided that it was time that I took the roads less travelled and explored the other side of motorcycling. Already having an Activa, a Yamaha RXZ and a Ninja 250R, I was strictly on a budget and wanted something that was comfortable for both me and my wife, have excellent ride quality and be reliable enough to take the abuse one encounters at the outskirts. There wasnít much to choose frankly and I bought myself a Suzuki GS150R. It met all my demands and proved to be a wonderful motorcycle which took to a lot of new places comfortable without me having to worry about bad roads, expensive parts and so on.

However while I did most of the trips without the company of other motorcycles, the last ride to Konkan really got me thinking. I was in the company of a Duke 390 and a modified RE thunderbird. While I usually donít get carried away and keep things at my own pace, the GSí lack of cc and torque was really making itself apparent on straights and even more so in the ghats. The poor motorcycle really struggled with 2 people and luggage and I donít really blame the bike. What made my decision about an upgrade even stronger was how badly the lack of torque affected the bike even under strong winds on the highway with the bike refusing to go above 75 kph in 6th.

So once I got back home I sat and pondered about my next set of wheels. Like the GS, this was going to be a no brainer too. While my budget was better this time, it wasnít high enough to get a me a GS 1200 or the likes. Again quick performance was the least of my priorities. I needed all the characteristics of the GS 150 albeit in a slightly more powerful avatar. Something with which I donít need to plan my overtakes, something which does not struggle climbing ghats and something for which crosswinds were the least of its worries.

The Choice

So what are the choices considering my needs?

Hero Karizma Ė Excellent bike to munch those miles. Donít know about the new one but the old one was brilliant. Owned one for 5 years so immediately out of contention.

Bajaj Avenger 220 Ė Looks like a capable cruiser, however itís far from it. Plus itís quite dated now and top it all my wife did not like the pillion seat.

Royal Enfield Ė Its last on the choice list because like I mentioned before, I never imagined owning a R.E. I felt it was too noisy and too vibey and not to mention quite expensive too. Now itís not that I havenít ridden REís. In fact my longest rides have been on a Thunderbird and a Classic 500 to Ladakh and Rajasthan, however I never really imagined owning one considering all the niggles I had heard that plague the bike. But then with a horde of friends buying it, I decided to take the plunge. It met my needs to the T. Comfortable for both, lots of torque and pretty much in my budget


Letting the right one in

Now the question was which one. I decided to go for a 500 only. The decision to make was between the Standard, Classic or the Thunderbird. So once I checked the prices, I realised the TB was ahead of my budget. Amongst the three there is no doubt that the TB was the best built, the most specced and totally apt for my need. However apart from the price, I have never really liked the sloping design of the TB and as a result it was out.

So it was going to be between the Classic 500 and the Bullet 500. Lots or research, back to back test rides made me realise a few things also I remembered my ride where I covered the entire Rajasthan on a Classic. For starters I hate the single spring loaded seat. Under hard acceleration I used to slide back with my heinies getting stuck on the pillion seat. Then there was the throttle response under partial acceleration. For some reason RE havenít managed to get the mapping right and the bike struggles and then finally smoothens out. Other than that loved the crisp acceleration under full throttle. The bike just pulls and pulls. The difference in acceleration is not much between the bullet 500 and the classic up till about a 100, after which the Classic increases the gap consistently. So if performance is a parameter, for you folks out there remember the Classic is better than the Standard 500. But then it wasnít the most important parameter for me.

When it came to the rear seats, the Classic failed miserably and the wife totally hated it and loved the seats on the standard. What I loved I the standard was how creamy and linear the power delivery was. The torque flowed smoothly and the bike reached speeds of 80-90 without much fuss or vibrations. I know the bike could easily handle those speeds all day long with plenty of punch to overtake and climb inclines. The forest green colour further sealed the deal and the bike was booked.


2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-img_4167.jpg

Showroom experience


I had checked out 2 showrooms. One in Oshiwara and the other one in Bandra from where I booked the bike. Frankly even though the Bandra showroom is a factory shop the experience at the Oshiwara showroom was far better. It was only because I knew people at RE who told me to book the bike at the factory shop in order to get a quicker delivery that I bought it from there. The place functions like a government office. No calls, no information, have to repeat stuff a 100 times before they get it. 3 months was the official time given but after a little over a month my bike had arrived.

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-img_4168.jpg

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-img_4172.jpg

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-img_4173.jpg


Delivery


I had called in 2 days earlier and informed the showroom about when I would be collecting the bike and asked them to keep things ready so as to wrap up the formalities quickly. So me and my wife reached the place. It felt like the longest journey to reach the showroom. On reaching the place I see a bunch of bikes parked outside with just one standard 500 which I assumed to be mine. Although the reg had been done there was no numbers on the bike and the bike was quite dirty.


2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-img_4177.jpg

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-img_4181.jpg

I told the people at the counter that I had come for delivery but they gave me a bewildered look which really got me think about the delivery happening at all. After much waiting and not even being asked for a glass of water we were finally done with the formalities. I asked them to install a guard for which I paid and additional 1200 bux and I was off. Headed to the petrol bunk first and a full tank took almost 12.8 litres. Considering itís a 13 litre tank, the bike must be running on fumes. One topped up we were away. All the way home I experienced magic. The tank gleaming its metallic shade in the sun and the 500 cc motor letting out a happy thrum (no thump from the standard exhaust). I was loving every bit of it. Here are some likes and dislikes.

Likes

Looks magnificent. Old school enthusiasts will love it
Smooth creamy power delivery
Brilliant headlights
Lovely paint finish
Very comfy stock seats

Dislikes

Thump missing, and from a 500 its feels really disappointing
No fuel gauge, no low fuel indicator either
Using the rear brakes is a slight issue since the feet isnít exactly flat on the pegs and face slightly upwards and the brake lever has tremendous travel as a result engaging it gets difficult
Flashing intervals are different on both the indicators, need to get that sorted.


2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-1.jpg

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-3.jpg

Barely rode the bike since the day after the delivery I had to head to Pune. I was itching to lay my eyes on it once i got back and uncovering a brand new bike after a week of lusting is a joy that is unparalleled. Needed to pick up two things from the local spares shop.

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-4.jpg

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-5.jpg

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-6.jpg

The bullet 500's exhaust tip juts out to quite an extent and is quite prone to banging into thing either while reversing it or parking it. So got a rubber end cap for it. The brake lever is steel and does not inspire the best feeling so got a rubber boot for the same as well.

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-7.jpg

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-10.jpg

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-11.jpg

Since it was an overcast day with fantastic weather decided to give the new baby a full wax service. Two coats of Meguirs had me gleaming more than the bike itself.

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-13.jpg

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-14.jpg

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-15.jpg

Got new number plates and added some decals too.

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-16.jpg

Finally decided to head to Pune the next day. I know it was going to be a long journey considering my running in limitations but i thought the weather was holding up well and it wasn't too hot either so what the heck.

mcQueen and its ilk love the highways and the moment you get onto one you know it. The bike thumps away to glory eating away km after km. The torque is smooth and seamless and might i add in abundance. However I was barely using any of the 40 Nm available. An hour into the journey I started getting restless. How the heck does one keep a 500cc motorcycle under 50 km/h (according to the manual)?? its plain torture and I did get carried away a few times especially in the ghats and while trying to overtake those long haulers with the speedo nudging 80 a couple of times . For the rest of the time I kept it under 70 and made sure about not revving or lugging the engine. It took me a good 4.15 hrs before I finally reached my place in Pune with the odo at 370 odd km.

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-17.jpg

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-18.jpg

2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles-19.jpg

Everyday commutes and one last shortish ride i finally hit 500 with the bike going for its first service at Bramha motors in Pune. All said and done I am really ejoying mcQueen and the relaxed manner in which it moves is really ideal for those who are more interested in the journey rather than how quickly one reaches the destination. Here are some pictures

Last edited by balenopower : 25th June 2014 at 19:58.
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Old 20th June 2014, 18:58   #2
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Default Re: 2014 Bullet 500 - The mcQueen chronicles

Hi:

Let me be the first one to congratulate you. Recently this RE thing has bitten me and I am finding it difficult to understand which one to go for. I have not take any test drive yet, I will be going this weekend. Most likely it would be 500 and not the 350.

When it comes to 500, there are standard 500, classic 500, TB 500. I understand that the TB500 is the more recent and modern version of RE. I want the retro looks which
the TB does not have which might go against it.

Now among the 500 versions, I think I read there is a carb and non-carb version?. What would be the difference?.

I just want to go for the one that would give the best ride quality, the one that's agile to drive and not too heavy to handle/park and the one that might give me the least problems. Retro looks are important but can come secondary to ride quality and reliability.

What would you suggest?.

Thanks.

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Old 20th June 2014, 21:28   #3
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Default Re: 2014 Bullet 500 - The mcQueen chronicles

Firstly congratulations on your BULL>. Like the way its just standard, black and mean.

Only thing i would advice is to see if you can upgrade to the Brembo they have in stock for the GT. Those brakes are the best i have ever seen in Indian bikes costing less then 2L

I would definitely upgrade them in a jiffy if they are available for the money you spend is totally worth it. Those GT front brakes are SUPERB.



Quote:
Now among the 500 versions, I think I read there is a carb and non-carb version?. What would be the difference?.

I just want to go for the one that would give the best ride quality, the one that's agile to drive and not too heavy to handle/park and the one that might give me the least problems. Retro looks are important but can come secondary to ride quality and reliability.
No second thought on a 500. The 350 is great but the 500 has its own way on the streets. I would pick the least electronic invasive version of the 500. It needs to run basically on basics of ICE. Like the cast iron engine i mean

Ride quality will be harsh and the standard set up suits few while you may need to work on the handle bars and seats to suit your comfort.

Reliability ...They are usually reliable but when it breaks down its just not a happy thing to find the root cause. The CI ones are fairly basic that i know whats not working and after learning to understand the wiring i am far more comfortable to take the CI out anyway.

For the money you are going to spend on the 500, why not look at the HD 750. Its costlier for sure but when you go EMI route the difference is may be 1500rs a month but you get a better bike in all possible ways
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Old 20th June 2014, 21:57   #4
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Default Re: 2014 Bullet 500 - The mcQueen chronicles

Congrats on your Enfield.Looks awesome!Yeah an aftermarket silencer will certainly make you feel a lot better

What kind of silencer are you planning to put?

Also that cream coloured Enfield in the background in the first picture does look quite nice.

Quote:
Recently this RE thing has bitten me and I am finding it difficult to understand which one to go for. I have not take any test drive yet, I will be going this weekend
I've never ridden the carbed UCE 500.But I have ridden the C500 extensively.Absolutely in love with it.I mean my regular ride is an '83 Deluxe,compared to that,its so much quicker.The TD's will speak for themselves though.Don't be hesitant to bug their asses off for TD's of all the bikes before arriving at your decision.

Quote:
For the money you are going to spend on the 500, why not look at the HD 750
+1 to this.Unless you're adamant about owning a bullet.There are a fair few other bikes to choose from.
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Old 20th June 2014, 23:38   #5
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Default Re: 2014 Bullet 500 - The mcQueen chronicles

Congratulations on your purchase!
The bike is quite a looker.. Will look forward to your updates here.

Cheers,
Sam
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Old 26th June 2014, 14:33   #6
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Default Re: 2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorbikes Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 26th June 2014, 15:34   #7
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Default Re: 2014 Bullet 500 - The mcQueen chronicles

Quote:
Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post

For the money you are going to spend on the 500, why not look at the HD 750. Its costlier for sure but when you go EMI route the difference is may be 1500rs a month but you get a better bike in all possible ways
Quote:
Originally Posted by B O V View Post

+1 to this.Unless you're adamant about owning a bullet.There are a fair few other bikes to choose from.
Thanks guys for your reply. The HD750 will be double the cost of TB or RE carb which I am not willing to spend at this time. I dont know other options but I dont want a super bike. For now it has to be between RE Bullet carb 500 and TB500. I test drove a TB350 ( which was badly maintained and with full of vibrations etc) and a Bullet 500 ( which was butter smooth inspite of having 10000 on the ODO ). It is going to be a 500, only that I will have to test drive a better maintained TB500 and decide between TB500 and Bullet 500.
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Old 26th June 2014, 15:51   #8
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Default Re: 2014 Bullet 500 - The mcQueen chronicles

Quote:
Originally Posted by drvhplyevraftr View Post
Thanks guys for your reply. The HD750 will be double the cost of TB or RE carb which I am not willing to spend at this time. I dont know other options but I dont want a super bike. For now it has to be between RE Bullet carb 500 and TB500. I test drove a TB350 ( which was badly maintained and with full of vibrations etc) and a Bullet 500 ( which was butter smooth inspite of having 10000 on the ODO ). It is going to be a 500, only that I will have to test drive a better maintained TB500 and decide between TB500 and Bullet 500.
Yes, agree HD750 is totally in the next segment as far as price goes. I don't think it is for someone considering a bullet 500. Of course, there are other bikes worth considering, especially Inazuma with the new price. While considering one must also take into account that HD750 will have a huge regular maintenance cost over and above the EMI. Buying anything from HD showroom is not cheap. Recently a friend sold his HD superlow just because of these issues. You pay through the teeth for everything. While I am not saying that bullet will be a Japanese like tension free bike, but will be manageable nonetheless. I would say for a budget up to 2 lakhs, "yehi hai right choice baby."
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Old 27th June 2014, 09:53   #9
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Default Re: 2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles

Abhi, when do we get to see you getting your knee down on a corner on this one?

Would like to ride the mcQueen again once the running in is completed to explore the full potential of the bike.
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Old 27th June 2014, 10:56   #10
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Default Re: 2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles

Quote:
Originally Posted by balenopower View Post
...
Hello Brother,
Congratulations and we can definitely meet someday. Let me know if you are in Pune so that we can catch up.

I see that you have pasted the AXO (left) and Dirt Shop (Right) stickers.
Did you intentionally remove the RE stickers from the tool and air-filter box or was it not supplied to you?

Air Filter Box Assembly with Sticker (Forest Green) : 880004 [part number]
Sticker - Carburetor Cover : 584005/A [part number]

Also I think Rear brake pedal rubber comes as stock (i will check with Amun-Ra) : Confirmed, it comes as stock.
Brake Pedal Rubber : 144886/C [part number]

Regards,

Last edited by Majumdarda : 27th June 2014 at 11:00. Reason: Confirming rear brake pedal rubber
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Old 27th June 2014, 11:30   #11
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The bike with new logo doesn't come with the RE made like a gun sticker.
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Old 27th June 2014, 12:03   #12
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Default Re: 2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles

I do not think thats correct. Re homepage itself shows the sticker once you click on special features. Moreover, for me its look quite dull with nothing over there.
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Old 27th June 2014, 12:43   #13
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As I said the new bikes don't come with that sticker. See the bike in the website. Probably they have not updated the site for special features. Not just website I had been to brand store yesterday and no new B500 had the stickers.
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Old 27th June 2014, 13:16   #14
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Default Re: 2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles

Congrats on the RE purchase. It looks better than a C5 or a TB500. I think the mileage would be slightly better on a FI than that of the carb. But the old school fans will go for the carb as the can fiddle with it during rides on challenging terrains. I am fan of RE too for two reasons, the looks and I live in the Alma-mater of RE.
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Old 27th June 2014, 14:38   #15
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Default Re: 2014 Bullet 500 - The McQueen chronicles

Congos for the load lugger or should I say a locomotive.One thing that i like of the 500 (efi/carb) is it pulls,and it keeps on pulling.Am in a look out of a decent load lugger and the 500 seems to fit my bill.Ever considering going for a short bottle OE silencer?My friend has one on his cl500 and sounds awesome.
Though I am in a dilemna-
1-Should I go for a carb or an efi?The throttle response of the efi is anyday better but the dreadful stories of the efi going Kaput is putting me OFF.
2-T bird,cl or the standard-
T bird-20 lit tank,modern gizmos,projector light,but alas its not a bullet.
cl-I would have If i was not married.The classic looks best in my opinion as a single seater.
B500-If it only came with an efi version as it meets all my criteria-powerful with a good pillion seat.

The story of the great confusion continues..................

Last edited by rakesh_r : 27th June 2014 at 14:39.
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