Royal Enfield Bullet 500 review, test ride

Autocar India
First Published: 14:30 IST(7/6/2013)
Last Updated: 13:34 IST(10/6/2013)
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The Bullet 500, a name synonymous with the Royal Enfield brand of motorcycles has returned from the history pages with a larger 499cc engine. We’ve hopped onto the saddle of this half-litre Bullet to bring you this first impression.
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The Bullet 500 houses a powerful halogen powered headlamp inclusive of a chrome lip with set of trademark pilot lamps on either side. For instrumentation, the Bullet 500 uses a single-pod analogue speedometer and independent ampere meter. The palm grips have good feel, while the clutch and brake levers are also solid to touch, and fall to hand well. The Enfield typical teardrop fuel-tank houses a chrome hinged fuel filler cap along with circular, golden coach lines. At the rear the Bullet 500 deploys a round taillight similar to the Classic series bikes.

The 500 houses the same, 499cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, four-stroke engine as on the Thunderbird and Classic bikes, sans fuel-injection, and its exhaust thrums out a Bullet typical beat. The Bullet 500 makes ample low and mid-range grunt, producing 26.1bhp at 5100rpm, as may sound low for this big an engine, but keeps with the delightful lazy character long associated with Royal Enfield motorcycles. The 500 is a smooth motorcycle to ride, and the engine feels at home ridden between 80-90kph. Things starts to feel strained soon thereafter when stretched too far beyond. This isn’t a sportsbike, and doesn’t like being ridden like one. The 500 engine comes with a smooth shifting five-speed gearbox operated in a one-down, four-up shifted pattern. 

The riding saddle and position are really comfortable, upright with footpegs placed ergonomically well, forward for good comfort. The Bullet 500 uses conventional telescopic fork front suspension and dual gas-charged shock absorbers at the rear. Like all Enfield bikes, the 500 is a heavy, solid feeling and stable bike ridden in a straight line, and always feels planted, even when riding with two full size adults on board.

There’s a 280mm disc brake in the front and 153mm rear drum brake, both working well with nice feel to generate adequate stopping power.

The Bullet 500 is priced at Rs. 1.53 (ex-showroom, Delhi).

 

Fact File
Price Range (in lakhs)*
Ex-showroom price                  Rs. 1.53 lakh
Engine
Fuel                                         Petrol
Type                                       Single-cylinder, air-cooled, four stroke, 499cc
Power                                    26.1bhp at 5100rpm
Torque                                   4.17kgm at 3800rpm
Dimensions
Length                                  2140mm
Width                                   810mm
Height                                  1110mm
Wheel base                         1370mm
Chassis & Body
Weight                               193kg
Wheels                              90/90x 19 inches 120/80 x 18 inches
Suspension
Front                                 Telescopic forks
Rear                                  Twin gas-charged shocks, tubular swingarm
Brakes
Front                                 280mm disc
Rear                                 153mm drum
Economy
Tank size                          13.5 litres


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