Bullet diaries-how to start a Bullet 500 LB

A characteristic of the enfield-bullet is the starting mechanism. It is unlike any other bike in India because it cannot be started without any one of

1. Sound knowledge of the starting mechanism

2. Demo from another bulleteer.

The single most important factor which complicates the starting routine of an enfiled-bullet is the amount of compression produced by the 350/500 cc displacement of the piston-stroke combination. When the piston is cranked with the kicker, the compression decreases or increases depending upon the direction of the piston in the piston chamber. On the cast-iron engine, cranking the engine without paying attention to the compression can lead to back-fire. Doesn’t sound like fun and believe me, it isn’t.

In either one of the cast-iron engine or the alumunium engine there is a decompressor lever. I have an alumunium engine, in which the decompressor lever can be used to relieve the compression produced in the piston chamber. This helps to crank the piston without any problems related to compression within the piston chamber. The function of the decompressor lever is to aid in bringing the piston to the correct position when it has just crossed the point of maximum compression within the piston chamber and any further movement will only relieve compression and at the same time the spark plug is ready to fire the air-fuel mixture within the piston chamber. If the piston is cranked now the piston moves away from the piston head and at the same time the spark plug ignites the air-fuel mixture leading to piston moving even faster owing to combustion expanding the air within the piston chamber and this force carrier over to the next combustion cycle. It is the same as any other bike except that here the compression produced by this engine is so high that cranking the engine from just about any position of the piston is very difficult. This case may however not hold true for old engines/ poorly maintained engines where high piston wear will lead to compression loss(owing to leakage) at the edges of the piston.

There is a bit of trivia that I would like to share which has really surprised me regarding the starting mechanism of the enfield-bullet. This daes back to the day when Varun’s bike had not started and I had to call for the assistance of the local bullet mechanic. What he told me is still fresh in my mind.

‘The mark of a good bullet is the starting mechanism. A good bullet can be started with one’s hand’

Taking this forward, a lot of people think that starting a bullet is very tough. I have driven a cast-iron bullet and a 500 AVL and in both cases, I agrew with the bullet mechanic. Said thus, I also think the starting mechanism reflects as much on the rider as it does on the bullet.

In my bullet, the starting mechanism is very simple. Crank the engine with the help of the decompressor(used partially) very gently. It should be a tactile exercise with your foot. Crank the engine as much as you can with very gentle pressure. You should reach a point when the piston will not move any further with partial decompression. To crank the engine further, you need to depress the decompressor lever to the hilt. Now crank the engine a little over 1/8th of a turn. Now release the kicker.

Now give a decenlty powerful kick and the kicker should move without any obstruction and the engine should fire-up without rev from the accelerator. The definition of ‘gentle’/ ‘partial’/’powerful’ in the aboe description is something that one will learn with experience. But believe me, it is worth the effort. A engine which stars effortlessly is nothing short of pure poetry and the deep rumble of an enfield bullet is exactly that.

@Somebody I know

Somebody I know wrote thus in response to my points of view:

‘I think you are in a confused sttate right now and need to take some time off.

This is reflected in the rambling structure of your post.

I dont think that there is anything erroneous about a doctor observing a patient to study symptoms. Even if the doctor has the same desease.

Maybe you are realising this stuff late but all these concepts have been researched and written about by enough and more qualified people.

Just my 5 paise’

Since it is an open forum, I take the liberty to post and reflect.

Let me start with this portion.

‘I dont think that there is anything erroneous about a doctor observing a patient to study symptoms. Even if the doctor has the same desease.’

This concerns my opinion on the present state of affairs in psychology as a science, in the realm of allopathy.

I admire Vivekananda, a Hindu monk from the last 19th century. I still remember what I had read 3-4 years back. I do not remember it word-for-word, but I do remember the essence which basically put forth the view that pyschology is the ‘King’ of sciences. The reason being that psychology taught the understanding of the human mind. It goes without saying that for any thought process the instrument is the human mind. All science is based upon some form of thought process and the intrument is the mind. In such a case psychology which teaches the  ways of the mind is supreme over all other sciences. I cannot but agree.

Now to delve in this matter further, any analysis of psycology becomes a bit complicated by the fact that it is not a phenomenon entirely on the physical plane as is the case with illness of the body. Physical illness has signs and symptoms which can be observed and elicited. On the other hand, mental illness is very less on the physical plane and more on the mental plane. In such a case observations of an exernal mind can be deeply misleading. Couple this with the fact that most people with any form of supposed mental illness are treated with physical agents when the problem is not physical. 

Let me stop for a moment and chew the cud on something else. I am sure you would accept that a doctor os offered a degree when he knows the anatomy and physiology of the human body to a great degree. Any question on these basic sciences would elicit a response which will be very close to reality. But in the case of the human mind, I have never come across any conclusive piece of work regarding it’s structure or functioning. This is just to say that we do not even have the buliding blocks of psychology, to say the least. With this in hand, I am trying to understand how anybody can call himslef/ herself a subject matter expert in this field of science. Thus far said, I stand by my opinion about psychology in the method practised in the realm of allopathy. 

Let me comment on this now.

‘Maybe you are realising this stuff late but all these concepts have been researched and written about by enough and more qualified people.’

We, as a society give a lot of importance to age and qualifications in our society. I just have a simple question which has single-handedly driven innovation and radical thinking-So what?

Let me put it in a simpler fashion-So??!!

Now for the last and most interesting part.

‘Just my 5 paise’

This person has been a regular visitor to my blog and has been quite partaking in terms of thoughts and views. I never understand the Indian mentality about being sorry about everything.

I guess it’s ok.

Everything is in the seed-3

After my last post on this topic, I have been left fumbling trying to find some physical explanation for abstract concepts. I am going to make a sincere effort at rationalizing spiritual concepts. 

Let us take the structure of the nervous system. We have a sructure called vertebral column which supports the skull and the vertebral column contains the nerve bundles which are conneced to the brain, which in turn, is encased within the cranium (skull). Now we have a structure called the cauda equina at the base of the vertebral column. If we look at these three structures together then the cauda equina, spinal column and the brain appear to be like a tree with the cauda equina happening to be the roots, the vertebral column happening to be the trunk and the brain appearing to be the ever spreading branches and leaves. Isn’t this a wonderful metaphor to look a the nervous super-structures in our body? It might not be exactly the same, but anybody with a bit of imagination will definitely agree that the similarity is very striking.

The similarity is even more striking for the fact that it helps us in the next part of the conversation which is trying to understand the root of our thoughts. If we continue our analogy of the ‘tree’, it is common knowledge that the tree receives nutrients from the roots and these nutrients are transported via the trunk to the leaves.The leaves use these nutrients and convert them into active ingredients (sugars) which help the tree sustain it’s energy needs and also grow in a continous fashion. So the origin is from the roots and the leaves are processing centres which aid growth. Both the root and the leaves complement each other. To put it in simple words, the energy comes from the roots while the leaves help to harness that energy.

Now applying this analogy to nervous super structure, the nutrients are in the region of the human genito-urinary system and these nutrients, in the form of thought energy are transported by the spine and harnessed by the brain. This harnessing of energy is what leads us to thought processes and it’s manifestations in our day to day life.

Without going into abstract discussions which cannot be proved in the physical plane, I can propound a vague hypothesis that there is some co-relation between the human genito-urinary system and the origin of our thoughts. Isn’t it interesting that the next generation takes root from our genito-urinary system and our thoughts also seem to take root from the same genito-urinary system. Now wouldn’t you accept that if ‘A’ is connected to ‘B’ and ‘B’ is connected to ‘C’, then then there is a high possibility of connection between ‘A’ and ‘C’?

Then in the same vein, I sugges that there is a high probability of a connection between our thoughts and our next generation. Now the relation between the human seed and human thought is something which has been elucindated at a macro-level. Now my understanding of Yoga is to control the human energy space. Given this the relationship between yoga and the next generation is sligthly clear.

Writing this has brought me immense pleasure. I hope you feel the same too.

Sex is the basis & Procreation the driving force

concentric_circles1I observe people and I can see that there are motives for every action. On a broad scale we have desires, ambition, likes, dislikes and other emotions on various scales. A few people will argue on the basic desires being food, clothing and shelter. But I would say that the very basic instinct would be that of survival. We all want to live in whatever which way we desire it to be. But is that the basest of our instincts?

We can also look at the biological apsect of it. We have a body which is unfit for survival when we are born. Our body develops and we learn survival tactics from our parents. What is interesting is that our body matures much faster than our mind. Either sexes attain puberty before 15 years of age while we ( in the present scheme of things) are authorised to marry/ earn/ lead independant lives much later. In the absence of any training in terms of education, our survival instincts would supersede everything else. Clothing and shelter are secondary needs to that of survival. They would be more about standard of living (at a crude level) than anything else.

Now the next question would be the need for survival. A casual observation on any social group (including animals) reveal that the requirement for survival is for the purpose of procreation. It is essential that an adult (irrespective) of either sexes survive until puberty for them to indulge in the act of procreation. There are certain species which even die immediately after mating. All other actions related to human achivement are at best transitory. 

The reason why I am going into such fragmented, loosely inter-related hypotheses is to propound a fresh hypothesis that there is only one action which underlies all action as the most basic level-procreation. This one motive has kept species of all types alive. This understanding is essential for us to be able to understand yoga. This understanding is the foundation stone for all knowledge of the mind and it’s motives leading to actions.

The reason why I am writing about this is because it is this instinct that yoga or particulalry ‘kundalini yoga’ tries to control. This is a straight-forward response to the oft asked question about yoga-‘Why should I control myself?’

It is interesting to note that all human progress is because someone decided to give secondary importance to the needs of his body and decided to focus all his attention on something else. This could be anything from the stars to the plants in the neighbourhood. The point is that all human achivement is because of control of the mind.

If this is clear then the next question is-‘Why do I need to control my sexual instincts?’ My response to this would be that there are different degrees of control and it is a matter of personal choice. Imagine that you are on the river-bed. a few would want to know if it is safe to drink water from this stream. Some more would venture into the stream and try to take advantage of the stream and probably use it for various house-hold and commercial activities. A few, very few would want to know the nature of the stream and try to ponder about it. The rarest of rare would want to know the enitre nature of the stream and go upstream to the very origin of the stream.

The control of the mind is exactly like that. For the people who want to go to the origin of the stream, the above string of reasoning would be very useful. For the rest there is limited take-away. Take your pick.

Everything is in the seed-2

Talking about the human seed, I am reminded of the Tamil word for father-‘Thanthai’. This word is actually broken down to ‘Thannai thanthavar’, which basically means one who has given himself. There could be myriad interpretations for this and my understanding is it basically means a person who has given himself, which means everything which he represents-in terms of shape, size, features on the physical plane and thoughts, feelings and emotions on the mental plane. All this for the process of procreation with an element of chance attached to it. The element of chance is by the process of dividing the human DNA during sperm generation, with various permutations and combinations. 


It is interesting that the word should exist thousands of years ago when there was no microbiology and research on DNA to be able to prove the fact that DNA is the blueprint of the body in every sense and the DNA is suitably cleaved during sperm generation, to be able to unite with the egg and form the seed for a human being in the ‘soil’ of the womb.

By this, I am in no way alluding to any opinion about the Tamil language. My focus would be on the fact that the seed for the next generation is derived from the present generation.

My next train of thought would be a commentary that I had read about ‘Surya Namaskar’ in numerous books. It goes like this..

“As per the scriptures one who performs the Surya Namaskaras daily does not get poor in a thousand births.”

Without going into metaphysical discussions of rebirth, I am sure it would be acceptable to say that the father and mother do give themselves for the formation of a seed, which gives rise to the foetus and then the child. If this is clear then the discussion now moves to the spehere of yoga to get an understanding of the effects of yoga.

Now again, this leads me to very interesting thoughts which I will share in my next post.

Everything is in the seed

Recently I was having a conversation with my wife and she happened to mention about one of her acquaintances who had eloped with a girl of his choice and supposedly left his parents in the lurch. she opined about how hapless the parents were and went on to talk about the general state of affairs in terms of parenting.

This reminded me of something that Vivekananda had said. 

‘The entire banyan tree is in the seed’

I reminisced about this statement as said…

‘I feel that parenting is a bit lop-sided. Think about it, if we want to plant a flower, we first select a particular variety of flower and procure the particular seed. We then find out the appropriate conditions which help the plant to grow the best and do what best is within our control to help it grow. 

We water the plant every once in a while and add some nutrients, if required. But the most important thing is the seed. The seed is the unquestionable basis for what plant we will get. Everything else is more or less incidental and do not exert the kind of control on the destiny of the plant as the seed variety does.

Interestingly, parents seem to have very little understanding of this and parenting is done in a bizarre fashion to suit convenience.

Let us forget the seed for the time-being and atleast concentrate on the external influences which are akin to water and nutrients. Do parents really exert adequate time and energy to mould their children? Familiar excuses like time and effort are not acceptable for so valuable a resource as human resource.’ 

Saying thus I just thought about it for a moment and also thought about the seed. Is there a way to control human seed? This leads me to some really interesting thoughts which I will share in the next post.


Zapped in Bangalore for the nth time

Had to make a recent trip on outer ring-road(?) from KR Puram to Hebbal.

What really struck me as absurd was the fact that there were huge pot-holes in roads acros bridges. Now the fact that bridges are at an incline and hence less prone to water-logging has not deterred deterioration of the roads really struck me in the head. To talk about infrastructural problems is one thing. But to have such problems where the roads are so bad that they deteriorate with the least provocation from moisture is something which leaves me zapped.