Instructables

Rebuilding a Spoked Wheel for the Royal Enfield Bullet

Part 1: The Pattern
Rebuilding a spoked motorbike wheel, this involves lacing the spoke pattern and for Part 2, truing the wheel.
This particular pattern belongs to the Royal Enfield Bullet.
Before starting it’s a good idea to take photos of the wheel, recording need to know info for later, such as pattern and layout of the spokes.

Take note of the spoke head symbol of the visible spoke heads facing outward which should all be the same, in my case a triangle,more  about that in the next step.
 
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Step 1: Preamble and Layout

Picture of Preamble and Layout
This is a first for me both tackling a wheel rebuild as well as working on a motorbike so I stand to correction in respect of my terminology/procedures.
Here I’m going to tackle the front wheel, bearing in mind that there are 2 different types of spokes in the front wheel. There is the slightly longer 144mm one, and a shorter one 142mm. In addition to the length of the spoke, the 2 types also have different amounts of bend in the hook, which can be seen more clearly in the second pic.

Correction to previous offset hub story:
The reason for this is that the sharper bend 90° shorter spoke goes on the outside of the hub with its head, which is marked with a bisected triangle, always facing into the hub. It leans over more into the wheel and hence the need for a sharper angle.

The longer spoke with a less acute angle goes inside the hub with its empty triangle head symbol facing outwards, ie all visible spoke heads should be the same symbol.

The hub is always centered with relation to the rim to maintain correct balance and symmetry.

All my spokes with the 90° bend and shorter length were marked with a bisected triangle symbol, however its not to say all short 90° spokes will be marked in this way.
sbruce32 years ago
Hello it looks like the outer spokes on the brake linkage side are backwards, if you look at all the RE Bullet wheels for sale on ebay as a complete unit, they are laced opposite to yours on the braking side of the hub. Maybe I am missing something? But I laced my spokes the way they are shown on the ebay wheels, hope that is correct. But the point is thanks very much for this lesson, it helped a lot!
Joe Crow3 years ago
Hi Peter

I found your instructions when I was looking for advice on tightening the spokes and keeping the back wheel 'true' on one of my Royal Enfie I think the extra weight of a sidecar has stretched the original spokes a bit.

Your instructions are clear; concise; and comprehensive (well done!) but there is one small flaw: you mention correctly that there are 2x types of spokes with slightly different lengths and bend angles, however, you suggest that the shorter spokes go on the speedo drive side and the longer ones go on the brake plate side due to the offset. This is not correct - the longer spokes (with tighter bend) should be laced from the inside of the hub flange, while the shorter spokes (lesser bend) are laced from the outside of the hub flange (leaving their button heads visible on the outside of the hub). On a related point, I'm not sure that there is an offset between hub and rim, as I think the speedo drive / brake plate / spacers keep the whole plot in line. Both my Bullets have the original wheels intact, so I'll measure the lateral rim to hub distance to see if its different on each side...

Finally, thanks again for the excellent wheelbuilding and trueing instructions: I'm happier to tackle the job now…in the knowledge that I can ask a pro to fix it if I get it badly wrong!

Joe
petercd (author)  Joe Crow3 years ago
Thanks for the comprehensive comment, I was informed of the wheel offset by a bloke who been in the enfield servicing game for quite some tme, which is why I posted the different spoke length story that I surmised at the time.
Of course I could be wrong and your explanation seems quite logical.

Alas I didnt measure my wheels before dismantling them, Im wiser now. :)
danfinazzo4 years ago
Better way is to only lace those spokes that come from the outside in - or better put that shows the shiny buttons on the outside of the wheel.  These are the interior spokes.  Then go around the wheel in order / sequence clockwise or the other way to ensure no crossing and interference.  Applying the nuts loosely as you go.

Once these interior spokes are laced complete with nuts applied (loosely) and set you can then do the interior ones without any interference very quickly - this will save you a ton of time, cursing and other antics!!
theopowers5 years ago
How would you determine spoke length if you were building a wheel from scratch and didn't have the old spokes?
petercd (author)  theopowers5 years ago
Hop onto one of the many dedicated forums dealing with the specific bike and ask them, other than that you're screwed. I first tried all the local bike shops for new spokes, but they were all too long or else too thin. So my only option was to rechrome and rebuild. If you're talking about a custom or unknown wheel, then Id measure the ID of the rim and OD of the hub and work from there, find something similar etc.
ramedia6 years ago
You might want to put a few motorcycle keywords in this instructable. We call them motorcycles in America so your instructable doesn't show up when people do a general search.
petercd (author)  ramedia6 years ago
thanks, a very good point. On it right away :)
petercd (author) 7 years ago
thanks for that, funny it didnt show up in the preview last nite. unfortunately I cant delete the last step, some error "ERROR 401: can not delete: The end of Part 1" tried unpublishing and another browser, still no luck. best I can do is delete all the info in the unwanted step
petercd (author) 7 years ago
If this is too longwinded, let me know and I'll try to shorten it
looks good... lacing wheels is not as easy as it may sound :P I think the last two steps are identical though :/
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