The Bullet: Mysteries & Myths -
Don't just love but get to know your bullet more

- by B. R. Gurunandan


Adjustment : The Philosophy.

"Adjustment" is not a pleasant word....

...in any circumstances, but in the context of the Bullet mechanism, I feel too many people let it get them down quite un-necessarily.

There are several ways of tackling adjustments or tune-ups.

Leave it to the "experts"
The owner's manual recommends this, and if we were talking of a F1 racing car, I'd agree. But applied to a Bullet, it misses the point entirely. The Bullet is supposed to be tuned to you, and not vice-versa ! Which is what will happen if the rider does not do the tuning.

Get a glossy "Manual"
Here you have dozens of photographs detailing every simple operation including removing a spark-plug. Ya, they show how to do it, but never tell you why. Reminds me of the bikini... "revealing a lot, but concealing the crux".

Understand WHY
And the HOW will take care of itself ! That is the way we are going to follow here. It is going to make this chapter plenty unwieldy, but the results will prove it worth-while.
We shall study the mechanism we are going to adjust, understand the purpose of the adjustment, see what happens when it is done right, what happens when under/over done, and why.
That is the best way.

Don't believe me ? Well, does your doctor say "If the ache persists, take a Crocin after dinner" or does he say "Today at 2045 hrs, sip 20+/-5 ml of water, 26+/-3 degrees Centigrade and swallow it along with a 250+/-10 mg tablet of paracetamol-IP".....

So you decided to do it yourself. Now you have to choose between two distinct philosophies.

Blind duplication in open-loop mode
Ya, it sounded a bit jargon-ny to me too; I tried a bit, but could not think of a better subtitle ! Just means obeying orders without bothering about results...feedback...unless you consider readings of measuring-instruments themselves as feedback ! In my opinion, that is a highly "short-circuit"ed path !!

In general, the method goes like this...
Connect the <Measuring Instrument> (Dial Gauge/Torque Wrench/etc) to xxxx
Tweak yyyy until the <MI> displays reading zzz.zzzz
Remove <MI>, refit the locknut/cover/etc
End of Job.

As in "Take Asprins till headache stops" !!!
Heheh !
The simplicity is appealing, and it seems to work...unless you had a tendency to gastric ulcers,
or your head-ache was due to uncorrected vision problem, or due to a missed meal, or due to an untimely awakening from deep slumber, or due to a chronic migrane problem, or....
But you get my point. The simplicity may appeal.....but then, results may well appall !

So would you put your life in the hands of the "Swift and Simple" doctor or the "Systematic and Slow" one who investigates the cause of your headache and treats it accordingly ?

If the former, please do not waste your time reading further !

Custom tuning in closed-loop mode
A factory-fresh Bullet MAY work passably OK with Open-loop tuning, but rarely will the customised Bullet. Too many parameters have changed. So has the new optimum. Not even the costliest precision instruments are going to enable you find it if you don't know the WHYs. Dismayed ?
Not if you are a true Bullet-eer !!!

Listed below are the areas we are going to study soon. Well, maybe "study" is too damn grandiose a term, let's say going to re-look ?

Cam-spindle Sleeves
Tappets / Pushrods

Ignition, Timing & Dwell
Carburettor

Primary Chain Tension
Alternator R/S Gap

Clutch Tension
Neutral Finder
Gear Shifter

Brakes
Steering Head
Wheel Alignment
Sprocket Alignment
Drive Chain Tension

Ya, miles to go before we sleep !
Because, the REAL Bullet-eers achieve their dreams before they sleep.


By B. R. Gurunandan

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