Hello All

I’ve just started to build a Bulsader (or Crullet if you prefer...) using Crusader cycle parts and Bullet engine & gearbox. I’ve just finished modifying the frame so it will be off to the powder coaters soon...

My questions concern the forks. There’s fractional play in the Crusader forks and I’m not yet sure if it’s wear in the alloy legs (no bushes!) or the stanchions. Does anyone know if Bullet stanchions will screw into the Crusader casquette and are they the right diameter for the lower yoke clamps? Are later Indian stanchions the same thread and diameter as the Redditch ones? Are they the same length as Crusader stanchions?

By Adrian
There is at least partial interchangeability between Redditch and Chennai/Madras Bullet forks, though with Crusaders it might get a bit more complicated. Fitting later Indian forks to a Redditch Bullet (or twin) is straightforward enough, even the pre-2012 disk brake versions, they just screw straight into the casquette or top yoke, though there are wheel size issues on some models which also affect the Crusader. The same front wheel spindle is listed for the crusader and the contemporary Bullets.

The pre-1988 Indian forks are direct copies of the post 1954 Redditch Bullet and twin forks for the 19" front wheels as far as I can tell (apart from the missing extra brake plate lug on the right hand slider for the double-sided Redditch 6" front brake). However the differences between the design of the Bullet and the Crusader forks could scupper mix and match plans. The stanchion diameter is the same 1⅜", but ISTRC something about longer length forks for the 17" wheels, as well as different internals (no damping or bushes). If your sliders aren't worn too far, a new set of hard chrome Crusader stanchions from our hosts should sort your forks out. No new sliders available at the moment.

I don't know what configuration your bitsa will have, but if you're sticking with 17" wheels it will probably need a style of forks to suit with the front axle only slightly offset. A complete fork swap with a pair of screw-top stanchion Indian forks will have the full leading axle sliders, which is fine with a 19" front wheel, not so good with anything smaller. When the Indian factory first brought out the C5 EFI models in 2009 they kept the leading axle design for the new forks but fitted 18" wheels, though not for long - following reports of handling problems they soon went back to 19", at least for the front, and finally they moved the front wheel spindle back to the centre line of the forks.

Thanks Adrian, very useful info. I’m planning to replace the Crusader hubs with 18” rims so your suggestion of replacing just the stanchions and keeping the Crusader sliders is probably best if they’re ok. The alternative sounds like a full Bullet front-end including 19”wheel. This isn’t a bad route to go either as I’m tall enough to have bigger wheels...😂
By Adrian
If you do go down the Bullet forks/19" front wheel route, an 18" back wheel would be good with that - more tyre choice than the 17" too. You might need to extend the centre stand, or see if an Indian Bullet item would fit.

By John-M
I would personally go for Bullet forks as the Crusader forks do not have any damping.
Bullet forks< English or Indian will fit the Crusader frame with their respective yokes/ steering stem.
Unfortunately I do not know if they will fit the Crusader casquette although I suspect that they will.

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