Test: Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic EFI


Test: Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic EFI

Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic EFI

Modern classic in the test

In India, a motorcycle from the middle of the last century survived. The technology has now been modernized, but the design of the 1950s has been retained.

The unknown scooter driver in Stuttgart rush hour traffic knows his way around. “It’s new,” he crows with a slight reproach in his voice as he comes to a stop next to the bullet. “I never said anything else,” replies the man on the supposed classic car. “But your motorcycle claims something else,” insists the scooter driver. The Bullet wins the next traffic light start, but it does not escape the correctness of this statement. It makes an oldie and yet it is new in two senses. Newly built and redesigned. Until 2007 R.oyal Enfield in Madras / Chennai, India, exclusively produces classic bullets using the technology of the 1950s. Separate engine and gearbox housing, with 350, since 1993 also with 500 cm3 displacement and few modern components, such as a Keihin carburetor. After the transition period had expired, the Euro 3 standard put an end to this brand new classic car.

Because the attraction of the Enfields for European and American customers was precisely this anachronism, the Bullet EFI 500 Classic tries to preserve as much of its original appearance as possible – the predecessor had already made slips like the handlebar fittings. Anyone who compares the Bullets will find numerous similarities; the more compact new engine with crankshaft and gearbox in one housing only requires different mounting points in the frame. The bore and stroke of the single cylinder (84/90 mm) have remained the same and otherwise it maintains traditional virtues. Large centrifugal masses, for example. They give the Langhuber a steady idle and smooth running. At least in the lower and middle range, where the Enfield single does its work more massaging than vibrating. Fast revving is not his thing; he has a lot of the sympathetic phlegm of a stationary engine. Because it already comes close to its maximum torque at 2200 rpm, it is not worth it to be blown up. Better to move up to the next gear – you can now do this smoothly and precisely with your left foot – and enjoy the full blow.

Driving through tunnels is recommended to increase the enjoyment of the sound. The fifth and last gear is usually engaged below 100 km / h, so you can move forward quickly on the country road. Expressways or motorways, however, become tough. From 110 in the fifth, i.e. around 4500 rpm, it begins to rumble in the depths of the crankcase, vibrations rage in the tank, footrests and handlebars like small earthquakes. MOTORRAD has not tested how long the driver and screw connections can withstand the top speed of 135 km / h, according to the Tacho 140. Long daily stages are still possible thanks to the low consumption – if the rider has the stamina to remain immovable on the sprung saddle. On the fork of the Bullet, the cranked axle mounts are noticeable, which reduce the caster. Perhaps they are used to adapt the chassis geometry after changing from 19 to 18 inch tires. The Bullet’s steering behavior was not really harmonious; from a lean angle of around 15 degrees it would like to tilt further and it takes time to develop the correct corrective movements and confidence in the Avon diagonal tires.

Then the foot brake lever that touches down in right-hand bends already reports the end of the usable lean angle, turning to the left it goes significantly lower. Ultimately, the real art is not to scratch. The front single-disc brake also requires deeper insight into the context of things. You should brake a lot better, but the fork is twisted enough under your one-sided pull. So again: drive smoothly and calmly, extremes make bad karma. At least the price of the bullet caused a slight discomfort. For their buyers to have a lot of humor and tolerance for the nonchalant finish, 5499 euros are pretty humorless. If you’re not just looking for an original and affordable everyday motorcycle, you can get a Kawasaki Ninja 250 for 904 euros less, while Suzuki offers the Gladius with ABS for 791 euros more.

Technical data: Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic EFI

RoyalEnfield Bullet 500 Classic EFI

Air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, an underneath camshaft, two valves, bumpers, rocker arms, wet sump lubrication, injection, 12 V battery, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, five-speed gearbox, chain.
Bore x stroke 84.0 x 90.0 mm
Cubic capacity 499 cm³
Compression ratio 8.5: 1
Rated output 20.3 kW (28 hp) at 5250 rpm
Max. Torque 41 Nm at 4000 rpm

landing gear
Single-loop frame made of steel, telescopic fork, two-arm swing arm made of steel,
two spring struts, front disc brake, Ø 280 mm, rear drum brake, Ø 153 mm.

Spoked wheels with steel rims 1.85 x 18; 2.50 x 18
Tires 90/90 18; 110/80 18
Avon Roadrider tires tested

Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1370 mm, steering head angle 63.0 degrees, caster 90 mm, suspension travel f / r 150/130 mm, seat height * 790 mm, weight with a full tank * 172 kg, payload * 193 kg, tank capacity 14.5 liters.
Warranty two years
Service intervals 5000 km
Colors black, turquoise green, red
Price 5499 euros
Additional costs 139 euros

Performance *
Top speed 135 km / h

0-50 km / h 3.2 sec
0-100 km / h 11.3 sec

60–100 km / h 8.1 sec

Speedometer deviation
Effective (display 50/100) 47/94 km / h

Country road 3.8 l / 100 km / h
Fuel type super
Theor. Range 382 km

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