Royal Enfield Classic 500cc Review & Test Drive

by Deepak on November 29, 2010

Me, Deepak and Ram, our editor, already did a review of Bullet Electra TwinSpark 350cc last month. But along with it we had tested another bike, and it was – almighty Royal Enfield Classic 500cc. We can’t just forget about this wonderful machine, it was a real pleasure riding this bike.

It is a “resurrected” classic model from 1953 – Royal Enfield 500 cc. And before the review, we would like to tell you about the original bike form 1950’s.

A Walk Down the Memory Lane

Royal Enfield Bullet with 500cc displacement was introduced in 1952, as a test machine. After a year it was finally launched for the market. According to the legend, 500cc Bullet would have been launched 1 year earlier, but renowned racer Jack Stocker didn’t bring the test model back – it sunk while it was on a ferry, floating back to Great Britain.

500cc Model included improved lubrication system, modified frame, larger rear brake drum, improved bottom end with four main bearings, as well as few other minor modifications. In 1954, angle of exhaust and also rear spring and shock were changed. Movement of the suspension has improved on whopping 50%!

In 1955 camshaft and front brake upgrade took place (twin brake installed). At that time 500cc Bullet was sold in America as well, but it was know as Indian “Woodsman” (in this case Indian is motorcycle company, not our country). However, it had some cosmetic modifications compared to the original Bullet from England.

In next 5-6 years a lot of upgrades were done for both 350cc and 500cc Bullet models.

Original Britain’s 500cc Bullet had power output of 27bhp.

And while that may seem really impressive, you should know what was done for US market.

For US, Bullet models were modified and tuned, and the 500cc Bullet had output of 40bhp. That is crazy! Unfortunately, Bullet line (350cc and 500cc) was discontinued in 1962, because Royal Enfield company was sold.

However, India continued to churn out same Bullets, just like the first models from 1955. Interesting fact that these models almost were not modified, for whole 30 years!

Now it’s almost impossible to find genuine Royal Enfield Bullet 500cc from 1950’s. And even if you think you found one in great condition, you will be surprised that it is combination of few other motorcycle models from that era.

But if you are a judge of vintage motorcycles there is no need to spend a lot of time and money finding one good original 500cc Bullet. Now India has several 500cc classic Bullets, and they look almost like originals from 1950’s. There are Classic, Deluxe and Military models now on the market. Also 500cc Classic C5, and Bullet Classic 500 EFI. And today we will speak about the last one I’ve mentioned – Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500cc EFI.

So what is EFI? It stands for Electronic fuel injection. And while this motorcycle has retro-style looks it is modified with dozens modern technology features.

So here are our thoughts about this mighty machine.

Engine, Transmission & Performance

I need to say this bike is quite a powerhouse. While Bullet Electra Twinspark could use some additional power and torque, this monster has all you need! Massive single cylinder, 4 stroke, air cooled OHV 500cc engine produces 27.2 bhp of raw power at 5250rpm. Maximum torque is 41.3Nm @ 4000rpm. And that is a power to be reckoned with!

When I sat on this bike for a first time, I was really surprised – there is an electric start button on the handlebar, like on the newest Bullet Electra. I must say that I didn’t expect such feat from a classic bike like this one. But it is much more easy-to-use than old and usual kick-starter, and it doesn’t ruin the looks at all. Manufacturers claim that now it starts easily in cold or hot weather conditions or even in high altitudes. Maybe, but it sure is good.

When I started the bike I was amazed by the engine roar. It’s loud! A real treat to the ears. When I was ready to launch the bike forward, I twisted the throttle as I would normally would. Bike launched forward with all its power and I was taken aback!

I’m glad that I didn’t open the throttle fully, or it would end differently. That was really unexpected, and probably because new Electronic fuel injection (not available for 350cc models) added a reasonable performance improvement. The bike pulls strong throughout the whole powerband and the throttle response is amazing.

Also due to EFI system this bike is compliant with Euro 3 emission standards, and surprisingly maintenance costs are almost the same like for the Bullet Electra 350cc.

For transmission is used standard five-speed gearbox with left side gear shift. Gearbox uses universal pattern – 1-N-2-3-4-5, so it seems that all is being unchanged. However, it was easy to use and the clutch worked wonderfully. And due to really high torque this bike can provide you with great power in any gear. I really have no complains about the gearbox.

Performance is amazing. It is a very fun bike to ride. Maximum speed is almost 130km/h, according to official tests. Bullet Classic 500 EFI can easily cruise at speeds around 110km/h all day long, it’s designed that way. No overheating or excessive vibrations at that speeds.

Well, speaking about vibrations – when your speed is around 40-50km/h Bullet Classic 500cc becomes quite uncomfortable ride, because vibrations are really heavy. Though, that is understandable, it’s not a v-twin engine, but capacity of it is high. Piston is huge, and that is what causing all those vibrations. However, they all disappear, and bike becomes really smooth at around 60-70km/h.

Overall, engine is amazing – torque is very high, power is great and thump it creates is a pleasure to listen. Of course, some will say it could be even more powerful, but I think it’s damn good, in current specs. And I forgot to add – this bike is only a bit heavier then Electra – total weight is 184kg, which is quite surprising.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Design & Build Quality

On the first glance, Royal Enfield Classic 500cc looks like it is original Bullet from 1950’s, it’s that similar!

But when you come closer, you will see that it is a blend between vintage motorcycle and modern generation bike.

Many things remained the same like on the old classic – oversized mudguards, “teardrop” tank, single saddle seat and covered headlamp. And I really like the vintage looks of this bike, however I have one complaint.

I don’t really like the paint. It’s turquoise. Or sky-blue, how they call it. I’m not sure if it looks properly with it, because it is more like a modern color, I doubt that it was painted like that back in the days. Motorcycles were mostly painted in colors like red and black, also there were matte-green or yellow models, and sometimes even grey. I think black color would give this bike very classy and sharp looks, just like vintage legends. On the other hand, red color would give the feel of mighty American chopper. Current color isn’t bad, but it don’t blend with design so much as others.

However, paint quality is great. Surface of the bike is glance and smooth, no roughness or any other defects were found. Although few minor scratches were present, but it usually happens – we were not the first who test-driven it. Logos of “Royal Enfield” and “Classic 500” were done in old-style, post war design, and overall – motorcycle looked really classy. There was even a new logo of Royal Enfield on the top of the fuel tank – Cannon with words imprinted “Made like a gun”. I think it is first modern Royal Enfield motorcycle that wears this original emblem from 1890’s.

Some other details that I like, are naked vintage-looking springs used for suspension and seat. Just like from 1950’s, and this classic look is timeless. Especially I like the tail light; it looks so historical, really great touch.

Build quality is almost exceptional, but I would not be really pleased if it would be average – the price for this piece of history is damn high. But we will talk about that later. Chromed parts look impressive – shiny and polished, they can be found all over the place. And quality of all parts and details is very high. But I feel that creators could use some classic looking speedometer. Yes, standard Bullet speedo already looks classic, but instead, they should create something really different for this special motorcycle.

I would say this bike is really sturdy and well made. It was completely hand-built and all details are finely crafted. There isn’t anything bad in it this motorcycle. Well except, this particular color, I prefer red. But since there are 3 different colors for this model, I can’t take away some points for this.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Comfort & Handling

The new (or better say the old one?) bicycle-style seat with open strings provides the rider with ultimate comfort. Seat is comfy and relaxing, you can cruise on 100km/h with total pleasure. It is really effortless to cruise on this bike – you can look around and enjoy passing landscape and listen to beautiful exhaust notes. A real satisfaction!

Bike was designed for upright sitting posture and the handlebars are fitted just in the right distance for the rider.

On the side of the fuel tank there are rubber knee grips installed, and they felt really good. It’s such a great idea. In addition, it is easy to control the Classic 500cc, and it feels light despite the moderately heavy weight. Single seat may seem a limitation, but you can always equip it with additional seat, for a passenger. There are footpegs for the passengers installed from the factory.

Handling is improved as well. Low center of gravity combined with 18” tires (front 90X90 and rear 110X90) make it easy to navigate Classic 500cc at any speed. Well almost. On parking lots (speeds lower than 20km/h) bike feels lazy when turning, but when you start to ride a little bit faster this is no longer a problem. It is certainly well balanced and stabile machine, with wheelbase over 1370mm, and it seems that cornering is improved as well. Unbelievable!

This area improved drastically since the standard Bullet 350cc, and I feel that comfort of Classic 500cc could be a trademark for future bikes. Handling is almost delightful too. I would give high rating for comfort & handling.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Brakes & Suspension

Single 280mm disc with 2 piston calipers is used for a front brake. It provides motorcycle with incredible stopping power, and the brake lever is highly responsive. For the rear brakes there is 152mm drum brake (internal expansion type). And it is the thing that bothers me. Drum brake of the same diameter is installed on usual Bullet Electra’s and Machismo’s as well, why? I mean, they could use a disc brake for the rear wheel as well. Or make the drum bigger, at least. Not that current one is bad, but I feel for such price it should be better.

Altogether, stopping power is fine, despite the usual drum brake at the rear. Even with such power, motorcycle can be stopped easily, and quite effortlessly. Royal Enfield 500 cc is safe and the brakes are reliable – they will not fail when you need them the most.

In addition, suspension was improved. Front suspension use telescopic forks with hydraulic damping – stroke 130mm. Rear suspension is swingarm with shock absorbers, gas filled. While this may seem very familiar to you, I ensure that it suspension is significantly better than on Bullet Electra. They definitely have worked on it. You can ride pretty smooth over rough terrain like gravel, and bumps on the road are easily absorbed.

Overall suspension is wisely set up, and brakes can handle such savage power from huge 500cc engine. However, I would like to see a rear disk brake on next models.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Fuel consumption & Pricing

Royal Enfield Classic 500cc EFI returns about 28-29kmpl in city traffic, and on the highway you can expect something around 35kmpl. It is quite a good result for such engine, especially because 350cc Electra is not much better in terms of fuel economy. Fuel tank is exactly the same size – 13.5 liters. If imagine that you will mix high traffic areas with highways riding you can travel for ~450km with full tank. And that is reasonable travel distance for such machine.

And probably the worst part of the bike is the price.

Classic 500cc is almost 25% more expensive than Machismo 500cc, and that was damn pricey! With price tag of Rs. 1,46,000 (on road, Mumbai) it is most expensive Royal Enfield motorcycle ever.

Price tag of ~Rs. 1,24,000 is currently held in ex-showrooms across the country. However, it’s not very dramatic, after all foreign choppers or other similar models will cost you much more than that.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

BikeAdvice Verdict

This bike is a blast to ride! Classic 500cc is powerful, comfortable and nicely built; it delivers incredible riding experience and all around performance. Even with few minor flaws, no doubt that it is a best bike from Royal Enfield I have tested!

It’s hard to believe how much it was improved since other Royal Enfield 500cc motorcycles were launched. I think they finally set up a worthy standard worth next generation of Royal Enfield bikes. Every serious motorcycle fan out there should test drive Royal Enfield Classic 500cc!

Rating: ★★★★½ 

- Photos & Words: Deepak Raj | Test  Ride by: Deepak & Ram

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{ 114 comments… read them below or add one }

Deepak November 29, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I sincerely thank Mr. Praveen from Royal Enfield Chennai and Mr.Nagarathinam, Showroom Manager Coimbatore for their sincere and heart whelming co-operation in making this a reality. :)

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xszpranajit November 29, 2010 at 8:28 pm

hey crack on right front shock absorber at 0.12 sec.

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@M!T November 29, 2010 at 8:48 pm

yups it surely seems to b a crack.

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Jesse November 29, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Incredibly Great observation. RE quality pretty much sucks and they’re stupid enough to project this openly and publicly.

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Avinash January 27, 2011 at 5:25 pm

That isnt a crack…… The paint has been scratched there. I own a classic 500 and the front fender rubs against the front right shock absorbers. I had to get it fixed at the RE store.

Jesse January 27, 2011 at 9:01 pm

I do not intend to argue but bro and I do believe you when you say that the fender scratches the paint. However this might be a different case and from what I see at length 0.23seconds in the video, I still insist that it doesn’t look like a paint chip. it looks very much like a jarring crack; do have a look at that part of the video (0.23sec). Paint scratches do not take the shape of “broad from below gradually tapering to the top”; cracks do.
If this is a paint scratch, what part part of the fender (or any shape) can create a paint-scratch-shape like the one we see here. Only a triangular shape could create that shape and there’s nothing on the fender in that particular area, in that shape.

Avinash January 28, 2011 at 11:18 am

No one’s arguing bro… I was just posting my views. I’ll post a pic of my front right fork .

ashwin August 13, 2011 at 8:55 am

there is a crack at .23 on right shock. its clearly visible. this definitely casts a shadow on the quality of RE.

Ajith November 29, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Man, hats offffffffffffff

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Anaswar November 29, 2010 at 9:06 pm

The national animal of India is the tiger, and the bird is peacock!
But if there is something like “THE NATIONAL BIKE OF INDIA”, it is none other than the LEGENDARY ROYAL ENFIELD!
The RE classic is the sexiest machine on road, no doubt on that!!!!

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jinu jacob November 29, 2010 at 9:08 pm

wooooooowww….awesome man..really superb…….i love ts one….but i hav a pulsar 180……. :-)

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Arun T November 29, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Hi Deepak
That was a good review. You could have also added more detailed video description of the bike.
Regards
Arun T

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fas November 29, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Awesome review. The pics are real awesome and the bullet can really eat miles like no other machine.

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Yogesh H November 29, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Really nice and comprehensive review…I really liked the bike history that you have provided. I would like to know if you guys got a chance to test drive the 350cc Bullet Classic model…would like to know about that as well

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JB November 29, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I have been following this bike since 2007 ever since it hit the websites to be launched in India. But this review is really good and like you, even I admit – rear disc brakes should have been added, the speedometer could have been a little more modern, etc… But overall, it still is enough motivation to own one, one day for sure :-)

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Avijit Mustafi November 29, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Hi! Deepak,
I am a enfield fan & loved the classic edition. The review in indeed very good. I have set my mind to purchase a Classic 350 but the only problem in the sitting style. Can you please help me?

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Jesse November 29, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Nice review, though it’s a bit of an overkill.

#1 There aren’t many chrome parts on the Classic anyway for you to be talking so much about them (but yeah whatever are there, are good). It’s the Electra’s more of the chrome bike and full marks to RE on the hard-chrome (but their paint-job sucks).

#2 The claim that the bike’s hand-built and there’s nothing impressive about it. Sure it’s hand-built because the RE factory doesn’t have Robotics. You make it sound like it’s being manufactured like some custom motorcycle (which it definitely isn’t). It’s just another run-of-the-mill mass produced Royal Enfield (except maybe for a bit of pinstriping on the fuel tank). Hand built or hand made or tailor made are terms better used for something like an OCC bike or a Harley CVO.

Sad part is that although RE raised the BHP of it’s new UCE-350 compared to the old CI-350, it lost out to the old engine in terms of torque which is a SHAME. The new Engine SHOULD HAVE been more torquey, after all the bullet’s forte is torque, the pulling power, not speed. (For those of you who’re gonna have tears in your eyes because of what I said, plz try and understand that 120km/hr by a 350cc engine is hardly decent, the Puny Pulsars and Apaches manage that speed without much headache but they’re low on torque)

In any case I’ve already come across C5s that have their fuel injection system screwed up. That’s the beauty of the Indian Manufacturer, sell it before testing and get the painful feedbacks from disgruntled customers. No hard feelings RE despite the fact that my Bullet’s headgasket blew out silly for no reason only a 1000kms past the warranty mileage and your dealers wash their hands clean at the first opportunity. You send a bike from Chennai to any goddam place in India and give two hoot about if the bike gets grazed in transit, your shameless dealers just sit and count nearly one lakh in cash with their saliva without compunctions about this.

Yeah I love Bullets but I’m not a blind follower of anything.

I love the Classic 500 for another reasons; check out the torque figures on this bike if the 27 BHP doesn’t impress you already. It’s freaking Bull-puller, awesome. More torque than any other Indian bike and it’s all lovely :) and yeah C5 looks sexy, something that all bikes should look and ones that don’t should be burnt down.

I’m surprised at your fuel efficiency stats, with a fuel injection the Classic500 definitely gives a better KmpL than the one you’ve mentioned. These figures are either for high-speed riding or of a relatively new bike who’s Engine hasn’t run-in fully. And obviously the C5 will give an equivalent FE compared to the 350 Electra because the former runs on a fuel injection system which is more miserly.

Last but not least: Pretty Jarring music in that video in the end, I would’ve rather heard the Bullets throaty thump throughout.

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Manjunath December 1, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Hey Jesse

U have spent quite a time to write these comments. commendable for a Royal Enfield critic !!

about the chrome, the idea behind going for more of paint on this model is because the original model called J2 (classic has been built keeping J2 in mind) had the paint scheme as the classic has. RE have always not concentrated much on the painting. The classic required lot of paint job nd thus they are forced to outsource lot of paint job to various suppliers. thats the reason there are limitations on quality control of paint job after all the parts are fit into place. The painting limitations are for the huge demand this bike has got (waiting period of 11 months).

about the claim for the handbuilt classic. I do agree with you to some extent. Hope you know that RE have never built bikes for masses. They are happy building bikes for the hardcore RE fans. So due to the less no of volumes, they have always built machines by hands. But now again due to the demand is so high and they cant upset the real fans. RE is incorporating lot of automations into their manufacturing.

Your comment on the Torque, yes they have lost some while migrating from CI to UCE in the 500. Thats because there might be few limitations. But the torque what we get on the UCE is far sufficient. About the speed, yes that might be a reason for loss of torque. I do agree with you that any Pulsar or a Apache can do 120km/hr but not all day long dude. Hope you agree with this or if not, I suggest you ride down a highway all day long with a Jap !!!

About your complaints regarding issues with Fuel injection system, any manufacturer will not roll out anything without testing. there might be a incident like that but remember everything is not 100% right. I am sorry to hear that your head gasket blew of so early, but you have lot of options to get in touch directly with RE personnel if the dealers are so unfriendly.

Nice to hear about the things you like about the RE Bull.

Regards
Manjunath

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Jesse December 4, 2010 at 10:05 am

Dear Manjunath,
Thank you for the follow up comment; I am pleasantly surprised. I completely understand your suggestion about “getting in touch” with RE personnel directly but I have come across consumer court cases where that hasn’t worked out for some people either. But I acknowledge your suggestion as genuine, thank you for the same.
I never intended to buy a Bullet initially but a test ride made me change my point of view. I have a 1998 CI350 Electra 5s with disc brake and ES. I’ve ridden the bike 40,000kms since May2008. I love the bike but since August this year I’ve been facing handling issues as well. I’ve exchanged more than 20 “detailed” emails with Pete Snidal, the author of the famed “Bullet Manual” and have learned quite a bit about the bike including many things that the OE manual doesn’t so much as mention. I tried everything but nothing resolved the problem. The mechanics at RE workshop casually passed off the issue as a “figment of my imagination”!! Then I bought new C5 18″ wheels and fitted the new shoes on my bike and its riding fine now. I understand that that has considerably changed the bike dynamics in term of a lower GC as I measured that even with 18” wheels the C5 has maintained approximately the same GC as other bullets running on 19” wheels; my bike is different, it’s considerably lower but feels good. The only issue I still have is a strange weave-motion while turning the bike but it’s much less alarming than what it was earlier. I can’t say for sure but maybe the swingarm bushes need a check. My experiences with materials and mechanics, both in the RE workshop and outside have been quite interesting and I would like to write it up someday in the form of a big article. I’ve experimented other things on the bike including K&N, bigger main jets, open exhausts, old-generation box air filter (the ones on the old REs) and feel that the bullet is best left as it is manufactured, though I feel that with the UCE-FI, the C5 would fare really well with the K&N but of course that’s just speculation.
I definitely am critical about many aspects of the bullet including the way the new front fork fits into the casquette. I believe the earlier screw-in design was way better (so does Pete), but you must have your reasons to change that design, maybe it’s more economical to build it this way (but that’s your game). Anyway I’m an avid bike lover and keep reading about motorcycles and their designs. It’s sure been a pleasure to receive a reply from you and thank you for sharing the inside information about the paint-job being the reason for the delays in supplying the C5s. I’m a doing my PhD in Biotechnology from IMTECH Chandigarh and I can’t really afford to sell and buy another bike as of now but I know that when I can, I’ll be headed straight towards the C5. And as far as your local dealers are concerned, these aren’t guys who are passionate about bikes, not even ones that know much about them or even about the bullet for that matter. It’s really sad for someone like me to talk to dumb dealers who have big question marks on their faces if you even inquire about very general stuff from them. They’re more like big ol’ lala jis sitting there with their box of cash; that part is really sad. But I wish RE the very best and may you guys keep tweaking the newer engine, even if in partnership with Fritz Egli, and build even better bikes.
Jesse

PS-Deepak I wish you’d actually start moderating the comments and cease to post stuff ppl write like “I love bullet” or “king of bikes” and other such subjective stuff that gives no useful information whatsoever under you articles but I understand you’re the owner (it really would improve the readability and usefulness of the comments).

prabhu November 29, 2010 at 10:35 pm

hey fela!,
The details are quite impressive….its a legend..
and quality for the worth of price is only @ royal enfield..
wat ever may be the bike enfield has its own esteem…
i’ll buy 1 and keep my self after some years and that 1 will stand in my house..years and years…that’s all about a bullet..:)

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Mayur November 29, 2010 at 10:42 pm

That ain’t a crack. The fender is a bit too broad for the gap between the shox n it rubs.

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Deven November 29, 2010 at 10:47 pm

No wonder its my dream bike !!!!
Though i have never rode this monster however there are few things about this beast which has mesmerized me :
(1) Sheer power ( 500 cc ) .
(2) Colour .
(3) Tyres .
(4) The design .
The legendary name it carries with it ” Royal Enfilled ” .
This really is a devil !!!!!!!!!

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Venkata Deepak November 29, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Till date I did not have any openion about this one but now I decided to test ride.

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arunrajsr November 29, 2010 at 11:10 pm

hi dude,
its a very useful site for all of us n u r delivering superb reviews also.
regarding this topic….its abt my favorite bike ever….n excellent…n expecting
useful tips n exclusive reviews
with regards
arunraj s r
island coral l l c dubai

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arun November 29, 2010 at 11:48 pm

Deepak this bike gives the most ultimate riding pleasure that no other bike can give ,in terms of comfort and majestic feel next to bullet comes gs150r in the current existing market i am a hardcore fan of bullet bikes absolutely love the beat truly a legendary product

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shreerang November 30, 2010 at 12:46 am

it’s THE BIKE…!! rest are toys in front of the timeless beauty..!
this is the ultimate combination of looks and power ..!!

and i’m tired of saying – very nice review..!! (well u can assume it..!!)

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alan george November 30, 2010 at 7:02 am

wow….truely amazing yaar….well little bit more antiqueness was required the lil bit of plastics could be made of same colour or better trendy design for a cruiser ….otherwise thumbs up for Bullet Classic 500 :D

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sibu samuel November 30, 2010 at 7:15 am

the bike seems to be fun but its too pricey

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srinath iyer November 30, 2010 at 7:18 am

Its not a crack. The paint has come out pbly because of friction to the mud guard…….

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adrian November 30, 2010 at 7:52 am

killer machine man…..R E reigns forever..good job team.. :)

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Vishy November 30, 2010 at 8:11 am

That was a great review, Deepak. A must read. Enjoyed every bit of it.

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eliksir November 30, 2010 at 8:41 am

what a colour… ugh…
matches the site’s colour scheme though :P

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Kannan November 30, 2010 at 9:08 am

It’s really amazing and interesting review for Classic-500. Hats off to both of you sirs!!! I’m a great fan of Enfield bullets from the childhood days. Whenever I came across any Bullet my eyes & ears will follow it until it disappear from my sight. I’m that much cracy for bullets. So my dream is to own a bullet before I die. I hope my dream come true within few years. Once again thanks to Deepak & Ram for inducing the thirst for the bullet in my heart. Thanks!!!

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hitesh November 30, 2010 at 9:16 am

great picks & evergreen bike.

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chandan November 30, 2010 at 9:56 am

surely royal enfield gives you the royal feeling of riding a bike, and people have started to again go for this bike. the craze is on for the bike and i can see good number of enfield in our city nashik.

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ATULGOKU November 30, 2010 at 10:41 am

Real Classic

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Uday November 30, 2010 at 10:42 am

Hi Deepak,
that should have been an awesome experience, testing the Classic Big boy!
Myself and my friend have already booked the 350CC Thunderboy and Classic Big boy.. please get us the latest review on TBTS…

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c.premnath November 30, 2010 at 10:47 am

hai deepak, loved the write up.

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Padmanabh Newar November 30, 2010 at 11:01 am

i read every review of yours and it helps me to know bike world. Thanks.

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kamal jaisingh November 30, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Fantastic work and a fantastic review by your team…
Well done and looking forward more such achievements from you

Good luck !!!

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vinodh November 30, 2010 at 1:33 pm

total weight 184 is very hard to manage in city traffic.very useful for highway cruisers

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Prantik November 30, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Deepak, I am really so looking forward to own classic 500. But most unfortunate part is that in Mumbai, the waiting period is 11 months. This waiting factor is really depressing.

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prabakar November 30, 2010 at 2:29 pm

YES,
as you said its a real “HEAD TURNER”, “KING OF ROAD” and etc etc. Everybody will fall in love for its exhaust note. waaah what a music maan, great treat for ears. But i think rear disc brake is a MUST for such a heavy & costly machine.

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rock November 30, 2010 at 2:43 pm

what a power as if riding a wild bull

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pakde November 30, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Wow..amazing cycle. come to Indonesia and I would like to buy it but don’t to much in cost yeaach!

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comment November 30, 2010 at 6:34 pm

how many of u here have ever seen this machine in olive or battle green(the military green) paint job?, and if u have ever got a glance of this hardcore machine with the hardcore paint job(for me its military green) then u would surely accept that its worth dying for. But sadly it’s just restricted to the military officials and jawans ,This primarily due to the fact that the Indian RTOs have outlawed the painting of civilian motorcycle in army colors.

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guru November 30, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Hai Deepak,

Awesome review man keep it up!!!!!
I always have separate love for this great Motor Cycle Enfield India (MCEI).

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Krishna November 30, 2010 at 7:34 pm

This bike is a pleasure to ride. There is a famous saying that “If you ride a bullet, you will forget every 2 wheeler”. I test rode 500cc and 350cc… people…once you sit on that vehicle and start the machine, your wild side will come out..!! such is the impact of this machine
But the only problem is its price. I enquired on Standard Bullet Edition, but it is almost 1 lac. Hence i dropped the idea of buying Bullet

But friends, atleast test ride this machine…you will never forget the experience.

Krishna

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fas November 30, 2010 at 7:36 pm

JUST checked RE site, they have red and black too in the Classic 500.

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ABHIMANYU SINGH November 30, 2010 at 8:47 pm

simply old is gold,i hv ride of this legend my uncle possess it.bt personally i love sporty look dats y i nvr thought of dis legend..so not so interested in it….. sory to al dose people who really love it

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M.vijay bhasker reddy November 30, 2010 at 9:06 pm

price is heavy, servicing will not get whenever or whereever, if it stoped on a way we have to call serviceman to that place.

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Gautam November 30, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Hey Deepak, wonderful man, both the article and the bike is really wonderful. I love the all the models of Royal Enfield and I’m a big fan of this travelling wonder. But this Electra Twin-spark Classic model is much more attractive than the others. I wish if I could own such a great machine, but it’s impossible as I’m a student of HS course and I’ve already a Apache RTR 180. Lets have a hope for the future…..and lastly, can’t forget to talk about the finishing vedio, it gave the article extra fulfillment. Thanks for giving such a beautiful article…..

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bikeshunt.com November 30, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Royal Enfield is a bike which is till now a soul mate for most of the bikes. I think this bike company will last for next century.

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Anand June 17, 2012 at 12:05 pm

There won’t be petrol in the next century. Given Royal Enfield’s virtually zero R&D, people of the future might enjoy the pleasures of motoring on Japanese alternative fuel bikes.

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RIFATH December 1, 2010 at 12:38 am

Hi! Deepak, Thanks for the feedback “KING OF ROAD” tvs apache speed test

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chittaranjan December 1, 2010 at 4:33 pm

HI! I hv booked Classic 350cc. would like to hv review of it. Thx.

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tamil December 1, 2010 at 6:53 pm

hi,,,,,,,,,,
really super and interesting news ,,,,,,,,,,,
thanksssssssssssssssssssssssssss

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tamil December 1, 2010 at 6:59 pm

hi deepak
i need details about how to increase the fuel efficiency in bikes…
please give details about the honda stuuner and bajaj avanger .and also millage of stunner and avanger.

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Rocky January 28, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Hai Man.. whats wrong with you? Every one is talking about RF – 350/550 and you are asking about Honda Stunner and Bajaj Avanger.. LOL…

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Iftiquar Rahman December 1, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Hay Deepak, Great job you guys have over there… Testing new bike and cars. I must say this bike is awsome, I have a Yamaha RX135 and a 1974 Royal Enfield 350 Bullet and till date my baby is smooth, except the tapit issue which need frequent attention, but this 500CC baby is great the tapit and roller rocker adjust it self. Its a great bike and one needs to have patience to own one.

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ABS Rama Krishna Rao December 2, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Wow what a bike! and a commendable review that’s worth the bike’s weight in gold!

Any small negative points would have to take the rearmost bench!

How I wish to do a long……long……….long…………trip on this beast of a beauty!

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Jai Singh December 2, 2010 at 7:04 pm

nice

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Gagan December 3, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Lots of detail, Good Review except the first pic(Who would want to drive an RE wearing a helmet?) and the rear suspension is inverted swingarm with shock absorbers, gas filled.

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Jesse December 4, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Answer: A guy who wants to protect his life would want to ride a RE wearing helmet because if an accident happens (which, being an accident, will occur without warning) he will live and without serious injuries to the head which contains most of his sense organs. The other guy will lose whatever senses are left in him. PLz bro, wear a good quality helmet, I don’t know you but I’d love to know that you’re living happily ever after. I belong to a bullet-club and my friends have ridden their bullets from Chandigarh to Kanyakumari and they never ever ride without helmets be it the city or the highway; and trust me bro their riding skills are pretty decent.

I’ve heard of inverted telescopic forks in the front but that’s a different thing altogether, what’s an inverted swingarm?? I’ve seen those designs on some choppers and Aprilia scooters but whatever it is, the bullet’s swingarm is not inverted.

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Gagan December 5, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Sorry buddy, but I still can’t wear a helmet as the turban on my head does not leave much room for a helmet….
Actually whoever I’ve seen with a RE usually drives it just “To Let Everyone Know” he is coming, and wearing helmet, he won’t be able to reveal identity to others, so its a new thing for me atleast……

About suspensions, I think they are put upside down, as you can see yourself in the pictures, and upside down is what i think is meant by inverted…..

Jesse December 6, 2010 at 8:07 am

No hard feelings bro, so u wear a turban, cool. Of course none of my Sikh friends wear helmet.
I just responded to your sentence “who would want to ride a RE wearing a helmet”.
OK now I understand that you were referring to the rear shockers but I guess you mistakenly typed “inverted swingarm with shock absorbers”, due to which I interpreted it as the swingarm being inverted.
Now smile bro and ride hard :) ride safe :)

eric December 4, 2010 at 1:35 am

hey Deepak thanks for the awesome review but i dont know how many of us are genuine Enfield lovers the reason i am saying this and am sure people who have riden the older enfields will agree that the bigest mistake they did was changing the gears from right side to left side which was the case with original enfield secondly i own a 1994 model and my uncle owns a 1969 model and the cranck used then in 69 was much heavier, the bike itself feels much heavier but then today when i compare my bike to the one that my brother-in-law ownes which is 2004 model ten years younger then mine is much lighter and definately misses the punch and the feel after all the older Enfield seperated the boys from the men i wish they revert it back to the original one its after all a legend and there is no need to make it modernised though i will never sell my bike but the day they make new enfield like the old ones i will def buy another one

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kiran kumar. s December 4, 2010 at 8:18 am

i call enfeild the god of all bikes….. u can not compare any bikes with the royal enfeild because the enfeild is in its class of its own i have ridden the bike once i couldn’t control smiling i mean how many bikes give that feeilng…. i’m absoulutely
impressed by this article good job deepak… i’m lucky to have a friend like u who is a biker guy…. take care

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Azim December 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm

I still think,Bullet 500cc should have got liquid cooling system..
I seriously fail to understand,y they can’t give u things under one roof…

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Jesse December 4, 2010 at 8:46 pm

They’ve already provided you much better heat-dissipation by giving you an aluminium engine and a fused engine-gearbox system that’s called the UCE (unit construction engine). Even with the cast-iron engine and the AVL models, the Bullet never had overheating problems. One of the biggest fortes of the new engine is better heat dissipation due to the aluminium and lesser friction and therefore lesser heat due to fusion of the engine with the GB; why are you disappointed?
Why treat a disease that doesn’t exist in the first place.
And if you’re worried about the bigger engine, lemme tell you that none of the Harley-Davidsons, the smallest of which is 883cc, has liquid cooling. Yes they’re all air-cooled machines with two big cylinders instead of one. The only Liquid cooled Harley is the V-Rod and that engine was designed by collaboration between Harley and Porche’.
The obvious difference between liq and air cooled machine then becomes the engine oils. The air cooled machines require more viscous engine oils that serve better lubrication even at high temperatures and serve secondarily to take the heat away from the cylinder. Also the Fuel:Air in air cooled machines is richer because that too serves to cool down the engine. But with a FE of 40-45km per liter, I don’t think you should be worried about running the bike rich. The new 500cc has a great engine to begin with…how sturdy it is, only time will tell as these bikes get older. Performance-wise the UCE is absolutely fantastic, I go for long rides with other bulleters and one of my friends has the new Thunderbird with the UCE-350 and it can easily outperform any old bullet even on the hills. The UCE-500 is way more powerful and torquey than the 350 so there’s nothing to worry mate, it doesn’t need liquid cooling.

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Azim February 8, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Jesse….
Thanks for briging out those hidden good points of 500.
M sure,just like me many other Bullet fans will be feeling good.
Thanks once again,I really appreciate yr efforts..
Will book one soon!!!!

BOBBY RANDALL May 18, 2011 at 9:36 pm

hi jess can u please tell me weather its worth buying the cl 500 ? i’ve already booked one in black,howz the quality ? does it rust quickly ? how is the performance ? canu please guide me i’m in dilemma on what to do either to go for pulsar 220 or the cl 500…..please respond cheers !!!

jude Fernandes December 6, 2010 at 10:33 am

Dear Deepak,
I had written to you regarding my Machismo 500 cc ….yet to receive a response from you on that account. :(
jude

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Jack December 6, 2010 at 9:17 pm

I liked your article on the Classic! Your views and the emotional response that this bike gave you was refreshing. Many of the bike mags that I have read over the years (except early Easyriders) have lost that enthusiasm for riding. The Classic looks great and seems to stay true to it’s styling heritage. Ride on!
Jack

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khaja December 10, 2010 at 10:11 am

Hello please send usefull message like it about enfield

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Sandy December 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Trully Man Among the Bikessssss!!!:)

One day i will purchase this bike and become RIDER from just a BIKER

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srinath January 28, 2011 at 3:39 am

Greetings from from Hyderabad! just got a black classic 500 this January! Great bike awesome road presence! RE should improve its service ( Work shop). They are still way back to when RE was first launched ( 1953) in India, They really suck. My bike was given for first service last week and they charged me for water wash can you believe this. when i checked with them they conveniently told me that they don’t have water wash at their work shop and they have to get it done outside, they gave a separate bill for this. RE get your workshop in order :)
Raju

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BOBBY RANDALL May 18, 2011 at 9:38 pm

can u please guide me weather to buy it or not ? what r the problems ur facing ?i’ve booked one already but i need ur advice…..greetings from Bangalore

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Avin February 5, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Hai deepak, I’m in a great confusion that I just booked for Classic 350 and as soon as booked this thing, my friend called me and sais that Classic 350 is a utter failure bike and many owners of this bike are not satisfied with its maintanence cost and all. I dont know what to do. But i love that bike a lot. Please give me a reply.

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Azim Naqvi February 8, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Like any other high performance bikes from India RE should also must have installed liquid cooling system or atleast oil cooling system to its engine..This thingy will really add up to its muscular looks & also to its performace!!Again,rear disc is missing…Drum brakes not happening,guys…
Plz,somebody?

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Ram February 15, 2011 at 1:05 pm

The Classic EFI 500 is a good and reliable bike. However, the EFI part robs it of its true classic roots. Not that I am against it, given that RE has to build bikes to comply with emission norms like the rest of the manufacturers. I prefer my Mach 500 with its old style #28 carb any day.

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Arun John March 24, 2011 at 2:56 pm

The bike looks and feels really cool. The waiting period is a bit too long, though. But they screwed this great machine by shifting the gear and brake lever positions. We love bullet for its uniqueness and it should have been maintained all the way through. Ask anyone that loves bullet, they’ll be really pissed about this change.

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Prakash May 16, 2011 at 9:42 pm

gr8 review. keep it up guys.
I booked my CL 500 on 9th May 2011.
If I get it in 2011 I’ll be lucky.
It is a incredible bike. Comfy ride…Soft and Smooth…The best bike I rode till date.
It is worth every penny.

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Harman Singh May 18, 2011 at 11:37 pm

I wish India would look around and step its game up and start making atleast 1000 cc bikes

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Pradhumna May 31, 2011 at 11:33 am

Hi Team,

Is it possible to give a review about Classic 350cc please……….???????????

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Gurpreet Singh June 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Thank you Deepak & folks for your review of this wonderful machine 500cc

I am planning to buy this classic machine by end of this year. I had visited the RE showroom in Dubai and at first shot, I fell in love with this bike. Truly a masterpiece !!!

Since, I was looking for the reviews, your study and positive feedbacks has boosted my respect & love for this bike.

By the way, I have checked on the prices at Dubai showroom and I am planning to go for this bike in military color which will cost me 17,000/-dhs showroom price.

Price is an issue !!!

Thank you once again
Regards,
Gurpreet Singh

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Prakash July 23, 2011 at 7:43 pm

It looks more like an ad instead of a review. A review should be objective, but this one seems highly subjective. My dad had a bullet 350 and it was definitely a good looking bike but sadly it also spent a lot of time in the workshop. I have read and heard people complaining about the rusting on the classic 500, so where does that talk about the paint quality? Lots of user reviews still complain about niggling problems and poor service. We pay 1.5 lakhs for a bike and still comprise on quality? I don’t have any recent experience with a bullet. It would be good to read a neutral review. I agree with the others on the bullet’s looks and road presence. Now if the quality was the same….

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Ivan August 14, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Hey Guys,

Nice Comments on the bike, I have noticed somthing bout the engine. the looks are really good; However I would like to comment that there’s no difference in the bore size…. its identicaly the same size engine for the classice 350, thunder bird or standard 350 … coz when it comes to piston size and CC, there should be some expansion in terms of width of the bore or the lenght … but nothing really noticable … its unless u open up the cyllender can you be able to tell the difference.. can some one answer that ..

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S A N August 28, 2011 at 3:47 pm

hi,

can anyone tell the engine weight & the gearbox? i heard its around 80 kgs, not sure.

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Govind Ghosh U P September 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm

I want cassic 500cc bullet look like the same page shows a bullet A wak down the memmory lane. That one i ike that bullet pls help me, i want more details

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Govind Ghosh U P September 22, 2011 at 7:32 am

I want a classic 500cc bulllet like is one, i saw this page second paragraph tittle A walk down the memory Lane, that one i want pls help me. I want all details about that. Bullet

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rajanikanth October 1, 2011 at 10:09 am

can we convert royal enfield thunderbird bird to classic 350 i mean the rear part only 1) rear mudguars and the rear tyre pls reply me cause iam confused of buying re thunderbird or classic 350

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Dattatray October 4, 2011 at 7:13 pm

What is the max speed that you can achieve (on highway) comfortably? For example – on my Yamaha 135, I cannot go beyond 110 even if I accelerate.

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tyagi g November 15, 2011 at 3:07 pm

super bike !
amazing bike i always want this type of bike and now it is infront of us.

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prince November 24, 2011 at 10:26 am

Hi there. I buy pulser220cc last month but as power is concern I want to buy enfield 500cc. So how will it . Can anyone sujjest me, shall I go for enfield electra 350cc classic or enfield 500cc.

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prince November 28, 2011 at 2:25 pm

i can only say cheese for such a powerful monster. i salute to royal enfield.

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Sai Viswanath January 13, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Hi Deepak,
Wanted to know how good are RE 500cc bikes for city/daily riding. Reason, after seeing the information of TB 500cc on your website, am planning to take it in place of 350cc which I had already booked. Awaiting for your response.

Bye
Viswanath

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paras abrol January 25, 2012 at 8:07 pm

sir,
i want to purchase royal en field 500cc .so,pl z suggest me the name of showroom in JAMMU (INDIA) and price …
as soon as possible..

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HARNARAYAN SINGH February 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm

i want to buy a second hand royal enfield classic 500 cc bike in delhi.i need help if someone can….plz

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Marvin April 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm

In 1993 I went into a dealership in Cranbrook B.C. Canada to see what they had for used Japanese bikes and fell in love with the look of the Royal Enfield Bullets they had on display. The dealer warned me that they were very unreliable and that parts were hard to come by. Fast forward to 2012 in Edmonton Alberta and I fell for a 2011 C5 classic. $7093 tax in for a brand new Enfield seemed very reasonable considering a 5 year old Honda 750 would cost me about that.
I started riding motorcycles in 1958 on a 1952 BSA Goldstar. The Royal Enfield has the look and the sound of bikes from that era when British bikes ruled the roads of North America.
I do not care about the lack of power, the Honda CX500 I just sold has 52 HP in comparison. The riding experience takes me back to my youth and has rekindled my early passion for motorcycles. The Royal Endield Mystique has endured for 50 years or more and I have to thank Indian Riders for keeping this Marque alive while all the other great British bikes have fallen into obscurity. Even Triumph is more Japanese than British. I look forward to many years of pleasure exploring the back roads of Alberta and British Columbia over here in North America on My Royal Enfield.

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Kaladhar April 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm

”i want to buy 350cc bullet but i need a clarity that ”if i register now 4r the bike when am i going to get it from show room and please give me brief details related to mileage,price of that bike…i need urgently bcoz i have addicted to royal enfield so please please please give me complete details regarding 350cc…….

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Prateek June 4, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Hey Guys..

I just got the opportunity to own a C500. Everything about this bike is awesome. What i would suggest more would be lower seating height, as it gives a better cruise control ( just my opinion ).

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sahil June 8, 2012 at 8:29 pm

hay i like this bike very much it is looking so beautiful and lovely i love it

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mahesh June 21, 2012 at 10:36 am

hi deepak

i have booked classic 350cc for its comfort and style but now i m confused between 500cc desert storm model ,pl advice if ther is no major diff in mileage would like to go for it,as analyzed that 350cc is giving 35kmpl, where as 500cc is giving 28 kmpl if it is practically yes ,pl tell me and technically if EFI is good than UCE engine pl suggest on the same ,as i am looking doe durability and reliable engine

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ashwani June 27, 2012 at 3:49 pm

hello can anyone tell me if this bike will perform properly at high altitudes for a delhi leh run ????

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Payas August 2, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Hi Guys any Complaints on C500 ?

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meka mahesh August 15, 2012 at 8:36 pm

i want royal boom boom i want imediately w

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SD September 4, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Hi Deepak,
I am getting a classic 500 delivered in next 10 days. But i heard that it does not have a fuel reserve system like it has in classic 350… Will that put me in trouble sometime when i foreget to chk the fuel tank before proceeding for a journey or in mid of a journey…

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ishwar sharma September 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm

supper bike

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Rudra partap singh negi December 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm

i believe 1980`s standard bullet have awesome sound and throttle, if improved it can make Royal Enfield no:1 brand again. i just love this machine so my advise to company f..k the rules because rules are meant for the fools.
so gooooooooooooooood machine.

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sashi February 4, 2013 at 10:52 am

Wonder if there are Triumph and Norton available in any condition. I may be interested. Even in old Enfield 350 & 500 cc. Even non-working.

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shez March 21, 2013 at 4:31 pm

hello Guys out ther, i hv choice to buy
2nd hand RE CLASSIC 350CC bullet in
Black or marroon color.so plz help me
Which one is best!!

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PRASHANTH June 6, 2013 at 7:34 pm

I am planning to buy Royal Enfield Classc 500,
Please suggest me is this good bike to buy because if I buy I will keep it with me for min 10 years

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Deepak December 4, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Point taken. Henceforth I will delete comments which are less than 20 words.

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