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Old 9th March 2011, 12:11   #16
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Default Re: Confused! Modify my Pulsar or Buy a Bullet

Thanks for the ideas, I know I have touched a much-repeated topic but it's heartwarming to see people chip in.

I have seen many people here (like Gordon) mention that a Bullet can be made to work properly and without trouble. How much effort it requires is the question. Frankly, many Enfields I have ridden (even the so-called good ones) are actually in bad shape. Maybe, it's just a matter of perspective.

If I test-drive a new Bullet, I might get an idea of what it is like now. However, the question is how long will it take to degenerate to the condition of the older ones with bouncy ride (no suspension travel), useless brakes etc. etc. Can I offset this degeneration by looking after it properly? How much effort is it to do so?

@Ride_4_Fortune and @Akas_Chauhan: If I go the Indo-Jap bike route, it will either be the Karizma or the Avenger, both good bikes. The latter is a reliable and relaxed cruiser while the latter is essentially a Pulsar with a slightly more powerful engine and headlights and better seating position. Maybe that's what I shall end up with.

@VW2010 and makanaka: The thing with the Pulsar is that it just cannot be driven in a relaxed manner, because of its seating and high RPM nature. There is nothing really wrong about that bike. It's been my trusted companion for a long time now, even more reliable, in a way, than my car. Also bear in mind the fact that I rarely ride for less than 20 km each way and this will increase to 35 km after I move to my new home. That is why I am looking at a different bike.

My only fascination with the Bullet is the low-RPM, high torque combination along with the seating. Nothing else really appeals to me.

@Avishar: Let the waiting period be a long one, no hassles. I am in no hurry. This is a long-term purchase plan with a much longer ownership horizon. I am sorry to let go off my Pulsar so soon purely because of its riding discomfort.

The idea of borrowing a Bull and riding it for 2-3 days is tempting because, frankly, I have never driven more than 2-3 km at a stretch on one of them. Maybe I need to do that.

Lastly, I don't care much for the image or the "manliness" crap about Bullets. I don't find anything manly about getting your hands dirty with an engine every weekend when there are other more reliable options around. Sadly, none of those reliable options offer a comfortable ride / seating and low-RPM high torque combo below Rs 8 lakhs (the HD SuperLow).
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Old 9th March 2011, 12:23   #17
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Default Re: Confused! Modify my Pulsar or Buy a Bullet

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getting your hands dirty with an engine every weekend when there are other more reliable options
I am not exactly sure why you assume bulls are not reliable. In fact i still stress my point that bulls are very reliable. Most of the bull owners will agree to the fact that unless you misuse the bull you are sure of having one long hassle free relationship.

I have friends who own their father bulls for over 30 years and they hardly spend time to get their hands dirty.

Let me know what makes you feel bulls are not reliable?
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Old 9th March 2011, 13:49   #18
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Default Re: Confused! Modify my Pulsar or Buy a Bullet

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Originally Posted by architect View Post
However, the question is how long will it take to degenerate to the condition of the older ones with bouncy ride (no suspension travel), useless brakes etc. etc. Can I offset this degeneration by looking after it properly? How much effort is it to do so?
It will take at least 4-5 years for the degeneration to happen. An, when it does happen, just go and change your rear gas shocks for 2K bucks. End of story.
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My only fascination with the Bullet is the low-RPM, high torque combination along with the seating. Nothing else really appeals to me.
You would probably be fascinated by a lot more, once you start riding it regularly. The high speed stability (@ 110 KMPH), the seating position, the sound etc...
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The idea of borrowing a Bull and riding it for 2-3 days is tempting because, frankly, I have never driven more than 2-3 km at a stretch on one of them. Maybe I need to do that.
You can take my RETB from Gurgaon for 2-3 days. I am not riding it much, so no problems, as long as you ride her with T-L-C.
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Originally Posted by architect View Post
Lastly, I don't care much for the image or the "manliness" crap about Bullets. I don't find anything manly about getting your hands dirty with an engine every weekend when there are other more reliable options around.
Forget the manliness; that's a bias. Also, forget the "getting your hands dirty" thing. That does not happen every weekend.... only about once every 3 months.
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Sadly, none of those reliable options offer a comfortable ride / seating and low-RPM high torque combo below Rs 8 lakhs (the HD SuperLow).
HD's are not really reputed for their reliability, mind you. A lot of the people from the land of the HD's, actually call these things, trash!
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Old 9th March 2011, 14:44   #19
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Default Re: Confused! Modify my Pulsar or Buy a Bullet

architect, you dont seem to be a guy who love hanging around the mech garage. since your pulsar is old makes sense disposing it off and on the next bike.

i will certainly wont suggest a used RE as you will do a lot of what i have mentioned above instead try picking up a new one if your budget allows or you have a sea of choice in the 150segment.
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Old 9th March 2011, 15:06   #20
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Default Re: Confused! Modify my Pulsar or Buy a Bullet

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architect, you dont seem to be a guy who love hanging around the mech garage
Just to add to Lohithrao's suggestion its not about visiting the garage. The bull will probably require attention every 1000kms.

The attention is to check its brakes, chain and probably oil. Learn it once and you dont need to visit a garage as well. But some of us just love to give too much attention to the bulls which may give a wrong impression.

Even when everything is going fine, most of the bull owners like to take it to the workshop on a regular basis to find improvement parts or improvement areas including batteries, lights and modifications. This is just because we love to keep the bull as much fun for us as possible.

For the 35KM a day ride any 150-220 CC bike will do.

From what i experience i feel there is only two side to your question with respect to a bullet. You either love it or just dont love it.

Will it require you to visit the garage? - Yes
Will it require more attention from you? - Yes
Will it give a better ride quality? - No/Yes - This is based on the handle bars used. With the flat handlebars the bull is still a pain in the shoulder bike for a 50KM ride.
Will it give a decent FE ? - Yes
Will you feel effortless driving cruising at 60kmph ? - A definite Yes

Having driven a pulsar so long, just give a bullet a try.
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Old 9th March 2011, 15:40   #21
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Default Re: Confused! Modify my Pulsar or Buy a Bullet

VW2010, i am afraid that the bull would not require any attention other then the chain tightening which is few mins job i,e in 1k kms.

i think my previous post is a bit confusing, my 535 is a 99 model and is done close to a lac now and machismo350(avl) crossed 50k...

my 535 needs some attention as the mechanics are incompetent to fix all the issues at one shot and most of the time it is tuning related issues, this bike has seen many long/highway rides and many heavy rain rides but has never failed me so far, something similar with my machismo too.

so to call RE unreliable aint fair but yes the mechs are not as competent as i want them to be...

But if one picks a used bike some time has to be spent fixing it....

Last edited by lohithrao : 9th March 2011 at 15:41.
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Old 9th March 2011, 16:10   #22
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Default Re: Confused! Modify my Pulsar or Buy a Bullet

2 bikes which come to mind immediately given your requirement of seating posture and relaxed ride are Suzuki GS150R and Yamaha FZ series. Both these bikes have a relaxed seating position and have good mid end grunt to take you thru the city traffic with ease. You can consider these 2 bikes as a replacement to your pulsar. FZ will be a little low on mileage but the build quality is much superior to the bikes in its class. GS will be a good cruiser with the added advantage of 6th gear and good mileage.

I have never ever sat on a Bullet (any model) hence I will refrain from commenting on your choice about the bullet.
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Old 9th March 2011, 22:29   #23
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Default Re: Confused! Modify my Pulsar or Buy a Bullet

What I can gather from all the responses is that if maintained well, a Bullet is not generally unreliable. All it needs is TLC, which means a check-up on the chain, oils and electricals, say, once in 1000 km (which will be once a month for me at the most). What about the tuning? I believe they require constant attention to the tuning (is it there in the CDI models also or only in the point ignition model?).

I am also exploring the option of modifications to handlebar, seat height and electricals to get rid of the problems on my Pulsar: riding position and comparatively poor illumination. Obviously, I am not touching anything else.

Now, I have also figured that IF I buy a Bullet, I need one with disc brakes, gas shockers and the Electra handlebar and seat. Basically, either it's a new Bullet or an old Bullet with all these add-ons.

I also figure that while the original Thunderbird is considered to be a reliable and comfortable machine by many, it may not be great for my height / build. Is the Thunderbird TwinSpark as good as the original T-Bird?

@abhinav.s: the GS150R has been on my radar because of the 6th cog always, just that I was never in the market for a new bike. I have ridden the FZ150 / Fazer. While I like the bike, I don't find much difference from my current bike in terms of performance. I am happy with what I ride, but If I buy new, I would like a performance upgrade, more in terms of low-end torque than abject power.

Last edited by architect : 9th March 2011 at 22:31.
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Old 9th March 2011, 22:34   #24
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Default Re: Confused! Modify my Pulsar or Buy a Bullet

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Originally Posted by architect View Post

Now, I have also figured that IF I buy a Bullet, I need one with disc brakes, gas shockers and the Electra handlebar and seat. Basically, either it's a new Bullet or an old Bullet with all these add-ons.
disc brakes, : Rs 7000
gas shockers: < 2,000
and the Electra handlebar < 600
and seat depends, can be between 700-1700.

Also:
Tire + Tube = Rs 1600.
Chain: around 700 or so.

A RE (non uce) will take the following different oils.
Engine Oil: 2 Liters.
Fork Oil.
Clutch Oil.
Gear Oil.

This is different from other bike (including UCE), which have just engine oil and fork oil.

For tb service, have a look at a thread created by me.

Last edited by bblost : 9th March 2011 at 22:37.
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Old 10th March 2011, 09:07   #25
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Default Re: Confused! Modify my Pulsar or Buy a Bullet

Hi sorry for the late reply I personally feel that you would be better off with a new uce bullet. I personally ride a ci bullet and the engine has been modified for reliability .but still it lacks all the reliability that the new bullets have . If you need any sorta help regarding this in Delhi let me know
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Old 10th March 2011, 10:01   #26
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Default Re: Confused! Modify my Pulsar or Buy a Bullet

The tuning issues are only with CI(point ignition) bikes the newer once dont have these issues, if you are looking for a used one then i will recommend AVL engines which comes on both TB and Machismo this has the 5spedd which is very nice...
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Old 10th March 2011, 13:11   #27
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Default Re: Confused! Modify my Pulsar or Buy a Bullet

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What about the tuning? I believe they require constant attention to the tuning
Once again the CI engines dont require constant attention. The only spare i carry in my bike is an extra spark plug just in case. Its sitting in my storage box for over two years.

I have never touched the timing. You dont touch these parts unless something is definitely wrong.

Quote:
I also figure that while the original Thunderbird is considered to be a reliable and comfortable machine by many
Of all the bulls this is the only bull i would advice you to not get. The spares are very difficult to find and the irritating breather oil problem has no definitely solution. The twin spark is a far better buy compared to the old TB.


Quote:
modifications to handlebar, seat height and electricals
I keep changing my handlebars. I have three sets each costing around 250-300 rupees with the RD handle bar alone costing around 550.

We just changed the complete wiring in my bike and i paid around 2000 including wires, spares, fuses and some additional lights.
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Old 10th March 2011, 13:19   #28
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Default Re: Confused! Modify my Pulsar or Buy a Bullet

If you can afford a bullet, nothing beats it, in any aspect.
Be it riding comfort, reliability or FE(Considering the size of the engine.)

My uncle who works abroad has a '96 Std.
He'l call me a week before he comes home. I'll go to his garage, take the battery which will be kept outside, plug it to my UPS for a little charging, give her a wash and she'll be ready to go in a couple of kicks. All this after remaining stationary for 6 months. That is the way I have seen bullets behave.

Lohithrao said it right, chain needs tightening every 1000kms. But so does any other bike. My Unicorn's chain is tightened more frequently than that. It will start knocking with the chain guard even before 900kms.
The bullet has always been known as a fuel efficient bike. Ever since the introduction of Mikuni type carbs, Fuel Efficiency of 36-38kmpl is not a big deal for bullet.

The Bullet Std and Electra differ in their starting. The Std needs decompressing and looking at the Ammeter before starting while the electra doesn't need that.

Also, if you buy a Std, better to change the front brakes to discs as the drum brake is prone to have locking problems. It will refuse to release after engaging if its not well maintained.

Of course, routine services will leave your purse lighter. I bet you wont be used to buying 3l of engine oil and oil filters for your pulsar. But its worth it.
Go for it brother,
Used or brand new, Bullet is a Bullet.
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Old 10th March 2011, 13:42   #29
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Default Re: Confused! Modify my Pulsar or Buy a Bullet

I have used bullet 350 Std 98 model for 2 years, and from my experience i wont suggest you bullet. Always expect some niggling issues from bullet like battery draining ,oil leakage ,cold starting problems , and chanin and sprocket need to be changed/serviced at regular intervals .I became the best friend of my mechanic in these 2 years . So i am afraid bullet is not the one for you

I have also used the pulsar 150CC 2002 make (the very first type) for 4 years . to be honest after 45k kms it is no longer a durable bike, had the similar problems and sold it.

PS : My cousine have 93 made yamaha rx 100 still running butter smooth
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Old 10th March 2011, 13:48   #30
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Default Re: Confused! Modify my Pulsar or Buy a Bullet

Architect,

I own a Pulsar and a Punto and I travel 60km to and from office daily. Though I wasn't exactly in same situation as yours, I still did a few assessment on what I will lose\gain if I chose my primary ride as either bike/car.

Financial -

My Pulsar returns an average of 37kmpl, the petrol price in Chennai is around 60Rs per ltr. So I spend 1.60Rs for every km. I'm not taking into account the maintenance cost since I don't know when I serviced my bike last. Now, coming to my car. It returns an average of 17kmpl in city consistently and the diesel price is 40rs per lt, so that amounts to Rs.2.25 for every km I drive.

Bike = 1.60*22(Nr. of days I go to office)*60(the distance) = 2112
Car = 2.35*22(Nr. of days I go to office)*60(the distance) = 3105

Adding some more to this, my car requires servicing once in every 15k but my bike would definitely need frequent servicing. Also, bike ages quicker than a car does.

Taking a few more parameters too, such as cost of spares, etc, I think financially you wouldn't lose much. Also, add the creature comforts you get in a car. I understand ageing of your car is one of your primary concern. But things like being light on brakes, going slow on speed breakers, etc. along with periodic servicing could easily make your car last for at least 2L km.

Health-

Though I love biking, I hate to ride in city. The ever increasing pollution, the heat, the ever increasing number of vehicles on road, the risks of being on a two wheeler, etc just doesn't convince me to take the bike. I'm sure the conditions in Delhi should be more or less the same. I've been to my office in my bike for a few days, initially it wasn't taxing but as days passed by my body really couldn't take up the bad ride(compared to car) for 60km daily. I just go to bed as soon as I reach home.

RE might give a comfy ride, but manouevring a RE in B2B traffic is a pain. Considering you are a small built, the ride might save your discs, but expect your shoulder bone to wear out quickly.

Hire a RE(or whatever bike you may want to chose) for a month or two, try taking it to your office as how you initially planned to use your bike. If you feel you are comfortable, then go ahead with your decision, else stick to your car.

I would suggest to continue with using your car as a primary ride. If your heart is longing for a RE, buy it, but think twice before using it as your primary ride or even as an alternative primary ride.
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