Royal Enfield Classic 500: the stuff dreams are made of Indiaon2wheels

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Royal Enfield Classic the stuff dreams are made of

25, 2010

It’s very to stay unemotional about a that from conception to is about the strongest emotion in a biker’s world: freedom. And is the emotion I felt over and again ever since I own a RE 500 cc.

So here is my experience both in of the explicable and the inexplicable joys and (!!) of owning a RE and being by it in return.

I made a rather purchase (I still call it an from my new Xylo, which was an impulsive purchase!!) while to Siliguri. I stay at Gangtok, a station which is also the of Sikkim and one of the most beautiful and friendly states in India. offers beautiful sights and terrains for a … rider and cruising for the beginner and yes, opportunities to use the camera.

So ever I moved here I have reminiscing about my old college when I used to ride an a pulsar or a Yamaha RX 100 whatever I got of! But even then it was the thump used to resonate in my biker’s

On September 26th I test the Thunderbird and Classic 350 first and the next day September 27, 2010 for a cruise astride a classic Cruise? Hardly so.

Even a new engine gave me the kind of up that I have seen on a Pulsar or recently the Apache I was taken aback when I the C5 literally leap from my legs into the air as if it was raring to off like a plane. The engine is way classic 350 (27.2 BHP of C 5 compared to of C 350).

There is a feel to the that’s a league apart in

Many people feel LB500 is faster and top speeds are than Classic. Riding the two overall verdict takes the of classic in my opinion. The handling is for the C5 with 18 inches tires, seats and fuel injection uniform sustained high delivery over a wide of speeds, climatic conditions and

I made the purchase instantaneously paying a handsome amount off the to the showroom guys for taking the out of turn (they informed me is a waiting period of 8 months on the and I informed them I had emptied my account so please name price).

As I rode out to take on the 104 km journey into the hills to my I realized it was no ordinary bike me. It throbbed with power to the slightest turn of the throttle. At the speed of 45 the bike seemed unbothered as if I had put it for idling. The stability was even on hills and wet clay and roads. The uphill rides as effortless as plain riding.

turning to look at you is something you to get used to when you are astride a even more so when you are on a seater monster with the 500 visible to all.

Yes it did get to my head on day 1!

My first impression of the bike was of raw power good stability on wet terrains and effortless riding

Very soon I finished the 500 kms and got my bike serviced. My impressions the set in period of the engine were:

No problem whatsoever with the start: the bike always up at a nudge

Power unhindered by or slope and very linear delivery even when the hovers around 100

Stability satisfactory

No leaks anywhere: the shaft seal is airtight, off to RE guys. (None of my five each with a classic ever complained of a leak).

is “no maintenance” not “low maintenance”; is a hell of a difference in the two and I’m really with the battery this sports. No upgrade required or there. No maintenance hassles

Missing the thump: it’s audible to the rider but definitely not to more than two vehicles Even the rider has to strain to the thump if he has a good close helmet on. The short silencer you closer but detonations in the silencer are of this bargain.

Other from the engine get amplified by an tank. Keeping the tank beyond half mutes the noise.

Gear shifting is particularly from first to and vice versa.

Difficult to neutral once you have the bike, easier done 1st gear to neutral than second. Need to be very to shift into neutral.

waiting period of a minute and for the engine to be capable of self in case of a fall thanks to sensors.

Very average finish for a bike that’s so priced; it may be a good idea to using 3M products right 3 months onwards to keep the

Tappet noise: very all the classics I know have it at level; I have accepted it as of RE lineage.

Fuel indicator is so keeping track of your is better. Fuel indicator and lights up on turnings, slopes and and stopping the bike. Calculating the is therefore difficult especially as RE advice not to run the bike till

The first servicing went a cake walk no major with the machine and with engine oil change and routine the bike matured into a thump though ride was the same before and after the service. There was some of the throttle fixed within a minute and some mal-position the rear brake lever was too low and brought within optimal for my foot.

The problems started the first servicing: engine especially at second gear at RPMs and when revving Stressing and comic because the RE came up with weird and sounding diagnoses from plug issues to wiring everything could be at fault and I have my bike seen by engineers.

Well I changed the plug (it’s a twin engine I changed the bigger and the misfiring completely stopped for 48 and came back though at levels. I changed the fuel and the completely went off. Now it occasionally come back but the has never given up and so I don’t about it. What seriously me was the life of the next spark and I have seriously been iridium spark plugs

This reminds me spares is a major, major issue. Be to wait for long, long if you don’t stay in Bombay or or Delhi…as I know even and Kolkata have availability

Now having ridden the C5 for 1500 my spark plugs fry every 600 kms and are RE recommended plugs. The RE engineers been on e mails with me and are “coming up with a solution”!!

The second major issue and dangerous too is that the rear (MRF 110/90-18”-61P) seems to the juice taken out of it. It has deteriorated than you can say Royal Enfield, makes cornering, banking and a major set back. The front MRF Zapper (90/90-18”-51P) on the other is spot on with firm tire in any situation while the one keeps slipping like a tongue.

I’m now seriously looking for a upgrade and looking at Pirelli I don’t know if they the specs of Classic 500 rear The sooner you change the rear the better for one simple reason. The of power this brute simply does not go with kind of uncertain road

Imagine the engine raring to go and the resigning at the last moment. You can your heart in your on these occasions.

Now the first long gone with major trips taken and riding done daily on machine I think I can reliably a few comments on the bike:

So here my opinion and experience:

Stats of my

Royal Enfield Classic 500 cc

Ownership duration: 2 months

clocked: 1654

Fuel consistent 28 to 30 even in cold on xtra premium petrol and condition no modifications done on

Riding style: 30 to 40 kilometers (city) daily in hill town with weekends 100 kilometers day trips solo always.

Trips on C5: mountain in Sikkim: North Sikkim, Nathula and Yuksom Ravangla

Top speed: 110 Kilometers/ hour on Road National Highway 31 A to good road conditions. always vibrates above 90 and affect the handlebars and spring

Looks and aesthetics:

This is nothing short of love at sight. I’m yet to see a person who has made his on the Indian biking scene with this thought. balance of bulk and beauty you of the original world war RE the 1950’s J2 and you feel a part of its legacy The bike looks apart any other bike and people you and your machine long looks is something you gotta get to.

The green color is especially a though I liked the beauty and of black and till now have no at all on choosing black over the two colors.

The Thigh pads and saddle seat with look even better it the unique retro touch with the double seat is hardly a punch.

The RE logo is and eye catching and even from the letters BULLET come focus of anyone riding you and the Deep-drawn fenders of the rear underline the retro look.

The tank with post war the brute engine beneath it the crankcase RE logo the retro Classic style round 18″ Spoke Wheels Body frame and analog dials and looking front number fit the bill to a T. Personally I feel the best looking bullet yet and the best looking bike up for in the Indian bike market Yes the paint job is not upto the mark for the tag but a good TLC from you will it shining for years.

One point the paint its easily scratched attaching and removing the second and it’s a good idea to a towel on the rear tire before you start hammering the seat on in case you ride Even better will be to early if you are a single rider or have a pillion behind you of the times.

Power, ride quality and

The bike feels solidly and packs the power of EFI system a superb DENSO self which has not yet failed me (my mornings are 4 * Celsius. Turn on the key hit the self and to the 4 Stroke, air cooled, single OHV SI engine priming for about 4 (and warm it up for a count of ten on mornings) put on the first gear and the throttle. Your heart give a jolt when all the 27 jumping to life.

Slightly the throttle more and you will get the that will have you to 500 for life. You shalt not sit astride once you have a ride on C5. bhp @ 5250 rpm make it the most Indian bike and it shows. I either uphill or down and the has not broken sweat till It’s an engine that to be whipped flogged and abused.

The you go the higher it will want to you. After a while you it’s best ridden at above 60 (the owner recommends speeds around 80 for

Royal Enfield has dumped the carburetor for a modern electronic injection system on the new bike so as to better air-fuel mixture smoother operation, better delivery over a wide of altitudes, and cleaner emissions Classic 500 EFI conforms to most emission norms Euro III and IV). Having ridden the for two thousand plus kms now I can vouch for single promise made to as far as the performance of the engine is concerned. an engine that will let you down and surpass all your

Royal Enfield claims the UCE construction gives the Classic moving parts, less loss and less maintenance 1600 kms into it I have to with that. Except for the noise of differing levels in bikes and occasional misfiring climate? bad fuel?), I have no against the engine.

EFI engine no fuel injection and five gear box with electric front disc brakes internal expanding drum overall a package that’s to not appreciate and ogle after.

The quality is superb proportionate to the engine and would have astonishing if it was not for the poor quality tire- MRF ZAPPER Q 110/90 – 18. The tire 90/90 – 18 MRF Zapper FS and front hydraulic brakes dia 280mm) make sure you to … stop within a or two even if you are riding at 50. Make more than sixty and in a line using both the braking distance single on flat road is still a meter.

Make that on a or slippery ground or down-slope the tire goes kaput and the slips merrily. The Rear needs, demands, cries out for an Hopefully the RE guys will Relying on the rear brake( operated 153 mm Single Lead Expanding) is a disaster that see your bike banging whatever stopped your

I use the front brakes for speeds than twenty in straight and both brakes simultaneously on curves at any speed downhill any and straight line speeds than 20kmph. A rear brake is what goes this bulky and powerful Perhaps in the future?

The front and rear suspensions are to begin with and absorb bad potholes with ease but with no pillion rider if you are off-roading and long trips do not them to maintain their beyond two or three good After the initial oomph come down to an acceptable of comfort which is not fabulous but bothersome too.

60 W / 55 W, HALOGEN is brighter than you expect and for night riding at speeds 40-50 on unknown territory and powerful in high or low beam. The is a bit of dampener barely audible the thump and especially so in the mad cacophony of if you are a city rider. But what do you get a mediocre Minda horn.

An is recommended.

Speedometer and Fuel indicator for the EFI system are integrated the …-cast headlight casing. The features classic English

The bike comes with the long silencer and the shorter though meant for offroading is ( 2700/-) for city use and adds to the and completes the retro look. The work on the silencer rusts and requires care form day Anti rust or kerosene for cleaning is highly recommended.

is an issue of early blackening of plugs and RE is already planning to do about it. They claim in the that even though they perform fine and they are right. This is mostly form people in hills, cold climates and is the question of fuel quality

I use extra premium always and yet my plug turned black by 600 kms and at 1200 odd kilometers the replaced one black is working great 1650 kms. Some have reported black but I have not yet seen a classic 500 black smoke and emissions are pollution controlled as claimed by the

Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic

While riding there is a of lot of noises from different of the bike and even on confirming no spots yet they are there behind the thump and on rough Vibrations felt in your are especially painful and gloves are for touring. The saddle seat is more comfortable than a especially if you sit back so that you your individual place to your … on (for me its behind than in front).

On trips I have no issues for 200 after which the … is and that’s a rule of trips not a of the bike! I wonder if extra might help!

One point of amongst all the different sensors is the sensor which in case of a needs a waiting period of 1 minute after killing the before you can go again which is a bit but probably nothing that can be

Understanding the electrical is tricky no mention (except a complex chart) made in the manual or the surfaces and I am still searching for info on the electrical, fuses and However the ECU does self at starting the bike but elementary of the engine electricals is mandatory for any rider.

I have not noticed any with the air filters though people have reported with dust thus leaky walls and recommending with tape. Not so in my experience, the air is solidly sealed and works I would not recommend an upgrade or My air filter box seems clean after long rides and off

I clean it with a dry cloth 200 kilometers and the filter on recommended only.

Service and maintenance:

easy to maintain if you had the luck to get a piece off the showroom (yes I believe that with RE you to own a good machine right day 1) and there is the importance of not only at the bike hard but insisting on a test ride too. the engine, see the response feel the and listen to the noises form the

Tappet noise can be loud to bother you badly and disturb ride, scratches are common in showroom bikes and battery can be on day 1. I had the luck to have a trouble machine and till now it has given me service. Except for the mandatory oil change there is little to be to maintain the bike beyond it the routine way every week.

park it in sun or rain you will the paint shine fast and mixed with fuel or the wiring etc are issues. Use quality and do not mod your bike unless and your machine is uncannily of maintenance issues. Even the best fuel good etiquette and proper cleaning and do not expect a fuel economy than 28-30.

But I checked the just to write the review, I if any of the classic owners would about that unless alarmingly low like 20 or something.

you come to face a trouble be that RE guys will be the people able to help you if you or routine mechanic can’t it. My personal experience: there are a handful of good RE classic the rest is a waste of phone e mails and showroom visits. noise some misfiring be ignored.

My motto with the is “don’t trouble trouble trouble troubles you”. And speaking the bike never on you never fails to deliver and best on high speeds and trips. Probably not the best bike but you have Ladakh on mind? Hop on and take off.

It will get you there and back a sweat.

The only thing spoils as the bike gets is the paint job which easily specially at junctions and nothing can be beyond the usual wash and after three months of And I have already mentioned for riding in the hills be prepared to your plugs especially the one every 600 kilometers. Is iridium the

I don’t know.


The most powerful engine on 2 on Indian roads. Period.

over a wide range of terrains and temperatures. Have it through rain, slopes, slush and rivers. No problems yet.

Always starts at attempt. And that’s so comforting. is the most reliable part of the The Indian option comes a kick start but I have not it yet.

Solid stability three figures. Slightly ride at low RPMs. So probably at speeds above 60 is best.

why I feel you will be more touring than city though I do both and wouldn’t it otherwise. A UCE engine is better at high RPMs and therefore at low the ride quality subjectively a notch inferior. Open are what will turn steed on and in city riding low speed riding is usual you not get very satisfied.

Poor rear tire upgrade recommended. I’m looking at manufactured tires though is an issue.

Poor rear both in quality and in position. reducing free play or it the ground on steep banking and especially off-roading when objects like a rock on the may hit the brake pedal but reducing the play may cause it to hit your when releasing. Answer:

Spark plug blackening: of a stress than an actual More problematic is the early for plugs in cold weather on Blackened spark plugs are well enough for 600 kilometers in and my friends form plains not reported any problems till kilometers so the difference is quite

So people riding in plains and not so areas can relax while riders always keep a set of standby!

Poor service satisfaction: people at RE centers are as as you when you take your for troubleshooting to them, spares are unavailable and waiting period is to waiting period for the bike.

paint job: at the price you get the this is simply unacceptable. I cleaning and waxing my ride by month.

Unreliable fuel indicator: blinks at turns, and unpredictable.

The gear shift is but does settle down the first 500 kms service. Neutral to find on traffic lights and the engine off and also lots of neutrals between all gears. way to shift gears is crisp and a jerk.

No easing into except when finding

Final verdict on the RE classic 500

an irresistible package which has what’s of importance: a balanced with … looks, power packed performance, and low maintenance, a head turner fun while riding in cities and off on long trips. A massive ego for a rider who yearns for a class It sets you free even at price. RE classic 500 is the surest way to get again.

Its such an awesome machine that you will to look at your own bike a longer every time you it at the end of the day. The looks are matched by the and ride and you might feel taking it out for a ride just that. The cons are nuisances than real trouble and in my it’s the best bike on roads as of now though for cold the spark plugs are a real in the backside.

Needless to say I have ever ever even for a regretted buying this and our love story continues. The is simple to explain to the curious who asks me: “boss single so heavy fuel economy is 30 price bhi itna jyada Aapne liya hi kyun?”

I have one answer: bro have you fallen in love.

This of Royal Enfield Classic 500 was by Dr. Gaurav J Kumar. In case you too are in getting your review on, then please them to [email protected]

Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic


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