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Old 16th February 2010, 22:13   #1
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Default RE Bullet - Weight Reduction Program

I am endeavoring to reduce the weight of my LB 500 and wanted a couple of pointers about this.

First, is aluminum a suitable substitute for steel on the bike? Particularly for the tank. I have seen a lot of petrol tanks made of aluminum, however, is it pure aluminum or an alloy? How much would it cost to have a lightweight tank fabricated? Where can I get this done in Bangalore?

I also want to know which parts of the bike I can strip away or replace with a lighter material (Fibreglass?). I also want to know if I can replace the yoke with a lighter substitute (or get rid of it completely).

Any help with this is appreciated. Old-skool Bulleteers - please spare me the "a Bullet looks good as it is" sermon. Thanks!
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Old 16th February 2010, 22:33   #2
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MMM there is a lot of scope of weight reduction on bullet,subst gas tank for aluminum one is not recomended for there would not be great weight saving ,and its very easy to puncher it in case the bike falls on something sharp!
There is not a lot of body work on a bullet! but u surely can save a lot of valuable pounds by redesigning fenders( both),getting rid of main stand,using lighter Seat(may even be single),smaller LI-On battery(similar amperage-hour,lighter front & Rear shocks,lighter Rims,and making a lot of parts of aluminum alloys,like swingarm and engine brackets etc,however u will have to completely engineer them yourself to provide adequate properties.

simple DIY project would be getting rid of Main stand,slimmer light weight fenders,getting rid of engine and saree guards and lighter seat.u can replace rear wheel + for a pulsar one with rear disk (it saves about 5-6 kgs of weight) drum brakes are very heavy. you will have to do slight alterations to frame to fit that swing arm,not too difficult if you know how to cut and weld! Give it a Try!
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Old 16th February 2010, 22:39   #3
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^^ I agree. Changing tank to aluminium is not suggested as pure AL is very very soft. Also it can cause leaks & punctures.
Changing the front fram, stand, shocks, seats & both mudgurads is certainly going to reduce a lot.
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Old 16th February 2010, 23:39   #4
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I'm bit curious to know why you want to shed some pounds from bullet? Bullet is comfortable to ride in bad roads as it's bit heavy.
You can replace all iron parts with aluminium to make it lighter, but then it'll not be a bullet.
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Old 16th February 2010, 23:43   #5
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Well i'd suggest joining the gym.:P

the rider is the single biggest weight on the bike.

other than that its total re-engineering.i don't see many place to reduce weight and even is the above stated parts are replaced then the savings would be very small.i feel that the engine and chassis itself form a very major part of the bike's weight.

Some more parts worth thinking about are the swingarm and the rear fender and the rear fender stays.
you can also replace the front yolk with one from the thunderbird and then dump the speedo etc and can use a light aftermarket headlight.

also regarding the front and rear rims i don't think you can have lighter alternatives.we all know that the alloys for bullets namely the Rado and Prado companies are extremely heavy.the stock steel rims are pretty light unless you can get them made in light alloy.the centre hub is very light.its made of aluminium.

also you can remove the side boxes and cut off the trianlgular part of the chassis holding those side boxes.

also weight savings can be had by removing the electric starter assembly as well as the gearing system for the electric starting.

also use just the front bend pipe and remove the long end can.its a very heavy part.

while you're at it remove the rear pillion footpegs and the footpeg attachments.
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Old 17th February 2010, 07:33   #6
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unless you are planning on participating in some drags or something with the bull, i dont know what benefits can accrue from taking off a couple of pounds here and there.

Keep it stock!
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Old 17th February 2010, 08:03   #7
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You may want to talk to these guys - Nandanmotors: Homepage
No personal experience, since I don't have an RE; but looks like these guys have got quite a good name around. You may want to PM to the bullet fan bblost for some more suggestion.
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Old 17th February 2010, 09:59   #8
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1. remove the khopdi and instrument cluster completely. replace stock handle bar with either a custom made split or a HD type handlebar depending on where u plan to go with this. thats 5 kgs off!

2. strip off the mudguards completely. you may need to put a rubber sheath ahead of the rear wheel. Thats another couple of kilos!

3. you could take off the seats and replace it with a single seat.

4. lastly (though i wouldnt advise this), switch to a smaller 8 liter cafe racer style tank. There is one guy in Karol Bagh Delhi who makes this i believe. I think his name is Pardesi something.

check out some pics below for reference.

hope this helps you with your project.
Attached Images
  

Last edited by COUGAR : 17th February 2010 at 10:02.
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Old 17th February 2010, 14:18   #9
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Bluu,

You're back after a long time man. Hows the LB500 doing? A less restrictive intake and exhaust, done right can give you four ponies. This will mean you can dump the resonator and the long bazooka muffler. The front mudguard can be replaced with the one on the Electra 5S. Throw the headlamp casquette out, it weighs 6.5 kg. Use a single saddle seat( but not much weight difference). Replace the two mirrors with a single bar end one. The crash guard can also go but I wouldn't really advise that. All these mods in conjunction at good for about ten kilos less, and with 4 more ponies will make your LB500 a little more perkier and trust me this will feel better than just chopping off 10 kilos. And if you're due for some weight reduction, lightening yourself will do good for you and the LB500 too. 20 kilos total weight reduction including the LB500 and rider with 4 more ponies = fast LB500 and a grinning Bluu.

Cheers,

Jay
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Old 17th February 2010, 20:59   #10
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Navpreet, Cougar and Jay - Thanks for the inputs. My main reason for reducing weight is not drags or anything. I just feel that there is a lot of unnecessary weight on a Bullet that, if removed, will help improve performance and a little bit of efficiency.

Jay - LB not doing too well till today. Major electrical issue. Turns out there was a bare wire shorting against the fuel tank! Basically I was a rolling grenade. It has been fixed now. Will get the bike this weekend and try it out. I was about to PM you about the air-filter, carb and NGK upgrades you were discussing on a different thread. Might as well ask you here:

1. Where did you source the parts from? I read on a different thread that someone used larger Mikuni carbs (VM34?) on their Bullets and power was much better. Good idea? What about Amal carbs?

My plan of action as of now is:

Install the new air filter and upjet the carb to balance the lean-ness that will result from the better filtering.

Upgrade the carb, if needed, to enhance performance further.

Reduce weight where easily possible - front yoke, fenders, covers etc.

Also, would it possible to meet up some weekend if you're free? PM me.

Again, idea being improvement of performance (day-to-day) and not racing/drags. Honestly, what I'm really hoping for is that it'll maybe touch 140-150 kmph going downhill

Last edited by Bluu : 17th February 2010 at 21:03.
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Old 18th February 2010, 10:54   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluu View Post
Again, idea being improvement of performance (day-to-day) and not racing/drags. Honestly, what I'm really hoping for is that it'll maybe touch 140-150 kmph going downhill
nearly stock Standard 500's have timed 132-135 (on speedguns not the speedo). So i dont see why you cant get past 140 with your LB. is your bike in a good tune?
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Old 18th February 2010, 11:01   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluu View Post
Navpreet, Cougar and Jay - Thanks for the inputs. My main reason for reducing weight is not drags or anything. I just feel that there is a lot of unnecessary weight on a Bullet that, if removed, will help improve performance and a little bit of efficiency.
In that case, I strongly suggest you drop the idea.

Any change in performance and efficiency will be marginal at best. Because these are Indian roads and I am assuming your rides will not be on GQ alone.

Its simply not worth it.

You lose more because of wind drag than any other factor. The faster you go the more the wind resistance you fight against.
Reducing weight is not going to make your bike any more aerodynamic.

Last edited by bblost : 18th February 2010 at 11:02.
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Old 18th February 2010, 12:38   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluu View Post

Jay - LB not doing too well till today. Major electrical issue. Turns out there was a bare wire shorting against the fuel tank! Basically I was a rolling grenade. It has been fixed now. Will get the bike this weekend and try it out. I was about to PM you about the air-filter, carb and NGK upgrades you were discussing on a different thread. Might as well ask you here:

1. Where did you source the parts from? I read on a different thread that someone used larger Mikuni carbs (VM34?) on their Bullets and power was much better. Good idea? What about Amal carbs?

My plan of action as of now is:

Install the new air filter and upjet the carb to balance the lean-ness that will result from the better filtering.

Upgrade the carb, if needed, to enhance performance further.

Reduce weight where easily possible - front yoke, fenders, covers etc.

Also, would it possible to meet up some weekend if you're free? PM me.

Again, idea being improvement of performance (day-to-day) and not racing/drags. Honestly, what I'm really hoping for is that it'll maybe touch 140-150 kmph going downhill
Let's take it one by one. A less restrictive exhaust might be nice, but won't really work to improve the performance without more air flowing in. So, the intake must be done simultaneously for maximum gains. K&N filter is easily available in Bangalore. Stick to Car Shringar or a reputed parts dealer as many fakes are doing the rounds. There has been some talk about K&N's filtering but so far, it's been ok with me so far since I'm on full synthetic. The other option is the UNI filter which filters just as good(or bad).

Amal is a pain to set up but once you do it right, it's a dream. The biggest issue with Amal is the high initial cost and a faster wear rate. Better option is the vm32 or the TM32. The TM32 won't fit as the fuel tank comes in the way. So, a tank mod is required. The VM32 is a straight fit. These carbs give a marginal rise in power, of about 1 hp but since their response is so quick, the rider thinks that there is a lot more power being outputted. Before all that, We're trying a ported slide for the existing BS29. So, wait a bit. If it works well, you can get one too. The mod will give you the best of both worlds, mileage as well as better throttle response.

I am on a goldie pipe. the best one is from Shakeel, Pune. He's making ones with glass wool now with a removable end pipe by which you can vary the quantity of glass wool and along with it the bass of the thump. So, it doesn't sound too loud while still retaining the bass. One compromise is that the trademark goldie whistle is missing. But that's a little price to pay for a softer pipe that flows just as well. If you want the low end torque, you can retain the hot tube in the bend pipe. I threw mine off for a better top end but my bottom end has suffered a bit in the process though the filter has made up for most of the low end torque.

With these changes, you need larger jets to compensate for the added air flow. Previously I sourced mine from CMW, USA by paying through the nose for shipping. Now, I buy mine from a good friend in Pune for a lot less. If you want, I can PM you his number.


Sorry sir, meeting up not possible till March 21st as I'm in Mysore till then. After that, no issue. I can help you with the set up.

Cheers,

Jay
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Old 18th February 2010, 12:44   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
nearly stock Standard 500's have timed 132-135 (on speedguns not the speedo). So i dont see why you cant get past 140 with your LB. is your bike in a good tune?
Stock LB500s doing 140 on the gun is a long shot. Yes, there has been talk about stock CI500s doing 132-135 on the gun but they probably are one off examples or on a long slope or on a really long 10+ km stretch, which is anyway pushing these machines to their limits.

Cheers,

Jay
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Old 18th February 2010, 12:48   #15
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What comes to my mind now are these:

Get rid of the side boxes.
Get rid of the airbox and install a pod filter.
Get rid of the air injection system.
Get rid of the new tech crankcase breather system and oil catch can and install a duckbill breather tube.
Install a sleek seat.
Install slimmer profile mudguards.
Install a short header and goldie/shortbottle exhaust.
Install 18" rear and front wheels.
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