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Author Topic: Overland Journal magazine and a new G5  (Read 1351 times)

JMHAZ

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Overland Journal magazine and a new G5
« on: May 29, 2009, 06:55:50 PM »
Hello everyone,

After essentially lurking here for nearly a year, it’s time I introduced myself. Please excuse the long post.

I co-founded and edit a magazine called Overland Journal, which is dedicated to vehicle-based expedition travel around the world—anything from a three-day trip in New Mexico to a six-month journey across Africa, whether by Land Cruiser or adventure motorcycle. We print trip stories as well as equipment reviews. It’s a very high-quality, 130-page publication that comes out five times per year.

Here's the website:

http:www.overlandjournal.com


We recently received what is as far as I know the first Royal Enfield motorcycle (a G5) to be factory-sponsored for a long-term review in a U.S. publication, thanks in large part to Kevin Mahoney. We will have it for a year, with the goal of seeing how it fares when used for two-lane pavement touring mixed in with quite a bit of dirt road exploration.




Why a Royal Enfield? After all, among our magazine staff are numerous examples of what most people in the U.S. consider an adventure motorcycle: KTMs, BMWs, Suzuki DRs, etc. These are powerful machines with long-travel suspension, capable of carrying massive loads long distances. How can a single-cylinder, 27.5-horsepower motorcyle compare?

In fact, that comparison is exactly the goal. David Blasco put it best in his blog entry about our project: He wrote, “Everywhere else in the world, the Royal Enfield is an adventure motorcycle.”

Those KTMs and BMWs are awesomely capable machines. But they are expensive, heavy, and complex. The seat height on many makes just getting on and off the bike a challenge for people such as my 5’9” self. I decided it would be interesting to see how a new, fuel-injected Bullet could do when stacked up against such bikes. I won’t be tackling anything like the terrain that a 1200GS is capable of conquering, but I’m betting I’ll be able to have some grand adventures and see some lovely country—on a motorcycle with timeless style, and which I can pick up by myself if I happen to tip over.

I don’t yet have paperwork for this lovely green G5, so my rides on a temporary tag have been limited to nearby back roads, one deserted two-lane highway, and break-in speeds. My wife and I live in the middle of nowhere outside Tucson, five miles down a dirt road, so I’ve already had opportunities to see how it handles loose surfaces, which is easily. The bike starts effortlessly and runs smoothly. So far I have had not an inkling of the shifting issues some have reported around fourth gear; in fact, this bike has one of the smoothest transmissions I’ve ever experienced. The power is surprising: It really wants to pull, and it’s taking a conscious effort to hold it below 40 mph for the first 300 miles. It feels smoother than my 1970 Triumph Trophy. All in all, a very promising machine. And every single time I stop I get questions (“What year is that?”) and comments, while companions on giant orange KTMs and yellow BMWs are ignored.

I’ll have more to say once the bike is registered and I can start putting some serious mileage on it (look for a solo circumnavigation of the Grand Canyon, all on back roads, in Overland Journal). In the meantime I’ve absorbed an enormous amount of information here, and look forward to absorbing more and hopefully contributing.

Cheers,

Jonathan Hanson


geoffbaker

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Re: Overland Journal magazine and a new G5
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2009, 08:09:56 PM »
How about a circumnavigation of the canyon G5 & diesel?

JMHAZ

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Re: Overland Journal magazine and a new G5
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2009, 08:18:21 PM »
I don't know, Geoff - you've been having a hard enough time making it to the Barrio Brewery.

geoffbaker

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Re: Overland Journal magazine and a new G5
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2009, 10:39:01 PM »
Hmmm, I've made it 3 out of the last 4 times, unlike some editors I know...

Cabo Cruz

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Re: Overland Journal magazine and a new G5
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2009, 03:59:18 AM »
Very, very interesting, Br. Jonathan!  I look forward to your reports!
Long live the Bullets and those who ride them!

Keep the shiny side up, the boots on the pegs and best REgards,

Papa Juan

REA:    Member No. 119
BIKE:   2004 Royal Enfield Sixty-5
NAME: Perla

PhilJ

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Re: Overland Journal magazine and a new G5
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2009, 03:57:52 PM »
You know drinking and canyons don't mix.  ;) But then what's a totty amongst friends?

geoffbaker

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Re: Overland Journal magazine and a new G5
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2009, 04:32:11 PM »
You know drinking and canyons don't mix.  ;) But then what's a totty amongst friends?

That's the great thing about the GRAND canyon. You'll have plenty of time to review your choices, on the way down...

JMHAZ

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Re: Overland Journal magazine and a new G5
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2009, 12:56:33 AM »
I'm wondering if the Havasupai Indians will let me wheel the bike out on the transparent sky platform. Wouldn't that make a photo.

geoffbaker

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Re: Overland Journal magazine and a new G5
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2009, 02:10:56 AM »
I imagine they are going to charge extra for that!