I never even thought of a hack before last year, when I had the chance to pick up a '99 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 at a great price. I'm a true blue Triumph man from my very first bike. I've owned many Triumphs throughout the years, but currently without a one. I'll get another one again someday. But the Bullet looked like so much fun, and cool too! Pure vintage British styling all the way. And it has been fun to work on and a is a great crowd pleaser. So I ordered a new rocket style Cosy from a dealer I met through EBay. The transaction was perfect and I took possesion of a large crate full of hack parts with absolutely no instructions, diagrams or pictures of any kind to go on. Some assembly was required; that's how I kept the cost down. I originally planned on joining this forum to post some questions on what some of the pieces were and how they went together, however I was able to finally figure out what everything was and where it went. One "dumb" question though. What should the tire pressure be on the hack's tire (it is 3.25 X 16, & the bike's specs are front-32psi, rear-36psi)? Should it match one of the bike's tire pressures? So far I plan on no engine or bike modifications, other than a steering dampener. The bike alone is no speed demon and I do expect to be taking my time going anywhere once the sidecar is on. I plan on doing my first setup by the end of next weekend. Wish me good luck! Thanks for reading on and ride safe. -Ozzy
Posted 5/23/2004 11:48 AM (#3549 - in reply to #3546) Subject: RE: Bullet owner w/Cosy
I'd try both the US distributer's discussion page at:
Between the two sites you should be able to find somebody who knows what the correct pressure should be. If not, I'd start at the same pressure as the front tire, or a couple of psi lower, and raise the pressure of the back tire a couple of psi. If you find you like how the sidecar feels, you might want to change the bike over to sidecar type tires such as the Avon SM Mk II.
Posted 5/23/2004 3:01 PM (#3551 - in reply to #3546) Subject: RE: Bullet owner w/Cosy
Location: Boise, Idaho
Try between 28psi on the low end and 36 on the high end and see which pressure give you the smoothest ride with your normal sidecar weight load. The sidecar ride will probably get choppy on the high end without ballast
Posted 5/23/2004 5:07 PM (#3554 - in reply to #3546) Subject: RE: Bullet owner w/Cosy
Thanks for the posts and information guys. It certainly comes in handy. I've also been able to round up the help of a friend who has much experience in classic American rebuilding and who also has sidecar experience. Great hearing form you all! -Oz
Posted 5/30/2004 8:46 AM (#3653 - in reply to #3546) Subject: RE: Bullet owner w/Cosy
Location: NE Ohio
As another old Brit rider, when I started back into biking in '99 I bought a brand new RE Bullet Military. Love the bike dearly and, should I fall into financial trouble, it would be the absolute last thing to go!
In 2001, I added a Cosy sidecar at great expense and heartache. It lasted about 20 miles before I pulled it off and (eventually) sold it. The big problem was it dropped the Bullet's top speed from 73 mph (verified actual) to the mid 50's. That put cruise down from 55-60 to the high 30's. Too much of a drop for the roads around here! I later (after the car was gone) learned that a big part of the problem was unfelt clutch slippage under the extra load. No wonder there was such a dramatic drop in performance!
For sidecar use, the following modifications are recommended by Enfield and the "gurus": Change the counter shaft sprocket from 17 tooth to 16 tooth for more power and less strain on engine. Install the heavy duty clutch spring kit. Rather than oil, run "Type F" automatic transmission fluid in the clutch.
DRS Cycle also makes a great "tighten it up" kit for the Enfield's left foot shifter. After the sidecar fiasco, I installed an 18 tooth sprocket in my Bullet for lower revs at the same speeds. While in there, the shifter kit was installed. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Worth every penny. (I think every solo Bullet should come with the 18 tooth and every sidecar Bullet should have the 16 tooth.)
Posted 6/3/2004 4:41 AM (#3711 - in reply to #3546) Subject: RE: Bullet owner w/Cosy
Thanks for the info Sarge. I've dealt with DRS (that's who I got the sidecar from). They're great over there. I'll probably do the same thing you mentioned; Run it for a while with the setup and then find out if I want to keep it. If so, the sprocket and spring change sounds necessary. So far, I've been pretty happy with the 17 tooth. Even the shifting hasn't been too bad. I did get the right hand conversion kit, but won't install until this riding season is over. Thanks again, Ozzy