Royal Enfield Bullet Sixty-5

11 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Royal Enfield Bullet Sixty-5 отключены
Royal Enfield Bullet 350 Army

Royal Enfield Bullet

First impressions were but how did the 5-speed, re-styled Bullet with a full road Steve Wilson took the

Andy Williams, always a guy a can-do attitude, was in a particularly mood. As the proprietor of Swindon Bikes, he was just back a dealer event at Watsonian-Squire, the UK for a unique machine — the Royal Enfield Bullet, classic British big single motorcycle, made since in India.

The Redditch-based parent had finally gone under 33 previously, but at the Tiruvot-Tiyur factory Madras (or Chennai as the city has renamed) they’ve been out 350 and 500 singles in both military and form in considerable numbers to day, and reimporting them to the UK 1977.

Success Story

And at the meeting, they had been the fact that for 2002, the had, erm, shot the Top Ten in the UK’s 126-500cc new motorcycle charts, in the process incidentally Harley’s XLH883 Sportster, big Tiger trailie, and Moto twins. Notching up sales of than 600 bikes may not sound impressive, but it’s a solid market, and likely to grow.

For reason. Andy and the other had been shown a tape of the in action. Where in the past, had been labour intensive and control distinctly variable, now saw CNC machines working on blank and alloy cylinder heads, a PDI station with all-round and every single engine bench-tested.

The gold pinstriping is done by hand, though.

The of the company had begun in 1994 its takeover by the Eicher Group, despite its Teutonic-sounding moniker was an truck and tractor manufacturer. I a list running to eight itemizing the year-by-year detail to the Bullet, many in the so-necessary of electrical reliability, and to the ponderous separate 4-speed gearbox, by the late 1990s had become a improvement on the original.

Then last year saw a step forward for the 500s, in the of an electric start. Although the 6.5:1 compression Bullets had been particularly tricky to as Andy Williams pointed ‘the starter takes a lot of out of them when you’re — no need to worry stalling them at the traffic A reliable Japanese Denso discreetly mounted ahead of the and driving through gears and a clutch, the electric foot added Ј250 to the 500 Classic’s Ј2768 price tag — and included the necessary larger higher output alternator and switchgear. And they kept the as belt-and-braces backup, and for the look.

this improvement was no coincidence. In a new boss had arrived at Royal 29 year old Siddhartha Lal, son of the Group’s CEO. Educated at an university, with a degree in and a Masters in automotive engineering, Lal evidently knows what about.

The proof was parked in of us in Swindon — the latest model, dubbed the Sixty-5. Was it a then? ‘No,’ laughed ‘this one’s got five hence the ‘5’; and it’s to be from the Sixties — it up a decade from the previous bikes.’ The latter point was made by way of a small line-up of new 4-speed Bullets in Andy’s — in among which was a Model G, the Fifties’ cooking of the 350 Bullet, and virtually indistinguishable the new ones.

Bullet stuff on

Not so the Sixty-5. For a start the silver paint, also available in black, or Mystique Blue, lightened the plot’s appearance. there was the new ‘flatline’ dualseat, its top and curved shape echoing Sixties’ banana custom It also made for a nice low height, at around 30.5 77.5 cms, about the as previously, but feeling less, as it was at the nose.

Our Editor, not renowned for elegantly legs, could comfortably get feet on the ground with one. The seat was certainly a big on its markedly stepped predecessor, the sharply sculpted rider’s which had prevented taller moving to a comfortable long riding position.

The new gearbox, ‘5-speed’ proudly stamped on its inspection cover, now featured a shift rather than the traditional right-footer. As it’s now years since a left-side became a legal requirement in the USA and effectively the world, this that even the …-hards us, and certainly the majority of riders, inevitably be more at home a down-for-first, up-for-the-rest change on that side.

To design and the internals, Mr Lal had gone to Dr Stuart and his team, the guys responsible for the of the new diesel motorbike for the Army, at University in Shrivenham, the UK Joint college. ‘Just up the road here,’ laughed Andy. a rider, he used to pop in here they were doing it, for oil and so on.’

It was time to try out the new offering. At a 168kg dry weight, the bike felt nice and light to around and, with the handle provided, was easy to pull onto its centrestand; a side-stand was an optional extra. Japanese switchgear, off a Suzuki included a headlamp flasher and a switch for the indicators, again an on the previous equipment.

The choke lever was mounted by the Mikuni-built-under-license carb, but as Andy ‘they don’t like a lot of Electric start was standard on the so although the kickstart was there, folded all the way round out of the way, it was a case of pulling in the clutch and hitting the button. Bingo first time, every

Muzzle Velocity

The deep note from this was pleasing for the rider, healthy but not and later proved to give a blat for spectators as Frank the tried out the Sixty-5. The sound from a shorter silencer the notoriously long and restrictive item, whose tail-pipe had out beyond the rear wheel. agents’ yards were with the things, as customers got replaced with noisy BSA M21 and Gold Star cans.

new item looked better, it was BS yet as I found on the ride, not unduly at all. Nice one.

The theme continued as I snicked into first and bumped out of yard to join the traffic The clutch was light, the gearchange effortless, and a tall hump-back on the apex of a bend immediately that the Bullet’s handling and were satisfying and hassle-free. rate springs on the unshrouded suspension units (another touch) certainly helped out the ride.

The ribbed 3.00 x 19 Speedmaster Mk II front plus x 19 SM rear tyres, with rubber in a classic format, just right for the bike, TT100s were also an extra.

The effective 7-inch leading-shoe front brake was as we effortlessly negotiated traffic the nearby Honda car factory. The braking has been another area of improvement since the when the Indian Bullets’ had been known as ‘poor but great laxatives’. And keeping with the traffic was definitely by the 5-speed box. I didn’t convincing about the merits of an cog on a big single.

A previous ride on specialist Pearson’s BSA Gold Star 5-speed box and modern-adapted clutch had me how a harsh, rough-edged sportster be transformed into something as effective but altogether pleasanter and useable.

Royal Enfield Bullet 350 Army

Enfield seemed to turned the same trick their thumping roadster. just a couple of digits on the of this brand new bike, no way we going to explore its outer although previous 500 Bullets, replacement silencers, in my experience had good for just over and Andy said these were about 5mph Out in the real dual carriageway we ran steadily, so easily, at 50-55mph, 70mph cruising seemed a expectation when the running-in was — yes, Bullets to be run in, just like engines in the old even if they do now run on unleaded and between 70 and 80 miles to the gallon.

off onto by-roads up onto the Downs, the Bullet just up the points. The seat was comfortable, and its top stopped you sliding backwards braking on bumpy going. The were excellent. The engine, in an appropriate gear, pulled well — unlike the Japanese singles such as old XT500, the thump was still satisfyingly, there, but the well-chosen helped take the shakes out of it.

was a modern, smoother feel to the plot, a lack of harshness was admirable in a new engine, and a distinct to even rebuilt genuine The bike was a real pleasure to

For traditionalists, there was an occasional on the over-run from an air leak in the exhaust system, which be easily remedied; and a mechanical when you switched off. along the winding, undulating approaching the Iron Age hill at Barbury Castle, the handling again proved more adequate — if there was like a weak link it have been the front which could probably benefit from progressive but which even so were up to the Bullet’s performance envelope.

FW a spin and rode up the steep to Barbury Castle effortlessly, to remark on both the smoothness, and on how the bike felt. A photo proved that the Bullet’s was unflappable, and that its admirably turning circle was exactly the of one narrow lane.

Standing to look during the static shoot, we agreed that was good market recognition in the cues and colour scheme they weren’t kidding about the Sixties thing. The primary chaincase had been off with the wider electric engine, but still looked in period, as did the tinware, and touches the twin pilot lights the headlamp. And, yes, the was completely oil-tight.

The only touch were the indicators which were not the ones find on the standard Sixty-5, and I even those should be for the optional chromed teardrop Sixties, right?

Just Morgan motorcars, Royal are engineered in a direct, unbroken to which the new owners are very They’re unique — the Chinese and Russian copies of BMW boxer twins, there any other mass-produced time-warp (unless you count Harley-Davidsons…)

appeal is self-evident for those who old-style machinery without to take on the challenge of keeping and forty year old iron The Enfield spares situation is and the spares are cheap. The Bullet’s headlight, effective indicators and start are really practical

If you care about such a system of filters, vacuums and air means that the bikes with current anti-pollution

The petrol economy is good, cheap insurance (Ј65.37 comp, last time I offsetting the fact that, with a ‘real’ pre-73 you’ll have to pay road And the price is undeniably right a Classic Sixty-5 costs OTR (with another Ј150 for the De with extra chrome). about Ј250 less a Honda 250cc commuter, and about Ј750 more most comparable old British — few of which sport starters.

And the bottom line is starting, brakes, comfort and on this model, with the Bullet finally seems to come right. Sure the standards have yet to rival the — Siddhartha Lal himself, characteristic openness, acknowledged year that ‘our quality needs huge but equally surely they’re on it, and on the evidence of this silver they’re getting there.


Swindon Bikes: 01793 829560

Royal Enfield Bullet 350 Army
Royal Enfield Bullet 350 Army
Royal Enfield Bullet 350 Army
Royal Enfield Bullet 350 Army


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