2012 Royal Enfield Bullet C5 Chrome | Long-Term Bikes

**2012 Royal Enfield Bullet C5 Chrome
** MSRP: $6695
Caretaker: Zimmerman
Measurements: 5 ft., 10 in./190 lbs./32 in. inseam
Odometer: 973
Miles Since Last Issue: 475
Average fuel mileage: 73 mpg

Of all the long term bikes I’ve ridden since I joined the Cruiser staff, not one of them, in fact not all of them put together, have attracted the attention I get from the Enfield. And without a single exception, it’s all been over-the-top positive. I even had two Hell’s Angels roll up to me at a gas station and comment on what a great-looking bike I was on, and my buddy Vinnie, a total power junkie who rides a very fast RC51 Honda, fell in love with the thing, despite its uh, restrained power output. Well, okay, there was one guy I know that didn’t dig it, but he rides a Moto Guzzi Convert with copper exhaust pipes, so who cares what he thinks.

I really am having a ball on this thing. Sure it’s slower than the speed of smell, but it’s a hoot to ride, and the more I get to know it, the better I like it. I’ve taken one 175-mile round trip on it too, so don’t think I’m just puttering around town on the little bugger. Surprisingly the trip took about the same amount of time as it would have on any of my larger bikes, and I was just as comfortable, so maybe size really doesn’t matter.

The bike does have its weak points; the lack of power is a killer on the highway. With a comfortable cruising speed of 50-60 miles per hour, riding the thing on limited access roads is just asking for trouble. And while the bulk of the fit and finish is good (in some cases excellent), there are some areas that the painter seems to have missed. These are primarily bolt-on items like the license plate bracket (one edge was left in primer) and foot pegs, so touching them up is no big deal, but it spoils an otherwise fine effort. I’m not too crazy about the front brake either; it’s a little wooden-feeling, and given the bike’s limited performance, is a bit of overkill. Other than that, I have no complainants. And for those old fossils that remember when Royal Enfields were known as “Royal Oilfields?” Fugeddaboutit, this thing hasn’t leaked a drop—not a single one since it got here. It’s also frugal as hell when it comes to that other vital fluid; gasoline. When it comes to fuel, this thing is positively miserly, it’s been averaging 73 miles per gallon like clockwork, and it burns regular with no qualms whatsoever.

As far as modifications go, well so far I’ve at least ditched the clunky stock mirrors, and installed a very traditional bar-end style, but other than that, nada, although the importers have promised to ship me a luggage rack. In the meantime I’ll keep chugging around on this thing, making new friends.