Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Faster Than A Speeding... Bullet?

Aw, man, I hate it when I distract myself...

A couple weeks back, the Harley arrived and I got her all registered and ready to ride (I got one short ride in, then it rained and I went to Indy. Current forecast is rain until some bearded dude builds a large boat...) The more I think about taking it back and forth to work, the less I like the idea - I'd rather save the mileage and wear-and-tear on a 100th Anniversary bike.

So I hit Craigslist, curious to see what might be available in the neighborhood. Figured I'd see what was around for ~ 500 cc bikes in the sub-$5K price range. Interestingly enough, there's a handful of Buell Blasts available:

as well as a few Kawasaki Ninja 500s:

Then I stumbled across a new Royal Enfield Bullet. And was tempted to hit the Royal Enfield website, where I found this:

Royal Enfield Classic Chrome. MSRP is $5600, new, with a 2 year unlimited warranty. Oh, and the gas mileage is expected to be somewhere in the 70s - as in MPG. Um, boy, yeah.

The Enfield, though, ignores the spirit of what I was looking for, which is an inexpensive, reliable bike that I could bang back and forth to work in all sorts of weather. Sure, it's easy to take the Harley when it's 80 degrees and sunny, but if it's cloudy with a chance of rain I'd rather it stay in the garage. There's also the matter of if I get serious about bike commuting (which, given the traffic I face and the tantalizing prospect of using the HOV lane), do I really want to put over a thousand miles a month on the Harley just going back and forth to work? Or would it be better served adding those miles on touring my new state's countryside...

Decisions, decisions...

That is all.


Borepatch said...

Not sure the Enfield would do highway speeds.

Jeff the Baptist said...

The enfields are comfortable around 50-60. I've heard that they current fuel-injected engines are a lot better than the older ones.

Dave H said...

Borepatch: Like Jay's ever going to reach highway speeds during his commute.

Looks like they don't have the military model any more. Pity.

ASM826 said...

My vote is for your last idea, specifically, cruising the roads of Western Virginia!

Daddy Hawk said...

Get the Royal Enfield if it's comfortable enough for your commute. It's classy as all get out, and nothing beats showing up to work with an ear to ear grin.

Stretch said...

"Rush" hour.
Never seen speeds higher than 40-45.

Dress up the Enfield with a tank bag and hang some P-37 web gear.

Road trips:
US-11. Parallels I-81. All the scenery of The Valley but (almost) no trucks.
US-60. VA Beach into the Western Counties. Take it all the way to Huntington on the Ohio River.

SewerDweller said...

I've had some experience with the R-E bikes coming out of India.

They are, in a word, Crap. Castings with the tensile strength of stale toast, Tolerance slop -in excess- of 1/16". Yes, you read that correctly.

Buy one for an amusing toy, sure. But I wouldn't rely on one.

Which is a shame, because they're very pretty.

emdfl said...

I got a 750 Duc Paeso with <14K I'd be happy to let you have for south of that figure. Believe me when I say that highway travel would be NO problem, heh, heh, heh.

Jay G said...

You are an evil, evil person, emdfl.

If you send me pictures that will confirm your evilness... ;)

Jim said...

Jay, run some Craigslist searches in different cities. You'll be amazed at what you'll find in Houston and Austin.

I'd wager that a lot of good bikes are lurking in many Southern cities.

Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX