Bullet – 1 year in


The BMW is now insured, MOT’d and rideable.  So is the Bullet. Over the next six months or so I have to get some miles in to decide which of these I keep.

With the shield on the silencer, and my new heel toe gear lever, and summer in Cornwall,  I can now ride in shorts and flip flops.  Yea.

The electronic ignition is now working.  It has not affected performance in anyway, but I’ll probably never need to replace the points again. 

I fitted a clock and a thermometer – £7.44 the pair from China via Amazon.

The thermometer read about 8oC low when it arrived but was easy to calibrate.

 As the weather got sunnier I found it increasingly difficult to read the sat nav (actually just googlemaps on a phone) in the tank pouch so I relocated it to the handlebars. 
The mount was made from bits lying around – an old phone mount for a microphone stand and a P clip.

 The handlebars were getting a bit cluttered now and I really don’t like the handlebar mounted usb sockets so I simply fitted mine in the headlamp and ran the wire out to phone. – Much neater in my opinion. It is wired through the ignition to avoid flat batteries.
The unit came from eBay for the princely sum of £3.06 Inc. postage for TWO!

I do hate the wiring on the bike.  It is vastly over complicated with wires running all over the place.

For example, the ignition switch puts power on the coil and other things when operated but also shorts out the points when not operated. Why? 

Why does the starter motor still turn when the cut of switch won’t let the plug fire?

There are lots of junctions IN THE HARNESS. Why?  This more than doubles the number of wires crossing from the frame to the headlamp. 

If I still have the bike next winter I will do a re-wire to my own design.

I think I need three looms.  One inside the headlamp to connect to the switches, ignition, lights etc.  One at the rear to connect to the taillights, battery etc. And a spine one that runs from the headlamp to the rear. The fiddly bit will be finding mating connectors to the switches and other fitments.

The BMW is growing back on me.  I had forgotten what a proper gearbox and clutch were like!  And what it is like to be able to overtake a lorry going uphill without worrying if I can get past.

Update:- I took the Bullet and the BMW out for a spin today (August).  I have to admit I prefer the BMW to ride.  It is faster at 90+ mph and handles well.

The Bullet has shown 83mph on the clock but that is around 75mph on  GPS.  On the same flat stretch of road in the opposite direction it managed around 60mph (GPS). I guess there was a headwind in one direction and a tailwind in the other.

The Bullet sounds good, but I need earplugs when riding it and after an hour or so the noise does irritate.  The BMW is much quieter and the exhaust not is really less than the wind noise in my open face helmet.

The Bullet looks better and I like the nice low seat, and it now has lots of fancy extras on it .

But my friendly old R65LS is competing for, and winning, my affections.

I could tune the Bullet. I’d need to gas flow the head, fit a piston and bottom end that could take the power and another carburettor. I think that the cost would be around £2000.  Then, as an Enfield, I could run it for a few years hopefully, but after 30,000 miles it would be a “high miler” and ready for a complete stripdown and rebuild.

By contrast the BMW with 47,000 miles on the clock has clean insides with negligible big end play or barrel or piston wear. Not so the valve seats which were recessed badly due to sustained high speed running on unleaded petrol. I can get the valves seats replaced for around £500. But it is still going OK now.  The money I could get by selling the Bullet could be used on the BMW.

 I’ve never been one for showroom bikes. Functional, reliable, comfortable and lived in, is my style.