Thumping in the new year 2015

So, the year has ended and a new one begins.
All in all, I think 2014 was a year of too few rides. The long-ish one to Anchetti forest was probably the most enjoyable of the lot. The Kolar road one was too short a ride. There were a few small Sunday morning breakfast rides down Kanakapura road which were the saving grace.
As a result of not doing too many proper rides I actually started commuting to office more often with my bike.
This is a mixed feeling.
It does give me the opportunity to ride my bullet and keep in touch with it, not to mention – keep it in running condition. However, the traffic and the way some of the people ride / drive their vehicles within the city really gets under my skin. But let’s save the rant for another day.
Towards the end of 2014 I had a few issues with the bike, the regular place where I get mine serviced the Art of Motorcycle, disappointed me quite a bit. So much so that I have decided to not return and probably will now go back to the RE service centre on Banerghatta road.
The issues I had with the bike were primarily two. One, the battery died, this happened due to inactivity. I managed to get the battery out and take it to a local battery charging shop, however he told me the battery was weak and would not hold a charge. The AoM guys replaced the battery. This battery promptly gave up the ghost. The bike was sitting dead for a good few days, and the most frustrating thing was that the AoM chaps were non-responsive on the phone. So, I took the new battery out, got it charged again at the same place and rode back to AoM. Thankfully they replaced the battery without any issues. The replacement battery they gave me has been running fine since. 
The second issue was to do with one of the four metal bolts that holds the head of the engine together. 
The AoM guys diagnosed this and they had to open the engine, replace the bolt and put it back together again. Frankly, I am not too much of an expert on this and have taken their word that this is what the problem was and that it has been sorted. The issue that happened however was that they did not do a proper job of closing up the bike and checking all things. This resulted in my odometer not working, some ratcheting noise from the engine head etc. So, I had to troop back and get that fixed. In the process got the odometer wire changed. In doing this, they managed to screw-up the connection and shorted the wire that gives power from the battery to the rest of the bike. The result was that I was stranded in the middle of peak hour evening traffic at the dairy circle fly-over with a 200 kg dead bike to push.
Long story, well not exactly short 🙂 , I got everything fixed by them but have now lost faith.
Incidentally, I got me a pair of neat LED lights that go on the front and really light up the road at night. Very useful, slightly pricey but very useful all the same. They do eat up battery power though so should be used sparingly. I also changed the silencer to one that the AoM guys make, this I must say is working quite well. Apart from the serious thump that I get now, I don’t get the mis-firing that used to happen with the after-market silencer I had earlier. For this I would recommend the AoM guys.
In the course of this I also re-learned how to kick-start a motorbike, inset is the method in case you want to refer to it.
So, what about things to do in 2015. Contemplate a serious ride of 500 Kms or so at some point in the year. Unfortunately I am not around for IBW this year else would have loved to do that.
Seriously consider moving to a higher performance cruise bike. The Bullet is great and I still love it, it is still meri jaan, but with various issues I have had myself and those I have heard from my friends it might be time to think of an upgrade. Maybe an Iron or some such might be worth thinking of in 2015.
Let’s see what the year has in store !
Wish you all a very happy new year and hope you have a thumping year of rides ahead.
Be safe. Thump on.

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