Sep 30, 2011

5 Royal Enfield Classic 500 upgraded + Classic Chrome & Desert Storm launched in India

Royal Enfield improves its Classic 500 range.. also launches new Color variants expanding the Classic 500 family in India..

When every other bike is trying to become the next "fastest Indian", the Royal Enfield Classic is like a "Strong, silent & mature character".

To me the Royal Enfield Classic tops the list of "Best Looking Motorcycles in India". And now the Royal Enfield Classic 500 in the new "Desert Storm" color (posted below) is the epitome of Indian Motorcycle Art.

I have always visualized the Royal Enfield rider as "Buddha on two wheels". Some people might say that Royal Enfield is the poor (Indian) man's Harley. But to me these two brands are poles apart.

As a brand Harley Davidson (to me) is about living the American dream and a statement of making it big in life (In India). Royal Enfield on the other hand is about being the proud & confident global Indian with strong desi roots/identity.

What's been upgraded in the new Classic 500 range?

Apart from carefully nurturing and building a cult around the Royal Enfield Brand (It's not just the Bullet brand anymore), the guys at Royal Enfield has been taking customer feedback seriously and as a result the Classic 500 has received a few changes/upgrades.

Changes to the new Classic 500 range includes:

  • Change in the attachment of the front forks to the wheel (which was earlier slightly offset, thus altering the steering rake angle)

  • Wider rear tyre (120 section compared to the older 110 section)

  • Bigger diameter front wheel (19 inch front compared to the 18 inch for the older Classic 500)

  • Remapped EFI system

  • Two new colors: "Desert Storm" & "Chrome (with combination of either Black or Maroon)"

The changes might be small but it shows that Royal Enfield is not an archaic entity any more but transforming itself to a modern organization which is on its path of continuous improvement.

The small changes to the front forks, larger diameter frot wheel and a wider rear tyre should make the steering and stability of the Classic 500 improve. I had come across reports that the initial Classic 500 had some issues with its EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection). The new remapped EFI seems to be a genuine effort to iron out these teething issues.

Altered "front fork - wheel" mounting in the new Classic 500:

  • Classic 500: Rs. 1.55 lakhs (On-Road Mumbai)

  • Classic Desert Storm: Rs. 1.58 lakhs (On-Road Mumbai) i.e. Rs. 3,000 more than the Classic 500

  • Classic Chrome: Rs. 1.68 lakhs (On-Road Mumbai) i.e. Rs. 10,000 more than the Classic 500

Since its launch in 2009 the Royal Enfield Classic (500/350) has been available in 3 colors: Green (Bluish-Green or Turquoise), Maroon & Black.

In the 2010 New Delhi Auto Expo, Royal Enfield had shown the Classic 500 in "Chrome" & "Battle Green" colors. Subsequently Royal Enfield did start production of these two colors but only as export models.

The Classic Chrome wasn't difficult to introduce in India but Royal Enfield couldn't sell the "Battle Green" color to the common Indian as it was a color reserved for the Indian Military..!!

The association of Royal Enfield with the Indian Army/Police dates back to the 1950's and this has only helped build on the Macho aura of Royal Enfield in India. There are many enthusiasts who paint their Royal Enfield bikes in Green shade for the experience and attitude of going to battle without joining the military.

Since it wasn't possible to to sell the color reserved for the Indian military, the guys at Royal Enfield turned up with this beautiful "Desert/Sandy" color theme which is also "military"/"khaki". According to me the Desert Storm color is even better than the Battle Green color and is seriously making me drool over it..!!

Royal Enfield Classic Battle Green & Classic Chrome @ 2010 Auto Expo

Royal Enfield Classic Chrome & Desert Storm: [Walk around Video Courtesy: Overdrive]

Royal Enfield Classic Chrome & Desert Storm: [Photos Courtesy: Overdrive & Royal Enfield]


Royal Enfield Classic 500 [2011] Specifications:


Type: Single Cylinder, 4 stroke, Twinspark
Displacement: 499cc
Bore x stroke: 84mm x 90mm
Compression Ratio: 8.5:1
Maximum Power: 27.2 bhp @ 5250 rpm
Maximum Torque: 41.3 Nm @ 4000 rpm
Ignition System: Digital Electronic Ignition

Clutch: Wet multi-plate
Gearbox: 5 Speed Constant Mesh

Fuel Supply: Keihin Electronic Fuel Injection
Air Cleaner: Paper Element
Engine Start: Electric/Kick


Type: Single downtube, using engine as stressed member
Front suspension: Telescopic, 35mm forks, 130mm travel
Rear suspension: Twin gas charged shock absorbers with 5-step adjustable preload, 80mm travel

Tyres Fr: 90/90 - 19(Domestic), 90/90 - 18(Export)
Tyres Rr: 120/80 - 18(Domestic), 110/80 - 18(Export)
Brakes Front: 280mm Disc, 2-Piston caliper
Brakes Rear: 153mm Drum, Single Lead Internal Expanding


Wheelbase: 1370 mm
Ground Clearance: 135 mm
Length: 2180 mm
Width: 800 mm
Height: 1080 mm
Kerb Weight: 187 Kg (with 90% Fuel & Oil)
Fuel Capacity: 14.5 ± 1 Ltr


Electrical System: 12 volt - DC
Battery: 12 volt, 14 Ah
Head Lamp: 60 W / 55 W, HALOGEN

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This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.


Anonymous said...

How long RE will produce same iterations of the same 350/500 cc bike & ask for un rationalized premium? Apart from the brand/badge value, does its quality compete with other motorcycles? (just check its welding quality) Does RE doing something really hard to coverup its long waiting period? Or does it left his loyal customers, so that dealers can erode much undertable premiums from them? Now a days, whatever RE manufactures, sold like hot cake... But think seriously, will it carry on same way after 3/4 yrs? What if a brand like Honda jumped into the market with same product line?? Think RE, Think!!!

melville said...


you've swapped the prices for the Desert Storm and the Classic Chrome.

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


thanks for the correction bro, have rectified the prices now.


Royal Enfield have come a long way and now the quality of its motorcycles have improved a lot. It might not be at teh same level as the likes of Honda/Yamaha in quality but the good thing that I have observed over the last 10 years is that Royal Enfield is improving continuosly.

R.E is soming up with a new plant and that should take care of the long waiting periods. Motorcycles from R.E has its own charm and a brand which is the world's oldest surviving.. something which is unique to R.E.

All R.E has to do is to continuolsy improve the quality & service.

Anonymous said...

Good news bro, but you got it posted rather late as it has been on the web days back. so i kindly suggest you to keep this website updated timely(/ early) so that we could directly get news form the biker next door..

Anonymous said...

Royal Enfield rockzzzz...
what sort of technology u ve found in Honda or it may be Yamaha? whether dey ve adopted A/c system for a bike, or els it ll fly's in air, or without petrol dose bike accelerates? no such improvements i ve seen in those bikes.. example go for yamaha , performance wise is superb, but life span is too short, coming to mileage wise hardly 35 to max 40 km/l. can u expect 150cc bike to deliver 35km/l? its horrible , where as RE classic 500cc ll satisfies all d aspects. RE has a feel, crazy ,performance, looks, style everything it has. why i said dis coz, i ve three bullets.. so i know what exactly bullet is..RE means its a life time bike i wud like to say..:-) now i ve booked one more bullet its Desert Storm.. i love Bullets, even ppls ll call me as BULLET REDDY..:-)

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