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Bike Profile - Posted 15th August 2011

2009 Royal Enfield G5 Classic
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In the UK if we need spare parts urgently for an Enfield then there's probably a dealer within a hundred miles. In the USA, Jeff Nordstrom had to travel a fair bit further to round up an oil filter...

I picked up a couple of oil filter replacement kits from the dealership for my 2009 Royal Enfield G5 Classic Bullet. The fun part is that I live in Yakima, the dealership I picked them up from is in Bellingham which is over 250 miles away, and I needed to be home by 5:30pm so my wife could go to dinner with her friends.

Subtly different to UK models Royal Enfield G5 Classic - USA Spec'

There are some fantastic roads between the two places, but due to time constraints, I couldn't enjoy them all. Leaving my house at 5:45am, I headed west on I-82 to Ellensburg, bypassing the Canyon Road. At Ellensburg I veered off the freeway to travel US 97 over Blewette Pass to Leavenworth.

Stopping for a quick breakfast at Leavenworth, I fueled up (76 Station, 2-gallons, 110 miles) and joined US-2 over Stevens Pass toward Everett. Blewette and Stevens were both fantastic, and much preferred to the freeway driving from earlier in the morning. I was unimpressed with the fuel from the 76 station in Leavenworth. I was unable to maintain 60mph at several points climbing Stevens Pass, even though the elevation and incline were less than those on Blewette, where I was able to keep 65 with little problem.

I turned onto WA 9 before Everett to avoid I-5 as long as I could. WA 9 had quite a few intersections and slow traffic for the first handful of miles then it cleared up and was nice and peaceful riding until I hooked up with WA 539 to connect with I-5 from Mt. Vernon to Bellingham. I-5 that far north of Seattle, and in the late morning hours was not at all bad for traffic, and the speed limit was 60 or 65 the rest of the way to Bellingham, so I had no problem keeping up with traffic.

I arrived at Ural Northwest at 11:14am, having travelled 283 miles so far. Ben at Ural Northwest set me up with the filters and O-rings I was looking for.

I shed the gloves, leathers, and jacket, and was off for the trip back home in very pleasant weather. I filled up again (Chevron, 2.75 gallons, 173 miles) and contemplated joining WA 9 further north to avoid I-5 completely, but I was informed that it would add as much as an hour to the travel time, so I didn't.

Bullet Classics on Right Now......

I-5 was again non-congested and easy riding down to WA 539 north of Mt. Vernon where I cut back to WA 9. 9 was very congested at times, and probably added 20 minutes to the travel time versus staying on I-5 all the way to Everett, but it was still nice. Joining US-2 just east of Everett, I re-fueled in Monroe (Shell, 1.2 gallons, 87 miles) and continued on for a burger and fries in Sultan, and prepared myself for a hard push home. The seat on my Bullet had grown quite hard by this time, and I began contemplating the purchase of long silk underpants to wear under my riding gear for any future rides of this duration.

Silk underpants not shown. Royal Enfield G5 Classic - USA spec' with extra chrome

Travelling back over Stevens Pass, I resorted to occasionally using the rear pegs and lying down on the tank to get a different posture and rest my posterior. It's as if I was in my own little world on the ride home, and the ride was fantastic. I was able to pass straight through Leavenworth, and continue over Blewette to Ellensburg for one more fuel stop (Conoco, 2.25 gallons, 147 miles), before hooking up to I-82 and chasing hard the rest of the way home.

I arrived back at my house at 5:29pm, with a total of 557 miles travelled for the day. I was stiff and sore, but happy with my accomplishment.

  • Time: 11 hours: 44 minutes
  • Distance: 557 miles
  • Fuel consumption: 8.2 gallons (to Ellensburg)
  • Average mpg: 63
  • Savings: $7.00 (shipping charge if I had the filter kits delivered)

    NB: American gallons are different to British gallons, folks…

    Our man with the calculator writes: "8.2 American gallons are equivalent to 6.8 UK gallons, so Jeff averaged 82 miles per Imperial gallon."

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