Saturday, May 8, 2021

Africa Bullet Resurrection Part III

Slow but sure progress on the 'Africa Bullet'. 

Essentially the only parts that left the factory together on this bike are the engine, gearbox and swinging arm. As with any mix and match project much time has been sapped in making the various odds and sods match together properly and in making up brackets and spacers.

The bike is going to end up looking like a fairly different machine from the one that I went around Africa with but hopefully its essential character will still be there. As a bike that is going to be used, used hard and used year round I've thrown as much stainless steel at it as I can afford to. Previously all components were red but I've chosen to do the frame, forks and bracketry black, mainly to save money and for ease of home painting. The tool boxes, petrol tank and rear number plate are all at the local powder coaters at the moment for a coat of signal red. Perhaps the fork shrouds would have been nice done in the same colour but they already had a decent coat of black so have stayed that way.

The bike certainly isn't going to be ready for riding this season but hopefully we'll be on the road and out and about in 2022.

Details under each picture.

Part I here

and Part II here

Beginning to look like it's nearly there. Plenty of
details left though.

Pre-monobloc carb and magdyno. I'll get it running
as is but once roadworthy I'm planning to swap to a
monobloc carb and an Alton alternator.

I went down a bit of a rabbit hole with the plugs on
the mudguard brackets. I had some plastic ones but
they did not fit properly so I ended up spending an
evening turning some out of aluminium on my lathe
(I know an evening sounds like an exaggeration but
my lathe skills are low....)

Front mudguard brackets still to do. I was planning
to adapt some standard Enfield ones but it's turning
out to be a bit of a bodge so I've got some stainless
tube and plate on order to continue the theme.

'Piston Broke Club' badge on the steering damper
in acknowledgement of the Bullet's piston chewing
prowess on the Africa trip. (It broke one piston at the
skirt and one at the crown - my conclusion in the end
was that it was caused by conrod flex under severe use.
After re-building the motor in Johannesburg I fitted a
steel rod and the problem never happened again.)

I had a Britax 'twist dip' horn and dip switch sitting
around waiting for a bike, it seemed that this was the
bike to fit it too. A neat idea but it takes up a lot of
space and makes fitting a decompressor and advance /
retard a bit fiddly. 

I'm not entirely happy with the angle of the saddle,
it tilts forwards ever so slightly. In my mind it should
be level. I might had to re-visit this and sort it out.

Side stand from an Indian Bullet.

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