Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Royal Enfield offers $500 in free gear with Classic 500

Motorcycle posed next to jacket, saddlebag and motorcycle cover.
Royal Enfield is offering free gear with purchase of a Classic 500.
Between now and March 31, U.S. riders who purchase a Royal Enfield Classic 500 will receive $500 worth of gear — "including a branded motorcycle cover, jacket, and a pair of saddlebags."

Royal Royal says "The offer is valid for new motorcycle purchases in all dealerships nationwide between Feb. 1 and March 31, 2019."

The Classic 500 is the Royal Enfield model out of history. It looks like British motorcycles looked in 1951.

Upgraded in 2009 with a more modern Unit Constructed Engine, five-speed gearbox, fuel injection and electronic ignition, it is a more dependable and capable motorcycle than the old-fashioned iron-barrel Bullet of memory.

(Memory hell: it's vastly improved over the 1999 Bullet in my own garage right now!)

In recent years the Classic 500 has improved still further. It now has a rear disc brake as well as front disc, with ABS as standard equipment. Standard too, now, is the passenger seat that used to cost extra.

The classic Royal Enfield experience remains.

The Classic 500 still carries its useful center stand along with the usual kick stand, and a has kick start lever you'll probably only use to impress onlookers — electric start is now standard and dependable.

The Classic's single-cylinder, slow-turning, long-stroke motor with pushrods (happily now automatically adjusted) still sips regular gas. It's a "thumper." You're going to feel that one big piston pulsing like a heartbeat (critics would call this "vibration" — but try it, you may like it).

The motorcycle is faster than single-cylinder Royal Enfields used to be, but power, and thus top speed, is still modest, suited to secondary roads, not the Interstate.

For all the improvements, the Classic 500 remains a lesson in what motorcycling was in by-gone times. It's easy to find modern motorcycles that are much faster. I think it's fair to say that it is impossible to find another motorcycle like the Royal Enfield Classic 500 for sale, brand new, with a warranty.
Line up of Royal Enfield motorcycles.
The Royal Enfield Classic 500 comes in many flavors. Here are just some of the Military models as they looked on my visit to Royal Enfield of Milwaukee in 2017.

Unique as it is mechanically, the Classic 500 comes in as many flavors as you'll find at an ice cream stand. Royal Enfield sums up the current line up and manufacturer's suggested retail prices like this:

Classic 500: Black, Tan, Lagoon — MSRP $5,599

Classic Stealth: (new color for 2019) — MSRP $5,799

Classic Military: Battle Green, Desert Storm, Squadron, Gunmetal Gray — MSRP $5,699

Classic Chrome: Black, Green, Gray — MSRP $5,799

Now you have one more thing to consider.

Here's the link for the U.S. Dealer Locator.

When you click on it one of the things you'll see will be a "Coming Spring 2019" headline showing photos of the new Royal Enfield 650 twins. Ah yes, the new twin-cylinder Continental GT 650 and the INT650.

These look convincingly like British motorcycles of the 1960s. Unlike the Classic 500, they will come with the power and speed to ride the highways.

But like the Classic 500, the new twins have suggested prices that start at $5,799 (I wouldn't expect to get any free gear, though).

Should you consider waiting for the twin instead of buying the Classic 500 that's here now? What do you think? Leave a comment below.


  1. I don't get it exactly, David. Royal Enfield tells us months early about a 650 twin, smooth and highway capable. They claim they'll offer it at the same price as the older, vibratory, limited-performance singles. How do they expect to sell those singles? By giving away $500 in goodies? I don't think so...

    1. Makes those 650 twins look like real bargains, doesn't it? Maybe that was the Big Idea?

  2. I would think that people would have stopped buying the singles months ago, thinking that they could wait for a twin. We've been hearing about the twins for a long time. Has to have softened the market for the singles. I've talked with the dealer here in Denver, and my feeling is that all he sells is Himalayans.


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