Ride to Work

Friday, May 30, 2014

Father Peter's Fridays

Luckily for me, I work at an enlightened and progressive institution where employees get Friday afternoons off during the summer.  We call these occasions Father Peter's Fridays because he is the one that initiated the policy of time off on Summer Fridays.  That means ride time!

This afternoon I put into the effect the ride I had planned for a couple of days ago when the rain put a stop to it.  The ride took me to West Chester via Goshen/Strasburg and the West Chester Pike.  Goshen can only be reached by going around Sawmill Rd. and 252 because Goshen, east of 252, is still under construction.  The Goshen/Strasburg run was incredible, great weather, very little traffic, and those nice rolling hills.  On reaching the intersection of Strasburg and the Pike I pulled into the Sunoco station to gas up.  At that point the odo was at 361.7 miles and I only needed a little over a gallon and a half to fill up.  With a calculated range of 200 miles, the next fill up won't need to happen until the odo reaches 561.

From the station I followed the Pike into downtown West Chester where I turned around on High Street.  On the way back I did not follow the Pike back to Strasburg but took the Paoli Pike instead.  That section of the Paoli Pike between West Chester and Sugartown Rd. is heavily traveled and not an interesting ride because it has quite a bit of traffic.  Past Sugartown it is a little more interesting.  From there I followed part of my Sugartown loop to Devon and Darby Roads and to 252.  I did a couple of errands on this ride, went to the vets office and to the pharmacy and then home.

Great ride, the bike keeps doing what it's supposed to be doing.  Push it a little harder now that we are past the 300 mile mark but did not push it much.  Everything ran like clockwork, I did have a couple of false neutrals again and I guess this is one of the things about this transmission.  It's getting to where I can feel the shift better so the false neutrals, when they happen, are not a big surprise.  The port mirror appears to have finally settled in, no big shakes and it stayed in place throughout the ride.  At the end of the trip the odo read 384.2 miles.
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Blue Moon Cycle in Georgia

My friend Phillip sent me a link to Blue Moon Cycle in Georgia because we are both interested in vintage bikes.

Blue Moon Cycle sells and services new BMW, EBR, MV Augusta, Ural, and Royal Enfields.  They are a modern dealership but they also specialize in vintage motorcycles.  At the dealership they maintain a museum display of almost 100 vintage motorcycles and those bikes are not just for display but they are also for sale.  In their website, they maintain a page of vintage bikes for sale.

If you watch the History Channel's American Pickers, you might be familiar with Blue Moon Cycle.  In the Italian Job (Part I) episode Mike buys a Zundapp KS750 from his friend Flavio which he sells over the phone to the owner of Blue Moon Cycles.  In a later episode, Mike's brother delivers the Zundapp to Blue Moon Cycle and they winch it up to the second story museum.

From Blue Moon Cycle site
If you are interested in buying or restoring a vintage bike, this is site is well worth the visit.  I know that looking at their vintage bike page I found more than one bike I would like to own.  I also enjoyed their motorcycle restoration page and their Blue Moon in the Media page.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Early Evening Ride

As predicted, because I did not go back to work on the bike it did not rain this afternoon.  It was overcast and cold but not precipitation.  I got home by 6:45 from the range and as soon as that I went out for a ride.  Didn't have a plan to go far, just to do a couple of neighborhood loops before it got dark or it might begin to rain.  I headed out Church to Waterloo and then to Newtown Street Rd to the St David's roundabout.  From there I followed St David's to Harrison where I looped back to Church and then up St. David's back to the roundabout.  Then down Newtown Street Rd in the opposite direction down to Sugartown to Waterloo and then Church to home via Malin.   All in all an easy loop, no more than 60 mph at any point but pushing a little harder than before now that I'm in the second stage of breaking in.  Cold enough for leather but not uncomfortable.  The port mirror is still shaking.  Will try to tighten it further and see what happens.  The starboard mirror is perfect, no shake and no change.

At the end of the loop the odo read 339.2 miles.
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The Parcae Strike Again

It was my intention to ride out to Brookhaven directly after work this afternoon.  The Parcae, however, had other ideas.  Despite a previous forecast of clear weather the day broke overcast as grey.  I risked riding in to work for the morning commute but the clouds did not break up by noon.  Rode back home for lunch and left the bike there because I knew that if I continued with my plan, the Tria Fata would cause the skies to break open on my head once I was far away enough to not make a difference.  Now that I decided not to ride from work everything will be fine and it won't rain at all.

The morning commute wasn't bad, a little cold for my mesh jacket even with a sweatshirt under it.  Most of the road work on my route has been done but there is a huge lake of loose gravel at the Overbrook Golf Club entrance on Godfrey Road.  That's a tight turn and loose gravel seems to pool down there.   The work on Earle's Lane and Malin Road continues.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Riding in the Rain

I have been sick since the 15th of June and it seems that I will never get better.  The last ride I had before today was a week ago, on Wednesday, 21 June, when I took the bike for my work commute and to get my hair cut in the afternoon.  That day was overcast and it started to rain while I was getting my hair cut so I had to ride home in the rain.

Today I finally felt well enough to ride again so I had planned in taking a trip up Goshen/Strasburg/West Chester Pike all the way up to downtown West Chester.  My plan was to return via the Paoli Pike and Sugartown Road.  Well, all the best laid plans mean nothing when the Parcae decide otherwise.  I headed out at a little after 10:00 under a heavily overcast sky but I imagined that it would not break into rain until after I decided to go out.  I realized that to avoid the construction on Goshen I would have to take Sawmill Road to 252 and that to Goshen, by passing the construction detour.  No sooner had I turned into Sawmill that it started spitting.  At that point, I made a tactical decision to scrub my filed flight plan and turn right on 252 and ride the Waterloo/Saint David's loop for as long as I could.  By the time I hit 252 the spitting had turned into sporadic fat drops so I made a second adjustment to just do the Waterloo to Church Rd loop.

There was construction on the Saint David's roundabout but I got passed that without any problems.  There were also signs for construction on Waterloo but the crews were no where to be seen.  When I turned into Church Rd. the sky got really dark but the spitting seemed to be letting up.  By the Sawmill intersection the rain had almost stopped to so I though I would push it a little further.  That was a big mistake, when I turned into Malin, the sky really opened up and I decided to head home.  The rest of the way was under a heavy downpour.

Felt good to be out and about again although I didn't need the cold shower. The port side mirror was loose so I tighten it up when I got home, will keep and eye on it and see what gives.  This ride put the odo over 300.  I hope that I can get back to racking the miles up to finally break the bike in.  Tomorrow is supposed to be clear.  I plan to ride it in to work and out to my gun club in the evening.
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Resources - Her Majesty's Thunder

Her Majesty's Thunder found at http://hermajestysthunder.blogspot.com/

From Her Majesty's Thunder
This blog is about British bikes of the Golden Era.  It doesn't focus completely on Royal Enfields but the author owns and rides one so there are some good bits here.  The thing that really sets this blog apart is the photography; it is amazing.  The blog also has a stunning visual layout.  The articles are not being posted with the frequency that they were in the past but they are well worth the way.

Her Majesty's Thunder also offers a line of cool vintage style motorcycle attire on the page.  My favorite is the RE t-shirt.  They are sold out now, but I'm getting one when they come back.

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Navajo Code Talkers - Uncle Sam's Motorcycle Club

Again, not motorcycle related but involving Uncle Sam's Motorcycle Club and Memorial_Day which is today.

Yesterday morning I had the good fortune of meeting Brother Marines Alfred Newman, 3rd Marine Division; Bill Toledo, 3rd Mar. Div.; and Robert Walley, Marine Raider, 6th Mar. Div.; Navajo Code Talkers, and Marine Heros.  These gentlemen left their homes in New Mexico to defend our country and were part of that Greatest Generation that rose to the task.  Please check out the Diné Code Talkers website at www.dinecodetalkers.org and see what you can do to repay their heroism.  Semper Fi, Brothers!
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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Resources - My Royal Enfields Blog

My Royal Enfields found at http://myroyalenfields.blogspot.com/

This is a really fabulous blog that covers many topics of interest for the Royal Enfield fan.  Jorge Pullin authors the blog and he covers a range from current developments to history of the RE.  One of my favorite features is the "Somewhere in ..." series in which the finds old published references or photos and then gives an updated view of the item he features.  Here is the latest in that series.  I really enjoy this blog because it is fun to read and the author has a deep understanding of all things Royal Enfield.  Jorge Pullin, who coincidentally* is a Physics professor at LSU, really does a great job with this blog.  

*I say coincidentally because I worked at the LSU Paul M Hebert Law Center from 2005 until 2009.  Unfortunately, at the time my life was in a period of transition and I was not actively into motorcycles.  I wish I had been actively involved with motorcycles because I would have liked to have met Prof. Pullin in person.
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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Drew Brees "Retires" to Ride Can Am Spyder

Saw this on TV the other night.  A very funny commercial featuring Drew Breesquarterback of the New Orleans Saints, and the reaction of his agent when  Brees finds the "ultimate loophole" in his contract so he can ride a Can Am Spyder.

For me it's funny in many levels.  I've been wanting a Spyder since the first came out and while I'm not from New Orleans I did live in South Louisiana for a number of years and have come to love that city.  The commercial features someone (I'm sure it wasn't Brees) riding a white Spyder through New Orleans and parts of South Louisiana.  The priceless part is the reaction of the agent, he really gets hit hard.

Hope you enjoyed it.  Please, let me know what you think, I know this is not about REs but I thought you all might appreciate it if you haven't seen it.
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Friday, May 23, 2014

Bonnie and Clyde Anniversary

Not motorcycle related.

Today, May 23, marks the anniversary of the ambush in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, that resulted in the death of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in 1934.

After a two year crime spree, from 1932 to 1934, Bonnie and Clyde met their deaths at the hands of four Texas officers (Frank Hamer, B.M. "Manny" Gault, Bob Alcorn, and Ted Hinton) and two Louisiana officers (Henderson Jordan and Prentiss Morel Oakley) led by Texas Ranger Captain Frank Hamer in an ambush set up outside Gibsland in rural Bienville Parish on May 23rd, 1934.  Today, the Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum, in Gibsland, is still run by L.J. "Boots" Hinton, Ted Hinton's son.

The photo is one of a series found in an undeveloped roll left behind in their hideout in Joplin, Missouri, after a raid by police.
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Uncle Sam's Motorcycle Club

USMC Eagle, Globe, and Anchor
Got this awesome reflective Eagle, Globe, and Anchor helmet sticker from nick_angelo on eBay.  Originally intended to put it on the back of my helmet but, because my helmet is not evenly smooth and has a silver/white reflective pattern on black overall, the sticker did not fit very well with my helmet scheme. I thought the EGA would not standout despite its reflective nature.  Part of the idea was to highlight my membership in Uncle Sam's Motorcycle Club (aka Uncle Sam's Misguided Children) and having the emblem get lost in the design scheme of the helmet seemed counter productive.

USMC Eagle, Globe, and Anchor
After a little thought the sticker ended up affixed to the rear fender between the seat and the rear number plate.  It fit there perfectly and it still serves both its intended purposes, reflection and affiliation.  I am not much for putting stickers all over my vehicles but there are always exceptions and this is one of those.

The sticker is incredibly well made, it looks just like official USMC gear and the quality and workmanship are very high.  When you order these you get two for $6.99, with free shipping, and I think they are well worth the money.  nick_angelo has several different designs, they are not all USMC related, and I recommend a visit to his eBay page.  If you liked they way this looked or if you are interested in reflective stickers for your helmet or bike, make sure you check out this seller on eBay.  I liked the sticker so much, I am thinking about getting this one as well.  This is a completely unsolicited endorsement on my part, I was just so impressed with the product I felt I would like to give him a plug.

Semper Fi!
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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Resources - Royal Enfield Motorcycle Blog

Royal Enfield Motorcycles, found at: http://www.royalenfields.com/

A great blog with a lot of info on RE motorcycles.  The best thing about this blog is that it lists RE motorcycles being offered for sale on eBay and craigslist in the US.  The list is pretty comprehensive and while it probably doesn't show every RE available out there it really does a very thorough accounting.  It is really maintained in a separate blog but you can get see it all on the Royal Enfield Motorcycle Blog's page.
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Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Morning Ride

Still not feeling a 100% but definitely feeling a lot better than yesterday.  At around 10:00 I went out for a mid-morning ride.  Basically just headed out West Chester Pike towards West Chester.  It was sunny and clear, traffic was light, and them temps were in the low 60s.  Stopped at the Wawa station on the Pike to fill-up.  Didn't need it as I had only gone 141 miles since the last fill-up but, since I was there, I took advantage of it.  The tank took a little over 2.1 gallons to fill up.  With an safe range of 200 miles I won't have to fill-up again until I hit 463 on the odo.

After the stop at the Sunoco, kept going west on the Pike to downtown West Chester, which was probably less than four miles away.  I turned around and headed back east on the Pike to Strasburg Rd.  Took that back to Goshen.  I made a left on 252 at the intersection with Goshen because of road work in Goshen so I took the Saw Mill Rd loop to home.

Had a stall on the intersection of Ellis Rd and Strasburg.  I figured that I did not shift all the way down to first and tried to start up in second which probably caused the stall.  Worked it out and moved on.  Also had one false neutral between third and fourth close to the Delchester turn.  Though about stopping at the covered bridge to take a picture but decided against it.  I'll make a run down to the bridge soon with my camera to get a good picture.

Pulled into the garage with 282 miles on the odo.
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Perpetual Motion - Royal Enfield History

A great 30 minute documentary from the BBC on the post-war history of Royal Enfield.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014


Still not feeling well but I did take a little time this afternoon to do a very short ride and check on my new bar end mirrors.  My plan was to go to Ellis Preserve and do some loops on the grounds.  I had readjusted my right mirror yesterday and that was fine but the left mirror was still a little low.  After a couple of loops I decided to head out on the road on go back home.  Instead on returning by the shortest route I went on West Chester Pike to Providence Rd. and from there to Goshen Rd. and home.  When I was on West Chester Pike I noticed a tan colored Mini Cooper hovering on my left.  I looked over my shoulder and noticed the driver, a young guy, giving me the thumbs up a smiling from ear to ear. I waved back and he sped off. Randy Kiss, the guy that sold me the Bullet, told me this would happen and he was right.  It was a really nice feeling.

I also signed up for the BRC2 put on by the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program on 29 June.  I try to take the course once a year to keep my skills up to date.

The ride was good, the sky was overcast and threatening rain but we had none forecast and none fell.  I hate that I haven't been able to ride much lately but as soon as I feel better I'm planning on a longer ride.  The Bullet had 235 on the odo when I left the house and 257 when I parked it.    
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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Napoleon Bar End Mirrors

The next modification to the Bullet was the installation of a set of Napoleon bar end mirrors from Dime City Cycles.  You can get these in black but I went with chrome to keep with the look of the bike.  These cost me $34.95 a piece.

When I got these on Thursday, I need that installation was not going to be an easy thing.  I looked in youtube to find instructions and that best that I could find was here.  These instructions were for removing the handle bar plugs for a Ninja 250 but I figured that most of it would be translatable.  However, they involved using a torch, which I do not have, and rather than go out and buy trouble I decided to have someone else do it for me.

So, this morning, despite being under the weather, I rode out to Joe's Cycles on West Chester Pike in Broomall. I dropped the bike off and I got a call from Joe about an hour later.  The removal of the plugs would not be an easy unscrew because, according to Joe, they were welded in a had to be drilled out.  Glad that I had enough sense to have them do it rather than try it myself.  The installation cost me a couple of cents under $58.00, which I was glad to pay for not having the aggravation.

The mirrors really change the profile of the bike and make it look much better.  They don't adjust easily, however.  The mirrors and stems are one integral part and the only way to adjust your field of view is to loosen the grip screw and move the mirror around.  I wish I had known that before I bought these because I would have gotten something else instead.

To complete this mod, I added mirror mount plugs from NField Gear to cover the holes left by the removal of the stock mirrors.  These two screw cost me $9.95.

(See the full album on Flickr)
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Headlight Visor and Helmet Lock

Another no ride day, this time not because of weather but because I'm under the weather.  Got some parts in from NField Gear last Thursday and I began my mods to the Bullet.

Headlight Visor

The first mod was the addition of the headlight visor.  This part cost me $19.95 and it was super easy to install.  There is a small phillips had screw at six o'clock on the headlight cowl that retains the cowl in place.  Once you remove that screw all you have to do is fit the visor on to the inside of the cowl, replace the cowl, and replace the screw.  It takes a little bit of trial an error but it's pretty easy to get right.  I like the look of the bike with the visor, it has a more retro feel in my opinion.

Helmet Lock

The second thing that I got from NField Gear was a helmet lock.  This helmet lock is also pretty easy to install.  On the Bullet, all you have to do is decide which side you want the lock on, I went with the port side, then loosen the bolts holding the seat handle on the opposite side and remove the bolts on the installation side of the seat handle bracket.  Position the plate and lock together and then thread the removed blots through and secure the seat handle firmly.  The lock is an OEM part with two keys that look just like the ignition key and it also cost $19.95.  Frankly, I was pretty disappointed with the quality and workmanship on the lock, it looks like really poor quality pot metal that has already begun to oxidize and the paint is flaking everywhere.  The need to secure my helmet, however, outstripped those aesthetic considerations and I installed the lock regardless.

(See the full album on Flickr)

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Rain, Rain Go Away

It's coming down in buckets.  No riding today, that makes two days in a row that I could not get out.  Yesterday for other reasons, today because of weather.  I have heard the old saw many times before: "if you don't ride in the rain, you don't ride."  I don't ride in the rain.  I've been caught in it and ridden through but I never go out in it intentionally.  Riding is supposed to be fun and getting cold and wet is not my idea of fun.  That's my two cents, mileage may vary.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

St David's Road

Took lunch time today to do a run on St. David's Road.  Loved the twists and turns.  Unfortunately, as it will always happens, there were road crews all over repairing the damage from this winter.  Glad to see that is being done but, of course, you can see how they could have waited to do that after I had taken my run.  Oh well, that just means that I will have to try again.  It was nice to be able to do a mini run in the middle of the day.  The problem, however, was that going back to work was really hard.  Overcast and cool but no rain anywhere.  By the time I got home after work today the odo was up to 225.  Racking up those miles!
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Another Pillion Ride

After just commuting on Monday and today we took a short pillion ride through the neighborhood.  We rode down Darby-Paoli Rd, Church Rd, Waterloo, Devon, Dorset, back to Church and St. David's to Newtown Street Rd (I know, right?  Can it get any more redundant?) to Waterloo by the old mills on Darby Creek and back to Church for the way home.  This ride is twisty and hilly, especially on St. Davids and the portion of Waterloo that lies between Newtown Street Rd and Church Rd.  Despite the fact that there were two of us on the bike it really handled the twists and hills well.  Still keeping to quarter throttle and not pushing it but it is still a lot of fun to ride.  I plan on doing some version of this ride solo soon to see the difference in how it handles.

This ride probably totaled no more than 10 miles and the odometer is clocking 198 now.

Took this photo at work with my phone.  Not the greatest, the sun is reflecting hard off the glass surface of the building and the upper left of the photo is all blown out.  But Lola still looks good.

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Fuel Capacity

The specs say that the fuel capacity for the Bullet 500 is 14.5 liters or 3.2 US gallons.  According to what've seen on the web, only 11 liters (2.9 US gallons) of that is usable fuel.  The other 3.5 liters are need to keep the fuel injection system submerged or some other such thing.  So if you calculate approximately 70 miles to the gallon you should have a range of 203 miles on a tank.  Let's call it 200 to be safe.

The idea is that if you see the fuel indicator light start to blink, you should be planning your route to the next fillup.  Taking into consideration that the lights are not very noticeable, I plan on keeping my eye on the odometer and hitting the gas station before the 200 mark just to be safe.
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Monday, May 12, 2014

New Royal Enfield Logo

I just found this on "My Royal Enfields" blog.  Royal Enfield is changing its logo.

I'll confess to being a traditionalist, there's nothing wrong with the new logo, I just like the old logo better.  A lot of buzz about it on the web but it's a fait accompli so we'll just have to live with it.
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Bad or Just Annoying

Not sure that I would put this in the Bad category but it can be annoying.  The lights on the instruments that show neutral and turn signal (what the manual calls trafficator lights) indicators are really dim.  During daytime operation they are virtually invisible.  It's not a big deal, but if you are a little clueless (like me) you end up riding around with your blinkers on all the time.  My solution is to hit the kill switch every time I think about it.  It's not a bad solution but sometimes I don't think about it for three or four miles.  Oh well, what are you gonna do?
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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Pillion Ride

Today I took my wife for a ride on the Bullet.  We did a short run up Goshen/Strasburg to the West Chester Pike and on the way back we detoured down Sugartown Rd. to Darby Rd. turned around and came back Sugartown to Providence Rd. and from there to Goshen.  A nice country ride with some twists.  The bike behaved tremendously well.  Considering that I never brought it up past quarter throttle it ran smooth and steady.  I did have a couple of false neutrals but that probably was my fault.  Still getting used to it.

We clocked around twenty miles on that run.
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Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good is self evident, the Bullet is a hoot to ride and I just can't wait to get the break-in period done so I can really see what it can do.

The Bad and the Ugly are not so bad and ugly but here's what I've found so far:

  1. Mirrors - Totally useless.  They shake, rattle, and roll so much that I feel like Big Joe Turner.  The shake, rattle, and roll, however, is not the problem.  The problem is that no matter how I adjust them all I can see is my elbows.  To look behind me I have to take by hand of the bar and move my arm across my body so I can get a peek.  My solution is to get some Napoleon bar end mirrors and see how that goes.  I figure they will still do the Big Joe Turner but at least I should be able to see past my elbows.
  2. Helmet Lock - Doesn't have one.  When I use it for commuting, I park it in a covered garage and I would like to leave my helmet on it.  Without a lock I don't feel comfortable that my helmet won't sprout feet and walk away.  NField Gear has a cheap helmet lock that I'm going to try.
  3. Headlight Visor - Mine didn't come with one.  I don't know why, it just didn't.  This is on the Ugly department because the visor really doesn't do anything that I need but I like the way it looks and I'm going to get one from NField Gear to correct that deficiency.  
That is all for now, as I find more things I will add them on.
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Saturday Morning Ride

This is the second "long" ride on the Bullet.  I used it the last couple of days to go to work but that is only a distance of four miles and change each way.

This morning I left the house a little after 9:30 and headed to the spot where Goshen Rd. begins at Darby-Paoli Rd.  That is where Goshen crosses Darby Creek over a short stone bridge.  I followed Goshen all the way from its beginnings to its end (as Strasburg Rd.) at West Chester Pike (Route 3).  This is a nice rolling hill ride through horse farms and country lanes.  Keeping in mind the breaking-in stipulations in the owner's manual, I never went over 50 mph or gave her more than a quarter throttle.  She handled the curves and hills well and I am figuring out the shifting pattern so that it is becoming second nature.  I took the Delchester Rd. curve a little too fast and that was interesting since this bike is heavier than my previous one and inertia really came into effect.  I had to lean her steeply into the turn so as not to push into the oncoming lane but I didn't even scrape the pegs.

On the way back I rode Strasburg to Sugartown Rd. to the Paoli Pike to Devon Rd to Darby Rd and back to Sugartown after crossing 252.  I followed Sugartown to Waterloo Rd and turned north towards Route 30 for the Liberty gas station at 30 and Waterloo.  There I gassed up and returned home via Waterloo and Church Rd.  The ride up to the Paoli Pike was good a clear but once I hit that I started hitting street traffic and wasn't able to move beyond just keeping up with traffic.  The weather was good and clear but I only saw three other bikes on the road.

When I left the house I had 95 and a half miles on the odo when I returned I had around 125 miles.  I can't do math but I figure that is a little under 30 miles worth of ride.

I got some more impressions on the bike that I will put up on another post.
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Photos on Flickr

I've added the first set of photos of the Bullet to my Motorcycle Porn album on Flickr.  I took these with my Nikon D7000 using a Nikon 28mm Series E lens on aperture priority.  The Series E are manual lenses that will not work with auto-focus and will not register the aperture in the camera body.  You have to manually move the ring just like in the good old days.  More retro stuff.  Please enjoy.

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First Ride - First Impressions

Yesterday (Thursday, 08 May 2014) I bought my first Enfield.  It's a black 2012 Bullet B5 and I have been looking at it in the showroom floor for a little under a year now.  It had been languishing in the showroom of Kiss Honda probably since 2012, with only 35 miles on the odometer, but I did not see until last year.  Kiss Honda is a family owned dealership that has been in the same location in Pottstown, PA, since 1913 (coincidentally, the year my father was born).  Randy Kiss, the grandson of the founder, runs the dealership now and is the third generation owner.  I had been out there last summer and Randy let me do a test ride on a C5 Military model and I caught the Enfield bug.

So back to yesterday, I had been out to arrange the buying of the bike on Tuesday and Randy had everything ready when I walked in at around noon.  The day had been overcast and threatening rain and on the ride out on my Yamaha V Star 250 (which I traded in for the Bullet) I caught a couple of rain drops on my visor.  The ride from Newtown Square to Pottstown can be done in several ways but I chose to cut across Valley Forge National Park and take Rt 23 into Phoenixville to Rt 724 to Pottstown.  That is about 25 miles from point to point mostly through country roads.  On the way out I found that 23 had been detoured for road work so I decided on a different route for my return.

When I left Kiss Honda I picked up 724 where it intercepts Hanover Road, south of the Schuylkill River and ran towards Phoenixville.  That part of the ride has some nice open spots to run but I was using it to become acclimated to the Bullet and for getting used to its idiosyncrasies.  When I got to Phoenixville I left 23 to take Rt 29 at Manavon Road.  Route 29 just south of Phoenixville is windy, twisty, hilly, and mostly country until it hits the Penna Turnpike (I-76) where it broadens and flattens.  This is a good place to feel the bike but I didn't push it because I felt I needed to become more familiar with it.  After the break-in I will definitely be back to try this road again.  From there I hit Rt 30 to Rt 252 and then home.

The Bullet behaved as expected, like a good old fashioned thumper.  The ride is fun and quirky but mostly fun.  By the time I got home the odometer was reading close to 60 and those first few miles had taught me a lot about this bike.  I'll use it as commuter during good weather and for longer rides on the weekend.  My intention is to post here and record the progress I make with it.  I hope you enjoy this log.


I think I'll name her Lola Too.
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