I know a friend who waited one year for the delivery of his Bullet. Agreed, that the Bullet is different than any other motor cycle and that it is an adrenaline-pumping machine with an added vintage appeal,but, some would consider it shear madness to waitso long forjust a bike. As if they were giving it for free! But they fail to realise that owning a Bullet is not just a matter of pride but a sense of accomplishment for the Bullet-cult followers. It is more than just a bike.While the idea of planning a Leh-Ladhak trip to get to ride up the snow covered mountains on their priced possessions, is commonplace amongst Bullet bikers, one man went a little further and revamped his bullet altogether. He replaced its engine and transmission with a battery and an electric motor. He created the e-Bullet!
The video posted on the internet by the creator, shows a modified 2005 Royal Enfield 500 which looks quite different especially with the engine and the traditional exhaust pipe missing. The internal combustion 500 cc engine has been completely replaced with the batteries from the electric carNissan LEAF. The 11 stacks of the battery cells are held in place by on a custom made aluminium frame and the entire assembly is weld-free. Even the motor is not welded but bolted in place by 4 bolts. The battery is accompanied by an electric motor that provides torque to the transmission, which has a gear ratio of 3.8.
The e-Bullet has a data logger with an SD card for recording the performance parameters and also has an on-board charger (housed in the left pannier) integrated with a DC-DC converter. Although the empty tank is a superfluous accessory to the modified bike, it has still been retained on the chassis.
The bike is test driven and totally functional, but the design is far from ready-for-production. There could be heat dissipation issues with the charger as it is fitted in a closed compartment with only slits at the bottom to allow for vertical ventilation. Whether this natural convection is sufficient, is a matter to look into. Besides, the creator plans to implement a chain guard and a battery cover, to weather-proof the assembly. Also, the electric drive looks heavier than the original engine.
It would be interesting to see what the fuel economy of the bike would be and if it can deliver competitive 0-60 mph acceleration. Will the fanatic thump-addicted bullet bikers accept its taciturn silent sibling? Only future can tell!
Author: Swapna Dilip Rasal