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Old 23rd November 2009, 15:22   #1
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Exclamation Problems in Bullet Electra 2004

Model - Bullet Electra 2004
Year of Purchase - 2004 in bangalore
Odometer - 19000+odd
Service - All recomended service done. Ouil changed every 300 Km and more.

Service Centre 1 - Teknik Motors, Indiranagar, Bangalore
Service centre 2 - Soniya Bullet, Bhandup, Mumbai

I have some inherent problems in my bike right from the day of purchase. Numerous visits and spends in the aforesaid service stations have not resolved them.

I request all bullet gurus and enthusiats to please help me in this. I have some time and money to spend and I want to repair my bike to the glory it is worth of. I shall take my bike anywhere in and around Mumbai if anyone wants to have a look at it.

Help needed!


Problems -

1. Engine / Gearbox -

a) Noise - The engine gives out mechanical rubbing noise. This should
be common on electras, but after 20000 Odd km, should it not have
reduced? The STD 350s have such a nice smooth engine, the engine noise
is barely audible at low RPMs. In my case, the rider don't hear the exhaust note at all. However, the exhaust note is there and is very clearly audible to the pillion.

When I bought the bike, Tecknik Motors folks said it will reduce after 10k KM on the odo, but here is 20K and it's still all noisy.

b) Heat - I am sure that my engine overheats. It starts nice and smooth
in the morning but within 5-6KM of stop and go, it gets really hot. I can feel it in my legs.
The STD 350s run a lot cooler in same kind of traffic.

c) Adjustable Cam Spindle - I used to have very high tappet sound issue. The tappet would stay silent for varely 20km after adjustment and then back. So, the service guys installed the Adjustable Cam Spindle (from T-Bird). This stoppped the tappet sound totally. After every service, I pestered the guys to adjust the spindle (Somehow, they don't want to do it). This made the bike run cooler and silent for about 200 odd kilometers. After that, it's back to its noisy hot nature.

d) Spark Plug attachment - I bought a spark plug attachment from a petrol pump. It was some kind of coil which was to be fitted serially with the spark plug. This surely had a great effect on my heating and noise issue. I had it for about six months. Then some smart reared mechanic at the service centre simply threw it out! Back to old story again.

e) Jerky accelaration - The accelaration is very jerky, upto 50 kmph. The pick up isn't bad or so I think. But with every throttle input, the bike kind of jerks up and pushes ahead. Similarly, retardation/ engine braking also is very jerky. Releasing the throttle all the way also have a jerking efect on the bike (as if it has hit a brick on the road - except the jump). I have goten the clutch overhauled twice already - no resolution.


2. Suspension/ Tyres -

a) Wobbling - The bike wobbles every now and then, especially after hitting a pot hole or rough patch at speed (any speed). It feels like that the rear wheel has gone out of alignment. I have gotten rear wheel opened and fitted 100 times, no help. I have gotten the tyres out of rim and refitted also, no help.Instead, leaving the bike parked for 2/3 hours always takes care of it. After the rest, it runs properly in a straight line.

b) Front tyre grip - The front has disk breaks. It skids on loose pebbles even if breaked mildly. Should I change to radial tyres in the front? What are the options?


It would be really nice if someone points me to some threads here or elsewhere were such problems are discussed. Also contact info of some reliable mechanics in Mumbai (Central suburbs will be double help) where I can get my things done will be great.
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Old 7th December 2009, 17:47   #2
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Hi Bullet Gurus,
Thank you for all the support! 87 views and 0 replies!

Okay, here is the update -

I have been through a number of Road side mechanics and Service Stations in Mumbai. Using the method of elimination, I am getting the following done on my bike.

1. Change of Valves - Rs. 325/-
2. Head Block Repairing - Rs. 350/-
3. Piston Ring - Rs. 150/-
4. Clutch Plate - Rs. 750/-
5. Engine Packing Material - Rs. 110/-
6. Gear Oil - Rs. 50/-
7. Engine Oil - Rs. 590/-
8. Servicing and Labour - Rs. 200/-

Total - Rs. 2525/-

I will see how the bike performs with these works done on it. Most of the mechanics said that the heating problem is happening because of the valves. And with the heat, the oil is getting thinner and hence is the noise.

Nothing much can be done about the jerky acceleration though, they say my bike is normal in that respect.

While I have been scouting for these, I have enquired about some performance mods for my bike. This is the sugession I have received.

1. Bullet 500 Carburetor - Rs. 1500/-
2. Head Work to make this carburetor fit - Rs. 800/-
3. Porting of the Head - Rs. 2200/-
4. K&N filter - Rs. 3000/-
5. Goldstar Silencer - Rs. 2600/-

Now, I need serious advice.

1. Should I do these upgrades (will I loose stability of the bike or any such serious handling/safety issues)?

2. Are the prices correct?

3. How complicated are these works - doable by okay type mechanics? (Should I go find any specific experienced mechanic in Mumbai- pointers in that regard will be greatly appreciated)

4. Are these parts generic/ fabricated/ jugaad in nature or do we have branded stuff available? If so which brands and approx. costs?

Gurus, please wake up and help!
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Old 7th December 2009, 18:10   #3
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Well based on the years of my owning a bullet, I would not reach out to the valves immediately, the ignition adapter story tends lean towards saying that the plugs are too hot and you need to go one range colder at least. Should handle both the heat and the tappet sound.
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Old 7th December 2009, 20:31   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho View Post
Well based on the years of my owning a bullet, I would not reach out to the valves immediately, the ignition adapter story tends lean towards saying that the plugs are too hot and you need to go one range colder at least. Should handle both the heat and the tappet sound.

Hey thanks for the reply.
But I did not quite understand this. I guess you mean to say that the valves do not need changing. Well, that process is already underway and I hope the new valves won't do more harm than good.

But, what is colder ranger plug? I have the standard Mico spark plug fitted in. What should I get for a plug and how should I check if it is running hot or cold?
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Old 8th December 2009, 01:20   #5
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I tried installing the 500cc CI carb on a STD 350 a long time ago. Big jump in power and throttle response, it was fun while it lasted. Short low speed runs inside the city didnt do much damage. However, one high speed run for less than 20 kms is all it took for the valves to seize up. A lot of other parts including the clutch got busted as a result of the added strain from the extra power. I spent ~16k(had paid 23k 3 years earlier for the bike) nearly 10 years ago to revert to a standard Mikarb and replace/refurb most of the parts in the valve train, rings etc. I wouldnt recommend it as it would prove at best ephemeral.

If you do a lot of riding in stop and go traffic, it is normal for bullets to overheat. You can almost feel the engine self destructing in such conditions, no its not a pleasant feeling. I have been under the impression that the old CI 350 engine was the best in terms of handling traffic, but yours is a newer model with I am assuming leaner jetting. If I were you I would consider putting in a slightly larger pilot to make the mixture a little richer, this will help cool the engine a bit. However, best of luck finding a larger pilot jet, hard to find parts.

Last edited by Beast_of_Burden : 8th December 2009 at 01:21.
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Old 8th December 2009, 02:46   #6
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Instead of performance mods ,Check for Better Valves(Bronze) ,Valve Guides(Bronze) Which Supposedly lasts more(These are custom made in lathe's).I experienced overheating with tighter tappets.It needs a good mechanic to adjust tappets properly(It has to be done every 2000-3000kms-personal experience) not too tight either.Check for Gaskets whether they got bust so often.I have had such a experience resolved later(Check here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...-spindles.html (Enfield Bullet:Cam gear backlash and solutions including adjustable cam spindles) )

Another thing You May want to suggest Your Mechanic is to open the rocker covers to see that Oil Pump is Doing the Job Fine.My Mechanic Etched a not so deep path to lubricate rockers(cannot spot the region exaclty).Opening Up the Cover With Engine Running will Tell the Health of Your Engine as well.

Last edited by deepclutch : 8th December 2009 at 02:53. Reason: added rocker's part.
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Old 8th December 2009, 08:32   #7
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Thanks Guys.

So, I will get these checked -

1. Open rocker covers and check if the oil pump is functioning properly.

2. Check if I can get a fatter pilot jet for the same carb.

3. Refrain from the performance mod till I receive further information.

4. Try to find if I can get Bronze Valves and Valve Guides.
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Old 8th December 2009, 09:08   #8
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Some tappet noise in inevitable, one needs to live with it considering it is a pushrod. Overly tight tappets( pushrods actually) will mean that the valves do not close fully, this prevents the heat from transferring to the valve seat. Needless to say, the valves will overheat. Overly loose and it will present its own set of problems. My own mid 80s std 350 had tappet noise, but I never found it offensive. My suggestion - do not obsess over the tappet noise, make sure they are adjusted for function, do not try and eliminate it. Here is a write-up by a Guru.

The Bullet: Mystries & Myths - Pushrod (Tappet) Adjustment
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Old 8th December 2009, 10:06   #9
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Deepclutch, I don't believe the internal combustion engine uses Bronze valves. I think you should check the source that you have got this information from. Valve steel/ high grade alloy steels (Non-Magnetic/Bimetal).

Sen2009 I hope you have not gone to a roadside mechanic to get all this done. For a low milage bike you will be spending a lot of money on joobs that are probably not needed.

I am really sorry to see that no one has replied to your queries for two weeks. To get a larger pilot jet try Park Auto at Shivaji Park before Sena Bhavan. But then again need to know what kind of engine and carb you have. And if you're going there PM me I will give you the number of a friend who has a machine shop there. You can go to him the next time you have trouble instead of running here and there to find a proper mechanic.

Last edited by deutscheafrikar : 8th December 2009 at 10:16.
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Old 8th December 2009, 10:28   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beast_of_Burden View Post
Some tappet noise in inevitable, one needs to live with it considering it is a pushrod. Overly tight tappets( pushrods actually) will mean that the valves do not close fully, this prevents the heat from transferring to the valve seat. Needless to say, the valves will overheat. Overly loose and it will present its own set of problems. My own mid 80s std 350 had tappet noise, but I never found it offensive. My suggestion - do not obsess over the tappet noise, make sure they are adjusted for function, do not try and eliminate it. Here is a write-up by a Guru.

The Bullet: Mystries & Myths - Pushrod (Tappet) Adjustment
Hey thanks for the link. Gurunandan is really a genius. I am trying to understand the article now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deutscheafrikar View Post
Deepclutch, I don't believe the internal combustion engine uses Bronze valves. I think you should check the source that you have got this information from. Valve steel/ high grade alloy steels (Non-Magnetic/Bimetal).

Sen2009 I hope you have not gone to a roadside mechanic to get all this done. For a low milage bike you will be spending a lot of money on joobs that are probably not needed.

I am really sorry to see that no one has replied to your queries for two weeks. To get a larger pilot jet try Park Auto at Shivaji Park before Sena Bhavan. But then again need to know what kind of engine and carb you have. And if you're going there PM me I will give you the number of a friend who has a machine shop there. You can go to him the next time you have trouble instead of running here and there to find a proper mechanic.
Well, I indeed have talked to the road side mechanics for this. The service centres simply don't entertain such queries.

Thanks a lot for the pointer. I will test the bike for a week after the present set of jobs are done. Then I will start prospecting hardcore for the mod job. I will Pm you and take the contacts of the mechanic you have specified. I sincerely need an experienced hand to guide me into this. Thanks a lot again.
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Old 8th December 2009, 10:40   #11
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Yes Sen2009, You do that. Do you have a photo of your bullet. I would like to see it. regards
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Old 8th December 2009, 15:04   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deutscheafrikar View Post
Yes Sen2009, You do that. Do you have a photo of your bullet. I would like to see it. regards
Hey, It's posted here.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...ml#post1582806 (All T-BHP Royal Enfield Owners- Your Bike Pics here Please)

If you want to see any other angles, closeup of the engine or anything else, please let me know.
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Old 11th December 2009, 14:17   #13
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Hi People,

I have gotten the following works done on my bike.

1. Valves - 325/-
2. Valve caps - 70/-
3. Head Repair - 350/-
4. Piston Ring - 150/-
5. Clutch Plate - 750/-
6. Half packing - 110/-
7. Gear Oil - 50/-
8. Engine Oil (Castrol GTX) - 660/-
9. Labour - 450/-
10 Washing - 100/-

Total - 3015/-


First Impression -

The Exhaust note has improved somewhat at idle. The engine's metallic noise although present has become less aparent.

The exhaust note under accelaration has improved many times. My bike used to rev very quickly but pick up used to come much slower. Now the revving and pickup has become synced. This means, the engine revs slower, the pick up is much faster and as a whole the exhaust note has become much LOUDER. (I have not done ANY modifications to the silencer of exhaust system).

The heating up issue is present, albeit slightly reduced. Previously, a 15 KM ride from Mulund to Powai through heavy traffic used to make it so hot that I had to widen up my legs to avoid the heat from the engine block. Now it is not so much bad. However, this might have resulted from all the lubrication and engine oil change. I will report this again after 15 days running.

I will observe the performance of the bike for a month or so, and then I will submit it for the engine mods. I am inclined towards getting this done in Mulund area itself to make frequent visits less hasslesome. (The guy there told me that I would need to visit him many times for the fine tuning - tinkering after I carry out the mods.)

Now the question is - what is the cost of a Electra 350cc Head block? I mean if in case the porting and stuff screwes up my head block completely and I need a replacement!
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