Ride to Work

Saturday, May 10, 2014

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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