On the 5th of March I drove the Bullet on it’s last ride with me to North Cornwall Motorcycles. I started second kick, didn’t miss a beat, and performed faultlessly all the way to the dealers – about 30 miles. Much of the trip was in fine rain. I could not wait as I had arranged my insurance to flip from the Bullet to the Himalayan at 2pm. I arrived at NCM at 1:55pm so I was legal till the end. I was really sorry to see it go.
Mike of NCM gave me a chat about the bike and the importance of running in properly. So after a cup of coffee while I warmed up (it was around 8C and damp) I set off back home. I avoided the A roads where possible and went a circuitous route along the North Cornwall coast through Widemouth, Tintagel, Boscastle, and Port Isaac. So the trip was 30 miles to Home to Bude on the Bullet then 48 miles home again on the Himalayan
I felt at home on the bike after about a mile. I discovered it had a few features I was not expecting. It had a clock! I don’t know why I thought it wouldn’t but I thought with such a basic bike… It also had a gear indicator! So no need to keep stabbing the gear lever down to ensure I was in first when coming to a halt, or up to ensure I was in 5th when on the open road.
II knew it had a compass which many posts on forums have berated, but after a few miles of jumping about it seemed to settle down to what seemed accurate according the sun position (when it appeared).
Handling seemed very good and it generally felt comfortable.
But by the time I got home I felt that the handlebars were too far forward. They are quite high and so I simply loosened of the clamps and rotated them back by 1-2 inches.
Then I had to slacken off the brake and clutch levers and rotate them forward. They moved a little, but then rotation was stopped by the switch pods. I tried to rotate those too but there is a locating pin which fits into a hole in the handle bars and they would not move. I tried to remove the pins but they would not move and I worried about breaking the plastic.
So I had to drill another hole in either side of the handlebars. So finally I could rotate the levers forward to compensate for the handlebars being rotated backwards which in turn compensates for me not having long arms.
The Connecting Link
I had read about he connecting link in the rear chain not being greased so I put a chunky tie wrap through the links either side of the connecting link, to hold the chain while I worked on the link. I removed the horseshow retainer and pushed the link three quarters of the way out. I did not see any grease on the pins or in the holes. So I stuffed some liquid moly grease into the holes for the connecting link, also put some on the link itself then reassembled it. Finally I cut off the tie wrap. Now the connecting link will not limit the life of the chain.
There is a document pocket under the seat – too small to fit the owners manual! There is in general very little storage on the bike. The manual can be laid flat under the seat though.
My Bullet had two sizable locking toolboxes, and my BMW has a fair size storage tray under the seat and another in the tailpiece of the seat. I have a spare inner tube, a complete set of spare bulbs and the owner manual in the tailpiece and there is still room for odds and sods. The extensive BMW toolkit with a few additions is stored in the under seat tool tray and it’s only half full.
The Himalayan toolkit is very small, but well thought out. But I could do with space to carry an inner tube, tyre levers, a tyre inflator and spare bulbs, and a bigger shifting spanner.
My old Givi top box should be fine for this
Looking around the bike I was pleasantly surprised to find the entire exhaust system including heat shields are stainless steel.
At the top of this article I mentioned I picked up the Himalayan on the 5th of March. This is an important day in Cornwall. It is St Pirrans day. So the first addition had to be a St Pirrans flag sticker.
Now for the 300 mile running period at 40mph max