How To Choose The Right Royal Enfield Bike For You

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“Which Royal Enfield should I choose?”

If you’re in the market for a Royal Enfield, this is one question that would definitely strike your mind. You’re not alone - Thousands of other aspiring Royal Enfield owners think the same. Don’t worry, for we shall explain the difference between, and positioning of, all the Royal Enfield bikes, and how you should go about choosing the right one for you.

 

There are three unique series of Royal Enfields sold today in India, the Bullet, the Classic and the Thunderbird series. All belong to the cruiser segment; bikes that have engines with a high torque output and comfort-oriented ergonomics, so that you could use it either for your daily commute, to cruise on the highway or even to tour the length and breadth of the country.

 

One common misconception is that Royal Enfield bikes being big and burly are meant only for well-built individuals. This isn’t true – although they are on the heavier side, anyone can ride a Royal Enfield, as long as they know how to ride a bike. The company’s consumers are riders from varying walks of life, men and women, young and old, fat and thin, tall and short, new riders and well-experienced ones. All that matters is the desire to own and ride one.

 

Another common concern with most aspiring buyers is the thought that all Royal Enfields will be unreliable and expensive to maintain. That statement is only partly true – only the older bikes used to be a bit temperamental, springing oil leaks and stalling at a whim. Nowadays, all Royal Enfield bikes come fitted with a more reliable Unit-construction engine, where both the crank and gearbox share a common casing, unlike the older bikes where both were housed separately. With regular servicing and proper preventive maintenance, all Royal Enfields, old or new, will function without problems.

 

Now, let us check out all the Royal Enfield bikes in India, and how to choose the right one for you.

 

1) Royal Enfield Bullet 350 Twinspark (Rs 94,659)        

     

2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 350 Twinspark 1

 

The Bullet 350 Twinspark is the basic, entry-level Royal Enfield. This is the most famous of all Royal Enfield bikes, and holds the record for having the longest continuous production run ever for a motorcycle, having been made in its current form since 1948 till date. Over the past 65 years, the Bullet 350 has underwent many changes, the most major ones being the fitment of the twinspark unit-construction engine, and the gear shifter on the right and rear brake lever on the left had their positions interchanged. Styling touches such as the twin-pilot lamps on either side of the headlight, rectangular airbox cover, the long exhaust end-can

 

As mentioned before, the Bullet 350 is a basic bike, with no modern features – it has drum brakes and a kick-starter. But for your money, you do get loads of character included in the package, which is one of the charms of a Royal Enfield. Oh, and the fuel tank is painted and pin-striped completely by hand, by a father-son duo who have been doing so for the past two decades!!

 

2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 350 Twinspark 22013 Royal Enfield Bullet 350 Twinspark 3

 

Who is this bike for?

The Bullet 350 is for:

1)      Hardcore Royal Enfield fans.

2)      Those who want to experience owning a classic motorcycle.

3)      Those who want to experience a Royal Enfield, but are constrained by a budget.

4)      Those who want to build a custom bike, as the no-frills nature of the Bullet 350 makes it a good base bike.

 

Specifications

Engine – 346cc, air-cooled single cylinder, carburetted

Power – 19.8 bhp @ 5250 rpm

Torque – 28 Nm @ 4000 rpm

Transmission – 5 speed manual

Dimensions – 2140x800x1030mm (LxWxH), 13.5L fuel tank, 180kg (90% fuel and oil)

Ground Clearance - 135mm

Brakes – 177mm Drum (Front), 153mm Drum, (Rear)

 

2) Royal Enfield Bullet Electra (Rs 1,06,310)

 

2013 Royal Enfield Bullet Electra Twinspark 1

 

The Bullet Electra is a mid-range model from Royal Enfield. Essentially, it is the same as the standard Bullet 350, but comes with added features such as a front disc brake, an electric starter, and gas-charged rear shock absorbers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with the beautiful hand-painted fuel tank like the standard Bullet 350. 

 

2013 Royal Enfield Bullet Electra Twinspark 22013 Royal Enfield Bullet Electra Twinspark 3

 

Who is this for?

The Bullet Electra is for those who want a Bullet, but feel the need for the extra features.

 

Specifications

Engine – 346cc, air-cooled single cylinder, carburetted

Power – 19.8 bhp @ 5250 rpm

Torque – 28 Nm @ 4000 rpm

Transmission – 5 speed manual

Dimensions – 2140x810x1120mm (LxWxH), 13.5L fuel tank, 187kg (90% fuel and oil)

Ground Clearance - 135mm

Brakes – 280mm Disc (Front), 153mm Drum (Rear)

 

3) Royal Enfield Classic 350 / Classic 500 (Rs 1,13,361 / Rs 1,45,314)

 

The Classic 350 and the Classic 500 are a part of a series of retro-themed bikes launched by Royal Enfield in 2010. The Classic series of bikes feature styling elements from yesteryear Royal Enfields, such as the single spring seat, wide handlebar, headlamp shroud, oval-shaped air-filter box, pilot lamps on either side of the headlamp, and so on, combined with modern features such as fuel-injection (only on the Classic 500), gas-charged rear shock absorbers, electric starter, and a front disc brake.

 

Classic 350:

2013 Royal Enfield Classic 350 1

2013 Royal Enfield Classic 350 22013 Royal Enfield Classic 350 3

 

Who is this for?

The Classic bikes are for those who want a modern Royal Enfield, one that can be used both as a daily commute or a weekend cruiser. You can choose between two options, the carburetted Classic 350, and the fuel-injected Classic 500. Pick the 350 if you’re more of a commuter, or pick the 500 if you ride long distances frequently.

 

Classic 500:

2013 Royal Enfield Classic 500 12013 Royal Enfield Classic 500 2

Specifications – Classic 350

Engine – 346cc, air-cooled single cylinder, carburetted

Power – 19.8 bhp @ 5250 rpm

Torque – 28 Nm @ 4000 rpm

Transmission – 5 Speed Manual

Dimensions – 2180x790x1080mm (LxWxH), 13.5L fuel tank, 187kg (with 90% Fuel & Oil)

Ground Clearance – 135mm

Brakes – 280mm Disc (Front), 153mm Drum (Rear)

 

Specifications – Classic 500

Engine – 499cc, air-cooled single cylinder, fuel-injected

Power – 27.5 bhp @ 5250 rpm

Torque – 41.3 Nm @ 4000 rpm

Transmission – 5 Speed Manual

Dimensions – 2140x790x1090mm (LxWxH), 13.5 fuel tank, 190kg (with 90% Fuel & Oil)

Ground Clearance – 135mm

Brakes – 280mm Disc (Front), 153mm Drum (Rear)

 

ALSO SEE Five Must-Have Gadgets For Bikers

 

 

4) Royal Enfield Classic Desert Storm / Classic Chrome (Rs 1,47,500 / Rs 1,54,000)

 

The Classic Desert Storm and the Classic Chrome are two premium bikes from Royal Enfield. Mechanically, both are same as the Classic 500, but they come with distinct colour schemes – the Desert Storm comes in a matte-finish sand brown colour that mimics desert sand, whereas the Classic Chrome gets a chrome-plated mudguards and fuel tank, with black or maroon accents.

 

Classic Desert Storm: 

2013 Royal Enfield Classic Desert Storm 1

2013 Royal Enfield Classic Desert Storm 22013 Royal Enfield Classic Desert Storm 3

 

Who is this for?

The Classic Desert Storm and the Classic Chrome are for those who want a premium Royal Enfield with a custom-painted feel straight from the factory

 

Classic Chrome:

2013 Royal Enfield Classic Chrome 1

2013 Royal Enfield Classic Chrome 22013 Royal Enfield Classic Chrome 3

 

Specifications

Engine – 499cc, air-cooled single cylinder, fuel-injected

Power – 27.5 bhp @ 5250 rpm

Torque – 41.3 Nm @ 4000 rpm

Transmission – 5 Speed Manual

Dimensions – 2140x790x1090mm (LxWxH), 13.5 fuel tank, 190kg (with 90% Fuel & Oil)

Ground Clearance – 135mm

Brakes – 280mm Disc (Front), 153mm Drum (Rear)

 

5) Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 / Thunderbird 500 (Rs 1,23,438 / Rs 1,85,000)

 

The Royal Enfield Thunderbird is a the latest bike to be launched by Royal Enfield. The bike is designed as a highway cruiser with a modern twist, aimed at bringing young bikers into the company's fold. With forward-set footpegs and a wide handlebar, the bike's ergonomics allow for comfortable riding over long distances. Features include a 20ltr fuel tank, daytime-running lights, projector headlamps, hazard lights, LED tail-lamps, removable pillion seat with backrest, front and rear disc brakes, and digital-analogue combination speedo console.

 

The Thunderbird comes with two engine options, the carburetted 350cc model and the more powerful fuel-injected 500cc version.

 

Thunderbird 500:

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 1

2013 Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 22013 Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 3

Who is this for?

The Thunderbird is for those who want a Royal Enfield with classic cruiser ergonomics, as the riding position and the standard features aid in riding long distances comfortably. The choice between the Thunderbird 350 and Thunderbird 500 depends purely on the buyer’s preference and budget, as they both are same feature-wise.

 

Thunderbird 350:

2013 Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350

 

Specifications – Thunderbird 350

Engine – 346cc, air-cooled single cylinder, carburetted

Power – 19.8 bhp @ 5250 rpm

Torque – 28 Nm @ 4000 rpm

Transmission – 5 Speed Manual

Dimensions – 2060x790x1205mm (LxWxH), 20L fuel tank, 192kg

Ground Clearance – 140mm

Brakes – 280mm Disc (Front), 240mm Disc (Rear)

 

Specifications – Thunderbird 500

Engine – 499cc, air-cooled single cylinder, fuel-injected

Power – 27.2 bhp @ 5250 rpm

Torque – 41.3 Nm @ 4000 rpm

Transmission – 5 Speed Manual

Dimensions – 2060x790x1205mm (LxWxH), 20L fuel tank, 195kg

Ground Clearance – 140mm

Brakes – 280mm Disc (Front), 240mm Disc (Rear)

(All prices are ex-showroom, Delhi)

 

Now that you have a clear picture of how all the Royal Enfield bikes line up, buy the one that fits your requirements and budget. Make sure to take the bike on a test ride before purchase.

 

Royal Enfield has a fascinating heritage steeped in Indian motorcycling history, with thousands of loyal fans worldwide, who take pride in owning a Royal Enfield. Once you’ve bought one, you become part of an exclusive biking fraternity, with an owner’s club in almost all major cities and towns. Don’t forget to wear a helmet and all necessary protective gear before you hit the road!

 

 

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Jaichandran Jayapalan
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