Bullet – 10 months in

The BMW is now insured and ready for it’s MOT.  How will riding it affect my feelings of the Bullet? Time will tell.

 I fitted a new silencer and jetted the carb to Hitchcocks guidelines. It does seem to be a little pokier and quite a bit louder.  Ear plugs when riding are definitely needed. I also fitted a heatshield to the part where my leg touches it when I lean the bike over on the prop stand.

 I fitted a new speedo.  It reads in mph and is rock steady – at least compared to the kph one I took out.  It also gives me a neutral light at the expense of a dark bottom part of the dial. Thanks to a very bright LED the indicator light is very bright but the main beam warning light is abysmal. It works of AC and a simple change to a LED won’t work. I need something a bit more complex.

According to the speedo 70mph is easily obtainable with quite a bit to go!  BUT according to GPS, 70mph on the speedo equates to about 63mph actual!

Strangely, with the old one, I found the easiest way to get the ACTUAL speed was to divide the KPH reading by 2.  So 110kph on the speedo was a real 55mph – not 69 mph as a straight conversion would suggest.

I now suspect that all of the posts I see on forums about cruising allong at 80mph are pie in the sky.  Along the straight, on the flat, I could probably get mine to show  80mph on the speedo.  I reckon that would be a real 68mph. It seems the later bullets have slightly more power (an extra 5hp) so that would raise the max speed to about 77mph, but I don’t think they would last long at that speed.

 I had been driving with handlebar muffs on.  I have taken those off and fitted electrically heated handlebar grips.  The electrical system can only just cope with them.

I usually drive with the lights on, which for me includes the angel eyes, two cree driving lights, the pilot light in the headlight and the tail light (as well as the headlamp, but that is on the AC side) All together these take about 10 watts.  Add in 5 watts for the ignition (around 36 watts at around 90 degree dwell angle) and that is 15 watts.  The grips take about 40 watts.

 But they have different settings.  At anything other than 100%  the grips switch off and on about once a second. At 75%, they are on for 75% of the time and off for 25%. When they are on, and travelling at normal speed the ammeter shows no charge or discharge, when they are off the ammeter shows a charge. 50% or 75% seem about right for the conditions, 100% is uncomfortably hot. 

I need to measure this more accurately with a proper meter to see if I am risk of flattening the battery.  They are quite nice, and ideal for short runs but after a 60 mile ride at about 7C, the backs of my hands felt cold although the fronts were warm, and I did not get my usual white finger. 

 I am sure that with these grips AND the handlebar muffs I could ride comfortably in sub zero temperatures – but I have no intention of doing so.  Those days are gone now.

MOT coming up soon – not anticipating any problems – other than the mileage due to the speedo change???