Stay away from this bike and company
I always wanted to own a Royal Enfield. The thump was like a magnet that I kept getting drawn towards. I finally bought a classic 500 after much fantasizing.
This is a 3-year ownership review,
- The low-end torque is addictive. No other bike comes even close to the kind of pull you get on this bike from 0-30 kph
- You can load this bike up. Seriously, it's like a tractor. Very well suited to larger/ taller people.
- Spare parts availability is not a problem, every roadside mechanic would have the basic spares for your bike.
- Tons of aftermarket accessories and mods available.
- Good road presence.
- Good rider position.
- Comfortable posture for the pillion. Ample space too.
- The looks are good (subjective). Has a nice Vintage touch to it.
- Large wheels easily tackle all bad roads.
- You have to take care of it like your first born. If you don't, be prepared to have frequent breakdowns.
- Too freaking common. Every second bike on the road is a Royal Enfield. Kinda takes away from the whole exclusivity feel.
- Pathetic quality of parts. My chain sprocket had to be replaced at 7k km because the teeth were all worn out.
- It is all metal. And that means it is unnecessarily heavy.
- You can feel all the weight while riding. Sifting through traffic feels like riding on a dinosaur.
- Extremely heavy clutch and accelerator operation. My hands would pain even after small rides.
- New rear brakes pads wear out in a month or so. This is unheard of in any other bike. Plus, they are not very reliable. Doesn't inspire any confidence.
- If it rains and you let the bike get drenched, boy are you screwed. The bike may or may not start, depending on its mood.
- The battery is horrible. If you do not ride on the higher RPMs (which is difficult to do on this bike), the battery discharges faster than it charges.
- The vibrations on this bike are enough to rattle your bones.
- The mirrors are unusable above 60 km/h, they vibrate so hard that they reflections look blurred.
- Forget about riding anywhere fast. Particularly bad on highways. Comfortable cruising speed is 80 km/h. If you dare go above, there is a whole world of jarring vibrations waiting for you. I was bewildered to know that a 500cc bike could struggle so much to reach 100 km/h.
- Pillion seat has a cushion but no spring under the seat, so all the shocks make their way back up to your pillion's spine.
- All the authorized service centers do a shoddy job, you are left hunting for a good mechanic.
- EFI is a joke. The mapping is never correct. At one point, I was going through 1 spark plug a month because the ECU mapping caused excessive carbon deposits on the plug.
- Headlight visibility is low, if there is oncoming traffic, you'd be riding blind.
- The more you ride this bike, the more you have to spend on maintenance.
- Anybody who tells you what a hoot royal Enfield bikes are and that they are very reliable and don't need maintenance is lying through their teeth.
- The instrument cluster is very basic, just a speedometer with a trip meter and a reserve light.
- If you want a reliable machine that has the latest in terms of technology and features and wants a bike that just works every time, go for a Japanese bike.
- If you take pride in your mechanic skills and feel that every time your bike lets you down (which will happen a lot), it is an excellent opportunity for you to get your hands dirty, then get a Royal Enfield.
My Rating: 4/10
PS: I sold my Royal Enfield classic 500
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