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Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500 reviews

3.5
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Reliability
3.5
Overall quality
3.5
Performance
3.6
Comfort
3.5

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15 ratings and reviews

Voted most helpful review

jim

viburnum , Missouri

Reviewed on 2004-10-30

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500

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4.0
I have had my 500 "bullet" for about three weeks now, and have a little over 600 miles on it. Sure it had a few "new bike bugs", but all in all I LIKE IT ! Checking milage, so far I have averaged 58.4 miles per gallon on it. It's no "hot rod", but it cruises at 60 miles per hour as easily as any other bike. The key is to have the 18 tooth front sprocket installed. This lets the bike run easier at higher speeds with fewer r.p.m.'s. With the heavy fle wheels, the bike still has plenty of torque.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Tim

Tampa, Florida

Reviewed on 2004-01-15

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500

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4.0
The Indian version produced for export over the past few years are well built and well finished machines. I would know after restoring my fair share of original Brit Iron. Except for the adaptation of an alternator and 12v electrics (and a few details for emissions), the bike is built to 1954 Royal Enfield specs (1955's had an oval air cleaner but are identical to the 1954's). All of the parts to "DBS" the bike are available like the shorter non-emission exhaust and a few details to bring things fully to 1954! Down to the riding part. If you have ever spent time on Brit bikes, there are no surprises here as most ride similar regardless of brand or model. These bikes carve and flick around quite well. The engine is easily kicked over (or with the press of a button as mine has electric start) and after a couple minute warm up, its ready to go. The 500 has a good torque curve and can certainly accelerate with traffic from a stop light with no fuss. They can cruise at 60-65 but are by no means highway bikes as the gearing is suited for the back roads and scenic routes. Mine has been very reliable but you must do some mechanical prevention by adjusting the tappets, timing (points and condenser unit, and keeping the oil clean. These tasks are quite easy and fun at the same time. don't beat it up with long stretches of high RPM's and the bike will last.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Jim

Miami, Florida

Reviewed on 2003-11-08

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500

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5.0
While I am no mechanic or professional restorer, I've managed to restore a few British Machines over the years namely a '69 Bonnie and more recently, a '67 BSA B44 Victor roadster and enjoy these classic bikes. There is a feeling (especially on the great Brit singles) of sheer pureness of purpose. A "pure" machine if you will. I think it is fortunate that the Bullet is the last surviving original British bike standing. The design allows for Trials, off-road/enduro/scrambler, cafe racer, 60's street style, and early 50's springer street configurations. A versitility that can not be matched even in the "heyday" of classics. You can easily build yourself that BSA Goldstar or Norton you've always wanted. I've owned a few 60's bikes but always wanted a 50's rig looking similiar to the first few years of the swing arm suspension when the deeply valanced fenders and springer seats of the ridged frames of the 30's and 40's and the swing arm rear suspension of the early to mid 50's overlapped. All of these parts can be easily (and cheeply) added to the Bullet to create a customized motorcycle of your dreams. I've read a few of the negative reviews here and can not believe what I am reading. These machines are the only ticket in the world to another era. Not a modernized "version" of that era, and certainly not somebody's interpertation of that time as a modern bike clothed in vintage skin. Yes that era required some mechanical skill and yes that era required you to maintain your bike. This is nothing new to those who enjoy tinkering with old cars or improving things for the sake fun and enjoyment. Taken on these 2 counts, the Bullet is a dream come true for many including myself. The bike itself is somewhat crude by by todays standards. The engine sounds a bit like a riding lawnmower, the valvetrain is noisy and the gearbox is not switchblade precise. But this is part of the charm of riding this time machine. Eliminate this and the character of the bike is lost and the experience diluted. The Bullet is suprisingly lower on vibration when compared to a few BSA singles I've owned and with its low compression, starting is easy (I have electric start but still "kick it" most of the time). This bike will run on cough syrup! Handling is crisp and predictable similiar to every 50's and 60's Brit bike I've ridden. My Bullet has prooved quite reliable given carefull and proper break in, frequent fluid changes (with high quality oil's), proper carb and ignition tuning. Those points are the key. None of this is hard or difficult but the drive and forget mentailty of owning a new Honda can not be used here. Take care of the bike and it will take care of you.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Matt

Lafayette, Louisiana

Reviewed on 2003-05-10

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500

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5.0
I think the reason so many people here have gien this a bad review is that they are comparing it to modern Japanese bikes. The Enfield is how ALL bikes used to be! It is a classic bike for true motorcycle enthusiasts who know how to work on their own bikes, and who are looking for something more unique and classic than a plastic rocket on wheels. If you actually maintain this bike and ride it like it was meant to be ridden (nice steady cruising), then it is great. If you are comparing it to a goldwing or a Ninja, it is hardly a fair comparison -- the two styles have different purposes. This bike, a single cylinder 500cc, actually has plenty of power for a thumper, and the brakes are more than sufficient. Again, this is a classic bike, not a modern plastic bike. It is like comparing a 1956 Checvrolet Belaire to a 2003 Ford Taurus. Sure, everything on the Taurus is better, cleaner, smoother, more reliable and efficient, etc., but man, the chevy is a classic! See what I mean? You cannot honestly compare the two. People buy a 1956 Chevy Belaire for different reasons -- they are classics, they have a great feel, they are cruising machines, etc. But for a moden day business commuter, I would say go for the Taurus. this bike is to modern bikes what the Belaire is to modern cars. Trust me - if you are a classic and vintage motorcycle enthusiast, you will absolutely love this bike. If you prefer modern plastic rockets, you will hate it. You should decide which type of bike you want.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

M. Sitter

Greer, South Carolina

Reviewed on 2002-09-05

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500

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1.0
These bikes cost $1300.00 retail new in India. For that amount it is a good deal. The importer either has large stones or astronomical warranty costs to charge $4200.00 in the US. Obviosly the Canadian importer is better off as they are only $3200.00 US up there. If you are really intent on having one do this, go to India buy two, one to ride and one for spares to replace all the parts that will fall off. with duty and freight you will still be about $500.00 to the good.
Reliability
1.0
Quality
1.0
Performance
1.0
Comfort
1.0
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Voted most helpful review

rider

midwest, Illinois

Reviewed on 2002-08-02

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500

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4.0
Having owned the bike for a summer, I am very happy with the purchase. It is a simple bike with lots of character. If you buy one, be ready to make some minor modification... new lights and a solo seat really makes a big impact. If you plan to ride on the highway, invest in a new sprocket to boost your top end by about 10 mph. This bike gets noticed because it is so unique, but remember... we are talking about 1950s technology. It will need some tinkering now and then... it will need some time to 'break in', but if you are looking for a fun,inexpensive, weekend bike that gets you noticed- this is it.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Gary

Quesnel, British Columbia, Albania

Reviewed on 2002-04-20

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500

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1.0
This bike reminds me of my involvement with the Vintage Motorcycle Club. If you enjoy greasy and oily hands, sitting on your knees on the side of the road, loading motorcycles onto trucks and hitchhiking home, then of course this is the right bike for you. If you want to keep your faith in God, don't buy this thing because you will swear yourself right into hell. They should make it illegal to import this motorcycle because it's an insult to the citizens of this country. Anyone who gives this thing more than one star has no clue what a motorcycle should be. I would not give it ONE star, buyer beware! Also stay away from that Russian made Ural, same pile of junk as the Royal Enfield.
Reliability
1.0
Quality
1.0
Performance
1.0
Comfort
1.0
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Voted most helpful review

Manny Barqueiro

Montreal, Quebec

Reviewed on 2001-08-14

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500

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4.0
I rode Blaine Newell's 500 while staying at a common friend's house last July. I rode it slowly, gently in widing country roads with only a couple of farms as signs of civilization. I was riding with no helmet and the Enfield's gentle thumping and pleasant feel made me go back in time to what it was like in the 50's. If you're looking for a "way back machine" to relive the past or see what it was like, this is the bike for you. Look elsewhere if you value speed and sophistication. Manny
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Jeff Barnes

LaGrange, Georgia

Reviewed on 2001-08-01

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500

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1.0
My dad bought his Bullet 500 in '97 and immediately started to have problems with it. The coil went bad and was only fixed by replacing it with a unit from a Chevrolet car because the ones from Enfield are useless. It leaks oil, the baffles in the muffler came loose, you have to be a magician to crank it, everything on it vibrates, I have been totally disgusted by it ever since he bought it. I have ridden it twice. It is terribly slow. I have a 1970 cb350 Honda that outperforms this bike in every category. The brakes are terrible, it is incredibly hard to shift, I JUST don't LIKE IT, There are 2 things that I like about this motorcycle: the way it looks, and the way it sounds (Dad cut the muffler open and removed all of the guts). Oh yeah-there is one more thing I like about it: It's not mine. Let me add for its benefit that my dad loves this bike. It is different than anything else on the road, and I guess he enjoys having to work on it every time he rides it.
Reliability
1.0
Quality
1.0
Performance
1.0
Comfort
1.0
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Voted most helpful review

The Beast in Black

India

Reviewed on 2001-06-15

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500

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4.0
I'm afraid I'm cheating a bit here...I'm writing about the 2000 Bullet 350cc Standard 12 Volt model. I'm from India, and these bikes are made there...the bikes available in India differ from the export models, the main difference being that the brake lever is on the left side and the gear lever is on the right. Yes, people, this was the original design of Royal Enfield England. I bought my bike in Feb 2000, and made a 1200KM trip after the initial engine break-in of 500KM, and in fact the complete break-in happened on this trip. Following which, my bike has been through 4 river fords, innumerable forest and hill trails, and gets a constant workout on the highway. Admitted, the top speed is not much (105Kmph is just about absolute top for a 350cc) but this bike kicks some ass! On one trip, i suffered a head-on collision with a truck which was in the wrong lane, and the front forks were mangled. In that state, my baby carried me, my pillion rider and our luggage a further 200KM to our hometown at an average speed of 95Kmph with no weaving or instability despite mangled front forks. Any other bike and i'd have been history, just a smudge on the truck's radiator...but the sheer ruggedness of the bullet saved my ass. And maintenance...spares and servicing cost less than half as much as they do for other bikes in India (mainly Japanese 100cc - 175cc pocket mosquitoes). But the best part, you never need anything major done to the bike...just keep topping up the oil, keep the battery in good shape, and some occasional grease now and then, and that's about it. Suffice to say, it's been a year and a half since I bought her, and I've already put 35,000KM on her. And this is just the beginning of a long, beautiful relationship.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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