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Old 27th August 2009, 14:00   #1
RVD
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Question Starting Problem on a Bullet Machismo

Hi all, I have a 2005 Bullet Machismo which has done about 11k on the Odo. I have never had any problems with the bike until recently when the bike started giving me starting problem. I initially got the plug changed and got the air filter and the carb cleaned. The problem still persisted. I then changed the Battery as well ( Even though my bike is CDI ignition and a faulty battery should have nothing to do with the starting process). The problem still persists. What used to happen is that the bike would start without any problems and the moment I would turn the head light on, the bike would get switched off. Now the problem has worsened and the bike is giving troubles just starting. As suggested by a fellow T-BHPian, I got the rectifier checked but according to my mechanic, it seems ok. Now, I am back to square one and do not know what else could be the problem. Any kind of help regarding the matter would be greatly appreciated.

I recently cleaned the carb and might have messed up the mixture setting and that could explain the starting issue but that still does not explain the vehicle going off after turning on the head light.
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Old 27th August 2009, 15:28   #2
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I think the coil near the clutch are causing this problem, there might be some earthing going on which is why the bike isn't starting.. I would suggest you go to the mechanic and ask him to check/replace the coil.
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Old 27th August 2009, 18:40   #3
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@ ?ushk@r Pardon my ignorance but what coil is it ? I am not sure of the exact placement but is it the alternator that you are referring to?? Also, the bike does start but gets switched off only when the headlight is switched on. No problems with any other electrical item like the horn, indicator etc.

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Rahul
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Old 27th August 2009, 20:10   #4
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I once had a similar problem with my Std 350. What I did was to disconnect the headlight, the brake light, the horn, the indicators and then took apart the wiring inside the headlight cowl. I put it back together and taped any loose ends. Then took the coil and rectifier out from the seat, cleaned any dust and made sure no exposed wiring was shorting with the metal part under the seat. Then connected the coil, rectifier and opened the clutch box to check the wire that feeds the winded coils around the magnet. Apparently my main drive shaft had play in it which made the magnet touch the winded coils around it, shorting it now and then. Nevertheless, with a slight adjustment, and iterative reconnection of electricals I was able to solve the starting problem. I did replace both the primary and standby fuses as well, as I did not trust them. If possible, please get a rectifier from a working bike and connect it to yours to diagnose. The coil/rectifier/headlight wiring are always suspect in Bulls. Suggest you focus on them.

Cheers,
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Old 27th August 2009, 21:07   #5
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@Sriku : Wow!! Thanks a lot. At least now I have something to work on.Frankly, even my mechanic was failing to get an answer. Hope this sorts out the issue. What I fail to understand though, is the coil that you mentioned as being under the seat. I have never removed the seat and checked but what can be seen from a peek under the seat is the rectifier. Am I missing something in regards to the coil ?

Regards

Rahul
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Old 27th August 2009, 21:39   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVD View Post
@Sriku : Wow!! Thanks a lot. At least now I have something to work on.Frankly, even my mechanic was failing to get an answer. Hope this sorts out the issue. What I fail to understand though, is the coil that you mentioned as being under the seat. I have never removed the seat and checked but what can be seen from a peek under the seat is the rectifier. Am I missing something in regards to the coil ?

Regards

Rahul
No need to thank me, this is just what I went through once. I'm no specialist, and may not use the right technical terms, but I know that the coil(shaped like a cylindrical aluminum canister) under the seat near the rectifier will short if water hits it, as this happened to me in the rains, and I ended up changing the coil, in fact upgraded it to 12V and replaced the wiring harness as well as the battery. There is no quick fix for Bull electricals, the coil though, is vital to the bike's starting and running. The rectifier is solid and usually will not die on you, the coil isn't that way. If I were in your position, I'd take the rectifier, coil, battery, fuses from my other bullet and try them one after the other on the affected bull. Amateurs like us can only try this kind of debugging. Since your bullet is relatively new, I am assuming the wiring is in good shape, the bulbs and grounding are fine (check for a ground wire near the tail light assembly, it will be connected to a nut on your mudguard or frame, I forget which, to provide electrical grounding. Scrape any crud on the metal area where the grounding wire connects to the frame/mudguard, the lack of grounding could also be causing some trouble. Sorry for the rushed/incoherent reply, but I'm checking the forum between conference calls, and have only come out to order some pizza!

Cheers and a "Get well soon" for your Bull,

Last edited by sriku : 27th August 2009 at 21:42.
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Old 28th August 2009, 00:18   #7
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@Sriku : Thanks again. I have left my bike at the mechanic. Will go in the morning and ask him to check the things that you mentioned. Now the only trouble is to find a donor bike. The trouble is that my mechanic is not a bullet mechanic and mine is the only bullet that he does, so finding another bike will be a task.
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Old 28th August 2009, 10:26   #8
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with all due respect to your mechanics ability, please bring the Bull back home. Find a qualified Bullet mechanic or contact the ASC. I don't understand why when you have a new-ish bike, you'd want to take it to anybody other than a qualified Bullet mechanic. I suggest you reply with your location, and we will help you find a qualified guy nearest.

Cheers,
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Old 28th August 2009, 10:35   #9
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Same problem on my 500, the fuse blew every time I turned the headlight on. Mulled over that, fiddled with the bike, and discovered that it blew with the light on when I turned the handlebars - bike on the stand doing this of course.
That was a eureka moment - opened the cowl the first time, and was aghast to see the birds nest of wiring! Discovered a worn out insulation that was shorting. Taped it up, and the bike was fine thereafter. But, having seen the installation quality, and the thin cables used to cut costs, I am not surprised that the first thing many US/UK riders do is to rewire the entire bike before use. Great way to learn, and fixes one of the main weaknesses of the bike, the electricals.
Before you let the mechanic let his imagination run riot, I suggest you do this, because your symptoms sound similar. If you don't find the problem in the cowl, just trace the headlight wiring all the way down to where it is shorting.
One good news - the fuses do their jobs!!
Of course, in my bike it never started till the fuse was replaced, so your problem is a variation, but probably on the same theme.

Last edited by Sawyer : 28th August 2009 at 10:37.
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Old 28th August 2009, 10:43   #10
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hey rvd: +1 to what sriku had to say. Please go to a qualified Bullet Mechanic. Others simply will not understand this piece of Machinery. And check your coil and CDI also as sriku had earlier said.
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Old 28th August 2009, 13:31   #11
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@Sriku, Ram.west: I completely agree with you guys and can see where you are coming from. The trouble is that I have give my bike to authorized service center's like Agro, and the one near TV tower (JC nagar) before but have never been happy with the work. The problem with most mechanics is that they work out of memory i.e for "X" problem, "Y" is the solution. Years of experience have taught them to understand most of the problems that might arise from the bike. The key word here is "most" as I had shown my bike to the workshop at JC nagar and he changed the rubber connecting the air filter to the carb. Agreed, that the rubber had cracks but that was obviously not the reason for the problem.

I have been going to my mechanic from the last 10 years albeit for my Yamaha but I have always felt that he looks at isolating the problem rather than just jump at a conclusion. Anyways, this will be a test from him. If he fails to get the problem fixed my hunt for a new mechanic will begin all over again.

@ Sawer : Thanks a lot. I actually called my mechanic now and told him the things to check that you and Sriku had mentioned. Will go and check the progress in the evening.

OT : Has anyone heard of this guy called gurunandan ? He is a bullet mechanic and I have heard some great review's about him.

Regards

Rahul
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Old 28th August 2009, 18:49   #12
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B.R.Gurunandan is one of the best that you can get.

His website : Nandanmotors: Homepage & Nandanmotors: Serial Index

He also sells Pete Snidal's Bullet Manual - http://webhome.idirect.com/~snidey/inddist.htm
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Old 28th August 2009, 19:02   #13
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I have also heard rave reviews about the Guru. Also, read somewhere about a Bullet workshop, an actual training school to educate Bullet owners and help them fix their own bikes, and understand the intricacies.

Cheers,
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Old 28th August 2009, 23:13   #14
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My mechanic called me in the evening and said that he could not diagnose the problem . Anyways, after I posted about Mr Gurunandan, I went to meet him personally. His workshop is less than half a kilometer from my house. He said that the next batch of the bullet workshop will probably start from next month. He seems a very knowledgeable person and I am definitely joining his workshop.

Meanwhile I asked him what the problem might be with the bike and he said that it could be one 50 things that he could think of . Will probably leave the bike at his place tomorrow and hope for the best.
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Old 28th August 2009, 23:47   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVD View Post
... Mr Gurunandan, I went to meet him personally. His workshop is less than half a kilometer from my house.
Sounds like you stay near Hebbal. In that case, get your bike checked up by Gurunandan.

We have a few good bullet mechanics in Marathahalli, K'mangla and one near Swagat theatre in Jayanagar.

PM me if you need any details.

Rajat
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