Royal Enfield Classic ChromeRoyal Enfield recently won approval from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to sell their entire exported model line in the huge motorcycle-mad state. This finally gave Royal Enfield a 50-state legal status and they quickly put dealers in business selling their products. At the time, that was the Bullet G5 Classic and Deluxe and the Bullet C5 Classic and Military versions, and those are still readily available all over the country.
However, the Indian firm has an extensive model line, far beyond what they export, and they now have the capacity to build even more. Thus, the announcement has been made that Royal Enfield will be importing two new models this way – the Classic Chrome and the Bullet 500.
“Wait a minute,” you might say, “don’t they already have the Bullet models?” Well, yes, they do. However, the new Bullet 500 is a throwback meant to call to mind the ultra-classic Bullet 350 – a motorcycle which was in continuous production for more than five decades. Its appeal will be in that heritage, but there are many modern touches here.
Royal Enfield Bullet 500Unknown are the official technical details as well as any features or alterations to be included with the new model. It is likely to have the new UCE (unit construction engine) single-cylinder four-stroke which the new 350 UCE model utilizes in other Royal Enfield markets, except with the requisite 499cc displacement. If braking components do follow suit, there will be a single front disc and SLS drum rear.
Two-up riding will be accommodated, and a 5-speed transmission and electric start will get the two of you moving. Fuel efficiency is not stated, but the 350 model has seen between 70 and 90 mpg according to company claims and owner forums. The Bullet 500 will certainly be seen as a replacement for the 350 version in the States, but with a serious upgrade.
The new beauty queen of the group has to be the Classic Chrome, a new model with a serious bend towards the bright side of life. The bright-work extends from stem to stern, covering the sides of the front and rear fenders and fuel tank, and encompassing the engine covers, air cleaner cover, headlight cover, exhaust and more – take a look at the photos. Royal Enfield has even pinstriped all painted surfaces; and all of it is done as it always has been, by hand. The Classic Chrome will inherit similar specifications to the Bullet 500, but will certainly make its own show in the world.
Royal Enfield Classic ChromeThe interesting part of this is really in the details. Going back to the photos, look closely and the kick-starter may stand out to most fans of this marque. The models currently imported to the U.S. are all electric start, so will the kickstarter also come with the new models? No word on that yet, but it would be a very nice vintage touch. The Classic Chrome and Bullet 500 should be available in dealerships in April of this year.
This is not the whole story, though, as Royal Enfield also displayed a 600cc café racer at the recent India Auto Show – hinting at a displacement bump in the near future for all models, if Royal Enfield stays true to their M.O.
The rumor mill has them working on a parallel-twin engine to have a displacement of between 750 and 1000cc and an adventure machine with true multi-fuel capabilities. Royal Enfield has aspirations to become a world-class motorcycle manufacturer, and parent company Eicher Motor is putting in the capital necessary to do so. We can guarantee that there is much more to come.
Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com