Friday, May 2, 2014

Royal Enfield Bullet a great bike for the Florida Keys

Going to the Florida Keys? You'll need a Royal Enfield motorcycle.
"It is a great bike for the Keys," wrote the seller of a 2003 Royal Enfield Bullet. He should know. He lives on Big Coppitt Key, just short of Key West in the string of islands known as the Florida Keys.

The Keys stretch south from the tip of the Florid Peninsula, with every attraction from beaches to tiki bars lining the sides of the one road that runs the length of the islands: the storied Overseas Highway.

The views are great and — for much of the way — speeds are Royal Enfield Bullet friendly.

If you're in too big a hurry in the Keys, you're missing out on the experience. It's best to live life there at the speed a damp bathing suit dries while you sip a cool drink. It's perfect for my speed challenged Royal Enfield.

Reading the seller's ad I wondered why I've never taken my own Bullet down to the Keys.

The answer is the "dreaded 18-mile stretch." This is the one-lane-in-each-direction connection between the mainland and the first Key you come to, Key Largo.

It's straight and boring and passing is impossible except at short, designated two-lane passing zones. You put Florida drivers in that situation, at the wheel of their over powered SUVs, and you have Road Rage. Anyone doing just the speed limit (or, like me, unable to do more than that) is mercilessly tailgated.

How can people be in such a damned hurry to get to a place where they plan to RELAX? Are they afraid Key West will run out of rum before they get there? Unlikely.

There is another, longer, and less hurried way around called Card Sound Road. Advantage: Alabama Jack's, a great biker spot, is on Card Sound Road.

That's the way I'll go!

I'll take with me a print out of the free Florida Keys Mile Marker Guide at It tells you what there is to see and do mile by mile the whole way to the end of the road in Key West.

This is going to take some time.

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