Saturday, April 25, 2009

Royal Enfield adds value to its fun factor

Royal Enfield, in the motorcycle business since 1910, has made a lot of claims over the decades. One of the most famous is "By Miles the Best," shown here on a 1951 brochure. Royal Enfield ads remain bold and brassy in India, where the brand is an institution. There, it is still valid to claim "Everyone Makes Way for the Bullet."

Elsewhere in the world, however, recent slogans have been more modest, tending to cleverly hint at a quaint, old-fashioned motorcycle no one would choose because it is modern, fast or cheap. "This Is No REPLICA" one U.S. ad stated with pride. Very clever: if it leaked oil, well, by gum, so did the original!

Suddenly, that's changing. The new G5 and C5 Bullets with Unit Construction Engine (UCE) are modern and reliable, although they're still retro-style in appearance and not blazingly fast. They have been described as "game changing."

I was still surprised when U.S. importer Kevin Mahoney said on his blog that "The Royal Enfield without question is the best value on the motorcycle market today." That is a huge claim, and returns Royal Enfield to the days when "For Modern Motorcycling" was a valid slogan.

Mahoney was referring at least in part to the new two-year warranty he offers on the UCE models. I asked him about his "value" claim. He responded:

"I have fun on my Enfield (or someone else's for that matter), but I find the UCE truly brings me joy. I think it's the solid feel of the engine and my confidence in it.

"I find I focus on the fun and don't find myself listening for noises. Noises which rarely appear, but none the less are distracting. I hope others feel like this. Being the importer aside, it has brought Enfield riding to a new level for me."

So, the warranty is nice, but there's the real "value" for you: you can't put a price on peace of mind -- and joy is priceless.

The new Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500 (also known as the C5).


  1. Anonymous4/25/2009

    Kevin says, "The best value in the motorcycle market today". Well, that claim is certainly arguable. And here's why; while the Suzuki 250TU does not have retro-styling panache of the C5, it offers good practical transport for about HALF the price of the C5.

    What do the other readers of David's blog think?

    Al in Philadelphia

  2. Anonymous4/26/2009


    I don't own a Enfield.
    I would like tho have a C5.
    Because it looks stunning and you can't compare it with anything else.
    Even more why should you compare it?
    I'ts a matter of 'love at first sight' and in that case price is'nt always an issue.

    Greetings from Belgium.


  3. Anonymous4/26/2009

    Look and listen tho this and then you understand why.


  4. Edgard, thank you for the film clips. Sure wish we had roads like that here in Florida. Al, I love the looks of that little Suzuki, too. I wonder if Suzuki really appreciates its potential. It is clear that Royal Enfield is trying to offer what we've said we wanted for so long: a bike with retro Brit looks that we can depend on.

  5. Anonymous4/26/2009


    beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
    Every bike has it charm.
    It looks like they (RE) kept there promise.
    In Europe whe have simular roads.

    Ps : Do you have a personal email?

    Mine is


  6. Anonymous4/27/2009

    I must say it sounds pretty good! I like the new Enfield, and sincerely wish them success with the bike. But Im afraid when I had the choice of spending £4500 on a new Classic, or going to town on my 91 Superstar, the latter won. Like I say, I wish the bike success and record sales, and theres no doubt in my mind that it will suit a greater sector of the public than the bike that many of us love so much!

    On the question of value for money, my personal philosophy is fairly simple regardless of the item. If you really love something, and really want it, then it's value for your money spent, regardless of cost, simply because it delivers what you really want!


  7. Great, Malc. No doubt you are happier for it.

  8. Anonymous6/08/2009

    I would pretty soon buy a Bullet 350, and I think there's no other bike that comes close. I would second Malc's view, that if you like anything, it doesn't matter how much it costs.

    Greetings from India.


Follow royalenfields on Twitter