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Author Topic: New 2010 Bullet C5: 800-mile report  (Read 1127 times)

Rich Mintz

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New 2010 Bullet C5: 800-mile report
« on: February 08, 2013, 11:06:27 PM »
Hi all -- I just want to introduce myself. I'm a newly licensed motorcyclist (though an experienced city bicyclist and electric scooter rider) in my late 40s in NYC. I have a 2010 Bullet 500 C5 (maroon) which I bought new from a local dealer about 6 weeks ago. (They somehow got hold of a new 2010 with zero miles.) I've reached about 800 miles (had my 600-mile service) and have ridden enough to have some coherent impressions, which I want to share.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS

The bike is great! Fun to ride, in the city and out on the road; plenty of power for my needs; fits me fine (6'2", 250 lbs). Having just traded up from an electric scooter with a large parcel area at my feet, I miss the cargo capacity, but having a bike that can go faster than 20mph and further than 15 miles on a full charge is worth it.

I use the bike to commute to work (about 3 miles) and for my day-to-day getting around in New York City and beyond. I'm fortunate to have a motorcycle club with a heated garage within easy walking distance of my apartment. I'm used to being wet and cold from when I ride a bicycle, and so far I have ridden every day I've been in town when there hasn't been actual ice on the road, including a 20-mile ride to JFK Airport in the freezing cold to catch a flight. (Fun fact: free motorcycle parking at NYC-area airports!). I've taken one slow-speed spill (on a slick steel street plate on Central Park West, which I saw and slowed for but didn't know how to handle, which didn't hurt me or the bike seriously. (Now I know: stay off the front brake in such situations!)

On the whole, the bike runs perfectly. No problems at all with the engine (starting or running) or electrical. And I mean AT ALL. I have never had to think about it; it just starts and runs, in all kinds of weather. Traction is quite good, even on wet pavement, and the bike corners effortlessly. I do ride it a bit more gently than I rode my 100-pound electric scooter (which was practically impossible to destabilize).

MINOR MECHANICAL/WORKMANSHIP ISSUES

Regarding the transmission, I'm occasionally having the kinds of problems that are widely reported with false neutrals and jamming on downshifts. My dealer said "this isn't normal, leave us the bike for 2 weeks so we can disassemble the transmission under warranty and look at it," but I'm not convinced it's anything more than break-in and me learning the bike. I'm going to ride another 500 miles and see how I feel. I do have 30 years' experience driving a manual transmission car, so I have the right instincts, I just have to learn to translate them into different body movements.

I'm not getting quite the gas mileage I anticipated -- I've barely broken 40 MPG, in a regimen almost entirely made up of stop-and-go driving in heavy city traffic. Next week I plan to do a 200-mile round trip ride (with an overnight) and I'll get a better sense then of whether highway speeds bring up the average. I did take one 40-mile round-trip (to City Island, in the Bronx) and the bike handled fine at 60mph. I didn't feel bothered by vibration at all.

The gas cap doesn't seal well -- there are a lot of fumes always, and parking a full tank on the side stand can results in dribbles down the side. I'm going to install a cork gasket and see if it helps. The paint is also being eaten away at the mouth of the tank (where the gas cap seals). These are both issues that have already been reported on the forum and I'm not particularly worried about them.

The rear mudguard (the curved shield above the rear tire) is unevenly set between the left and right rails.

This is all I can think of that's worth mentioning.

ACCESSORIES AND GEAR

Since I'm a middle-aged person, I ride with full gear always: a full-face helmet, an armored jacket, knee and shin guards, gloves, and boots. It seems like a lot, but you get used to it. I've also bought Carhartt double-front dungarees in four colors and they've become my everyday pants.

I've accessorized the bike as follows:

- I bought the Clocks 4 Bikes handlebar clock and thermometer from Nfield Gear.
- I have a Coleman magnetic tank bag. It has caused a few small scratches on the tank but I try to be careful with it to minimize the risk of that.
- I've installed clear wind deflectors on the left and right handlebars to enable me to ride more comfortably in cold weather. They're the kind that fit onto the mirror stalks. They are generic aftermarket but fit the bike fine.
- I installed a Platepuller so that I can easily slide the license plate out.
- I just recently installed the OEM standard pillion seat (bought from Hitchcocks), the same seat that comes preinstalled by some dealers. I'm not particularly mechanical but I had no trouble installing it myself. So now I have a bit more cargo capacity.

I also bent the left footpeg when I dropped the bike (at slow speed per the above) and have replaced it with OEM parts (again from Hitchcocks).

***

I'm sure I'll have more to say, but that's it for now. We are expecting a blizzard tonight and there'll be snow tomorrow (Saturday). If the streets are cleared and salted by Sunday, which is likely, I'll only have to skip one day of riding...

Jack Leis

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Re: New 2010 Bullet C5: 800-mile report
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2013, 11:18:00 PM »
Welcome to the forum , Rich !
I would much rather ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow    Jack

barenekd

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Re: New 2010 Bullet C5: 800-mile report
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 11:25:13 PM »
As for crossing slick things, patches of ice, wet metal plates, railroad tracks, etc, Do not do anything when you get to them. Aim straight across them, do not accelerate, decelerate or anything. Just cruise straight across the slick area.
I agree with your assessment on the gearbox.  Do not try shifting hard or very fast with it. That will cause missed shift as the cam misses the stop notch and actually goes too far. Just continue riding it and it will continue to get better, and take it easy with the shifts. Make sure your shift lever is in a position that lets you easily reach the full stroke of the lever.
Bare
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2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
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Bite the bullet

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Re: New 2010 Bullet C5: 800-mile report
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2013, 12:11:51 AM »
Hello  Rich,
I'm in the city as well, I picked up my bike only a few months ago. Perhaps a run to Hogs & Heifers in the MPD is in store.
2010 G5 deluxe

Rich Mintz

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Re: New 2010 Bullet C5: 800-mile report
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2013, 12:46:27 AM »
As for crossing slick things, patches of ice, wet metal plates, railroad tracks, etc, Do not do anything when you get to them. Aim straight across them, do not accelerate, decelerate or anything. Just cruise straight across the slick area.

Thanks for the advice! I'm really aware of slick surfaces now -- it only takes one fall. (In MSF training they warned us about slick pavement paint, but here in NYC the steel plates seem to be the biggest risk.)

Ducati Scotty

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Re: New 2010 Bullet C5: 800-mile report
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2013, 01:06:15 AM »
You should even pull in the clutch so you just glide across, no acceleration or deceleraion that way.

Scott

Rich Mintz

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Re: New 2010 Bullet C5: 800-mile report
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2013, 01:08:14 AM »
Scott, that's exactly what I did today -- the same way I would handle crossing a railroad track at 90 degrees. Just get straight across it in as un-jerky a manner as possible, then move on.

sparklow

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Re: New 2010 Bullet C5: 800-mile report
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2013, 01:48:28 AM »
Welcome to the RE fraternity! I also felt that my 2011 B5 had a lot of false neutrals when my bike had fewer miles on it, but its fine now, it seems the transmission on the bike needs to break-in too. These bikes get better with some miles on them, I really think mine started to loosen up a bit and run stronger after 1500 miles or so. I haven't had any running issues with mine, its fine so far.
2011 B5
B5, like a Model T, comes in any color, as long as it's black.

mattsz

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Re: New 2010 Bullet C5: 800-mile report
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2013, 02:02:45 AM »
yeah, it's amazing to think back on the first 30 miles I put on the bike, rattling around the access roads and satellite parking lots of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (where I picked up my bike from the dealer, who delivered it to me there).  30 - 40 mph, with my feet buzzing off the pegs, just about.  Now at almost 2000 miles, it really is a completely different bike!

GSS

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Re: New 2010 Bullet C5: 800-mile report
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2013, 02:07:36 AM »
Rich,
Welcome to the group. Don't let anyone open your transmission! As stated by several others, the false shifting will go away as the bike breaks in fully. Have fun and stay safe!

GSS
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2010 C5 - Teal
It's a Jeep thing......

barenekd

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Re: New 2010 Bullet C5: 800-mile report
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2013, 02:39:47 AM »
Quote
I have a Coleman magnetic tank bag. It has caused a few small scratches on the tank but I try to be careful with it to minimize the risk of that.

Get rid of the magnetic bag. It will destroy your tank finish. They collect every steel bit from everywhere they go and you can't get them out of the padding. The longer you keep it, the more they pack up and the more they scratch the finish. I had one once and the tank was totally trashed. Run and don't look back at that evil contraption
Bare
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
http://www.controllineplans.com

Rich Mintz

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Re: New 2010 Bullet C5: 800-mile report
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2013, 02:58:35 AM »
I've been thinking about getting rid of it for exactly that reason. But it's SO CONVENIENT!! :-) What might you recommend instead that I can grab-and-go with (not a backpack, I need to leave my back free for cargo)...

Gypsyjon

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Re: New 2010 Bullet C5: 800-mile report
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2013, 03:44:14 PM »
You should even pull in the clutch so you just glide across, no acceleration or deceleraion that way.

Scott

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Bulletman

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Re: New 2010 Bullet C5: 800-mile report
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2013, 05:36:24 PM »
Welcome to the forum Rich. I learned a lot here and I have never worked on a bike or car before, great place to learn. I have 2600 Miles on my C5 2011 and its a completely different bike that when I started riding it, smooth and mellow.
"A Blast from my Past"
Mark F   (Northern, CA)
Black C5 2011

barenekd

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Re: New 2010 Bullet C5: 800-mile report
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2013, 11:06:06 PM »
Quote
What might you recommend instead that I can grab-and-go with

Get a tank bag with straps. They don't  drag steel bits across the paint. Not quite as convenient, but still easily removed and attached.
Bare
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
http://www.controllineplans.com