Royal Enfield Bullet 500 review
- Published On: 24 March 2017
- 2 min read
The new 499cc Bullet uses the same engine as the Thunderbird and the Classic. So, what’s it like to ride?
The name Bullet is synonymous to the Royal Enfield brand of motorcycles. The updated bike comes with a 499cc engine under the hood now. We’ve hopped onto the saddle of this half-litre Bullet to see just how good it is.
On the outside
At the front, there’s a new powerful halogen powered headlamp with a chrome lip and a set of trademark pilot lamps that flank its side. The instruments include a single-pod analogue speedometer and independent ampere meter. The palm grips feel comfortable, while the clutch and brake levers are also solid to touch. The Enfield-typical teardrop fuel-tank houses a chrome hinged fuel filler cap along with circular, golden coach lines. The taillight is the familiar round unit similar to the ones on the company’s Classic series bikes.
The 500 is powered by the same 499cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, four-stroke engine as on the Thunderbird and Classic bikes, without fuel-injection though, and its exhaust makes that Bullet-typical beat that’s made these bikes so popular. The engine 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 Enfield motorcycles. The 500 is a smooth motorcycle to ride, and the engine feels at home when ridden at cruising speeds between 80-90kph. Post this, the bike starts to feel strained - this isn’t a sportsbike, and doesn’t like being ridden like one. The smooth shifting five-speed gearbox works in a one-down, four-up shifted pattern.
From the saddle
The riding saddle and position are really comfortable, upright with footpegs placed ergonomically well, forward for good comfort. Like all Enfield bikes, the 500 is a heavy, solid feeling and stable bike and when ridden in a straight line, it always feels planted, even with two full size adults on board. Enfield aficionados shouldn’t have too much to complain about with this updated bike.