The truth of the matter is we’ve been lousy hosts. Classic Motorworks, the United States distributor for Royal Enfield, was nice enough to supply us with a 2005 Royal Enfield Bullet Deluxe, and until early this year, we mostly just pushed it on and off of a trailer and said "what a cool looking bike." Oh, and we busted the muffler in the process.
Since late July we’d barely put 300 miles on the Bullet Deluxe, though our lack of seat time did give enthusiasts around the country a chance to see the Royal Enfield at the many shows our Motorcycle Classics team attended. But, winter is upon us, the shows have come to a halt, and our rig is back at Motorcycle Classics headquarters. Despite the less than ideal weather, it was time to get this puppy broken in.
Before putting the Bullet Deluxe back on the road, we performed the scheduled 300-mile maintenance. This included changing the engine oil and filter, gear oil, adjusting the valves (a curious job as there are no specs for tightness — the tappets are simply tightened until the pushrods can be moved up and down just slightly), easily adjusting both the primary chain and the drive chain, and cleaning the air filter. Getting the filter out of and back into the air box was the hardest part of the whole endeavor. But don’t let the idea of doing routine maintenance on this ride scare you. Old-school design also means easy to work on. Do have a full set of tools though, as it seems each and every bolt is a different size. We replaced the long, heavy (and broken ... whoops) stock muffler with a shorty muffler that has a removable baffle. We also bumped the main jet up from a 110 to a 115 to compensate for the more free-flowing system. What we found was a bit more power, better throttle response and a lot more sound. Leaving the baffle out turns the bike into a raucous little beast that will have your neighbors hating you very quickly. That said, we haven’t quite gotten around to putting the baffle in yet. We’re bad. We know.
What we have done is ride nearly 200 miles on the Royal Enfield in the last few weeks (we should do better, but Kansas winters are cold!), and we’re still loving this little British-by-India single. Now if we can just get a few more horses out of the thing ... MC