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1961 350 Bullet Stats

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1961 350 Bullet Stats
Started at 10:22am on the 12th March, 2018 by Adrian
Adrian Subject: 1961 350 Bullet Stats
Greetings, message board fans, this is one for **Redditch** Bullet experts.

Would anyone in the know please tell me what is the weight, sorry, MASS in running order and the rated horsepower output from the factory for a 1961 350 Bullet? Figures, if different, for an Airflow model particularly welcome.

Many thanks,

Posted: 10:22am 12th March, 2018
John L Subject: 1961 350 Bullet Stats
Adrian - Weight 365 lbs. (wet or dry not stipulated), power output 21 bhp at 6500 rpm - according to a 1961 factory brochure I have. No weight penalty details for Airflow version, but RE claimed the "normally-seated" maximum speed was increased by 5-8% when Airflow is fitted, with an improvement of 20% in petrol consumption.... HTH,
Posted: 11:53am 12th March, 2018
Alan R Subject: 1961 350 Bullet Stats
Hi Guys-------The MASS of an object is its' volume multiplied by its' DENSITY... and calibrated in Kg. and remains constant........However the WEIGHT of that same object is the gravitational "pull" acting on that objects mass and will vary according to the different gravities acting on it............Example}---- Centrifugal force}---- Your bodies MASS stays the same but now weighs more and more due to the varying and greater forces acting on it.....................You can also weigh LESS than your body's mass on this planet--- as a trip on "The Vomit Comet" will show you !!

Posted: 12:16pm 12th March, 2018
Mark M Subject: 1961 350 Bullet Stats
Adrian, why do you need this, is it for a re-registration? If so, you don't need to fill in those boxes on the V55/5 form just ignore them.

REgards, Mark
Posted: 01:08pm 12th March, 2018
Adrian Subject: 1961 350 Bullet Stats

thanks for the relevant reply, John (Alan, thanks, but your post didn't actually answer my question!). Perhaps I should explain for the benefit of Mark M and others. Please forgive me if this rambles a bit, I will try and be as clear as possible.

As may or may not be widely known, The DVLA at Swansea are from May extending the MOT and Tax exemption for classic vehicles, anything over 40 years old will normally qualify. Good news for some, BUT they are tightening up on on the originality criteria to some extent when the new rules come in.

My concerns are over a couple of restoration projects (specials) which I have had on the go for rather longer than I should have, owing largely to a “major life event distraction” (a happy one as it finally turned out). Both bikes already have V5Cs. They were off the road pre-SORN, but in theory I shall be good to go, although the taxation class is not yet amended to "historic vehicle" for either bike. The plan is at the moment for both to have bigger engines than the 350 Bullet originally fitted, provided that I can get them both back on the road before the new rules come into force, but if not my plans could well come a cropper.

Have a read about the changes here courtesy of Classic Bike Guide:

Under the old system you simply notified Swansea via the changes section on the V5C, just fill in capacity and number of the replacement engine, not forgetting to make sure the insurance company was advised, and all would be well. As Mark says, the weight boxes on the changes section of the form weren't relevant and would be left blank.

Now here's the fly in the ointment under the new rules. Vehicles which have been "substantially modified" since 1988 will not qualify for tax and MOT exemption. The key seems to be as follows, and I quote from the CBG article:

[i]The ‘substantially modified’ category has seen the authorities abandon an original eight-point scheme which would have categorised different components, such as engines, frames, suspension and brakes as changes that affected the vehicle’s historic age for a simpler arrangement. This followed concerns that vehicles that had upgraded brakes or better engines might fall foul of the regulations. Instead, ‘substantially modified’ will now mean a vehicle that has a power to weight ratio of more than 15 per cent in excess of its original design, unless such a modification took place before 1988.[/i]

One of the 500 single engines I was planning to use looks as though it won't exceed the 15% power to weight barrier under the new system, based on the factory data, but the 500 Big Head almost certainly will. I've read elsewhere that they were 27BHP from the factory, I'm guessing that the complete bike also weighed a few pounds more than the 1961 350, owing to the 500 engine and 19" wheels. As the new rules seem to be partly retrospective, at least for new exemption claims, I can't claim the engine swap was carried out before 1988.

This bit is worrying:

[i]Anyone applying for tax exemption will now need to declare that a vehicle hasn’t been substantially changed since 1988.[/i]

Is that just for NEW applications for exempt status?

If not, and this apples to the annual application for all CURRENTLY tax and MOT exempt classics when the annual reminder drops onto the door mat, particularly those with more powerful engines fitted SINCE 1988, there could be a lot of unhappy owners of modified classic bikes out there.

As far as new applications will be concerned, if you were planning on building a Connie replica in a Redditch Bullet frame, that will result in a non-exempt bike, even if you already have a V5C for the 350, whereas putting a Bullet engine in a Connie/Super Meteor/Interceptor frame might still result in a bike which qualifies as exempt.

The upshot is that I really need to crack on and at least get my Big Head Bullet special on the road before May (which is the plan), otherwise it'a a case of cough up for TAX as well as MOT every year, or find another '61 350 engine, which was not what I was after.

Any more relevant information on the effect of the rule changes would be welcome.

Posted: 12:13pm 14th March, 2018
papasmurf Subject: 1961 350 Bullet Stats
Adrian, I suggest reading this. (It appears if the engine if of same age as the machine it should not be a problem.) I would suggest checking with the DVLA though.) Vehicles of Historical Interest (VHI): Substantial Change Guidance
Posted: 12:31pm 14th March, 2018
Adrian Subject: 1961 350 Bullet Stats
Thank you papasmurf, exactly what I was looking for.

I have printed off a copy, and it makes interesting reading. I notice a little foot-note on the first page that "if the type of vehicle is still in production, it is not exempt from periodic testing."

Hmm... Would the DVLA argue that because the RE Bullet is still in production, owners of older pre-77 models can't claim MOT exemption? Hopefully a Redditch Bullet and even a 1977 Indian 350 Bullet compared to a 2018 Euro 4/ABS Bullet are demonstrably NOT the same bike, but this is the sort of bureaucratic quagmire these things can sink into. Now if the pre-EFI Indian Bullets WERE still in production...

OK, on my concerns over the engine replacement, this is the key passage:

"Engine – alternative cubic capacities of the same basic engine and alternative original equipment engines are not considered a substantial change. If the number of cylinders in an engine is different from the original, it is likely to be, but not necessarily, the case that the current engine is not alternative original equipment."

No mention of a 15% power to weight ratio increase limit, but from the above it looks like replacing a 350 Bullet engine with a 500 Big Head Bullet engine might be OK under the new rules (assuming they haven't issued revised guidance), but fitting a RE twin engine might not be.

Watch this space.

Posted: 04:54pm 14th March, 2018
John L Subject: 1961 350 Bullet Stats
Adrian - 500 "Big Head" figures :- 27 bhp @ 5750rpm, 10 lbs. heavier overall at 375 lbs. (quoting from the same 1961 Factory sales brochure). HTH
Posted: 09:52am 15th March, 2018
Adrian Subject: 1961 350 Bullet Stats
Thanks again John. As the above quote from the new rules suggests, a 500 Bullet Engine in a 350 Bullet frame ought to be OK.

You might be interested to compare the Big Head 500 with the factory figures quoted in the handbook for the 500 Electra-X of 45 years later. This lists a weight of 187Kg or 412lb - 37lb heavier, meanwhile max power also loses out with 17Kw quoted at 5,000 RPM, converted to HP that gives us a mere 22.8 HP (17BHP at the rear wheel, according to our hosts), barely more than the Redditch 350. The reasons for this are well known.

Posted: 02:51pm 15th March, 2018

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