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Old 25th September 2009, 05:38   #1
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Default Calling all bullet lovers - ESPECIALLY from Hyderabad!

Hey, y'all.

It's been a long time since I've posted or even been to TBHP - no net for months on end! Not that I've been that active or had much to add to the discussions here but it's good to be back!

Been going through quite a few changes, one of them being my location - I've moved from Cochin recently - another being my "bike owner" status - I had to sell off my Honda Unicorn. :(

Another change that's come over me is my attitude to biking in general. After the run-in period on my Uni was over, the tachometer needle was never below 4-5k, that's the kind of rider I was. Every vehicle in front of me had to be overtaken, every corner taken with three points of contact between the bike and the ground. I don't have personal transportation here - I share a friend's P180, I rarely ride it - and that too only in case of emergencies like going to buy cigarettes, rushing to a pub, etc. And I don't find the experience of riding it THAT different from the Unicorn.

But a few days ago, I had a chance to ride a not-so-well-maintained RX100 (that would probably be half my age) for a couple of days, for just around 20 km, but I had an epiphany. I finally understood what the appeal of riding for the sake of riding was. The RX struggled and strained under my weight at low RPM's and felt a bit TOO wieldy compared to the unicorn - but had this sudden little burst of power at around 5k RPM and the sound was, for the lack of a better word - amazing. My Uni would smoke the RX any day but I just loved the experience of just riding at 60 kmph, the engine's loud hum in my ears, and the dust in my eyes (this place is a desert compared to cochin!).

The experience reminded me of what I was missing, and I started pining for a ride I could call my own again. I thought about going for a karizma (second-hand, this time), but that sort of a ride isn't really what I look for anymore - I'm a more sedate rider now, probably because of the changes I've been going through - I realized I wanted something I could feel a real connection to, something that I'd love riding, something I'd ride just because I wanted to ride it - something completely unlike the Uni which I only used to ride for the speed, the wind in my face, and the rush of pushing both the machine and my courage to their limits. I didn't feel a thing when I made the decision to sell the bike, and I felt nothing more than a slight strumming of my heart-strings when my mom called me up to say the buyer had taken my first bike away. That's not the way I want to feel about my next ride.

The obvious choice in my mind was the bullet. I read the old threads about the bullet here at TBHP, and one post in particular convinced me that I was making the right decision - this one.

That's where you come in.

I admit that I know close to nothing of what a bullet owner should know - all I know (as of now) is how to ride a two-wheeler - I have never actually ridden a bullet because I'm not close friends with anyone who has one. I did get a short lift from an old acquaintance once or twice, but that's obviously not nearly enough. Not even in the same goddamn ball-park as riding one.

But I'll learn.

I want to feel the torque and the power everyone keeps talking about, I want to hear the loud thumping in my ears get faster and faster - very slowly! - I want to go into that meditative state people say they go into - I want to fall in love with the quirks everyone says bullets have.....and I want to learn the "lessons" the bullet is so widely known for teaching.

And I need your guidance.

I'm looking for a STD 350, one with the heavier crank - because of the same reason as this guy.

My budget is not more than 40k incl. repairs. I may be able to round up some more but I can't say for certain. I know it's not ideal, but there are some things we all have no control over - this is mine. I'd like to know:

1. If it's possible to get one (an old STD 350 with heavy crank) and make the necessary repairs with this budget, or if you'd have me keep my cool for now and save up some more (anything but that!!)
2. If you could point me in the right direction to where I can get one - I tried but the ones there are too pricey....
3. Contact details, directions to, or at least the location of a good bullet mechanic who knows what he's doing
4. If I should be asking you for "3." or if I should trust the RE service personnel here in Hyd....any Hyderabadi TBHPians on here?
5. Any other advice at all.....for example on what to look for when examining the bike (I can't figure out what to search the forum for)

Your guidance will be rewarded with beer (Hyderabadis only!) and my everlasting (I know it's corny, sue me - it's the truth!) gratitude....

I'm typing this out with Google Chrome - I right clicked on "TBHP" to select "add to dictionary" - the first correction listed in the menu was "THUMP". Heh. I think I'll keep it that way.
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Old 25th September 2009, 11:20   #2
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From my bullet hunt experience in hyd, the best source for a second's bullet is Sunday's DC Classified. I found the owners who place an AD here to be genuine, a little bit expensive (usually priced around 50-60k), but I should say, they are pretty well maintained ones. Just 2 weeks back there was 500 Bullet (now not in production) which got sold for 64k in just a single day. Another guy who was moving out, sold his 80's bullet for around 40k. Oh yes, the ones posted here usually get sold the same day or max the next.

The next source is the mechanics, but here you need to be checking them on an on & off basis for any sale. You will usually get a better deal here, but be careful before you finalize the deal and do get the bike checked by another mechanic if possible, and yes verify the papers too.

The third source is sulekha, and other online portals, they are okie but you need to keep an eye out there.

Happy Hunting.

Last edited by Pretorian : 25th September 2009 at 11:27.
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Old 25th September 2009, 12:08   #3
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Default Welcome to the bullet club ;-)

@ev1lsky0: you sounded exactly like me when i decided to buy my bullet. One difference though, riding bullet is a child hood dream for me. I bought my bullet 500 (CI) in 2004.

I suggest you look for Bullet500 (i might be hard to find one) but the torque and the power are unmatched by any other bullet model. STD 350 is the real classic.

I am not very aware of Hyderabad Enfiled dealers but i guess you can find some good bikes in Bangalore.

Happy hunting.
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Old 25th September 2009, 12:17   #4
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Default Things to look before you bite the bullet ;-)

Ride the bull for a fair distance, both city and highway, maybe 20 Kms overall. The motorcycle should accelerate and stop well without jerks/misfire. You should be able to take your hands of the handlebars without the bull pulling sideways. Bent/welded footpegs indicate a fall. You can also look for any chassis joints that have been rewelded together->points to an accident. Look under the engine also, for any major hits by rocks/other obstacles. Yes, sometimes, the clutch case is very vulnerable to cracks due to big rocks. And people use mseal/wet seal to plug the leaks.

For the engine, a good bullet mechanic/experienced bulleteer who can decipher engine noises would be most ideal. A easy way to check the health of the engine is the silencer. Finger the muffler and look for oily deposits. Stay away if you find oil. You might need a top end rebuild. If you find soot, the engine has been running rich which isn't too much of an issue. No deposits whatsoever will indicate a lean engine which is also dangerous. Another way to check the condition of the engine is the bend pipe, If the bend pipe is blue at the bend where it fits into the engine, the engine has been overheating. Indicates abuse/lean running which isn't good. Also, you could check the spark plug for any oily deposits. If you find any stay away or lop 10K from the asking price. When you first kick start the engine when it is cold, ideally the carb should feel chilled as the fuel flows through it. Also, the silencer should drip moisture, when the bullet is started for the first time after it has been parked overnight. These two factors indicate a perfect stae of tune. Though it is a long list, this is a comprehensive way to judge a motorcycle's worth. Hope this helps.


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Old 25th September 2009, 12:38   #5
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If you wanna check inexpensive and old bulls - there used to be an old guy at tankbund area.

How to reach his place - take straight road from Paradise towards tankbund.
There is this big area filled with workshops near the boat club.
That is where this old chap used to sit - he had a good garage, with real old bulls there.
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Old 30th September 2009, 01:36   #6
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Thanks a lot for your replies, guys. You've been very helpful and informative.

I'm arranging the finances as of now. Since I'm also shifting my place of residence I'll be busy for a few days but I should be ready to start hunting for it by the end of the week.

I'll keep you guys posted.
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Old 29th October 2009, 01:29   #7
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Hello everyone.

I know it's been nearly a month since my last post - there were quite a few things I had to get done that took longer than expected, not worth going into here.

Okay, so here's where my search for a thumper has led me:

I got to know of a mechanic called Venkat in the Lakdikapul area (near some cancer hospital) who specializes in repairing bulls, from a colleague of mine who has a TBTS. I went there and saw the one and only bull he had on sale - a 1989 model STD 350 - which he said didn't have the heavy crank I was looking for, but the engine was in good condition. The bike had noticeable rust here and there, it wasn't what I would call "clean", I could see the battery through the top of the battery cover - and it had a few barely noticeable (but not covered up) scratches and dents that are expected on a bike that's 20 years old....

The asking price is 35k with a chance of bringing it down to 30 or even 29k according to the mech (sorry about the ambiguity, I don't speak Hindi all that well and I don't know a word of Telugu - this was what the friend I took along said).

All I remembered of your post, JayPrashanth, is to check the silencer and sure enough, it had quite a bit of soot but it was all dry - couldn't find oil. The mech was able to start it with 2 kicks, one "preparatory" kick and one "real" kick

The front brake was arguably useless, but the back brake was fine (I know these things can be fixed easily but I'm just being as thorough as a noob like me can be); the engine sounded as smooth as any bullet I've ever heard; it responded well when I gunned the throttle, at least the response was way more than I expected it would be, from my experience of SEEING (and hearing) other bulleteers ride ...

All right, here are the pics....

Calling all bullet lovers - ESPECIALLY from Hyderabad!-imag0054.jpg

Calling all bullet lovers - ESPECIALLY from Hyderabad!-imag0055.jpg

Calling all bullet lovers - ESPECIALLY from Hyderabad!-imag0056.jpg

Calling all bullet lovers - ESPECIALLY from Hyderabad!-imag0057.jpg

Calling all bullet lovers - ESPECIALLY from Hyderabad!-imag0058.jpg

The handlebar and seat, and the tail light and number plates are something I'll have to change immediately, not to mention the brakes - the mech said it would cost something around 2-3k (give or take a few hundred quid) to get it looking and running spick and span. I wanted a wider handlebar (not curved like the TBTS, straight...) and a, umm...better(?) looking seat!

What do you guys have to say?

I'm seriously considering buying the bike, I'm thinking of going there tomorrow afternoon (29/10/09, Thu) and finalising it.

I know I may be jumping the gun here, but I do need a bike ASAP and I can't afford to wait any longer. Please do respond with your thoughts - RIGHT AWAY.
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Old 29th October 2009, 13:27   #8
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I am in the same boat as you. I moved here a few months back and have been looking earnestly for a used 500 CI for atleast two months now. A price of <30k for that bike appears to be reasonable considering that prices for used bullets have generally gone up in recent years. Please take an experienced bulleteer for a test drive, in my experience no two used bullets have ever felt the same.An engine that has been rebuilt too many times is most likely not going to be in very good nick. If you are planning to ride your bullet like you ride the Unicorn, expect some hefty repair bills. I can tell you from experience, as I used to ride my 1985 350 std exactly like that. Scraping the footpegs was a favourite past time of mine. I bought my bike in 1995 and had 3 engine rebuilds in 5 years and cost me twice as much as the original cost in repairs and mods. This is not to discourage you from buying a bullet and doing it up, I will be the first to admit that I had a lot of fun during those 5 years. As thrills go, this is still very very cheap after factoring in everything! There were times when I also wondered if it was worth all the trouble

By all means, consider the cost of ownership and not just merely the price of entry - it matters more with the bullet than any other bike. I have been looking at Sulekha mostly, quite a few ads for Electra 5S and older bullets from the late 70s to the 90s. The best value proposition I have seen so far is the Electra 5s. These bikes are relatively new(2006 and thereabouts) and usually come with low miles. Prices quoted are in the 65k to 68k range. Its an attractive proposition considering it has electronic ignition and disc brake. I dont if electric start is standard on all 5s bikes, but the other two are vital improvements over the earlier bullet. Times have changed, my 350 used to feel adequate for the B'lore-Mysore road in those days, now I wish for better brakes and a little more top end on even the 500.

The one thing I will warn you about is that you might quickly outgrow the relatively feeble power of the 350 compared to a 500. I myself am looking for a 500 entirely due to personal preferences. I dont plan to ride in the city, only for weekend rides where the 500 shines, where it gets a chance to bare its soul. My experience has been that the 500 overheats a lot in slow traffic and is not at all happy in stop and go traffic, the 350 CI is much better at navigating city traffic. The newer all alloy engines are reportedly even better in this respect. The 500 needs air moving around the engine to run well. For a bike with such a large engine, the bike is not really happy over 90 kmph, it desperately needs a taller final gear. As a result it feels strained and slow on the open highways. It works best on gentle rolling hills, winding roads and fast sweepers. It is in its element in that environment. It does have its share of issues though, the rear brake has a pronounced tendency to lock up and the front will dive alarmingly under hard braking. Inspite of these issues, its ability to chew up the miles in comfort is amazing. Of the 3 500s that are owned by a brother and close friends for atleast 5 years now, they have been remarkably trouble free, for a bullet that is. This inspite of being ridden hard invariably and garaged for months on end sometimes. Sadly for me, none of the existing owners of those 3 500s wish to part with their steeds.

Please PM me if you run into a 500 CI, I would greatly appreciate it. If you want someone to check out your ride before you commit, PM me. I live in the Masab Tank area and would not mind offering an opinion.
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Old 29th October 2009, 21:17   #9
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I live in Hyd too, and I recently bought a used std 350. Pics are available in my profile.
I am not an expert, still learning to cope with the bullet. My two cents would be not to hasten your search and settle for something too soon. I was helped by a friend of mine who owned many bullets in the past and currently owns a '56 original beauty. Needless to say, i got a good deal, and in 4 months of novice riding, I did not have any issue with my bull except for a puncture.
I use it everyday, in the heavy traffic and am pretty much pleased.
Would send a PM to you with my mobile number -- You may give me a call on saturday; I will try and find out if my friend is aware of any good ones on sale now.
Regarding a good mech, the best out there is Sudhakar anna, who runs his garage at Ranigunj. He is pretty much well known in the place, and its easy to find his workshop. There is a thread posted by bblost about his service, with details and pictures. An honest, hardworking dedicated man.
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Old 30th October 2009, 15:14   #10
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@ev1lsky0 - I check out the pics you posted here. As you said, your mechanic is right, this one doesn't come with a heavy crank. But you could always make it heavier. There are a lot of professionals who could do that, however I don't know anyone personally.

1. The pics that you sent me is actually a mix of old and the new. For example the rear dampers, they come from the 60's or 70's bullet if I have guessed it right. Coz I remember seeing "Armstrong" dampers on Bullets way back in 1989.

2. The oil feed pipe banjo has a leak. You never know how much it would cost.

3. The front left hand side fork cover has some scratches or dents on it. Please check where it came from. It will be a lot better if you could find an accident free Bullet.

4. The same can be found on the left side tool box lid.

5. Last and most importantly the bike isnt worth 35k and I feel you are very correct about that. If were you, I would try to buy it from 25k or less. It is worth only that much. You can get much better bikes for 35k.
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Old 30th October 2009, 15:26   #11
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@ev1lsky0: You must be desperate to even pay 25k for that heap of junk.
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Old 30th October 2009, 15:57   #12
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The prices for bullets off late has sky rocketed. its insane the kind of prices people are willing to pay for bullets.

Recently, some friends and i came to know that the COD bangalore were auctioning abt 40 bullets ( abt 30 of them were 1982 model and the remaining were 1992 model) The bikes obviously were in very bad shape, none of them in running conditon but papers were upto date and they had FC and they had been keep kept rotting out in the open esp the 1982 model ones.

so we were 4 of us and in between us we had carried abt 40 grand, we were of the opinion that we would buY atleast 4-5 bullets with the money we had.

here is the shocker! each of those run down " heaps of junk" went for anywhere between 16k( the lowest) and 28k ( the highest).

we came back astonished, ofcourse with no bullets but with our hard earned money intact.

Last edited by siddartha : 30th October 2009 at 16:01.
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Old 30th October 2009, 16:52   #13
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evilsyko - Sorry I cannot help you much (or rather, at all) on your search of the thumper but what I can do is commend you on your first post. Really enjoyed reading it and I hope you do get the right bike for yourself.
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Old 31st October 2009, 15:16   #14
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@ Beast_of_Burden & Ashok: You already know what's going on, I've already talked to you both....

@ ron_9191: Heh heh heh. See, the problem is, I needed someone to go check the bike out with me and tell me if it's worth taking, and I didn't know anyone who could do that when I went to see this bike. I do now, Beast_of_Burden has graciously offered to come with me - but that bike has already been sold. I'm back to square one now. But hey, how did you know from just looking at the pic that the bike doesn't have a heavy crank? Please let me know, it would be quite helpful!

@ Spitfire: You have NOOOOO clue how |=|_|(|<!|\|6 desperate I am. NONE whatsoever.

@ siddartha: That makes sense, old bullets are hard to come by. I should know, lol.

@ Abhay: Thank you very much, Abhay!


Okay, so let me tell you what's been happening these past few days - as it turns out, I couldn't go to the mech that day, and so I decided to go today - I didn't think it would've been sold, because we had told him to let us know if any other buyers came to see it - I called him up and what does he say?

Mech: "Oh, I'm sorry, that bike's been sold for 29.5k three whole days ago"

Me (holding the phone aside): #!$*&*(@#&%(&*@(#*$&(*&@#$)(&*&(*#$%

Mech: "Hello?"

Me: "Okay, so dya happen to know of any other old bullets on sale?"

Mech: "Call on monday or tuesday"

<end of call>

Me: #!$*&*(@#&%(&*@(#*$&(*&@#$)(&*&(*#$%

<End of story>

Anyone in Hyderabad who knows of any bullets for sale for LESS THAN 30k and (preferably) one with the heavy crank....

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