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YADBS - Stage 9

Guru was extremely helpful and delivered the Pulsar front end to MG road, from where i picked it up and took it home. thanks guru - we owe you lots.

but then the trouble started. we had a huge mental block about the front end switch - caused mainly by the sheer number of related posts in the forum - and imagined the whole process to be something similar to the swingarm mod. in short, we wasted a lot of time doing hardly anything but reminding each other that we need to finish the front end, it's been a while, guru is waiting, etc etc. but hardly anything happened for a long time.

around october or so, end of the month, rumours began to pass around - drag happening in december. soon it was confirmed - as part of the Bangalore "habba" celebrations - god knows what it is - a drag was going to be organized. soon there were posters going around about the event, labelled "bangalore burnout". that kicked us off, and we planned to get the front end done that very saturday.

it was shopping time, and we bought the pulsar bearings as well as the RD bearings, since we were not sure which ones to use. we imagined a hellish job with a lot of fiddling around and searching for unobtainable spares, but hell, it went through blazing fast, ridiculously easy.

took maybe 20 minutes to remove the whole RD front end, another 20 minutes to slot in the pulsar T stem, along with RD bearings, bolt it on, fasten the T stem, align everything, etc.

we had a bit of trouble with the disc brake assembly - alignment and spacing was critical here, and a small error created a lot of friction on the disc. we brought it down to a minimum and left it at that. much later, we did actually figure out the correct spacing/washers required and finally one day did manage to get the wheel friction down to a perfectly acceptable minimum.

so it all got done pretty fast, but then the disc didnt seem to have much bite, while rolling the bike. the brake fluid level was minimal, so next step was to do a bleed. luckily jaggu had a grip on this, and managed to fill new fluid and bleed off those air bubbles.

our primary aim here, of course, was weight loss - but the pulsar front end brought along certian unrelated comforts and advantages. for example the RD clipons - the ones designed for 34mm forks - are notorious for their quality. as i had mentioned elsewhere, we once had a hellish time getting RD clipons to sit properly on the forks. tolerance is horrible and inevitably they would need to be overbored or tightened using shims. but since we are onto pulsar forks, good quality clipons were easily available.

the clipons you see in the pics, they were bought from JC road for around 350 bucks or so. they fit nicely and never troubled us further. but there was one screwup - they had a certian coating which ensured zero conductivity and so we had to throw away the engine kill switch which we normally fit between the left grip and the clutch yoke. of course we could have rigged up the switch still, providing the earthing with a separate wire etc. but that would be messy and was soon ruled out.

but then the above, it turned out to be a blessing in our long fight against gear shifting issues. as the engine kill unit was removed, there was free space between the grip and the clutch yoke and so we moved the yoke closer to the grip; instantly, on feeling the clutch lever, we could make out a huge difference in the clutch feel - we could actually "feel" the clutch better, could feel it more meaty or whatever you may call it, and actually felt more comfortable pulling it in. earlier, it was a bit "away" from the hand, and your effective "clutch access" tended to be rather poor.

anyway here is another pic of the bike with the new front end.

soon we had a couple of test runs and everything seemed fine. everything except the braking power. compared to the older front drum, the braking was noticeably ineffective. the issue didnt look alarming, and we made a mental note to change the brake pads. and later we did - and it didnt help much. soon we just came to a conclusion that pulsar front disc is meant to stop pulsar 150s and 180s that make 1x bhp and 1.x kgm of torque. no point installing them on 5x bhp dragbikes and expecting eye-popping stoppies.

and if you look at the last pic, you can notice the two handle bars slanted strangely. yes, instead of buying a matching pair, we bought two left side pieces. and that's why the left piece slopes down (correctly) and the right one slopes upwards. ah heck. it didnt feel so bad, so we just left it at that. when you sit on the bike, for half a second you feel that something is wrong, but then immediately you adjust to it automatically. it's still the same way, and we really should fix it.

ok so time to move on. easy enough, since we were never short of