Sir Thump! My Heavy Crank Bullet 350X (2021)


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If you know me you'd be wondering if I'm crazy for choosing a Bullet, if you know me really well then you'd be wondering why it took so long to take the plunge! :D

For those of you who haven't a clue let me start with my experience with motorcycles, to keep things short I've been legally riding for a little over a decade now and have owned a total of 10 motorcycles of which I still have 5 with me, all in all I've clocked around 300k km's on 2 wheels.

A point to note is that I am a DIY'er and prefer to get things done myself even if that involves voiding warranty by skipping free services. Over the years I have picked up a few handy skills and if required can take apart my motorcycles piece by piece and put them back together without much ado provided I overcome my laziness, now having extensively ridden and worked on motorcycles I know a few things that are oblivious to most motorcyclists, for starters I know that the the main contributor to a motorcycles reliability is its spare availability and accessibility which makes any and all Indian motorcycles superior to their foreign counterparts, and I'm not saying this cause I have 3 Bajaj's in my stable at the moment as in retrospect I also do have the Honda Fanboi's dream the Honda CBR250R in my garage and I for one can attest that it falls short on the reliability front compared to the likes of my Bajaj Pulsar 220, Bajaj CT100B and even my 2 decade old Bajaj Chetak that still has spares easily available at every nook and corner, I know cause I'd gone out for a stroll on a weekend before and returned home with enough parts to rebuild the engine which included a brand new cylinder kit and crank shaft. :D

Now coming back to the Bullet, everyone and anyone who has ever ridden one or known someone who rides one would know that these machines are far from reliable, granted spare availability is decent but when indigenous and foreign motorcycles are neck and neck when it comes to reliable technology the Bullet's or for that matter Royal Enfields as a whole take a step back, engine rebuilds within warranty mileage is commonplace for Royal Enfield owners and even I myself am aware of the same, but yet why did I choose the Bullet?

This is about the time when a flashback is in order that would unequivocally glorify the Bullet, but unfortunately that was not my case, back in 2018 I had ridden the Golden Quadrilateral circuit covering 14 States in 13 days clocking around 8k km's averaging 600 km's a day and maxing out at around 900 km's a day, all the while riding my Humble Bajaj CT100B, my co-rider was on a Bullet 500 UCE, now you'd think with 5 times the displacement the B500 would've had a blast, which was the case for a few short minutes of high speed sprints but otherwise the B500 was riddled with issues from oil weeps to clogged filters to parts coming loose and finally to the motorcycle smoking and at times hesitating to start, in comparison my CT100B that was ridden at WOT for hours performed flawlessly.

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Okay, so to sum it I know my motorcycles well enough, and have had first hand experience of how troublesome a Bullet can be, also to note on returning my co-rider sold his Bullet 500 and got himself a CT100 as well! So on what plane of sanity would I pick one up for myself?

Well the answer is simple(at least for me), I was about to get married and since I live and breath motorcycles I was on the lookout for a machine that I and my wife could tour on as a couple.

By gods grace budget was not an issue for me at the time and that meant I had some leeway for negotiations as most if not all sellers are inclined to offer larger discounts, opt out of unnecessary packages and accessories and even let us choose our own insurance providers if we pay up front, this also means a shorter delivery date.

So I began my search and got to know that when it came to Royal Enfield they had the 650's in stock at my neighbouring district and the Bullets, Classics and Meteors in stock in my district, the reason for not looking elsewhere was cause I'm a heavy guy and so is my significant other, adding luggage to the mix would mean that we'd need quite some oomph to carry us, so short stroke singles were immediately ruled out, coming to twins the foreign options cost more than double of what RE was asking for the 650's and the upside for me here was that the RE was air cooled which again garners more reliability points in my books. As for singles the only long strokes every single in RE's line up is a long stroke, so I needn't look elsewhere even though some friends suggested the Honda CB350 Highness but my experience told me better and I decided not to touch it with a pole, plus even though long stroke it was still an OHC and I for one have spent my fair share of riding on them so paying a premium for one really didn't make much sense, hence along with it the Himalayan and Meteor's were booted from my list.

This leaves the 650's on one side and the Pushrod's on the other, I collectively call them pushrods as even though RE has brought out many iterations as far as my concerns go they're more or less the same, or that was what I thought, a little bit of research revealed that the Classic's came with a dual disks setup sporting 17 inchers at both ends, a commonly available size so tire options are aplenty, also this one comes with the updated swing-arm;

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Compared to the Bullet that came with a single disc up front and the prehistoric tubular swingarm with a drum at the rear;

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The Classic also came with Alloys but that wasn't a consideration for me as I can change my own tube. But what was a consideration was the its crank weight, it was 8.5 kg's compared to the 10.5 kgs of the Bullet, what this meant was that the Classic would achieve higher cruising speeds but at the same time the Bullet had a more flatter torque curve, the difference is roughly about 500 RPM's which is huge for an engine that barely revs to 5k RPM before calling it quits, the Bullet would be able to cruise at around 1800 RPM in 5th gear whereas the Class would need to maintain at least over 2300 RPM, now you could say that the Classic is sprocketed taller than the Bullet by +1 teeth at the front but then I'd remind you of the 2inch difference in tyre size between the Classic and Bullet.

So by now the Classics were also booted from the list, coming to the Bullet there were 2 options the Standard and the more economic X models, the Standard came with the fancy tank and a bit more chrome whereas the X was a bare-bone piece which again worked in my favour as less Chrome meant less headache as far as maintenance went. Now coming to the technical bit all Bullets come with 19 inchers at both ends meaning tyre options would be limited, which I was willing to compromise but what I wasn't willing to compromise was the Heavy Crank cause I got to know that even Bullet's come with the light crank, basically the Self Start models came with the lighter crank and the kick start models came with the heavier crank. But again a twist I saw was that some of the Standard kick only models came with a Cut-Out in the case to install a Self Starter, sharing below pics for comparison, in one you can see the cut out and in the other it is completely missing;

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So now I had my sights clear, I would only opt for a Kick Only model without the provision to install a Self Starter.

Now my options were either one of the 650 Twin's or the Bullet 350X KS, now why are the 650's still in the list? It seems that I have my mind set, but why?

Well, I've never before owned a Twin and the 650's were available at an easily accessible price but then again the Pushrod Era was coming to an end as the 500 UCE's were recently phased out and there was talk of the new OHC Engine coming in future updates of the existing OHV models, so from where I saw things it was a Now or Never situation as far as getting a Pushrod went cause a OHC Twin isn't anything special all things considered and I'd be able to pick one up anytime I wanted whereas the Pushrods were soon to be phased out. Another sentiment amidst marriage arrangements were that I'd someday have a kid and the though of passing on the Pushrod to him/her had a sense of grandeur on its own rather than pass on a OHC Twin, the difference between a OHV and a OHC Twin is that between a Mechanical HMT and a Casio G-Shock, one may be better than the other depending on individual preferences but only one of them is heirloom material, and that settled it once and for all, also the 650's pillion ergonomics were absolutely pathetic, I had taken a female friend with the same physique as my would be wife and she found it quite uncomfortable.

So without wasting any more time I had paid in full for the Bullet 350X Kick Start, I didn't have a colour preference as anything that was in stock was good enough for me provided my previously mentioned criteria of the Self-Starter Cut-Out was met. Skipped on Extended Warranty and RSA not only cause it was a scam but also because I would be servicing the motorcycle on my own, as for insurance I had saved around 2~3k by opting for one from Coverfox.

So to sum it I paid around 1.6L and took delivery of the Bullet in the next couple of days.

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This photo was taken on 28 February 2021, exactly 11 Months from Today. The helmet I got along with the motorcycle as a complementary addon, I ensured it was not part of the billed amount. As for wearing flip-flops, it was a working day for me and I was working from home, so had to drop by to collect the Bullet in between breaks, the showroom being near my house helped as well. :)

I had picked up an OE Crash Guard as well and installed it myself when the showroom lady told me that a technician would come and do some cutting to install it, she was referring to the lambda sensor wire and I ran away as fast as I could from there before they got a chance to mess up the motorcycle.

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Soon after purchase the RE Quality was showing through quite well;

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And I'm not talking about the above sticker, there were some nooks and corners missing paint;

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Then the engine oil level was too low;

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It took about 1L more of Oil for the level to come within the recommended mark.

But little did I know at the time that this was only the tip of the iceberg! :D

Would post more updates shortly as the wife beckons and I have to take leave for now :D
 
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welcome, and what a nice write up! enjoyed it thoroughly. Even I am confusion whether to pick up bike or a second hand car, sitting on fence.
 
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IN Bangalore, surfing through olx ads, didnt find the one without cut out, it's quite rare. IMO, Higher cruising speed would be good than just low speed, torquey machine.
 
Thread Starter #4
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Sorry for leaving you guys hanging, so to resume;

Issues Faced

1. Auto Decompressor: Soon after purchase I noticed that the kicker was hard to turn over in the compression stroke, at first I presumed it had to do with my prior experience being with the CT100 which was effortless to say the least, but as time went on I realised that it was not the case, with the help of a fellow enthusiast we diagnosed that my Auto Decompressor was faulty, the means to check for this is to lower the idle and observe if the engine stalls but since mine came with electronic idle control being BS6 that wasn't an option unless I manually restrict the IAC port on the Throttle Body, wasn't a fan so skipped it, the next means of diagnosis was to kill the motor and observe for a distinctive metallic "TIK" near the stator cover, which as expected wasn't present on mine.

The fix is simple but the trouble of taking the stator cover off has put me off, plus being well acquainted with 4 stroke engines I am used to manually decompressing them, the process is to shift into 1st gear and then roll back till the engine locks then shift into neutral and then give the motorcycle a relaxed kick, she'd be thumping instantly.

2. CKP Sensor Error: My place at Trivandrum is on a small hill of sorts and its a short was down from my porch to my gate, so what I usually do is decompress the cylinder and roll down and pop the clutch, this is something I've been doing with all my motorcycles, but with the Bullet she once threw a Crank Position Sensor Error, I was surprised to get an error so soon after purchase but once I hooked up an OBD Reader to the motorcycle everything was clear, at times bump starting a motorcycle tends to throw off a CKP sensor error which is harmless and can be easily cleared.

Now coming to OBD configuration, the motorcycle has a 6 pin connector but you would only need to tap 4 pins the colour coding is as below;

Brown = 12V
Black = Ground
Yellow+Red = CAN High
Purple = CAN Low


Now for those using other motorcycles the means of finding the leads is simple, hook up a multi-meter and find which lead has 12V current that is the pin that connects to Pin 16 of your OBD Reader, then check for continuity between each lead and chassis, the one which has continuity is your Ground that connects to Pin 4 and/or Pin 5 of your OBD Reader, you can connect either or both since they're both ground. Now comes the CAN High and CAN Low, check the remaining leads with the multi-meter and the one that has the higher current is your CAN High and it should be connected to Pin 6 of your OBD Reader and lead with lower current is your CAN Low and it should be connected to Pin 14 of your OBD Reader.

Sharing below a generic OBD Pin-out for your reference;

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For connecting you needn't buy an expensive connector from Amazon as most of them are configured wrong due to recent BS6 transition, so the most effective and sensible means is to buy Jumper Wires from Amazon, they are dirt cheap and work reliably, since I had already jumped the gun and paid 800 bucks for a cable from Amazon, I decided to reconfigure it and make it work in order to not put the cable to waste;

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As for the application to use my preferred choice is one called "Piston" it is available in the PlayStore and is simple to use and lets you erase error codes.

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Modifications Done

1. Backrest: Since I'd be mainly travelling with the wife.

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2. Main Stand Handle: The Bullet comes with a handle using which we can mount the motorcycle on its main stand, the handle that came with the motorcycle would flex and I didn't like that so got aftermarket ones that are sturdier and not hollow unlike the stock handle, the motorcycle only comes with one on the shifter side but it was messing with my OCD so installed one on the other side as well, When touring on the Bajaj CT100B I had two pillion grab handles installed on either side to better tether luggage on the rear seat, hoping with the added main stand handle I would be able to do the same with the Bullet if need be. I have not installed Pillion Grab Handles in the Bullet as I am not comfortable with my pillion sitting sideways, a practice that needs to be abolished in the interest of safety. If you're confused here's the stock main stand handle for reference.

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3. Top Box: The motorcycle doesn't offer much storage options so I had a Studds Top Box installed on a generic carrier, it is mounted sideways as of now due to lack of space since I had the Pillion Back rest on.

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4. 90/100 Headlight and Wiring Harness: I have a 90/100 Bulb and a piggyback harness installed that is rated for use with max 130W bulb. There were concerns with current draw but I hooked up an Ammeter and confirmed that rate of discharge isn't significant to cause concern, especially when riding. The headlight focus is fixed on the Bullet and a work around for this is to insert a piece of wire between the Dome and Ring at the very bottom of the headlight, this tilts the dome forward and makes the high beam relatively more useful. As for the fuses and relays of the piggyback harness they are positioned inside the shifter side box which is already jam packed to begin with so after this there'd be no space left for keeping tools in the box but since I have a Top Box that is not a concern.

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5. TBTS Handlebar: I have changed to the handlebar that came with the earlier generation TBTS Motorcycles, I only use OE handlebars and crash-guards so this was the only option, the switch-set location pins are the exact same so no need to drill, you would just need to re-route the control cables a bit, as for the brake line going to the front MC, it is tethered to a bracket on the shifter side of the chassis neck, you would just need to remove the bracket, cut off its positioning leg and then flip it in order to get some free-play and that is about it. Along with the handlebar I have also changed the mirrors to that of the Bajaj Avenger as pullback handlebars need a mirror with a centre pivot in order to be useful.

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6. Buzzer Relay: I have replaced the OE Blinker Relay with one from UNO Minda that comes with an inbuilt buzzer, this is a safety feature that most motorcycles prefer to not have but I personally cannot ride without them and having a buzzer shoehorned into the connector didn't sit right with my OCD so replaced the relay as a whole with the one with Inbuilt Buzzer.

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Some might find this add on silly but trust me, the more you clock miles and the farther away you ride from home there'd be several instances that would instill the fear of god in you and that is when you would appreciate every bit of safety that comes your way, this is something that can only be taught by experience so I'll leave it to your better judgement.

7. Reworked Seat Contour and Replaced Leather with more durable Rexine. Reason for this was that the Strays I've been feeding messed up the stock material, as a one time fix I asked what the toughest material they had and they answered it was the Rexine they use for Jeeps, I told them to go for it and they told me that they would have to level the seat as contour couldn't be matched as Rexine isn't as stretchable as leather. End result is quite satisfactory and the added height is also much appreciated.

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8. Classic Tank Pads: Helps with easily gripping the tank with thighs.

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Special Mentions

1. The motorcycle has just crossed the 5k mark but she's yet to have her chain adjusted for the first time. I do lube it once every 2~2.5k KM's but haven't noticed the slack to be concerning enough to warrant an adjustment.

2. This is by far the most maintenance free Motorcycle I've used irrespective of the low running cause FE Stands at close to 50kmpl going by best FE as per Fuelio. As for parts changed I've not really "had" to change anything other than the common consumables, if the trend remains then it surely is a win-win! Imagine that! Maintenance Free and Royal Enfield in the same sentence!

Sharing Fuelio Stats below;

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Cost of Maintenance and Accessories(All DIY, hence no labour costs):

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Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more! :)
A.P.
 
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Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more! :)
A.P.
Whoa, such a detailed review and no takers!! Amazing!!

Ashwin bhai, what's up and howz the Bullet doing? Would also appreciate updates (and pics) on the CT100B (Missed buying one @INR 32000 ex showroom boo hoo[cry]). And on the Alto too.

And by the way, congratulations on your marriage, marital bliss to compensate for Enfield tantrums aha!
 

mayankdixit

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Whoa, such a detailed review and no takers!! Amazing!!
NO no, its not true. Everybody is watching and admiring this thread. Its just that Ashwin (DEViANCE), is technically so sound and and so advanced in DIY that I dare not question or put unnecessary queries on his works, unless I am very sure of what I am asking.
All of us admire his work right from his TBHP and bike forums posts(eg. where he replaced battery with a capacitor for emergency starting etc)
@ DEViANCE, you might think nobody gives a damn, but trust me we all admire your work, just that we watch from the side lines.
 

mayankdixit

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This is the best photo. Rider as well as his ride in one frame.
Don't you think round mirrors suit the bike more??
 
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Thread Starter #8
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Whoa, such a detailed review and no takers!! Amazing!!
.....And by the way, congratulations on your marriage, marital bliss to compensate for Enfield tantrums aha!
Thank you for the kind words.

The CT100B is seldom used, she is currently at a shade over 90k on the odo, I sparingly ride her when the heart yearns for it, and otherwise she’d be idle for months at a time, the NS and EW Corridors are still in my bucket list and I hope one day I’d get to do them on the CT100B.

As for the Alto, she’s closing in on the 20k mark, hoping to create a thread as soon as the odo rolls over, post the drive to Mumbai and back I’ve not really driven her, in fact the oil was also changed only recently at over 17k on the odo as I had to change oil for the Bolero and was guilted into changing the Alto’s as well since I’d bought the oil some 6 months or so ago for both Cars. Also I think I'm getting better at using cars as I changed oil for both cars within 30mins or so, and that is after driving the Alto over its stepney for extra clearance.

Still getting accustomed to being married, it’s been over a year and the changes are drastic, from 30k km’s a year on motorcycles it has dribbled down to roughly 5k per year, however driving cars have drastically gone up from practically nothing to over 30k km’s a year. Ironically the Bullet is the only solace I have, back when riding was second nature anything under 500km’s wasn’t even considered to be proper riding but with the Bullet even a short ride to the grocery store feels quite eventful, yes, I am shamelessly admitting that the Bullet bug has me smitten. :D

@ DEViANCE, you might think nobody gives a damn, but trust me we all admire your work, just that we watch from the side lines.
Thank you for the kind words Sir!

I’d recently shifted careers and was tied up with the transition hence didn’t get enough time to properly respond, but over the past month I have been writing up on my ride to attend the xBhp Kerala G2G, sharing the same below;

Don't you think round mirrors suit the bike more??
Maybe, due to the Pullback Bars center pivot mirrors are mandatory, and these were the only economical ones I could find at Rs. 544/- a pair. Until these fail I’d not be looking at alternatives, I am extremely cheap that way, in fact before with the stock handlebar I was using regular Bajaj Mirrors in favor of better usability. :D

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2022 xBhp Kerala G2G

I had ridden to attend the 2022 Kerala xBhp G2G which had taken place at Valparai, yes in Tamil Nadu. We have run out of places to ride to in Kerala! :D

I had quite some miles to clock before reaching a figure I was comfortable with changing the oil as my last oil change was at around 3.5k on the odo and that was before I left for Mumbai in the Alto back in October, so after work I went on 100km joy runs every day until I clocked 6k on the odo the night before the G2G Ride.

While at it I decided to adjust the chain as well since it hadn't been adjusted before, after undoing the axle and half axle nut I realized that a Ring Spanner is needed to undo the braking plate lock nut as a socket simply didn't fit due to the exhaust getting in the way, I did undo the brake linkage and access the nut via a C spanner but it just kept slipping and at wits end I decided to take the exhaust off;

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You can see a ring spanner in the picture but its not the right size, as some of my tools were at my parents place which was a good 60kms away.

Anyhow with the exhaust off I had the lock nut loosened and started with adjusting the chain to the next setting, but before altering the factory setting I thought I'd note positions in order to make even adjustments and that's when I looked close and noticed that the chain setting was misaligned from factory, RE simply doesn't fail to amaze me.

So after setting both adjusters evenly I moved them both to the next notch from factory setting and noticed that the chain was too tight, so then went back to factory setting and then ensured both adjusters on either side were on the same setting before torqueing things down. The chain was also lubed using RE Chain Lube, no cleaning just lubing as always.

And speaking about torqueing I made it a point to ensure that the bolts holding the exhaust in place were perfectly snug as I personally know a few people who have had their exhausts fly off while riding.

While changing the oil I couldn't find replacement copper washers so I went a bit medieval in reconditioning them;

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Now with the Tank Filled, Oil Changed to Motul 3100 Gold 15W50 2.5L and Odo at 6000km's, I decided to go to bed.

As has always been the case before an anticipated ride, I couldn't sleep cause of the excitement, why excited about riding to Valparai which is just 330 kms? Well, it is customary that I ridicule the rest of the riders and pick a longer route as has been the case with the previous Kerala G2G where I'd ridden to Suryanelli some 200ish kms from my home by taking a detour that brought the one-way distance covered to over 500kms. This time around I didn't disappoint and decided to ride via Kuttikanam visiting Cumbum;

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Here's a snap of the route I took to reach Valparai;

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I'm not into taking many pictures so you guys will have to do with the ones I snapped amidst hydration breaks as hydration breaks are all that I took other than refuel and pee breaks which were usually clubbed to avoid wasting time;

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Since I decided to take things old school and also because my wife misplaced my RAM Mount, I navigated using road signs and even though I encountered a few detours, some mostly between Cumbum and Batlagundu due to road works and one where I drove straight through a forest bypassing the KL State Highway as the roads looked more or less alike. In one instance nearing Batlagundu I was taking a detour that wasn't paved and was eerily silent when all of a sudden I started to hear ungodly sounds from the rear of the motorcycle.

A little flashback to when I got on to NH183 was that I had started to gun it and it seemed all the gunning had caused something to come off, I was sure it couldn't be the exhaust as I had made sure to torque it down, judging by the sound the next possible suspect was the rear mudguard, I was hesitant to stop at this section as it was essentially what open ended murder mysteries were made up of, so I closed the throttle and let the motorcycle thump forward at a crawls pace while I turned around to have a look, in under 5 seconds the issue was staring me in the face.

The exhaust had held on quite well since I'd torqued it down the previous day but I had ignorantly missed to care about the exhaust shield, a scenario I've faced before with my ZMA as well as with the P220. Fortunately the BS6 model came with a longer exhaust shield that was held in place by 3 bolts, so after losing the one at the end I still had 2 remaining, so ignoring the rattle I decided to gun it as soon as I got back on the highway and that is exactly what I did. Not that I was keen on riding fast but because the previous day I'd slept for barely 3 hours and needed the vibes to keep me up which it beautifully did, this is quite an underrated safety feature of un-counter-balanced singles that the world has conveniently forgotten.

Enroute there was a barricade set by TN Police and they didn’t stop me presumably due to the KL registration plates but I’d noticed a rider on a Honda Highness was stopped and one of the cops were going through his documents, since his plates were TN I trusted that he’d be fine and moved on, once clear I was doing around 80~100kmph for about 15~30 minutes when the same rider on the Highness blew past me just like that. I had to say, I was surely impressed by the Honda’s gearing and it did spark and interest to give the Classic 350’s chain sprocket a go when I change my chain and sprockets next time as the Classic 350 kit comes with a 16T front sprocket, and just for information’s sake the Bullet 500’s kit comes with a 18T. All that said even after the ride and clocking a few hundred km’s after that the chain slack is still within spec at the factory setting, seriously, how is that even possible?

Anyways, after about 10 hours past starting the ride I had reached our homestay at Valparai clocking about 550 km's.

When I'd reached the place the rest had already reached since the Trivandrum team had started riding a day before me and on this day rode along with the Kochi Team, the distance they had to cover was under 150 km's. Anyhow after unpacking I had joined the rest for coffee and when pouring coffee into my mug a fellow enthusiast noted that my hand holding out the coffee cup was still shivering from the Bullet's Vibes, which as also when I'd noticed the same, we all had a good laugh about it before most of us went our separate ways until we met back for dinner and then went to bed.

The following day we rode to some nearby sites, my intention was to clock another 500km’s but the others weren’t game enough which was expected as weeks before the ride there were discussions on what sunscreens to use, I found that exceptionally funny as their respective routes were 200~300 km’s lesser than mine. Though a more concerning matter was that the Anamalai check post had experienced an Elephant attack and they had curbed their timings, so on Day 2 I clocked very few miles not even worth mentioning and called it a day.

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The mandatory selfie with a Super Bike, I specifically made it clear that the photo shouldn't even contain a hint of the Bullet. :D

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The Tiger is owned by friend and fellow enthusiast Vinay whose motorcycle was present even though he himself was out at sea being a Sailor.

On Day 3 we woke up early and got ready, normally I skip breakfast but this time we had to take it slow cause the Anamalai Check post only opened post 7am, so I decided to ride along with the Kochi/Palakkad Team as they were ready to start early, the rest weren’t as experienced and didn’t understand the importance of starting early, they believed faster motorcycles meant they’d reach sooner, well, I clocked over 200 km’s more than the farthest team which were from Trivandrum as well and even then I reached Trivandrum several hours before they did, so trust me when I say;
  • Do not waste sunlight, the human body is photosensitive.
  • A minute off the highway is a mile more on it. In simple words if you take five 10min breaks then that equates to 50mins of no riding, on an average day that is 50km’s of riding time lost, on a really good day that could also be 80km’s of riding, and this 50/80 km’s only bites you in the ass at the fag end of the day when you can barely keep the throttle open.
  • We drive/ride in India, average time is what matters and the only way to achieve it is by maintaining consistent speeds without being ignorant enough to push boundaries on public roads, the folks over at Team Bhp were never able to digest the same since they were mostly low mileage super-bikers but several times in the past I’ve ridden along with those who have twice or thrice my displacement and yet have reached several hours after I’ve reached, so that's that.
Enough with the gyan, let’s get back to point.

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From Valparai, after crossing the Anamalai check post I deviated towards Marayoor after bidding farewell to the rest, and even though I had to take a few uncanny detours;

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I finally passed over to Kerala;

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Once inside I passed Munnar I just maintained a smooth rumble at around 30~60kmph through Idukki District and let the heavy crank do what its known for, in no time I had crossed over to PTA District, my wife is from PTA and I have been clocking quite some miles there so I relaxed and took a few familiar breaks, after all that I reached Trivandrum at around 6 PM.

1650628277996.png


What you see under the backrest is a pair of slippers I bought from Valparai, I was too cheap to leave them there and my top-box was full, so I zip-tied them there and they stayed put.

Below is a snap of my return route via Munnar;

1650630848337.png


Overall I’d clocked over 1000 km’s for the entire ride, here’s a snap of the odo at the start and at the end of the ride.

1650628381099.png


Now where do we stand?

Odo: 7300 km’s

Last Oil Change @ 6000 km’s, Next @ 9000km’s

Last Air Filter Change @ 5000 km’s, Next @ 10,000km’s

Spark Plug is Factory one, would be replaced @10,000km’s

Yet to replace the exhaust shield bolt that flew off, would be replacing when I find the time.

I’d also got her washed almost a month after the ride, chain needs to be lubed post washed but I always keep forgetting, chain slack is still perfect at 7300 km’s post purchase, which is a first for me.

1650629869384.png


So I guess that’s all for now, until next time then. :)

Regards,
A.P.
 
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mayankdixit

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That's a looong post ! Thank you for sharing with us.
Zip tying the slippers to the bike ?? An Indigenous idea and very amusing in the picture!
I hope you are aware that you took a 200km longer detour to reach your destination, going by your map you posted. I can understand that it was intentional, but 200kms is very much.

One question: Is there shoulder pain after ride? Bullet is heavy. Steering it around must be tough?
 
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Thread Starter #11
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One question: Is there shoulder pain after ride? Bullet is heavy. Steering it around must be tough?
No pain felt, actually to date the only aches that have profoundly stood out are the one from wearing the wrong type of underwear i.e the triangle type ones and then the wrist aches after riding front biased motorcycles, in my case the P220 after the front was lowered and the rear was raised.

But then I guess the reason I'm ache free now is cause I've learnt from past mistakes, most memorable one being shifting my ass on an extended ride(something I believe almost everyone does) which eventually caused my hip bone to shift, it took over 3 months of treatment for things to get back to normal including releasing a trapped nerve that was causing burning sensations throughout my leg. After that I simply ensure to sit right by keeping my ass centered on the seat.

When it comes to steering or rather the handlebar, a point to keep in mind is that taller bars offer more leverage but at the cost of more flex, take the TBTS handlebar I'm using, the leverage on offer is amazing steering input has never been this effortless, but at the same time riding fast through a rough patch would mean a lot of unnecessary flex that dulls feedback when braking or maneuvering.

Another key point that is universal with motorcycles is to not grab the handlebars too tight, I believe that a majority of concerns pertaining to body aches come from getting this one bit wrong.

Absolutely true. Was it comfortable maintaining 80-100 in the 350? As far as I remember, the old 350's were uncomfortable to ride at 80 and above.
Yeah, I was fine with it, in fact the turbulence kept me from falling asleep. :D

All RE's with heavier cranks like the limited 350's, 500 and 535's, at high speeds they give off a different note which is quite addictive and I simply enjoyed the experience, again that is only me, I've been fascinated by my CT100B for the same reason i.e not having a counter balancer as I find then raw experience titillating especially when ridden at higher RPM's. This might sound like Gibberish to a D390 rider who yawns at 150kmph on the interstate. :D Though trust me when I say I was not always like this, in the past few years something inside me snapped and the result of it is what has culminated into my Pushrod-Fetish. :D

As for speeds, the motorcycle is most comfortable at around 40kmph, that is also the point where the motorcycle returns the best possible FE. She's still planted at 80kmph till around 100kmph albeit a little scary at triple digit speeds. Anything past 100kmph is pointless on this variant, however the Classic Pushrods do pull clean till around 115kmph due to their lighter cranks. Again, all these are petty speeds for any modern motorcycle, they just seem exciting on a Pushrod as the lack of a counter balancer makes every kmph count.

Also sharing some updates;

Had procured new SS bolts from Volga, Beach Road, Kollam. and replaced all exhaust shield bolts with new ones and fastened using thread lock;

1651037174703.png


Going through the thread I believe I've missed to include a mod I've done to the motorcycle;

1651037342120.png


She is running on Duke front MC and Adjustable Lever, I'd originally bought only the lever for some 750ish IIRC presuming they'd work on the Endurance MC's since they look like a fork of the Bybre ones but that was not the case, I was a bit disappointed and mentioned the same to my friend while a bunch of us were gathering at his place, him and another friend simultaneously removed the MC's from my motorcycle and another motorcycle(P150 Classic with P220 Engine sporting front MC of Duke 390) belonging to another friend who was also there, and within a few minutes I had the Duke MC with the newly purchased adjustable lever installed. In comparison the travel is more than stock but it enables more precision on application, not a need but a want on such a motorcycle.

Even though banned from TeamBhp I get pings on social media by enthusiasts who track me down, one such ping was from an enthusiast from Trivandrum, he had recently purchased a Bullet 350X KS and was facing fueling issues, and the ASC mentioned issue was with the O2 Sensor, which spiked my curiosity so I disconnected mine;

1651038028436.png


Sharing below a video of the motorcycle running with the sensor disconnected;


The motorcycle ran quite well, even better than stock if I might say as there was some extra grunt felt throughout the lower rev range, and the engine note is also a tad more pleasant. The top end hasn't suffered per say as she's still able to do decent speeds however the aggressiveness has been toned down a bit, in simple words the motorcycle is running slightly richer than stock. Basically if one can ignore the CEL then this is the equivalent of plonking in a piggyback module. :D

I've decided to run as such for a month in order to get a better understanding on impact this has on FE, running richer means lesser FE on paper but practically the added oomph down low means even lesser gear shifts which in an ideal world would mean more FE, anyhow will share results here.

Cheers,
A.P.
 
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Thank you for the kind words.

The CT100B is seldom used, she is currently at a shade over 90k on the odo, I sparingly ride her when the heart yearns for it, and otherwise she’d be idle for months at a time, the NS and EW Corridors are still in my bucket list and I hope one day I’d get to do them on the CT100B.

As for the Alto, she’s closing in on the 20k mark, hoping to create a thread as soon as the odo rolls over, post the drive to Mumbai and back I’ve not really driven her, in fact the oil was also changed only recently at over 17k on the odo as I had to change oil for the Bolero and was guilted into changing the Alto’s as well since I’d bought the oil some 6 months or so ago for both Cars. Also I think I'm getting better at using cars as I changed oil for both cars within 30mins or so, and that is after driving the Alto over its stepney for extra clearance.

Still getting accustomed to being married, it’s been over a year and the changes are drastic, from 30k km’s a year on motorcycles it has dribbled down to roughly 5k per year, however driving cars have drastically gone up from practically nothing to over 30k km’s a year. Ironically the Bullet is the only solace I have, back when riding was second nature anything under 500km’s wasn’t even considered to be proper riding but with the Bullet even a short ride to the grocery store feels quite eventful, yes, I am shamelessly admitting that the Bullet bug has me smitten. :D
A.P.
Glad to have you back Ashwin!

This is a Bullet thread but since you don't have CT100B thread let me ask you here itself:

1. What's your opinion on the present XCD derived 100cc/110cc engine on the Platina 100/110/CT110X? Reliability, Repairability, Longevity, etc. viz a viz the Kawasaki derived CT100B engine?
2. Which brand new 100/110cc motorcycle would you pick today for long rides IF the Honda Cub engine were not available (Kawasaki engine is dead since BSVI kicked in boo hoo).
3. Since you are from down south, what's your opinion of TVS motorcycles viz a viz Bajaj/Japs?
4. Are Bajaj spare parts easily available, considering they keep dropping their models more frequently than err.....can't mention here.


Still getting accustomed to being married
Don't worry, Bullet will trouble you more. [cheers]

Cheers!
 
Thread Starter #13
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Apologies for the delay to update, its been over 3 months and over 4k km's I believe so let me fill you in on what you've missed.

As mentioned in my previous post the next oil change was at 9k on the ood and that was duly done in anticipation of another ride;

1660565260640.png


A Veedol dealer had set shop near my place so got the above from him along with an Elofic oil filter which costs only half of what RE charges for the same thing with 2 O rings included in the pack, since this didn't come with O rings I re-used the old ones.

This time after draining I just dropped the motorcycle on its side to put back the drain bolts, caps, strainer filter etc cause 2 drains and a s trainer cap at the bottom of the motorcycle is quite inconvenient to access otherwise;

1660565492992.png


The motorcycle rested fine on its peg such that the crash guard didn't touch the ground.

Anyway the xBhp G2G took place in the month of June and it was plain sad considering the location of choice was just under 30km's from my place, so we took an alternate route;

Original Route
1660564052512.png


Route We Took
1660564225491.png


It was well over 10 times the actual distance but it was fun as we made a stop at Kanyakumari as well.

When I say "We" I'm referring to a buddy of mine who'd recently sold his brand spanking new Dominar with around 4k on the odo for a... you guessed it right... BS6 Bullet 350, same variant as mine;

1660564425197.png


After the xBhp ride my Bullet was left more or less unused but my buddy kept racking miles, in fact in about a month he clocked over 4k km's on the motorcycle, more than he'd clocked in his Dominar after owning it for about a year, so much for "Haathi Math Paalo..eh?"

When a biker doesn't ride he settles to accessorizing his ride and like that I was able to source the Export Model's shifter for the UCE Engine;
1660564897250.png

It is quite hefty compared to the stock lever and completes the motorcycle, I wonder why RE was too stingy to offer the same for their domestic market models.
1660565058931.png


After the xBhp ride the motorcycle barely did random joyrides at night to sooth my nerves, a random snap from one such ride;

1660565876563.png


The 90/100 Bulb at times would seem inadequate as it cannot compel oncoming traffic to dim their beams, so after consulting with the DIY Devil I've decided to get a Clear Lens unit which would replace the stock Pattern Lens. I am awaiting an update on the component quality as it is made by a Subsidiary of Swiss named Deutsche and priced at around 1k, a bit expensive for my taste but no other reasonable alternative seems to be available within reach.

The next milestone for me was 10k and it had arrived without much excitement;

1660566280695.png


When boredom reached its peak I somehow guilted the wife into a ride to Ponmudi and that was better than I'd expected even though the peak was closed off due to threat of heavy rainfall;

1660566630612.jpeg


But unfortunately that wasn't enough and I really need to go on a good ride and just about then my Buddy with the new Bullet conveyed a wish, a wish to ride 1000+ km's a day, something I've done innumerable times in the past but never with the Bullet, it was interesting.

Interesting cause I'd trolled a mutual friend of ours during a 750km's interstate ride when he was on a Classic 350 and I was falling asleep on my P220 trying to maintain his pace in order to not loose him;

1660567487971.png


During that ride I got bored to the point of taking out my phone and snapping a picture, this was back in the year 2015.

Back to topic, I got on GMaps to plan a route and within no time we had a rough idea and this was it;

1660567734036.png


On the day of the ride i.e previous Saturday we got up early in the morning around 3 AM and started soon after, roughly a few km's after we started I realized I missed to note my ODO read and snapped a picture of it, which I will share later.

The first destination was Kanyakumari and we reached there in the next 3~3.5 hours ;

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Soon after we snapped a few pics we set our destination to Arichal Munai, Dhanushkodi, we had to battle the sun but it was manageable in spite of my buddy taking quite a few unnecessary breaks, anyhow we managed to reach there in another 7.5 hours.

A few snaps from when we crossed the Pamban Bridge;

1660568175481.png

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On reaching Arichal Munai we were surprised by the number of tourists, we barely managed to get a spot at the end to snap a pic;

1660568397045.jpeg


We barely spent 15 minutes there before we decided to head home, and that we did, not much happened in between;

1660568525291.png


Just the usual bio-breaks.

We entered Kerala via Aryankavu and were stopped a few times by the Police, after collecting our details and license numbers they wished us well and let us go, though on one such stop we decided to take a break as my buddy felt as though he was dying and I decided to utilize the time to do some math, which was good thinking cause that's when I'd figured we were about a 100 km's short of reaching the planned 1000km's mark if we resumed on the current route, so in the heat of the moment we decided to take a 100 km's detour from Kottarakara;

1660568876430.png


Since I had a place at Pothencode we had a reasonable explanation to offer the Police if at all we got stopped anymore, so off we headed, not once were we stopped though.
At some time past 3 am we were able to complete our ride clocking a shade over 1k km's, sharing below ODO snaps with time and location stamps;

1660569110091.png


Overall the experience was fun, I've clocked well over 1k km's a day in my previous motorcycles including the ZMA, P220, D100 and CT100 but never has it been so effortless, the mental fatigue was minimal, the unbalanced motor kept tickling me awake on the long boring straights, the torque down low and its flat nature ensured that I was always maintaining a decent average speed with effortless overtakes when it mattered, and finally its ergonomics coupled with a few mods like stiffened seat and TBTS handlebar meant that I was quite comfortable.

I'm going to end it at that, the next oil change is at 12k km's and the next Air Filter change would be at 15k on the odo, I skipped changing it at 10k which would've adhered to my usual 5k interval but this time I decided to keep it till 10k to see how things would fare, would change the Spark Plug also then.

So that's all for now folks!

Stay Safe,
A.P.
 

mayankdixit

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1000 kms in a single day is a feat even on cars, on unpredictable Indian roads. You are doing it on a 2 wheeler, well , what can I say !!
Hats off to you mate. And waiting for more pics of your ride and DIYs on them.
 
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Thread Starter #15
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13,000 km's Update!

1665463331044.png


The oil was changed at 12k on the odo and the AF was changed at 12.5k, this time I got a larger AF that did not fit inside the new design AF box in the BS6 Bullet, but I managed to squeeze it in, didn't hear and wheezing so I'm presuming all is well, honestly too scared to open it up to find it mangled to the point it is not filtering, so you could say it is Schrodingers AF! :D

As for the plug, forgot to change it so would be changing at 15k on the odo.

As for modifications, I'd changed the metal fork covers to rubber boots, reason for the same is that the Metal ones tend to scrape against the fork lowers, my buddy was unfortunate to get it on the visible side so I changed pro-actively but on disassembly found that mine were scratched as well but on the inside so it wasnt visible from the outside.

1665463416712.png


The installation was a little different from what I'd expected. Pulling the front wheel and forks off was the usual but after that we have to lower the T or raise the casquette in order to remove stock sleeves and install chrome caps, what needs to be kept in mind is that while lowering the T you should not lower it too much as that would result in the loose cone-set balls falling off. So basically undo the top bolt a turn at a time till there is some clearance, then using a allenkey undo the pinch setup that locks the T in place, a very outdated setup that went under my radar and would've led me to cause some serious damage if my buddy Rajeek wasn't there to correct my ignorance.

1665465403654.png


Once there's enough clearance you'd have to pull the metal sleeves off and then remove the top bush from them as they would need to be inserted in to the new boot cup;

1665465478548.png


Once that's done you install both cups and tighten the T in place and finally use the Allen Key Bolt on the side to lock the T for good.

After that it is pretty straightforward, just install the boots one at a time and do inspect the fork stanchions for rust, if present just lube it to arrest the rust.

1665471262930.png


After that install the forks and use zip tags to secure the boot in place. That's about it.

It was while uploading the above pics that I noticed that I'd missed to update my HL Upgrade, I was looking out for a clear lens unit for a bit and finally found one made by a subsidiary for Swiss which cost around 1k, it was pricey but I wanted to take advantage of the 90/100 Bulb I'd installed earlier. Just about when I was about to place the order on Amazon another unit caught my attention, it was a Yellow unit from Vaishnu, the same brand that I got the wiring kit from earlier. The sealed beam just cost me around Rs.550/-, so ordered it instead and have been happily using it since;

1665471710399.png


It is not exactly clear but at the same time it is not a obstructed as the stock lens.

Here's a comparo with a stock motorcycle;

1665471869835.png


Mine is on the left.

Other than the above the only other update is that the Chain was last adjusted at 6k on the odo and is still running fine, would pro-actively adjust it once more at 15k on the odo. This is kinda becoming the most maintenance free motorcycle I've owned to date and that is after having a few Bajaj's and a CBR250R in my garage at the moment.

Anyways time to bid adieu.

Cheers!
A.P.
 

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