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Tuesday
Jan192010

Royal Enfield Bullet 500

This is my Bullet 500 Deluxe 2008 pic by Alex Fischer

I love old english bikes, Nortons, BSAs, Triumphs. Did you know can buy a brand new 1955 english motorcycle in 2008 for $5K new or $3K used? While not the fastest bikes, they definitely have the most character. They are not light weights by any means though and can cruse at 80 MPH and have a nice low end torquey feel.

Royal Enfield was the brand of the Enfield Cycle Company, an English engineering company. Most famous for producing motorcycles, they also produced bicycles, lawnmowers, stationary engines, and even rifle parts for the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield. This legacy of weapons manufacture is reflected in the logo, a cannon, and their motto "Made like a gun, goes like a bullet". It also enabled the use of the brand name Royal Enfield from 1890.

In 1955 Enfield of India started assembling Bullet motorcycles under licence from UK components, and by 1962 were manufacturing complete bikes. The original Redditch, Worcestershire-based company dissolved in 1970, but Enfield of India, based in Chennai, continued, and bought the rights to the Royal Enfield name in 1995. Royal Enfield production continues, and now Royal Enfield is considered as the oldest motorcycle company in the world still in production and Bullet is the longest production run around model.

The US import version has the foot shifter moved to the left hand side of the bike which adds a awkward linkage to the already tricky transmission If you can find it try to get a unmodified non US bike or get the kit to return the foot shifter to the original right side.

These bike are single cylinder thumpers and you feel the thrust of each stroke as you are propelled down the road. It is a really unique feeling that has not been experienced in the last 50 years of modern multi-cylinder bike design.

There is a olive green military model that has panniers and crash guards. I love the look of this bike and it is very useful for extend trips. It's great grandfather is here Royal Enfield G

If your looking for a cool bike talk to Leon at Cycle Icons.

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