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  • help with polishing Royal Enfield Bullet

    hello to all,
    as a total newbie (no tools,not even sandpaper to my name) i am interested in polishing my 500 bullet which is not top quality metal.
    i have a fare idea on what to do with endless hours reading the forum but can any one help with:
    sand paper-what grade to use to what stage (i.e. 600-2000 etc) and wet what grade,(from-to)
    i want to start to get my 1st part to a decent level as it needs sanding.in time i will buy sisal wheels,compounds etc.
    i have a exhaust that is reasonably shiny but has the odd rust spots with minor scratches,what do you suggest as i am doing it by hand.
    i will be gratefull for any help.
    take care
    grommit

  • #2
    Re: help with polishing Royal Enfield Bullet

    Hi grommit,

    What supplies and techniques you'll need will depend on the type of metal, shape and size of the particular part, and condition of the part.

    I suggest you decide what part(s) you're going to start with - questions about specific parts will get you better answers. Right now you're asking how to get to someone's house without telling us where you are now.

    For example, if the exhaust is plated steel, the best you can do is to de-rust it and try to buff it to make it shiny. Any bad scratches or pits probably would mean it needs to be replated to be perfect.

    So again, be specific and the helpful people on here will likely be able to help you out.

    BTW, say hi to Wallace for me...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: help with polishing Royal Enfield Bullet

      hi mpierich,
      point on board m8 about the parts,just as i posted it i thought s#@t it would help if you guys knew what metal type i aim to polish...so here is a pic of my ride befor..it will be some time befor i can post a after pic.
      the metal is Alum and steel with the usual chrome added parts,but as alot of you guys may know with Enfields the metal is not of the highest standard.
      i am on the prowel tomorrow for an attachments for my electric drill,but i will only practice on spare alum and steel parts i have in my garage.
      thanks again, i cant believe how quick you guys reply..
      wallace says helllllloooooooo

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: help with polishing Royal Enfield Bullet

        just some general recommendations are as follows
        pipes and forks use this http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/bluejob.html
        engine cases use this http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/alpolkit.htm
        other than that as mike said ask about specific parts for more info. btw bro nice scoot.
        when in doubt polish it out/ why replace it when you can refinish it
        G2 Polishing and Powdercoating

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: help with polishing Royal Enfield Bullet

          hello,
          i've just twisted the wifes arm (ok a total lie!!) and bought the both kits you recommend...hope she doesnt read this.
          if learning and practicing on the enfield isnt enough my second of 6 motorcycles is this little beauty from 1971 a BSA,you cant really see the metal work from the pic but she has alot of good looked after metal, always good in the paddock befor a race for the people to look at.

          thanks Mike and pickleboy for your help.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: help with polishing Royal Enfield Bullet

            Nice collection...As a lad I had a BSA 441 Victor Special (nasty beast) and an AJS 250 Stormer motocrosser (fast), in addition to a number of old American iron. I'm down to a H-D Sportster for the time being. My BIL has '72 Commando (in pieces right now). The Brit bikes are a breed apart. We can get pretty good deals on new Enfields over here.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: help with polishing Royal Enfield Bullet

              hi mike,
              i would love a 750 commando pure sex...i bet you have the metal work looking real good,our outfit rider's dad has 3 all rebuilt and he has old Ducati's.
              do u ride thee 883 0r 1200 sportster?
              anyway m8 could you have a look at my pic and see if you can give me any user tips, the primary chain case is not that bad but the crankcase etc will need more work.

              tidy little rides the 441 check out a 67 441 on ebay Item number: 4623567479
              gettin me thinking on parting with my pocket money.
              as i said i have ordered the alum and steel kit pickleboy suggested (obviously from caswell) also i have used the advice and prepped a few parts ready i.e. de-greasing etc.
              i'll head off now as we have to prep the BSA for a test day coming up.
              catch you all soon.
              many thanks
              brian

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: help with polishing Royal Enfield Bullet

                Originally posted by grommit
                hi mike,
                i would love a 750 commando pure sex...i bet you have the metal work looking real good
                Naw, the BIL is a slug - the Norton's been apart for 20 years. Someday I'll give him a few hundred for it and put it together.

                Originally posted by grommit
                :
                do u ride thee 883 0r 1200 sportster?
                1200, modified to look like my old Indian Chief (sort of).

                Originally posted by grommit
                :
                anyway m8 could you have a look at my pic and see if you can give me any user tips, the primary chain case is not that bad but the crankcase etc will need more work.
                The pic's too small for my ancient eyes. But if you're doing it whilst in the frame you'll play hell getting it real good-looking. A die grinder will help if there are gouges to remove.

                Good luck. Post questions when you get to specific problems.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: help with polishing Royal Enfield Bullet

                  is this photo any better??
                  cheers again m8
                  http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...ginemounts.jpg

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: help with polishing Royal Enfield Bullet

                    Originally posted by grommit
                    is this photo any better??
                    cheers again m8
                    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...ginemounts.jpg
                    Yep. If the speckling is an old coating coming off, you'd need to strip that (either chemically or mechanically). Again, trying to polish it in the frame is not something I'd want to attempt.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: help with polishing Royal Enfield Bullet

                      A big sunday afternoon to all from sunny UK,hows u mike.
                      yes m8 you are spot on i'd never contimplate polishing in the frame,one i'm not experienced and if you are going to polish then its a waste of time just doing what you can see,since i took that photo the Bullet is stripped.
                      i got some sandpaper from our so called DIY shop,but my 1st question is the grading of sandpaper, course(P240) Medium (P400) fine(P600) is that international grading? unfortinately the shop hasnt that much kit for polishing so i will wait and buy from caswell europe.the sandpaper is called 'Wetodry' Sandpaper it mentions silicone carbide.
                      i have my oven cleaner,WD40 and all the stuff you n pickleboy etc recommend for prep. but i wont start til you give me the ok on the sandpaper.
                      i do have a electric drill...but as i said the shop is useless.so its elbow grease from here on.as you guys say if we prep properly then polishing will be easier.
                      what substances do you mean when you say strip chemically?
                      off to have my sunday lunch.thanks tons
                      brian

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: help with polishing Royal Enfield Bullet

                        I second what mpierich said about attempting to polish the engine while it's still in the frame.

                        I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that attempting to polish steel and aluminum motorcycle parts that were not previously polished by using an electric drill is a fool's errand. The reason I say this is because a good deal of the parts on the engine, such as the carburetors, are so intricately shaped that it will take ALOT of pressure to mush a buffing wheel into all the tiny crevices.

                        Here are some pics of a 1986 Honda CB450 Nighthawk that I did a couple of weeks ago. (The guy got some riding time in before I got to take them so the pipes had already started to turn color):





                        Take note of the carburetor: I'm here to tell ya that there is NO way I could've done that with a drill and a buffing wheel. I had to take both of them to a sisal wheel on my 2hp buffing machine and lean on them with pretty much all of my weight to get enough of a contact patch for the compound to work. If I had attempted to do this with an electric drill and the parts still on the bike, I would've probably been pushing the bike over alot, lol. (No actually I take that back: there's no way I would've been able to hold the drill steady because sisal wheels really like to GRAB.)

                        Another thing to consider when choosing which polishing tools to use to match the part being polished are the size of the footprints each one leaves. You would not use a buffing wheel to polish the inside of a brass thimble, nor would you use a cone shaped felt bob to polish the aluminum doors on a horse trailer. If you get to a stage in your polishing where you find yourself using a smaller bit to polish an area that a larger bit would be better suited for because other parts in the way are prohibiting you from getting to it, then it's time to do some disassembly. Just as an example: if you decided to use a cone shaped felt bob to polish the primary because the kickstart arm was in the way of you getting a buffing wheel in there, not only are you creating more work for yourself but more than likely you'll have "snail trails" from the cone streaking over too broad of a surface.

                        Take the bike apart: not only will you save yourself alot of frustration from trying to reach the unreachable and spend 2 hours buffing a section with a cone that you could've done in 20 minutes with a wheel, you'll also be setting the stage for achieving a much better finished product. You'll also find this out for yourself later on but I also recommend using some type of bench grinder or buffing machine with your wheels. It's always easier to achieve a superior finish when you take the part to the wheel instead of taking the wheel to the part.
                        "Some people are like sandpaper: they may delight in the misery they inflict by rubbing up against you, but in the end you will come out smooth and polished while they'll just be ugly, wrinkled, and used up." - Beyonce Knowles

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: help with polishing Royal Enfield Bullet

                          Originally posted by grommit
                          A big sunday afternoon to all from sunny UK,hows u mike.
                          yes m8 you are spot on i'd never contimplate polishing in the frame,one i'm not experienced and if you are going to polish then its a waste of time just doing what you can see,since i took that photo the Bullet is stripped.
                          i got some sandpaper from our so called DIY shop,but my 1st question is the grading of sandpaper, course(P240) Medium (P400) fine(P600) is that international grading? unfortinately the shop hasnt that much kit for polishing so i will wait and buy from caswell europe.the sandpaper is called 'Wetodry' Sandpaper it mentions silicone carbide.
                          i have my oven cleaner,WD40 and all the stuff you n pickleboy etc recommend for prep. but i wont start til you give me the ok on the sandpaper.
                          i do have a electric drill...but as i said the shop is useless.so its elbow grease from here on.as you guys say if we prep properly then polishing will be easier.
                          what substances do you mean when you say strip chemically?
                          off to have my sunday lunch.thanks tons
                          brian
                          Ack, looks like we posted at just about the same time. Okay so you've stripped the bike. Good deal. You're on the right track with sandpaper: from what I can see in the pics it doesn't look like any of the parts you're dealing with have a rough sand cast to them so starting off with 220 grit should suffice. 220, 400, and 600 will get you smooth enough to start with emery. I'm still going to recommend that you get some kind've bench grinder to use with your wheels because even if you use a device to hold your parts while you buff them with a drill, applying sufficient pressure to bring out the shine really takes it's toll on the upper body. (Not to mention the drill wanting to get away from you alot.) Start off with the wider, flatter pieces like your primaries so you can get a "feel" for how the wheels and compounds react with the metal. Good luck and keep us posted.
                          "Some people are like sandpaper: they may delight in the misery they inflict by rubbing up against you, but in the end you will come out smooth and polished while they'll just be ugly, wrinkled, and used up." - Beyonce Knowles

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: help with polishing Royal Enfield Bullet

                            hi thsound,
                            thanks for taking the time to cooment m8,as i mulled all i needed to do the use of a drill was really freakin me out and as you and the guys say if im not had the hands on then something will give and i will get hurt,so the drill is left to doing home DIY jobs.
                            i've just looked at ya pics with my jaw down to my ankles,what a top job you have done,and it shows what you mean by stripping the bike and not doing the work attached.
                            so the sandpaper i have is universal? as i said the DIY shop didnt have much,so its a search for your recommended paper.
                            i have my eye on a bench grinder,i've had a look on ebay and the likes,the ones on Caswell Europe are nice but i will have to save a bit.
                            the one thing i have definately learnt from you guys is i wont rush into it,i am slowly getting the relevant tools together and i will order the sisal wheels etc along with the compounds, but til then i will concentrate 100% on the prep of the parts,learn from any mistakes then start on a part that is not fully on display and use that as a guide.i am thinking off using the 8inch wheels,personal preference as you say,is this a good size for a novice?
                            just as i type my friend rung and told me he has crashed his race Bonny 750 yesterday on a circuit over here,and will i help him sort it......well thats racing.i missed it as i have a hernia...urghhhh.
                            what are your views on orbital sanders and the vibrating ones?? as i do have a vibrating one ohhherrrr!! i just dont trust myself with a drill.
                            al head off again into the garage and stripp the rocker covers off,my bench is now full of all the stripped parts,and the delicate engine parts well protected.
                            thanks so much for the advice i will be back to ask for advice.
                            brian

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: help with polishing Royal Enfield Bullet

                              hey grommit just a side note, grit rating is not universial. i believe the uk uses p rated and it differs from the us. just fyi here is a list of the grit conversions.
                              p120= 120 grit us
                              p320= 260 grit us
                              p400= 300 grit us
                              p600= 380 grit us
                              p1000= 550 grit us
                              p1500= 800 grit us
                              p2000= 900 grit us
                              p2500= 1100 grit us
                              when in doubt polish it out/ why replace it when you can refinish it
                              G2 Polishing and Powdercoating

                              Comment

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