Kick starting the AVL Bullet

Kick starting the AVL Bullet

Kick starting the old Points ignition CI engine is a beauty.
But the newer avl500, Machismos and Thunderbirds- Kick starting is a nightmare for some. Harder kicker on these TCI avl machines is a known issue. One needs to literally stand up on the kicker and risk more wear and tear to leg joints than that to the bike parts. Right foot slipping of the licker lever and getting jammed between the lever and the foot peg giving the toe a one of a kind strike and tissue damage is one major risk.

Let me share an observation to make kick starting a smooth exercise. This basically depends on the effective use of the decompression. The decomp in TCI avl bullets are said to be ineffective and useless. It doesn’t decompress at all, the lever doesn’t even get pressed… few myths.

Try this-
Press the decomp lever. Yes, it’s obvious that the lever is kind of stuck and doesn’t move. Keeping your thumb pressed on the decomp lever, push down the kicker lever gently. You might feel that the kicker also rejects with the normal tension initially. What I do is stand up from the seat and apply the body weight on the kicker. Then, it gently goes down relieving the decompresser too. Now the depcomp is applied fully and the kicker is totally free. Now release the comp lever and kick start smoothly as in a points CI bullet. The gentlest push on the kicker and the engine fires up.

LED Tail Lamp for Bullet

Thought of posting this an year ago when I did and installed this circuit on my bike, but then forgot. I’m a living example for procrastination.

This is one arrangement I thought of when I started using extra headlamps on my bike that drain battery very fast. One solution I thought of was to cut the power to other bulbs that are frequently in use- tail lamp and break light. I think a tale lamp bulb rating is 10W and 21W for break light.

I replaced the bulb with an LED setup same as that in most of the newer vehicles (not on any Royal Enfield though). This one is not as exclusive as those come from the factory, but it serves the purpose and when the tail lamp cover is fixed we don’t see the setup inside but the light. This alteration has been done on a TB tail lamp that has more than enough space inside to add a circuit board. Same setup is possible inside a regular tail lamp too, but need to reshape the circuit board a bit which is not a big deal.

Line Circuit board - 1
(bright and focused type. Ordinary ones are useless) - 8
Resistors (4K7 Ohm) - 2
Wires (about 6 inches in length) - 3 pieces
Bulb that suits the socket of the tale lamp, glass and filament removed - 1

There are two different circuits for the tail lamp and the break lamp. A set of 4 LEDs are used for each. The LEDs are connected in parallel with the resistor in series to them. Ground is common for both circuits. Wires are soldered directly to the terminals pop out from the broken bulb, which are insulated with sleeves or insulation tape.
Two small aluminum clamps are soldered to the board and is fitted on the base tightening screws.

I have used red colored LEDs for the break lamps and are pointed straight (The top row in the pic). Two of the tail lamp LEDs are connected straight and are red in color. The other two are pointed down and are white in color to illuminate the number plate.

Instead of 10W/21W the new set up draws only a fraction of a mW. (I haven’t calculated the correct value though)

PS: The circuit can be improved by designing a bigger and shaped circuit board and by adding more LEDs to improve brightness.

This is a new design I have tried on my new bike. The setup has more LEDs. The illumination is not very impressive. It would have been better with reflectors.


01.03.2008 – 02.03.2008
Kalhatty (Kalhatti) Ride

Few days before the ride, I’m sitting on a bean bag at Moshaii’s home with a half emptied glass, contemplating the issues of my bike; JSR is busy filling his second round and Moshaii multitasking with one hand on the computer keyboard and the other one holding his glass, at the same time two fingers reserved for a cigi smoking away the mosquitoes and other small creatures with weak hearts and lungs. Do those mosquitoes die of sudden heart attack or lung cancer? God knows.
JSR is looking at the short lived bubbles popping up from bottom of his glass and said to himself, ‘Poor things, they don’t even live long enough to finish their first ride’.
Anyway before finishing that round he raised his head, looked at me and said, “Why you worry Jo, you can take my 500 next week if your bike doesn’t get fit by then”.
Wow… What a consolation… Problem solved… Game on…
But the 500 got some viral fever or flu, coughing continuously and getting unconscious; so I took my bike. That’s the uncertainty of life…
JSR proposes and God disposes.
The lifeless 500 is still lying in my porch.

01.03.2008; Morning
Moshaii rose up to everyone’s expectation and did not rise at all. History repeats… Moshaii was completely ‘fit’ the previous night and woke up very early morning at around
11am. Confused Moshaii chose not to pick any call on his phone and not to respond to any of our sms’ and headed solo expecting a second chapter to the Mannavanoor experience. To reach the camp before the rest, he would have ‘missed us’ purposefully if seen us on the way. Anyway the solo dude reached Kalhatti at around 5, almost 4 hrs after us. By then we were in Ooty and Conoor.

He hit and killed a bird (or the bird hit him and committed suicide) on the way; one monkey had a narrow escape. Moshaii strongly justifies himself with the point that the monkey crossed the road where there wasn’t any zebra line. Also that inhuman thing abused Moshaii loudly till he disappeared from the sight. Thankfully since he was busy, Moshaii did not stop to deal with it; or else one monkey would have joined the camp later in the evening on a black MH registered bullet.

The ride through Bandipur was awesome. I don’t know why, but the ride through that forest has always been breath taking for me and I love it. This time the lush greenery of the forest seemed faded with the autumn effect though.
And... Oh Boy, the two km off road ride to the camp… A stretch where a weak machine will never obey whatever we ask to do.

GK rode from Cochin and joined the camp within half an hour after we reached- His LB500’s maiden ride. His entire mass seemed to be very happy with the new babe’s performance. He seemed doesn’t want to remember those days and nights with the old divorced 350 who always complained about his weight and could never keep up with him.

Conoor visit proved to be ‘full paisa vasool’. Visited the loco shed at the railway station and the driver allowed us to enter inside the engine cabin (!) of one of the century old steam engines. I’m sure one will be thandoori if one of us stays there for one hour.

Meanwhile we got a distressed call from Caption Satyan from Kalhatty with the news that someone calling himself Moshaii crash landed at the camp claiming to be one of us, raided the kitchen and finished all the left over food leaving nothing to feed the elephants, tigers, cheetahs, cats, rats etc (prefix ‘wild’ with each creature and read).

Jumbo belong to the bat family, I doubt. At night, while coming back from Ooty he zoomed ahead leaving us behind… seems darkness boosts his eye vision. The sad part is that one cop misguided him at a turn and sent him in a different route for a very simple reason- to avoid the elephant trail at night. It wasn’t less than half an hour before we could recover him.

Night at camp was awesome. By the time we reached, bonfire, tent, barbeque, refresher liquids… everything is ready. Rest is history.
I slept peacefully in the tent; Jumbo and JSR on both my sides (don’t relate this to Jesus Christ between those two gentlemen). The misery was the rumbling thumping roaring sound from both the sides that woke me up several times at night with the fear that it’s some wild animal circling the tent and I’m gona be a piece of Kabab in the morning. Anyway later I got used to this horror and slept peacefully.

Sunday morning we visited ‘Duchy of Kalhatty’s Palace’. That’s how the Duchy calls it; a nicely constructed one decorated with antique furniture, old photos, animal skulls etc. All the rooms with balcony and the tree house with fascinating view of the nearby mountains and clouds, JSR says all these seem designed to have ‘thanny’ party (thanny means Liquor in English) at chilling nights. Moshaii seconded him. What to do… These ‘liquefied’ souls don’t have anything else to think of.

We left the camp by noon. The heavy breakfast gave us no option to think about lunch before leaving.
Nice ride.
Finally Moshaii is riding with others.
GK, running in, trying hard to control his instincts and emotions to open up a bit but listens to the bike and cruises slowly…

Thanks to all the riders for this amazing ride and nice company.
JSR, Moshaii, GK, Jumbo and JSR’s colleague Uday (this was his first long ride and he enjoyed it. Uday rides very well too.)

Route to kalhatty from Bangalore (Map added by JSR)
Bangalore- Mysore- Nannjangud- Gundalpet- bandipur- Kalhatty
Distance : ~280km

Kalhatty Photos

PS: One horrible sad scene on the way back on Mysore road- one man run over by a truck. One can imagine how that scene would be. I need not explain that. Pathetic, it’s pathetic again to see that he is still conscious. From the scene it looks like he followed his own rules and crossed the busy highway on his bike… probably a straight entry from one side of the road or probably from the opposite lane.