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Old 7th August 2014, 19:06   #1
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Talking Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet

Greetings Bhpians

This thread is dedicated to my old girl. Started life out as a 1983 Bullet Deluxe. Don't really know what to call her now. I suppose I can't say that I've restored it. Restoring would mean that I restored her to her original state, which is far from what I've done.

I've always wanted to modify my bike in a particular way. Never had the time earlier due to various reasons. The final push to actually get her straightened out entirely came after a friend of mine had an accident while riding her. The tank had a couple of really nasty dents. The exhaust port was slightly damaged as exhaust gases were leaking out through the side. I thought I'd get her back home and do all the work then. Unfortunately I transported my bike using GATI couriers and once again she got banged up (brake levers broken, tail lights mudguard bent).

Now this really got me down. I kinda stopped using her as much then. Repaired a few of the things and left her idle for a few months. Just used to feel sad looking at her condition. And then there was the trouble in finding a trust worthy mechanic. I think all of us who own bullets know the feeling. Time passed. Then I was considering selling her off. As much as I didn't want to. I just didn't want to spend all that effort to get her in shape again. Was gonna ahead and book the classic 500.

Almost a few days after i made the said decision. A friend of my dad's told him about a really good mechanic and my dad promptly sent the bike to him. I wasn't there at the moment, got a call from dad about details and I figured well why not.

Hence started the long process of building my bull exactly to my specs. It took a while actually approximately 12th November 2013-25th July 2014. 9 months - quite a long time!

Main reasons were that I was out of station for most of these 9 months. I would just come down once in a while to check up on the work. The other reason was that I absolutely refused any work to be done till I figured out exactly what I wanted to be on the motorcycle.

First, I got around to acquiring the parts. My initial idea was to go full retro by acquiring those old riveted rear mudguards and the fat front mudguard (the one where the registration number could be written on the side). I quickly scrapped this idea. I went about getting a round Electra mudguard. Problem was that this was only available in chrome and of all the paint jobs floating around in my head at the time, chrome mudguards weren't a part of it.

My initial plan was to get those round mudguards along with a 3.50*19 MRF's. Unfortunately the MRF dealers here said that they don't get that tyre size anymore. Instead showed me MRF meteor. I liked it. Only thing was that I felt that it wouldn't look good with any other mudguard other than Classic's. So I bought these 2 parts (the Classic's mudguard was in black). Bought the single seat and associated bits as well.

Now this was the most painstaking bit. Worked on it for 2 days. I wanted the rear mudguard to have this slightly slammed look from the back. Basically the rear mudguard had to arch along with the rear tyres. In my minds eye that was the only way to go. Bought the Electra rear stays for this purpose.

Problems!

In the regular position it was looking very very awkward. The mudguard was jutting out at a particularly S***T angle. Also the little bracket on which the old D shaped rear mudguard was attached had to be cut in the middle and welded such that it could be attached to the classic mudguard. The stays whose curvature was too much once again had to be bent back a bit. Thanks to the mechanic (Mr Jayaraj, not my Bullet mechanic) who helped me with this particular bit. All of this sounds quite easy when said but it was quite hard. Did the entire thing twice actually. As the first time around I wasn't concentrating and the mudguard ended up leaning slightly towards the left.

After this was done I had to attach a rear number plate and tail lamp. Had to make a bracket and a square piece (for the license plate) such that the tail lamp could be placed on it. Not happy with how the tail lamp is though. I'll let the pictures do the talking on that front.

I bought 2 parts from the Royal Enfield zone (tail lamp and indicators - both were really shoddy and not as advertised).

Had a bit of work to be done on the tank as it had a few nasty dents. As much as I liked the non-locking classy tank lid I decided to get a locking type. A bit of alteration had to be done to accomodate that.

Paint Job

This was probably what stumped me the most. I actually wanted a deep gray colour. But personally I felt like that colour wouldn't go well with the chrome bits on the motorbike, bend pipe, exhaust handle bars et al. Didn't wanna have to paint over them. So I just went with the safest and most logical option to me.

Black. Mainly because the rear mudguard was already black and I felt like even though black is quite plain, it does look quite nice. So went ahead dismantled the bike entirely. Gave it off to the painter.

Now after this bit once again I had to go out of station. Got regular updates from the mechanic (rather I annoyed the hell out of him calling him everyday. Thrice.)

After I saw the motorcycle assembled I had a few more things left that I wanted to do.

Stickering

Initially I wanted to get logos made - the E with the wings. Really simple stuff. I really don't know what got over me after that, I went in a completely different direction. Pictures will make it clear.

Rims & Hubs

I really wanted to get the rims and the hubs painted black. The spokes in chrome. I still cannot figure out if this will look good or bad. So I left the rims and hubs as they were. Rusty.

Exhaust

Probably what caused me most headache. I really wanted a goldie. But as it turns out they don't fit directly onto the long bendpipes. I really didn't want to waste any further time so I went ahead got a fully baffled short bottle. Why fully baffled? Well, I like silent. Don't get me wrong, I love a nice thump too. But loud thump just gets on my nerves most of the time.

I believe that a vehicle should be only as loud as it is quick!

The Final Result

Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet-dsc02842.jpg
Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet-dsc02843.jpg
Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet-dsc02844.jpg
Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet-dsc02847.jpg
Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet-dsc02845.jpg
Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet-dsc02848.jpg
Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet-dsc02853.jpg
Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet-dsc02854.jpg
Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet-dsc02852.jpg
Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet-dsc02862.jpg

Am I happy with it? Hell Yeah! (although I'm not sure if all will like it)
I tried my best not to go overboard with the mods, tried to stick true to the roots for the most part.

The mudguard stays do jut out a bit. Also I've left the rear foot pegs on. Haven't buffed the the buffable bits either.

Hopefully this will keep me going on till my next motorcycle (hint - Parallel Twin). That's pretty much it from me. Sorry for the slightly long and boring post. I had to write in full I feel.

Regards,

Venkat

Last edited by Aditya : 8th August 2014 at 16:35. Reason: Adding spacing for better readability
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Old 7th August 2014, 19:24   #2
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Default re: Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet

Awesome restoration (or modification as you call it) of a beautiful motorcycle in it's nearest to original state.

The RE emblem above petrol tank is definitely more retro appealing than the 'E' with wings that comes nowadays.
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Old 7th August 2014, 19:36   #3
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Default re: Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet

Quote:
Originally Posted by B O V View Post
Greetings Bhpians

This thread is dedicated to my old girl.Started life out as a 1983 Bullet Deluxe.Don't really know what to call her now.I suppose I can't say that I've restored it.Restoring would mean that I restored her to her original state,which is far from what I've done.




Hopefully this will keep me going on till my next motorcycle(HINT-Parallel Twin.)That's pretty much it from me.Sorry for the slightly long and boring post.I had to write in full I feel.

Regards,

Venkat
Good job overall, especially the paintjob.

I would suggest sticking to the full classic look with some chrome thrown in since that will compliment the paintjob. Chroming the rims and buffing the engine casing and replacing the mirrors to the chrome type will make it a total looker.

The rear number plate will have to find another location. For my taste, it is spoiling the look from behind and you will need to find some plastic bits to cover those mudguard stay holes at the ends.

Was there any engine work done? Could you give us details if so.
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Old 7th August 2014, 20:43   #4
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Default re: Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet

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Good job overall, especially the paintjob.

I would suggest sticking to the full classic look with some chrome thrown in since that will compliment the paintjob. Chroming the rims and buffing the engine casing and replacing the mirrors to the chrome type will make it a total looker.
Totally agree with you sir. Sounds like a plan. This bike deserves a bit more chrome. Loved the idea of chrome mirrors. The paint job is excellent by the way.
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Old 7th August 2014, 22:45   #5
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Default re: Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet

Quite refreshing, simple & classy esp after seeing them scores of 'modern' machines. That rear end is gonna get some eyes...
Try the fold-able rear pegs mounted to be in parallel to toolbox bottom line when tucked-in & may be an older style crash guard (like quality's buchb106) along with metal handle levers (preferably ball ends, not the usual flatty ones), would not amount to going overboard i hope. Do give us some more better pics
btw, Mr.Jayaraj of flywheels, Tpnra?

Last edited by Rennjit : 7th August 2014 at 22:47. Reason: ;-)
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Old 8th August 2014, 01:16   #6
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Default re: Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet

Pretty close to my definition of the ultimate looking Enfield. Actually I wont be surprised if this photo is the source of your ideas!
Also, is your tank an aftermarket larger tank?
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Last edited by john doe : 8th August 2014 at 01:19.
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Old 8th August 2014, 09:20   #7
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Default re: Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet

Excellent restoration.The bike looks beautiful.Nice to see the Smith's meter.
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Old 8th August 2014, 11:08   #8
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Default re: Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet

Quote:
Originally Posted by B O V View Post
Greetings Bhpians

This thread is dedicated to my old girl.Started life out as a 1983 Bullet Deluxe.
Greetings Venkat. You're old girl is looking prettier than many younger ones!
My dad had a red and chrome '75 Deluxe too. Which he repainted after 15 years to a dark blue and chrome. Sadly he sold her off before I started biking. Otherwise I'm pretty sure I would have kept her too.

The Smith's speedo - first time I am seeing one in Kilometers. Is it an original one , a first copy, or a a "Bombay copy" ? Basically, tell me the price you paid for it, and that would answer my question Do you have a photo of how the dial looks lit up at night? Would love to see it please. Thanks!

Last edited by ebonho : 8th August 2014 at 11:20.
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Old 8th August 2014, 11:54   #9
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Default re: Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet

Fantastic work and congratulations!
Just a question - Are those mirrors sourced from RX100?
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Old 8th August 2014, 12:49   #10
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Default re: Rejuvenated - My '83 Bullet

Great restoration job and looks immaculate. It would have been nice to see the "Before" & " After" images side by side to understand the work that went into it

Agree with Tharian, little bit of chrome overall will increase its appeal way better than now

Congrats !
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Old 8th August 2014, 19:50   #11
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Originally Posted by rakesh_r View Post
Excellent restoration.
Thank you!Yes I absolutely love how the smiths looks

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Greetings Venkat. You're old girl is looking prettier than many younger on
Thanks mate. Man I wish it was an original smiths hehe.I'm pretty sure its a 'bombay' copy.It costed 750 Rs.Also I should mention that if i go above 90kmph the needles starts moving around like its having a heart attack.I haven't connected the lamp to the speedo

On the topic of speedos.I was wondering,The old one I had on my bike was a really nice retro looking one called Yenkay.I couldn't find another like it at the spares shop.Any idea about it?

Yep it definitely woulda been nice to have that 75 deluxe.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dileepcm View Post
Fantastic work and congratulations!
Just a question - Are those mirrors sourced from RX100?
Thanks!I don't think so.Its available off the shelf at the any of the spares shops.

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Originally Posted by Hrishi_111 View Post
Awesome restoration..
Perfect use of words.Thank you very much mate

Quote:
Originally Posted by tharian View Post
Was there any engine work done? Could you give us details if so.
Thank you,I was actually looking forward to your input.I actually forgot about the buffing.Doesn't the engine have to be removed from the frame for buffing?Also doesn't the aluminium eventually go back to its dull state?

Nope no engine work was done at all.I've always kept her in great running condition.Engine work was done about 3 years back after she lost compression on a trip back from Kudremukh.Opened her up,got the valves lapped and got everything else checked out thoroughly.The front forks are of the new type.

I didn't put in new rims as I initially wanted to paint them gloss black with hubs also black and the spokes in chrome.Chrome mirrors Yes!

Yeah I want to make the rear a bit more functional.I want the basic idea to be the same though.I wish I could find a nice tail lamp and I want to get really small indicators too.I think I've seen the type I want on those cafe racer mod jobs.

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Originally Posted by DieselAddikt View Post
Totally agree with you sir. Sounds like a plan..
Thank you.Yep I'm already on the more chroming bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rennjit View Post
Quite refreshing, simple & classy esp after seeing them scores of 'modern' machines..
Thank you very much Rennjit sir.Yeah actually I wanted to put the old type gear levers.But according to my mech those are hard to depress and theres a tendency for the fingers to slip.

Do you mean the type of gear lever thats found on the classic350/500?If so yes I was gonna have that put in.Thats what I told him to.Alas the mech forgot that I told him about that and had installed the regular black ball end type ones.

No,this Jayaraj has a workshop near the back entrance of ERS railway station.Primarily does patchwork for 4 wheelers.Used to be an old employee of my dads back in the gulf.

Yeah even I am beginning to feel that this crash guard doesn't look that nice.What kind of crash guard do you mean?The single rod type?

Hehe yes my photography skills are quite lacking.Will put up better pics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by john doe View Post
Pretty close to my definition of the ultimate
Thank you very much!It feels good to have that kinda appreciation towards the bike

Nope that picture was not inspiration for me.Actually my initial idea was to have a have a simple E with the wings on the tank.Put offroad tyres up front and a grille for the headlamps.Later on I felt like that might not be in good taste.

Then I was gonna get those Royal enfield written in gold.As found on the electra.Decided against it.I really liked the golden lettering as found on the classic chrome black.But those stickers apparently cost 1000rs(per side).So with that kind of idea in mind although with a different look I did the tank work.

I specifically measured the width of the stripes.The stripes on the tool box front are rear mudguard are as of the same width as that of the thinner one on the tank.

I particularly dislike that huge gap in the wheel well like in the picture you've shown.I wanted it to be as low as possible.The rear end is inspired off of a combination of motorcycles.All old brits.Basically a simple tail lamp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Great restoration job...Congrats !
Thank you mobike sir.Yep I'm already on the chroming bit.I actually wanted to put up the entire build process.But I really didnt take that many pics.Was covered in grease half the time anyways.I do have a few pics will upload them.

O.T-Been following your bonnie thread for a long while.I must say you've damn near convinced me.Also I see someone or the other test riding it on my way to the gym.I actually slow down and open the windows to listen to that glorious beat.Amazing!
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Old 8th August 2014, 21:30   #12
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She looks beautiful B O V. Loved your matching helmet as well.

One thing that sticks out odd is the teeny tail-lamp - in the pictures it looks like one of those door stoppers.
Is it the original that came with the motorcycle?
Why not go in for a vintage Lucas type or similar one?
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Old 9th August 2014, 20:42   #13
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She looks..Why not go in for a vintage Lucas type or similar one?
Thank you Sir.

Yes that rear tail lamp is quite small.No its not the original type.I bought it off of the net and the description wasn't clear regarding its dimensions.I assumed it was a bigger.

I'm using it temporarily.

I might as well use it till as such time as I can source the round lucas as found on old Nortons/BSA's and the like.
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Old 10th August 2014, 02:58   #14
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I particularly dislike that huge gap in the wheel well like in the picture you've shown.I wanted it to be as low as possible.The rear end is inspired off of a combination of motorcycles.All old brits.
I believe there is a reason for the gap in that green bike's wheel and fender, i.e., the rider's weight and the undulations of the road necessitate that gap.

In your bike's case, once you sit on it and start riding on desi roads, aren't you risking the tyre rubbing against the mudguard?
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Old 10th August 2014, 12:21   #15
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In your bike's case, once you sit on it and start riding on desi roads, aren't you risking the tyre rubbing against the mudguard?
Yes there is a reason for the gap.When I was adjusting the rear mudguard in that position I aligned it in such a way that there is a minimum clearance.Since theres no pillion seat(Nor do I plan to put one) theres no risk of the tyres rubbing on the mudguard.

Actually even I was quite concerned about this intially,but since I've been riding on a lot of "roads" I listen quite intently for any sounds of scrubbing and the like.Haven't heard any such sounds yet.

I'm quite sure if a pillion was to sit it would cause scrubbing.
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