2018 Royal Enfield Classic 500 – The real deal.

Royal Enfield Classic 500

I’ve covered the Royal Enfield 500 before and I’m more than happy to write about it again. This time it’s about why it’s an affordable and special motorcycle and one motorcycle you need to short list this one,

The Royal Enfield Classic 500 is an affordable motorcycle, it’s priced under $8000 AUD in the showroom in 2018 which is perfect as it’s competitors the LAMs bikes and other retro styled motorcycles are in the same price range.  The 500 is an affordable motorcycle! That said you can always get the 350cc  version under $6000 AUD if you wanted something cheaper.

Defining what makes the Royal Enfield 500 special is simple. Just look at the design is genuine continually manufacture of a 1940’s design. Sure it is an evolution of the original Enfield Bullet but I think it has gotten better looking over that time. The engine may not be exactly the same as the original but you need the updates to be saleable in 2018. EFI and now ABS are part of the modernisation of the ancient design. Furthermore it’s not just the look there’s the engine and traditional drive train without balance shafts so expect vibes and it’s mild engine is about enjoying the experience of the ride than cutting corners.

On the street a Royal Enfield Classic 500 looks like an amazing restoration of an old motorcycle to the passerby and those not into motorcycles or not informed which is arguably the point. Think of this way, someone shopping for a new motorcycle that is not sports bike, cruiser style, scooter or adventure motorcycle something a little different that doesn’t come with any negative press apart from being a motorcycle. Bam! and the Royal Enfield 500 appears, it’s retro, it’s not very popular, and known yet unknown model, it’s good brand image and history, it doesn’t appear with many Instagram pictures with traditional old hairy bikers or scantly clad women all over them take note Ducati and Harley Davidson – The Classic 500 has got class.

The Royal Enfield Classic 500 is a genuine Royal Enfield with a direct line to it’s ancestors. It is not a remake a quite the opposite of Triumph and BMW which are just Simulacra.

Royal Enfield Classic 500 Key Specifications (2018)
Engine: 1 cylinder 4-stroke Twin Spark EFT
Capacity: 499cc
Power/Torque: Approx 20 Kw @ 5250 RPM 41.3 Nm @ 4000 RPM
Gearbox: 5 speed manual
Kerb Weight: 190kg
Performance: 0-100kph N/A seconds Approx
Max Speed N/A Kph Approx
Fuel Economy: 13.5 litre fuel tank
Approx 4 litres per 100km
Seat height: 815mm
Dimensions: L2180 X W790 X H1080 mm
Wheels: 90-90-19F 110-90-18R
Recommended Retail Price: Est $8490 AUD (2017)

Royal Enfield Himalayan

Royal Enfield Himalayan

Welcome to the Royal Enfield Himalayan motorcycle overview. 2017 is indeed the year of the small capacity adventure motorcycle, Kawasaki, Suzuki, BMW ironically also made in India have all new entries to the class. Sure there have been trail bikes that have been available for decades but they are more for real trail rides than long distance cruising. The adventure motorcycle is one to pick for long distance touring in any condition or terrain meaning they have more refined engines, suspension and designed to have luggage systems attached to them.

I can’t really say much about the Himalyan because it is still new and I’ve only seen it at the motor show, whilst I’ve seen the other models in the showroom. So based on specifications it is a decent enough motorcycle but what sets it apart is the pricing.  The Royal Enfield Himalyan costs a mere $5990. Yes that’s right, this is the cheapest adventure motorcycle currently available on the Australian market. While it is not the best looking motorcycle on sale it’s looks are deliberate but not achieving the BMW design aesthetic.

Thankfully The Himalayan is not a barebones model rather one that is specifically designed as a adventure motorcycle. For example it has a ambient temperature gauge and even a compass, extra bar work is all there for hard luggage systems, covered front forks and a sump protector. The only thing that I could puzzle over was the location of the oil and air cooler radiator thing.

Overall the Himalyan seems like a decent adventure motorcycle with the only question being long term reliability. After all reliability is key to adventure motorcycles after all even if it’s bargain priced under $6000. If the Royal Enfield company is serious about this model it could be that start of something good.

Royal Enfield Himalyan Key Specifications (2017)
Engine: 1 cylinder 4-stroke Twin Spark EFI
Capacity: 411cc
Power/Torque: Approx 18Kw @ 6500 RPM 32Nm @ 4000 RPM
Gearbox: 5 speed manual
Kerb Weight: 182kg
Performance: 0-100kph N/A seconds Approx
Max Speed N/A Kph Approx
Fuel Economy: 15 litre fuel tank
Approx 4 litres per 100km
Seat height: 800mm
Dimensions: L2190 X W840 X H1360 mm
Wheels: 90-90-21F 120-90-17R
Recommended Retail Price: Est $5990 AUD (2017)