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Old 26th October 2008, 19:36   #1
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Default Firing up my Bullet after 2/3 years - old soldiers never die

Recently an American friend of mine came down to Calcutta from the US and wanted to go around the country on my Bullet. I agreed provided we could get the bike to start (it wasn't even touched by anyone in the last couple of years, not to talk about starting) and my friend agreed to pay for its reconditioning.

So on Friday last, the two of us (Mitch and I) and my good old mechanic Md Khalil went to the bike (it was parked in another part of the city and not where I live). It took us more time to clear the cobwebs around the bike than for Khalil to start it !!!!

He took a total of what must have been around 15/20 minutes to start it. And finally after he ensured there was current flow and petrol flow, it took him just a half kick to start the bike. Not even a full kick, mind you.

For firing up the bike we needed a new battery and some petrol in the tank. When we realised the battery switch was not working we had to make it direct. The fuel tap had to be cleared with a big blow of air from Khalil's mouth and the plastic pipe that takes fuel from the carb to the engine had become brittle and had to be replaced.

Surprise of surprise even the tyre tube were intact. Khalil just filled in air from a nearby compressor shop and it was fine. He rode it for 6/7 km to his garage.

Here are a few shots of the bike just after it was cleared of all the cobwebs and some of the dirt but before the historic start. Unfortunately, the camera wasn't ready when the bike actually started.

I will keep posting more pictures and details of the project as we go along. As of now we have
  1. New battery
  2. New spark plug
  3. New fuel tap (from carb to engine)
  4. New distributor cover (tacky plastic - nothing critical for movement)
Attached Thumbnails
Firing up my Bullet after 2/3 years - old soldiers never die-bull14web.jpg  

Firing up my Bullet after 2/3 years - old soldiers never die-bull24web.jpg  

Firing up my Bullet after 2/3 years - old soldiers never die-bull34web.jpg  

Firing up my Bullet after 2/3 years - old soldiers never die-bull44web.jpg  


Last edited by Sudipto-S-Team : 26th October 2008 at 19:41.
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Old 26th October 2008, 19:40   #2
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Interesting thread, keep us posted, Best of Luck.

BTW what model/year is the bullet, from the tank it looks like a 80s model Deluxe. Am i right?

Last edited by madhokritesh : 26th October 2008 at 19:44.
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Old 26th October 2008, 19:57   #3
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70s model - I think 76 or so. The tank could have been changed by the original owner - not sure. I am not the first owner. I own it from sometime in the mid 90s.
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Old 26th October 2008, 21:35   #4
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Good going mate. Very good project you have on hand. Wish you all the best.

There is too much rust on the chrome parts, wonder how you would remedy that?
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Old 26th October 2008, 21:53   #5
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Sudipto, Mitch's experience in travelling around the country on this bike deserves a dedicated thread. Please ask him to join.

We would love updates as and when the bike is being restored.
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Old 26th October 2008, 22:14   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toiingg View Post
Sudipto, Mitch's experience in travelling around the country on this bike deserves a dedicated thread. Please ask him to join.

We would love updates as and when the bike is being restored.
Agreed 100%. Please ask him to join and blog about his experiences everyday from different parts of India.
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Old 26th October 2008, 23:33   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheARUN View Post
There is too much rust on the chrome parts, wonder how you would remedy that?
True. But the chrome parts are not really critical to movement. The wheels, we were happy to note, hadn't rusted. Incidentally after a good and thorough cleaning a lot of rust is gone from the chrome. Will post the latest pics tomorrow perhaps. Actually it's raining a lot here in Calcutta.
But yes, the tank covers do look horrendous, I agree. Changing them is quite easy actually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toiingg View Post
Sudipto, Mitch's experience in travelling around the country on this bike deserves a dedicated thread. Please ask him to join.

We would love updates as and when the bike is being restored.
Yes of course I want Mitch to join and share his experience. But I am not too sure how good he is with writing travelogues. He quite enjoyed the meet today. And I am sure he would have loved staying back. He loved the kababs too and thought SEP food quality was superb.

I don't know if I told you - Mitch learnt riding a Bullet first on my bike some five years ago (2003). Then he bought an old bike, had it repaired and then one fine morning just went away. I couldn't believe when he called me up from Darjeeling - his first stop - to say he had reached destination one. Subsequently he went to Nepal, then Kumaon, Leh, Ladakh (meaning Khardungla and all the others La's) and then Kashmir (through Kargil) and then back down to Delhi and some Rajasthan.
By this time he had become a master with the mechanics of a Bullet.
In Delhi he had the bike dismantled, packed in wooden cases and then shipped home in Florida where he put it back up once again !!! Back home he rides it virtually every day and for a long time that was his only means of conveyance !!
This time he plans to go to the north-east but he is not too sure about the feasibility because the rules of entry there for foreigners are very restrictive, like you have to declare the precise date of entry and exit etc, which is difficult when you are riding a Bullet on your own. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.
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Old 27th October 2008, 09:35   #8
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waiting to see the bull fully restored.here with my mechanic ,two numbers of 70's bullets are lying for past 6-7 years without the owners coming to take their bikes!
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Old 27th October 2008, 11:07   #9
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Actually there's nothing much to restore in the bike per se, because it's in riding condition. In fact before it was garaged for such a long time it was in perfect riding condition. I just got busy with my new kid in the house and a general change in lifestyle.
However, since my friend is taking it out on a long, long and very long ride for close to six months here are the list of changes that are going to be carried out today onwards

change all oils - engine oil, gear oil and fork oil
change all cables - accelerator, brake, clutch, decomp, speedo
change all gaskets
change oil filter and air filter
change the carb floater if not the entire carb
change the chain and sprocket
change the clutch chain
change the seat (for god's sake)
change the tyres and tubes
change the entire wiring


after these changes the bike will be ridden continuously for ten hours at a stretch to see what comes off and generally how it feels. if necessary piston and heads etc will be touched after this test ride. as of now we want to let them be as they are. we want to follow the policy of "don't fix it if it ain't broke"

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Old 27th October 2008, 11:49   #10
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A big salute to you Sudipto! And one for Mitch too....

Btw, I too really hope your friend pens down his experience through the ride....
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Old 27th October 2008, 12:25   #11
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Quote:
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A big salute to you Sudipto! And one for Mitch too....
Thanks for the salute.
I think Khalil-da (as we say in Bengali) deserves a few salutes too. I made it sound like easy but believe me if you saw the Bullet in person and were in Khalil's place you would want to run away. He patiently studied the bike and fired it up - virtually in no time. He has a very clear conception about what all goes wrong when you have a machine lying idle for a long time.
When I threw the challenge at him first he said "get me a new battery and get me some petrol - rest I will do once I get it to start".
Believe me he came to start the bike with just a pair of pliers, a screw driver and a couple of spanners!! That's all. I think he is a hero.
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Old 31st October 2008, 10:09   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
Thanks for the salute.
I think Khalil-da (as we say in Bengali) deserves a few salutes too. I made it sound like easy but believe me if you saw the Bullet in person and were in Khalil's place you would want to run away. He patiently studied the bike and fired it up - virtually in no time. He has a very clear conception about what all goes wrong when you have a machine lying idle for a long time.
When I threw the challenge at him first he said "get me a new battery and get me some petrol - rest I will do once I get it to start".
Believe me he came to start the bike with just a pair of pliers, a screw driver and a couple of spanners!! That's all. I think he is a hero.
sorry i dont want to act as a " I KNOW IT ALL GUY " but beleive me thats all it takes to start the bullet that has not be started for a long time. reasons are

The Bullet STD has CB points that work rite off the battery so that means if the battery is not charged it would not be able to produce the spark.

The best setting for the spark plug is to make the Gap as less as possible makes it easy with a weak battery aswell.

Petrol as we know is mandetory to fire up any thing that runns on petrol.

The bullets are very simple bikes to maintain. if a person is little bit tech savy with his bullet he would be able to do the Majic that Mr Khalil was able to do.
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Old 5th December 2008, 15:05   #13
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great man, thats the power of bullet
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Old 6th December 2008, 11:04   #14
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sudipto, we are waiting for some more pics of ur bullet after restoration.
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Old 6th December 2008, 11:56   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
change all oils - engine oil, gear oil and fork oil
change all cables - accelerator, brake, clutch, decomp, speedo
change all gaskets
change oil filter and air filter
change the carb floater if not the entire carb
change the chain and sprocket
change the clutch chain
change the seat (for god's sake)
change the tyres and tubes
change the entire wiring
Well its easy if you're replacing parts. But its going to cost you. Restoring and replacing parts is quite expensive. Each spare would cost a mere amount, but when you add them together the amount is quite surprising.

I hope you open the bike completely for restoring the chassis and giving it a nice coat of paint. Engine too.

Tank Cover: I think it may be possible to restore that tank cover. However, if its still available for a decent amount then its better to pick new ones.

Seat: Since you're changing the seat, try in for a straight flat seat with a better rear taillight console. If you're retaining the big rear mudguard, try a round taillight (RD350 style). I've seen this on another darkgreen colored Bullet and its classy.

Buffing: Are you painting or buffing the forks/hubs/etc?! Is there any DIY technique to buff or polish metal parts like hubs, etc?!
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