Chugley (NNC)

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Apr 15, 2004
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It was requested that I post an update about Chugley, my Royal Enfield Bullet. So here's the latest:

He hit 3000 miles recently and has been doing great! I gave him a full tuneup at 2000 mi. You adjust the valve clearances by adjusting the length of the pushrods. There's a little access cover at the cylinder base. You don't even have to take the tank off! Primary drive service is very much like a Norton except you adjust the chain with a slipper rather than moving the gearbox. All in all, it's a simple bike and very easy to work on. The technology is actually very much like a Commando but you've only got one cylinder, one carby, two valves, etc.

It takes about 2000 miles to fully run in these bikes. Mine had 1200 miles when I got him and shifting wasn't so good - very stiff and notchy with a tendency to jump out of gear if you got in a hurry. That's improved considerably and I expect even more improvement when I convert him back to right-hand shifting this winter. The importer, Classic Motorworks, sells a kit with all the parts you need. They just put the kit on sale too, so I couldn't pass it up!

I mainly use him for commuting. He gets 70 mpg and handles my commuting run very well. Top speed is about 75 mph and his max cruising speed is about 60. He can't really keep up with traffic out on the main highways but he does very well on back roads.

One of the guys on the Yahoo group recently rode his Bullet from Phoenix to Paonia, CO to attend a BMW rally. He logged a couple of 800 mile days on his bike and experienced conditions ranging from 115 degree heat in the desert to rain and hail in the Colorado Rockies. Through it all, his Bullet performed flawlessly! I'd never try a trip like that myself but the bikes can take it. These bikes get ridden all over the world in some of the most adverse conditions imaginable.

It's interesting how much attention the bike attracts. Everyone seems to be fascinated by it, even people who aren't normally interested in motorcycles. When I first started riding him to work a coworker mentioned "the antique motorcycle in the parking lot" to me and wondered if I knew whose it was! I've seen people just stare and stare at the bike. I guess people can tell it's just not from this era.

Because of its limited performance it's not a bike for going fast. When I take him out I just go chugging along, enjoying life at a slower pace (and wondering why everyone seems to be in such a hurry). However, a modified Bullet won a national roadracing championship competing in the AHRMA Classic 500 series a couple of years ago. Their competition was mostly Manxes and Gold Stars. Just goes to show anything is possible!

Chugley - 2003 Bullet 500ES
Sounds like fun....don't need to go fast to have fun. I admit...sometimes fast is a shot of adreneline or a "rush", as they used to say, but life is also pretty nice at a slower pace. I get a kick out of anything with two wheels. Seems to me, a few years ago. I saw a Bullet, with a diesel motor. Fellow claimed over 100 miles a gallon...unfortunately I didn't get photo, and I saw a second one too somewhere. Don't know if these were custom jobs, or if the Bullet can be ordered with a diesel.
I have my own sort of "Chugley"....she doesn't have a name, but she goes well and will hit about 35 enough for a bycycle with a 100cc motor. Wanderer, 1941, 98cc, 2 cycle, 2 gears, 26 inch wheels, and legal registered. Came out of a barn and kept me busy for months getting it to go again. Nice Christmas present from my wife....

Set a picture in, so we can see "Chugley"....

Wishing you lots of fun with the Bullet! Best!
Chugley (NNC)

Thank you for the update on Chugley. After reading your post it's hard to resist buying an Enfield Bullet!

Hewho - fantastic photo of your Wanderer! The engine looks like a Puch?

The Chugster!

Here's a couple of recent pics. Not shown are the brown leather saddlebags (removed for bike bath). They're very handy for commuting and running around town.

Chugley (NNC)

Chugley (NNC)
Chugley is mighty sharp!!! Super!!!!

Wanderer Motor is an ILO...normally the bake came with a Sachs motor. ILO is actually a rare version of the machine......

I love that buckskin colored seat; it goes great with the British racing green tank and fenders.

I'm afraid that at 6'-1" and 190 pounds I may be too big for a Bullet?

What are the tiny white lights on each side of the speedometer/headlight nacelle?

Those are pilot lights. The Commando has one too, inside the headlight shell. The switch on top of the headlight bucket is there so you can turn off the headlight and run with just the pilot light and taillight. Chugley has a switch on the handlebars - full lights, pilots, or none (daytime running). The switch is disabled from the factory (for DOT headlights-on compliance) but is easily enabled by removing a shorting plug in the wiring. That mod has been done to my bike (flaunting the DOT - who would dare do such a thing!) so the switch works.

I always wondered what the deal was with pilot lights. Seems pretty useless but all old brits have them. Someone told me the reason: back in the day, in the UK, the custom was to turn off the headlight whilst in town and rely just on the pilot lights to make your way around. Didn't want the headlight glare annoying people. I guess at some point people decided that actually seeing where you're going was a Good Thing and the pilot lights fell from use.

That's the story I was told anyway. Perhaps one of our UK members would know more about that...


ps - lots of big guys ride Bullets. Don't let that deter you!

Chugley says thank you for the compliments! :D

Your Wanderer looks pretty cool. And I like the photo - fields of green grass and wildflowers. Looks very peaceful.

thanks for the nice is pretty here, but then again...I'm sure all of us live in an area that has something to offer, that would seem beautiful, and unusual to those that don't live there. That's what makes tourism such a thriving business.
The one thing I do really like here is that I can get up on a Sunday morning, get on the bike at about 07:30, head out and get about an hour away before I see the first car or bike. If you go north, it goes through miles of wooded land, lots of nice curves and few towns. The towns are all built around a center, and the towns have a start and finish to houses built out by themselves in what was once pasture/woodland. Between towns, there is green and wildlife.....until the next town. Everything has it's place and the wildlife is separated from the humans , for the most part. Unlike where I grew up in the states, where you couldn't know which town you were in, because they all kind of melded into each other.
We had to pick the son up at 2 this morning, at a music festival he visited over the weekend, and we saw not only the usual rabbits and weasels, and badgers, but we saw the biggest wild boar, big as a motorscooter, and a herd of the biggest deer, with antlers and everything, like cows they were, that big. Lots of wildlife here. Have to be on your toes, after dark.
This is going down the mountain, from our town...
Chugley (NNC)

Maybe someone will be kind enough to start a thread about the interesting/nice things to see, where they live. I have never been to Colorado, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia,etc........and would like to see where some of the members live.....
You are correct about the UK lighting regulations that only a position light was (and still is at the moment) required at night on a motorcycle (or two sidelights on cars) provided that the vehicle was being driven in a 30mph restricted area with street lighting, except in conditions of bad visibility, although everyone now uses headlights all the time anyway!
This law I think dates back to the times when older vehicles having less charging capacity than modern ones do now were likely to flatten their batteries if driven slowly with headlights on for long periods.
The position lights also double up as parking lights as showing a light front and rear when leaving a vehicle parked at night on the road where there is no street lighting is also necessary although anyone hardly ever bothers now!
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