Evan Zierk | Ambassador
The Start of Something New
When I bought my Bullet 500 in the summer of 2015, I had never ridden a motorcycle. I rented a trailer in Boston, my hometown and post-college landing spot, and drove to Vermont to meet my new Royal Enfield and its current owner. We met in the parking lot about 60 miles from where he lived. I offered to to meet him at his house but he insisted on the drop of point, sighing “it’s a good excuse for one last good ride.” He seemed to really love his bike and was reluctant to see it go; he needed the money because his wife wanted a convertible. He had a lot to say on the matter.
“I bought the Bullet with a plan to drive to Los Angeles, hitting as many beautiful riding spots and friends’ couches as possible…”
I bought the Bullet with a plan to drive to Los Angeles, hitting as many beautiful riding spots and friends’ couches as possible along the way. This had been a long time pipe dream for me and my college roommate Casey, the sort of thing we’d talked about wistfully every couple of days for ages. Not until a few weeks after we graduated did it click that the trip was something we could actually do.
Why the Bullet?
I was drawn to the 2012 Bullet 500 for many reasons, but above all for its reputation of simplicity. I was inexperienced with motorcycles at the time, and my main concern for the trip was being able to deal with any simple maintenance issues that might pop up myself. I talked to different RE owners on Craigslist and with Boston-area bike mechanics, and everyone recommended a Royal Enfield as a tough but elegantly simple bike to maintain. If something broke, you could figure out how to fix it. That’s exactly what I wanted. I was also assured that a Royal Enfield, especially one outfitted with a pair of dual sport tires, would handle dirt well, a must for some of the spots Casey and I wanted to hit.
“…everyone recommended a Royal Enfield as a tough but elegantly simple bike to maintain.”
On September 1st, I pulled out of my driveway for my first leg of the trip, a 130 mile solo-ride to meet Casey in Bennington, VT. From there we planned to head through New York State to Niagara Falls, and then cross the border into Ontario. The Bullet’s power for handling dirt was immediately clear, although I didn’t get to truly put my bike to the test until we landed in Utah, some thirty days later.