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Friday, March 21, 2014

Ace takes Royal Enfield performance to the limit

This is not your average Royal Enfield Bullet motor.
(See end of the article for full caption.)
For April Fools Day 2012 I joked that Royal Enfield experts Ace Engineering could soup up NASA rockets to get humans to Mars faster.

I was only joking.

But the fact is that Tom Lyons and Sumanth Janardhan, creators of the Ace Fireball 535 kits for Royal Enfield Bullets, continue to tackle every challenge imaginable.

"I want to emphasize that we are not limited to what we put out in kit form," Lyons told readers recently on his Ace Engineering Yahoo board.

"The kits are simply a way for people to get a system that is tested and set-up in a package that will be easy to install for the average user.

"However, much of our work is custom work that is outside of the parameters of the kits we produce. We can meet these needs," he wrote, and he went on to give examples:

  • "We have produced head mods with roller rockers and chamber modifications and porting for a highly competitive racing Bullet.

  • "We are also involved in a land speed record project for a 700cc twin Super Meteor/Trailblazer.

  • "We have recently accepted a job with the AVL head modifications, and are putting big valves and porting in that, and we also have the capacity to put roller rockers with high ratio into the AVL heads on request.

  • "We can put the regular valve size or big valves into the UCE heads, and do chamber mods on it too, as well as the porting for various applications.

  • "Roller rocker systems for the UCE are upcoming.

  • "We have the GP head conversion with billet rocker boxes and alloy roller rockers with high ratio for the Iron Barrel models, which include specialized high port design with flow far exceeding anything else from anywhere else in the world.... We can do it on the Big Head too."

Enough, already? No.

He goes on to advise that Ace plans to offer options for Aniket Vardhan's V-twin Royal Enfield Musket including "fire breathing" modifications and even custom frames if needed.

More recent postings from Lyons have considered the possibility of developing four-valve heads for the Bullet and even water cooling.

Will all this really happen? Lyons' attitude is that it just depends on demand. Are there really enough people out there who want to spend the money it will take to go really fast on a machine that leaves the factory as a beloved but notorious slow poke?

"Our custom modifications are limited only by your imagination and budget. All you need to do is inquire," Lyons wrote.

As for the Ace Fireball 535:

"It's available right now, it has years of solid performance record behind it, and has over 30 running examples on the roads of five continents of the world right now; it's almost universally loved, has shown longevity for over 40k miles in some bikes so far, gets great fuel economy, and does the Ton and cruises at 75-80 mph. Everything has been worked out to 'the T.' Top to bottom."

The prices I've seen quoted for Fireball items seem reasonable. They don't include your labor to take apart the motor and install them. They also don't include the cost of perfecting the bottom end of your motor, without which  it will not endure the power the Fireball parts generate at the top end.

What is included is the personal touch. Here is Lyons' response to my request for a price list:

"The best way top handle the scope of available work and pricing is to ask readers to inquire about a quote for your needs. We have so many things which we can do that are not part of the kits, even as minimal as a valve job on their head that would improve performance. We could give the best answer if the customer inquires and we can tailor something exactly to his need."

What's that picture of at top? Lyons explains:

"Super Fireball Big Head showing the high-ratio roller rocker package on our custom valve spring stack with beehive springs, titanium retainers, custom big valves, in a Big Head which has our raised port with flow-matched manifold and all the Fireball features, in situ on a Bullet in the UK. This... has all our proprietary features which  are not available anywhere else in the world. This has the highest valve lift, highest port flow of any Bullet ever on record, and as far as we know, it is the most advanced and highest performance Bullet head in the world today, and in history. Made to be competitive with Manx and G50 racing singles on the track or street."

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