Royal Enfield Classic 500 Review
Classic Reborn!!Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Design and Style
Royal Enfield needs no introduction in India. It represents a certain class of bikes here and Classic 500 is their newest offering. This bike fills the gap between Royal Enfield’s regular Bullet and Thunderbird. Will it be able to leave the long lasting impression similar to its other siblings? Let’s find out.
Royal Enfield India has launched new variants of Classic 500. One is the Classic Chrome 500 and second is the Classic Desert Storm 500. Both the variants are exactly same in terms of engine and other technical specifications. The Classic Chrome 500 features all-over chrome finish and Classic Desert Storm 500 is light brown in shade in matte finish. The Classic Chrome is priced at Rs. 1.65 lakhs (on-road Mumbai), which is Rs. 10000 more than the regular variant of Classic 500.
The Classic Desert Storm is priced at Rs. 1.58 lakhs (on-road Mumbai), which is Rs. 3000 more than the regular variant of Classic 500. Both the variants are powered by a 499cc, single cylinder engine which generates maximum power of 27.2 Bhp at 5250 rpm and peak torque of 41.3 Nm at 4000 rpm. There is one more variant of Classic 500 which is known as Classic Military 500 but it will not be launched in India because green shade is reserved for Army only.
The Classic 500 Chrome is available in two shades: Black and Royal Maroon. Classic 500 Desert Storm is available in only one shade: Light brown in matte finish. “Our customers have been demanding the Chrome model of Royal Enfield for quite some time now. Both Classic Chrome and Desert Storm are meant to bring more thrills to the customer,” the firm’s senior vice president (sales and marketing) Shaji Koshy said.
Design and Style
Give it a look and you will come to know instantly why it’s been named Classic. Its retro look resembles to the early age Bullets. Classic 500 has been heavily chromed and that makes it look extremely classy. It’s a perfect blend of vintage and modern styling. The circular headlight and twin eye lamps give it a Bullet look. The headlight is surrounded by chrome and also features a tiny chrome visor at the top. Front telescopic forks are semi body colored while their lower section is chrome finished which suits its chrome spoke wheels. It has a full size mudguard which covers most of the part of its front wheel. Its round shaped rear view mirrors and orange colored side indicators which add sparkle to this bike. Move to the side of this bike and its classic styling continues. The tank is very simple and sits on the top of its steel engine. There are certain unique features in this bike which includes single rider seat with coil springs and up-swept silencer. It has an extremely long chrome finished muffler which differentiates it from its other siblings. Its rear mudguard carries nothing else than its number plate, tail light and rear side indicators. Its naked look at the back makes it an eye-catcher. Other than this, the bike has body colored air filter and oval shaped tool box.
Like most of the Bullets, you will also notice naked analogue instrument console in this bike. It has a circular pod for its analogue speedometer and odometer which also houses other indicators. Just below on the right side of this speedometer, it has a small dial for its analogue fuel gauge.
Engine and Gearbox
Royal Enfield Classic 500 uses a fuel injected, single cylinder 499cc engine. This 4-stroke, twin spark engine generates a power output of 27.2 bhp at 5250 rpm. Its maximum torque production of 41.3 Nm can be used at 4000 rpm. This engine is mated with a five-speed manual gearbox which works from the left side and comes with a gear shift pattern of one gear down and four gears up-shift.
Acceleration and Performance
Royal Enfield bikes are known for their strong low and mid-range and Classic seems to be their most powerful bike till date. Surely, it’s a heavy machine but thanks to its massive torque output, you never feel restricted. It has tall gear ratios which helps you to squeeze maximum out of this 500cc engine. In city traffic, the early torque building brings stability to this bike at slow speeds. The throttle response is really impressive and keeps on improving as you progress. The thumping sound of this engine is very low which makes less noise pollution. The gear transitions are very smooth and you will enjoy confident riding. It can cross the speed of 130km/hr easily. It may not be as fast as you expect but the way this bike uses its power is really tremendous. The bike is a treat on highways as there is no sign of harshness in this engine; it feels extremely refined and powerful. The serious turbo pulling of this engine can be noticed on hill driving.
Expect this bike to return a fuel economy of round 25-30km/ltr in city conditions. On highways, its mileage ranges from 32-35km/ltr.
Comfort while Driving
If you are a solo rider and need a spacious and comfortable bike then don’t look beyond Classic. It offers a very relaxed riding position with front-set foot pegs. The solo seat is well padded and supported with springs which saves you from back pain on long runs. It has a wide handle bar which offers a firm grip which gives you a good hold of this bike. The bike has rubber pad on both sides of its fuel tank which gives you solid knee grip. The visibility of road is perfect and you can enjoy stress free rides.
Storage Space and Safety Features
Royal Enfield Classic 500 features tool box for storage space and for safety, it comes equipped with halogen headlight which gives you clear vision of roads at night.
Suspension and Brakes
Classic 500 uses 35mm telescopic front forks and twin gas charged with swing arm rear suspension which easily takes the heavy weight (187kg) of this bike. The braking system includes front disc brake of 280mm and rear drum brake of 153mm.
Ride and Handling
Royal Enfield Classic 500 teaches you the true meaning of cruising. The ride and handling of this bike at high speed is really light and responsive. You may only find it a bit heavy and slow in city traffic and parking lots where you will have to put an effort while turning it at slow speed. Other than this, there is no complaint about its ride quality. Moreover, it has a wheelbase (1360mm) and ground clearance of 135mm which improves its stability around corners though we still feel the need of a wider rear tyre. The high speed stability of this bike is commendable and its braking system is also quite effective.
Royal Enfield launched the Bullet Classic in three shades in Germany & Europe - Red, Black & Green. In India Royal Enfield Classic has been launched in four shades.
Royal Enfield Classic 500 has no competitor in our Indian bike market. Its exclusivity is the biggest USP of this bike. Moreover, the performance and ride quality of this bike makes it distinctive. We feel it’s a complete value for money bike and should be the first choice of grown up boys who wants to experience the world of cruising.