Royal Enfield 500 US Classic Motorcycles Reviews (2)
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2005-10-23 2003 Royal Enfield 500 US Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought a 2003 RE Bullet Deluxe second hand from a NC grad student who purchased it new. The bike had 475 miles on it when I bought it. The previous owner was replacing the spark plug due to fouling every 50 miles or so. When I got the bike home I found it would start missing badly above 1/4 throttle and did not shift well at all. I wound up ordering a 34mm Mikuni carb kit and cured my missing problem. A clutch adjustment cured the shifting problem for the most part and she seems to run a bit better every time I ride now. Now I will be the first one to tell you, these aren't for everyone. But, I'll also say I wouldn't have thought it was for me till I started fooling with it. Along with Pete Snidal's excellent tech manual for these I have been able to troubleshoot and fix every little problem to come along, and probably could have tuned the stock carb if I would have received the manual before the carb kit, and I have never been one to turn a wrench before. With this bike, it's actually fun and rewarding to tinker, or "fettle about" as the Brits like to say. If you are thinking of buying one of these, be forewarned. It will probably have some teething problems and will not run like a comparably sized Japanese machine. The "run in" procedure must be adhered to and the first 500-1000 miles is critical. Even once this is done and it is running right it will never be a sportbike (contrary to the importer's cafe racer kits for it). What it will be is nice rugged solid transportation that yields about 70mpg and gets lots of looks and draws much conversation. It's great on the back roads and around town and though I've not tried it (yet), many people around the world use it like an adventure touring bike. I wouldn't call it a great beginner's bike because the beginner needs to concentrate on developing riding rather than wrenching skills first. It is probably the perfect training bike if you want to learn about working on vintage motorcycles as they are extremely straight forward and the importer has excellent parts and tech support. This alleviates the extra hassle of having to track down parts or second guess the quality of used parts. I personally enjoy being able to work on mine myself and not having to rely on the local motorcycle repair shops that either won't work on a machine that is not mainstream, or taking 8 weeks for a simple job.
- John Damone, Mauldin, South Carolina

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2004-09-22 2004 Royal Enfield 500 US Classic Motorcycles View Listings

Overall Rating
Reliability
Quality
Performance
Comfort
From the first day, my Enfield has started faster than my car. Yes, it had to go through an extended break-in, just like any '60s style bike. For the first 500 miles I took it easy, kicking it up a bit every 50 miles or so. Now 80 mph is no problem, this isn't a fast bike, so if you're looking for a screamer, buy a Japanese bike. Problems-- The day I bought the bike it was raining hard, the 125 mile drive home in the back of my truck was wet, to say the least. I had to unmount the amp meter and dry it off. The only other problem was a slightly loose valve tappet, 10 min fix. The only real complaint with the Enfield is from my wife, she thinks the seat in back is too narrow for a long ride. I might look into getting a seat from the new sixty-5, if it will fit the classic frame. The only other problem I've had is explaining to on-lookers that it is NOT 40 years old!
- Jim McQuaid, South Chatham, Massachusetts

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