A unique motorcyling experience awaits you, so drop in and test ride a Royal Enfield today.
The first 4-stroke motorcycle manufacturer in the country, Royal Enfield was incorporated as Enfield India Limited on the 21st of November 1955. Ever since the plant was set up in Thiruvottiyur in 1956, Royal Enfield saw success in every step.
With the Bullet 500 becoming the most coveted model of the brand in 1993, the Eicher Group acquired the Company and changed the name to Royal Enfield Motors Limited in 1994 and kept introducing some of the best machines that we now know of.
It's not exactly like either! It is very hard to compare a modern Bullet to any other motorcycle, precisely because it is an extremely unusual hybrid of old and new. If you ride a modern Hinckley Bonneville then you're in no doubt that you are riding a 'tribute' bike: an entirely modern motorcycle which has been styled to look like a traditional one. The Royal Enfield range aren't like that: they are a fusion on old and new - probably more like a Moto Guzzi or BMW Boxer in terms of feel.
t has an all-alloy lean-burn engine, electric start, 5-speed gearbox, left-foot shift, and a disc front brake. The engine proved very reliable on our 3000 mile test ride and needed no attention whatsoever. The 280mm, single-caliper disc brake suits the bike's performance and allows you to ride with more gusto than if you were relying on a drum, but it's not so powerful that you're in danger of nipping up the front end in the wet. The earlier drum brake needed setting up quite carefully, so the disc is especially useful if you don't want to spend more time fettling your bike than riding it.
The engine does feel quite different to the traditional Bullet motor, and its looks don't please everyone. It also takes quite a while to run in: our bike had done a thousand miles before the long ride and was noticeably more flexible and nicer to ride some 2800 miles later.
Our bikes were fitted with the Highway Kit, which is useful if you ride long distances, or regularly carry a pillion, or if you're used to riding a machine of substantially greater capacity (a 500cc single can't be expected to pull like a 1200cc V-twin). The Highway Kit boosts the Electra's mid-range and gives it a spot of oomph for over-taking which came in very handy.
The bikes were very comfortable between 55 and 65mph, and they'd cheerfully run at 75mph for long sections of dual-carriageway or motorway when required, with scope to scoot over 80 if needed to pass traffic or pull up a long hill. You're more likely to feel fatigued from being wind-blown that find the engine running out of puff at those speeds. We found it far more enjoyable to stick to A-roads and the 50-to-70mph speed bracket where the Electra is at its most rewarding to ride.
You can buy some versions of Bullets (but not the 500 lean-burn Electra) from bucket shops, and it's much the same as buying dodgy DVDs from a man at a market stall. The UK importer, Watsonian Squire, have put a lot of effort into developing the Electra and improving the overall build quality of Bullets. If you bypass the official importer then you benefit from none of this work, you have none of the warranties, and there is an argument that you jeopardise the future development of the marque.
If you really want to buy a cheap Bullet, then there are plenty of secondhand ones available which are extremely good value.
Is the lean-burn engine particularly fuel efficient?
We scoffed at the claims when we first heard that it could average 80-plus miles to the gallon, but in practice we achieved better figures than that on our run and we were using the bikes fitted with the Highway Kit which is less frugal than standard. Without trying hard we broke the 85mpg figure and, after a while, we got so blasé about filling up that we travelled over 450 miles before remembering we'd forgotten to refuel! If you hammer along at motorway speeds then you won't get these results, but A-road cruising proved very economic.
ROYAL ENFIELD will unveil the Woodsman 500, the latest in a long line of Bullet motorcycles, at this year's NEC Bike Show.
The Bullet has been in continuous production since 1949 and the Woodsman is inspired by the street scramblers of the late 1950's that the company exported to the USA.
With its distinctive high level exhaust system, trials style bars, the classic British single is powered by the company's modern all-alloy Electra engine, with 5-speed gearbox and electric starter.
The traditional pushrod design means owners will experience the characteristic feel of a British single, combined with impressive fuel economy - the factory quotes 87mpg, which means a tank range of around 250 miles before switching to reserve.