2012 Royal Enfield Bullet C5 Chrome
Measurements: 5 ft., 10 in./190 lbs./32 in. inseam
Miles Since Last Issue: 533
Average fuel mileage: 70 mpg
Before any of you send me a nasty-gram berating me for putting so few miles on the Royal Enfield I’m going to tell you flat-out that although I really do enjoy riding it, it isn’t exactly the type of machine you rack up lots of miles on. The short story is that while it’s great fun on Sunday morning breakfast runs, and works well as a daily commuter (provided your commute doesn’t involve highways), it’s not so much fun to ride far.
Consequently, while I’ve ridden the RE at least three times a week since it arrived, on average the trips are usually about twenty miles a clip, so I’m hard-pressed to put more than 60 miles a week on the thing. A large part of the problem is that the bike’s cruising speed is limited to about 55 miles per hour, partly due to the small size of Indian horses, which don’t seem to produce nearly as much power as their British or American counterparts. In truth, my 1970 BSA 441 Victor will blow this thing away, but mainly because at any speed above 60, the C5 Chrome tends to wobble like a drunken sailor. Spend too much time with the RE on the highway and you’re liable to find yourself stuffed into some Peterbuilt’s grill, which I’m certain is a bad way to go. But when I’m headed to the café, it’s likely as not the Enfield that gets used. Unfortunately, the Putnam Diner, my breakfast stop of choice, is only about 8 miles away, so I don’t exactly put on big numbers.
As far as modifications go, I’ve installed a set of Enfield- supplied accessory bags. Unfortunately they were unable to supply any brackets, so in keeping with RE’s less-is-more philosophy, I managed to lash up a perfectly presentable set in minutes using nothing more than four conduit clamps and short piece of conduit. The bags enhance the bike’s practicality, and while they aren’t particularly stylish, they’re sturdy as hell, which I suppose describes the bike as well.
Despite its few shortcomings I continue to be impressed by the Enfield. As long as you keep it in its comfort zone it’s a fine motorcycle that reminds me of why I started riding in the first place.