Friday, July 20, 2012

What is it like to commute on a Royal Enfield Bullet?

Royal Enfield Bullet takes on the commute home in this video.
hoohoohobilin's videos on Royal Enfield tips and maintenance are helpful but his recent video, "Commuting on a Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Motorcycle," is the definitive answer to what it's like to ride a Bullet to work in the United States.

To summarize, as he puts it, "if I was on my Buell, I'd be home by now."

Going fast enough to keep up with traffic is the big problem, he explains. You end up hoping traffic on the expressway will have to slow down.

The car-pool lane is open to motorcycles in California, but using it would only mean blocking traffic.

On the other hand, our rider treats us to hair-raising examples of lane splitting. Although not strictly legal in California, lane splitting is usually tolerated by the state's law enforcement. It's a way for  motorcyclists to weave their way to the front of the pack.

 The Bullet is narrow enough for this dangerous duty.
It's harrowing to watch this helmet-cam view.

Lane splitting may work on the freeway, but I'm not going to weave my way to the front of a line of cars waiting at a traffic signal. The last thing I want is a dozen impatient drivers in 300-horsepower SUVs behind me.

In the end, our rider concludes that he probably won't use his Bullet to commute to work again.

But with all the criticism, the sound of the Bullet's motor beating is enormously appealing as he finally reaches a speed appropriate road.

Experience it for yourself:


  1. I often have commutes of varying distances, however if my trip involves taking the freeway/highway I take the car instead of my beloved Bullet.

    Not only do I not feel comfortable being the slowest one with massive 2-3 ton hunks of metal flying by me, but I feel bad holding up traffic.

    I'll keep my Bullet on local roads for now, where everyone can appreciate what makes this bike so special.

  2. Here's another commute--sped up a bit because I kinda got bored watching it at normal speed. Sure captures what it feels like out here in India sometimes, although it's only morning where you can go anywhere near this "fast." (Maybe 50-55mph tops?)

    (Apologies for the dumb text.)

  3. Nice video! I commute on the freeway all of the time, but i have a UCE. It keeps up just fine. (I don't know that I could ever work up the nerve to lane split.)


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