Royal Enfield Bullet Family Explained
This motorcycle has stood the test of time through the ages and has evolved with multiple iterations! Here’s everything you need to know
Royal Enfield’s history in India literally started with the Bullet 350 when Madras Motors bagged a huge order of 500 bikes for the Indian Army back in 1952. More than half a century later, the bike still soldiers on, albeit in a more evolved form with multiple variants. The Bullet family is broadly classified into two engine variants.
The 346cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine churns out 20PS at 5250rpm and 28Nm at 4000rpm. On the other hand, the 499cc single-cylinder, air-cooled fuel injected motor generates 27.5PS at 5250rpm and 41.3Nm at 4000rpm. Both engines are mated to a 5-speed transmission. If you’re confused between the different models under the Bullet range, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what they’re all about:
The Bullet 350 is the cult bikemaker’s most affordable ticket to living the Royal Enfield way of life. Recently, the brand lowered the base price even further with the introduction of new colours. While the standard black colour variant gets chromed 3D badging with hand painted stripes, the newly-introduced base colours (called Bullet Silver, Sapphire Blue and Onyx Black) get a simpler looking sticker on the fuel tank that’s devoid of pinstripes.
Also, the new colour variants get blacked-out spoke rims and body panels, and the engine fins get black finish as well. However, the engine head and the casing get metallic finish. The standard black colour is priced at Rs 1.21 lakh whereas the newly introduced colours cost Rs 1.12 lakh, both ex-showroom Delhi.
Bullet 350 ES:
The Royal Enfield Bullet 350 ES is based on the standard variant but gets slightly different design elements. There are six colours to choose from. Out of these, the black, maroon and silver colour variants feature chromed-out fenders, side box and indicator housings. The powerplant also comes with a metallic finish. These colour variants are priced at Rs 1.35 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Royal Enfield also offers more affordable variants in three new colours: Jet Black, Regal Red and Royal Blue. These colour models are priced at Rs 1.26 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The major changes in these models is that the bikes get a blacked-out theme on the bodywork, including the fenders. The powertrain also gets a complete matte black treatment for a stealthy look. In a bid to save costs, Royal Enfield has replaced the gas-charged shock absorbers (standard on the older colour variants) with traditional ones in the newly launched colour models.
Both the Bullet 350 and the Bullet 350 ES feature a 280mm disc with single-channel ABS up front and a 153mm drum at the rear. The front end gets a ribbed tyre whereas the rear comes with block pattern rubber. In essence, the Bullet 350 ES is a middle ground between the base Bullet 350 and the more expensive Bullet 500.
With a 499cc powerplant, the Royal Enfield Bullet 500 is for those who want a quintessential Bullet without compromising much on power. This motorcycle costs Rs 1.88 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi, which makes it around Rs 53,000 more expensive than the top-end Bullet 350 ES. Royal Enfield offers 3D badging on the fuel tank with hand-painted pinstripes on this motorcycle as well. Unlike the Bullet 350, this bike gets dual-channel ABS with a 280mm front disc and 240mm rear disc as standard.
Bullet Trials range:
The Bullet Trials range is a tribute to Royal Enfield’s history in trials competition. The Bullet Trials 350 and Trials 500 are essentially trail-friendly bikes built for light off-roading. That being said, the changes are mostly cosmetic, apart from the dual-purpose tyres. These bikes come with a gaitered front fork, single sprung seat with a rear luggage rack, and an upswept chromed-out exhaust.
The spoke wheels are shod with dual-purpose rubber on both ends for extra grip off the road. The two bikes also get dual-channel ABS acting on 280mm front and 240mm rear disc, but the system isn’t switchable. Both bikes get funky colour schemes but the Trials 500’s colour is a throwback to Jhonny Brittain’s Bullet 350, with which he won numerous Trials titles in the 1950s. Royal Enfield has priced the 350cc version at Rs 1.62 lakh whereas the 500cc model will set you back by Rs 2.07 lakh (both ex-showroom Delhi).
The Bullet Trials isn’t as practical as the rest of the Bullet primarily because of its single-seat-only configuration. It’s more of a niche bike catering to a very particular genre. If you’re looking for a Royal Enfield that can tackle rough terrain, you’re better off with the Himalayan.