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Old 22nd April 2024, 15:44   #1
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Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up

Yesterday afternoon, lounging around lazily after a nice hard Sunday ride (bicycle) with the boys, I got to thinking about my Std 500 under the covers, sleeping peacefully, undisturbed, for the past 7 years.

I had never even lifted the cover till that morning, when the helper of my old mechanic Rafiq mamu called out of the blue, and said he was in the area. So I told him to drop in, and we chatted over a cup of tea (yes, when you rode a Bullet, your mechanic and gos family and his workers get automatically adopted as a special operations wing of your extended family).

So I lifted the cover to show him what he was letting himself in for, if he planned to get gis tools home and help me start her. And I lay eyes on my baby, and the bug bit hard. So I dig her keys out from my key satchel. Put on my work t shirt and shorts, and work cap coz I would be working under the blazing sun, and set off to dig up the Tomb of Tutankhamun!

First I used a broom to sweep away all the leaves from on top of the sun baked and hardened canvas cover that was falling to pieces. Then very gingerly I shook the cober violently so that whatever creatures had made a long lease abode under it would get startled and scurry off (I hoped). I have snakes (non poisonous Damans as well as very poisonous cobras) in my compound, as well as a golden nevla (mongoose), multitude of cats, digs, car sized rats (goos), and a pet eagle, along with a herd of cows who for generations have chosen our home to calve in.

Then I removed the cover, threw it carefully to one side, and inspected the bike. Did not look so bad! Unlocked the handle lock on the side with my trusty worn out key, and then muscled it sideways to clear the pillars (it had been pushed as much to the side as possible, to keep the rest of the garage free for the active bikes and cycles and gardeners tools).Since it had been on the main stand, I did not know the condition of the tyres or the aur in them, but took a leap of faith and got her off the stand and dragged her out of the garage into the sunlight for the first time in 7 years.

A village of snails had made their home in the engine bay behind the block. A few big spiders went scurrying at the furst stream of water from the garden hose. And then I got to work with a cloth in full earnest. It became quickly clear that all original parts of Royal Enfield had survived a lot better than the standard aftermarket parts (mainly the crash guard). The rims had rust spots. As did the kick and gear lever (both not on the bike originally when I got her from the Fursungi RE depot ... being an ARAI bike, over time, someone had removed these parts from the bike, and the company had them replaced by a mechanic Pramod before it was given to me).

The engine casing was covered in blacked oil weep. Thick and set and resistant to any efforts with cloth and water. Ditto the rust (battery box and air box, kick and gear and neutral finder, rims, front and rear brake linkages, ignition key switch on the headlight casquette). The crash guard chrome had badly bubbled and was peeling off in big strips. That seems to be a gonner. Lots of the spokes and nipples need work too. Looks pretty surface deep only. So went to work with a Rin bar and a new scotchbrite. And got a lot of the crappy gunk off. The cases will need further metal polish and buff TLC but for now are pretty presentable for a 22 year old bike. Or in no way any less presentable than the 53 year old rider.

Now over to the photos!

Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up-img_20240421_140923.jpg

Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up-img_20240421_140941.jpg

Uncovered and into the light after 7 years.

Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up-img_20240421_160734.jpg

Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up-img_20240421_160754.jpg

After a water wash and a lot of scotchbrite rubbing.

Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up-img_20240421_160845.jpg

Two happy puppies (old dogs)!

Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up-doc60.jpg

Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up-rayan.jpg

The day I got her in 2002. The boy is the Gixxer 250 SF rider now.

Let this new beginning story unfold. Can't wait to get her thumping again!

Cheers, Doc
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Old 22nd April 2024, 16:07   #2
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re: Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up

The bike looks lovely after the wash, Doc.

Are you planning to get the tank repainted to the original colour to match the mudguards?

PS- Nice sticker on the battery box cover. ;-)
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Old 22nd April 2024, 16:34   #3
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re: Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up

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Originally Posted by ex-innova-guy View Post
The bike looks lovely after the wash, Doc.

Are you planning to get the tank repainted to the original colour to match the mudguards?

PS- Nice sticker on the battery box cover. ;-)
Thanks bro. She's a beauty. A bit of a legend in the old Bullet and Bulleteer community of the first decade of this millenium. When Rider Mania meant a private all India party of 300-400 max Bullet buddies. Everyone on first name terms. Including the CEO. And not the faceless mela it has become now.

I had converted Doppie into a bit of an enduro after racing her for a couple of years on track. Dirt rodding races leant perfectly to such local garage mods in those days. I basically went to a Yamaha showroom and picked up the rear end bits of the FZ (a radical good looking new bike in those days) and Rafiq mamu did the rest. With an original Honda race fly mudguard off of a motocross bike for the front.

Here is Doppie in that guise in Himachal ...

Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up-img_1645.jpg

If you look closely and can make out, both wheels are 18 inch wheels, modded for track (handling, choice of modern rubber, acceleration). The front brake hub is a carefully modded 7 inch TLS 19 incher hub cut down and re-spoke holed for 18 inch rims (fewer spokes). Done in Chennai.

The head is a Bullet Track legend Subhash Chandra Bose posted and re-valved twin plug modded race head. With performance springs and triple cut seats.

The tank and both side boxes are spares that I painted white for racing ( easy to match and touchup if/when you crash). The originals were carefully wrapped in cloth blankets and packed away.

Sadly I did not clean the tank of the fuel well enough before storing, and the petrol fumes did a number on the lacquer and paint (bubbling, fading in patches). One of the saddest moments in my life. That tank (original) has now been stripped, primed, and painted white, and needs to be repainted back to the Athena Grey original, along with the hand painted gold piping. Another project I've yet not gotten down to.

But I shall!

Then after a few years, I got bored of that look, and plonked the mudguards and fork tubes and original handlebar and indicators and front number plate (as well as battery and air boxes, removing the UNI pod filter and flat slide Keihin carb) back on, and refitted my original 19 inch wheels and stock Bullet rubber. Not wanting to wait for painting the tank. And the look grew on me (and many others) and she's been like that for over a decade now. The feel of a stock Bullet on 19 inch wheels is priceless! An 18 inch wheeled Bullet looks like a butki (midget) ...

Cheers, Doc

P.S. The Get Of Your Ass sticker is from the Ooty RM in 2009. The last RM I ever attended. I never ever got into the RE vs BOB MC (rider) fracas. Too much other politics in our own club by then to really care or have the bandwidth for! LOL

Last edited by ebonho : 22nd April 2024 at 16:46.
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Old 22nd April 2024, 19:33   #4
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re: Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up

Good to see the 500 almost back on the road.

Co-incidentally the Rider Mania at Ooty in 2009 was my first and last RM and that was on my 500 that I bought used and rebuilt to new just few months before the meet. That was a 96' model and was with me till 2015.

I'm maintaining another 96' 500 now for a fellow member who left the bike with me when he moved out of the country.
Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up-img_6006.jpeg

Waiting to see your bike in use and your thoughts after getting back on it.
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Old 22nd April 2024, 19:55   #5
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re: Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up

Quote:
Originally Posted by tharian View Post
Good to see the 500 almost back on the road.

Co-incidentally the Rider Mania at Ooty in 2009 was my first and last RM and that was on my 500 that I bought used and rebuilt to new just few months before the meet. That was a 96' model and was with me till 2015.

I'm maintaining another 96' 500 now for a fellow member who left the bike with me when he moved out of the country.
Attachment 2597752

Waiting to see your bike in use and your thoughts after getting back on it.

Brilliant bro!

Just confirming. In std 500 we use 20w50 right? 2.5 liters. 2.25 in the primary, and 250 ml in the clutch case? Gearbox is grease + oil 50:50 or is the ratio different? Which oil ? 90w gear oil? Or same 20w50 engine oil? Jets are 110 main and 25 pilot? Spark plug is long reach W5DC? Any alternative if I dont get? Battery is 5 Ah right?


I need a fuel tap. Mine is broken and the small stub remaining that I used to move its position with has broken off too. I'll need to rummage through my old folders fir Pere Snidal's manual and other material, but seeing you here, just asking.

Any other tips, please do share here!

Cheers, Doc
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Old 22nd April 2024, 21:08   #6
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re: Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up

Nice write up Doc, looks like the bikes in your garage are coming out of hibernation, first the Duke and now the 500. Luckily the Bullet 500 was stored in Pune and not in Mumbai, it would have rotted badly here in Mumbai.

Waiting to see it comes back to life soon.

Cheers,
Dhruv Shetty.
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Old 22nd April 2024, 21:17   #7
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re: Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhruv Shetty View Post
Nice write up Doc, looks like the bikes in your garage are coming out of hibernation, first the Duke and now the 500. Luckily the Bullet 500 was stored in Pune and not in Mumbai, it would have rotted badly here in Mumbai.

Waiting to see it comes back to life soon.

Cheers,
Dhruv Shetty.
Thanks Dhruv. Another Bhpian Aravind today was similarly joking ... Doc, just think long and hard.. are there any more motorcycles that are in your garage sleeping, forgotten, hidden somewhere?

The Kinetic 4S I've given to a Parsi boy who helps in the fire temple.

And the Pulsar 180/220 hybrid I plan to give to my maid's younger son. She was asking me about it when she saw Doppie rising like a Phoenix from the ashes.

Thats it then. I'm downsizing.

Cheers, Doc

Last edited by ebonho : 22nd April 2024 at 21:42.
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Old 23rd April 2024, 07:56   #8
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re: Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Brilliant bro!

Just confirming. In std 500 we use 20w50 right? 2.5 liters. 2.25 in the primary, and 250 ml in the clutch case? Gearbox is grease + oil 50:50 or is the ratio different? Which oil ? 90w gear oil? Or same 20w50 engine oil? Jets are 110 main and 25 pilot? Spark plug is long reach W5DC? Any alternative if I dont get? Battery is 5 Ah right?


I need a fuel tap. Mine is broken and the small stub remaining that I used to move its position with has broken off too. I'll need to rummage through my old folders fir Pere Snidal's manual and other material, but seeing you here, just asking.

Any other tips, please do share here!

Cheers, Doc

Happy to help. Here you go,
Attached Thumbnails
Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up-img_6012.jpeg  

Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up-img_6011.jpeg  

Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up-img_6010.jpeg  

Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up-img_6009.jpeg  

Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up-img_6008.jpeg  

Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up-img_6007.jpeg  

Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up-img_6013.jpeg  


Last edited by tharian : 23rd April 2024 at 08:01.
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Old 23rd April 2024, 08:56   #9
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re: Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up

Thanks a ton Tharian. Its all coming back. Met one of my old club buddies on WhatsApp yesterday who was delighted to see Doppie's pictures. Most if the old crowd have sold their Bullets and moved on to ither bikes. He works at RE and says actually, our spares channel has improved and how. Almost all parts are available or made available to help enthusiasts restore their old bikes.

That sounds sweet to my years!

Cheers, Doc
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Old 23rd April 2024, 09:55   #10
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re: Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
works at RE and says actually, our spares channel has improved and how. Almost all parts are available or made available to help enthusiasts restore their old bikes.

That sounds sweet to my years!

Cheers, Doc
Thats good to know especially since I have to get my 02' Electra rebuilt sooner or later.
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Old 23rd April 2024, 09:56   #11
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re: Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up

Dear Mods,

Could you change the "Standard" in the thread title to "Bullet" please.

Apparently that is the correct nomenclature, coz Standard refers to the 350 only.

Thanks and regards,

Doc
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Old 23rd April 2024, 10:41   #12
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re: Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
I got to thinking about my Std 500 under the covers, sleeping peacefully, undisturbed, for the past 7 years.
...
got her off the stand and dragged her out of the garage into the sunlight for the first time in 7 years.
...
pretty presentable for a 22 year old bike
...
Let this new beginning story unfold. Can't wait to get her thumping again!
Cheers, Doc
Woow..!!! Wonderful to see the beast coming back to life after 7years of forced hibernation, Doc.

Gives me inspiration & ideas to revive & rejuvenate my first-gen 2004 RE Thunderbird 350 now. Its been kept away for the past 2 years, also got all the oil leaked out a few months back, after our parking got a knee level flood. May need some major work to bring her back to life... She was literally abandoned after my Versys took her place.

Since your Bull-500 was 2002 model and left unused for 7 years, I assume the RC & fitness would have expired in 2017. How do you plan to get the re-registration done for the bike? Its a pain (& expensive) with the RTO formalities, after so much delay rite? My bike RC was never renewed as well.
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Old 23rd April 2024, 11:03   #13
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re: Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up

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Originally Posted by BreezeRiDrives View Post
Woow..!!! Wonderful to see the beast coming back to life after 7years of forced hibernation, Doc.

Since your Bull-500 was 2002 model and left unused for 7 years, I assume the RC & fitness would have expired in 2017. How do you plan to get the re-registration done for the bike? Its a pain (& expensive) with the RTO formalities, after so much delay rite? My bike RC was never renewed as well.
Thanks buddy! To be honest, my 500 was not abandoned. She was covered properly. And parked under a covered shed (open on all 4 sides) as you can see in the photos. The Duke stood right side by side all those years.

I have not thought about the re-registration (or indeed insurance) yet. Just been 2 days. Let me fire her up first. If I'm running her in and around the city on night runs (dug dug dug) then the natural lethargy and inertia will be to let her run like this. And if pulled over, handle things then. But if the bike is running good and the rides get longer, then definitely I will find someone to get it done. The money is fine I guess. The legwork is where U need to give it to someone to do. Its definitely not quick. Like for my 2005 Baleno last year. That thing went on and on. Then I lost interest and put my son in charge. Since that's his daily driver.

Cheers, Doc
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Old 23rd April 2024, 11:30   #14
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re: Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up

Its very nice to see another Bullet being brought back to life after hibernation. I have a 1990 model Std. 350 which I resurrected last year so I look forward to seeing this back up and running.
The 500 has a power advantage over the 350, something that becomes apparent in the hills, though this is offset by its tendency to get very hot.
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Old 23rd April 2024, 11:38   #15
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re: Doppie reborn! My 2002 Iron Barrel Bullet 500 wakes up

First Foretio's '68 G2 on the homepage yesterday and now this gem. Boy, TBHP is repeatedly igniting the urge in me to get my hands on another CI someday!
Wishing you fair winds for this restoration, Sir! The CI 500 is a rare beast in this era and I'm sure this thread will turn even more delightful as you embark on the journey of bringing Doppie back to life! It's great to see veteran Bulleteers get back into the community astride their CI Bulls in this 2024 crowd of J-series machines. Plus, the anecdotes over the years are a joy to read.
Can you shed some light on how the spare parts and maintenance scenario of a 500 differs from a 350? Are OEM CI500 parts still available from RE? Also, the twinspark head sounds interesting indeed. Can you perhaps shed some light on the mod and the resultant improvements?

Regards
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