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Old 4th November 2016, 01:05   #1
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Default Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield

This is my first thread and first Bull, so bear with me as I share my experience of how I switched from R15 to the mighty bull.

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-dsc00717.jpg

I am not the one who you would call a biker per-se, but I am fascinated with motorcycles. I like anything with an engine from Generators to sports car. I like them all. And that's the reason why I love T-bhp!

I was a typical school kid who graduated from tricycles to BSA and was itching to get my hands on a motorcycle. If you haven't guessed by now, I hate pedaling or any rigorous physical activity and motorcycles were the easy option out. The first bike I sat on was a Suzuki max 100-R which belongs to my dad's friend. I sat on it, found the seats much more comfortable than my cycle seats. Lifted the bike off side stand and posing how I would feel if I were to ride a real one. Just then I saw my dad coming out of home. I was a 9 standard kid then, so expect to hear some blasting. Instead my dad asked Son, you want to ride it?

Like a shy early-teen I nodded my head. My dad then proceeded to brief me how a bike works, and how you should KICK START it. Once I got the brief idea, and after few failed attempts to kick-start the culprit was found to be the closed fuel valve. Within the next few kicks the bike roared alive making a unique dhid dhid dhid exhaust note. I pressed my heel down to put in first(I reckon it was a 4-speed heel shift) and surprisingly I didn't let go of the clutch soon or stall the bike. I don't like exaggerating but riding a motorcycle was natural to me. Maybe it's because it was in my blood as my dad owned a bull during his 11th standard, circa 70's.

Smell any blood?


Okay now fast forward to my 11th, I was very much attracted towards the Yamaha R15. At that time I haven't seen the bike in flesh, not care about the engine specs or how it performed. It was like, as they say, love at first sight! It was unlike anything available at the market then. I never considered design up until then. It was a looker, especially in that bumblebee yellow(still reasoning out why they took the colour off production) I pestered my parents to get me one. After looking at the pictures of bike, mom asked me are you going to involve in street racing? No they were unaware that tracks do exist in India. My Dad was hell bent against getting it and promised to get me a bike when I attend college.

Now as a college-goer, I felt it's robbing me of my pride if I don't own a bike at least now. I was a pestering kid then, but now I diverged my will power to Ahimsa. I stopped getting anything new, even during festival occasions by saying that I am saving up for my R15. It got worse to an extent that I started avoiding dinner as protest. My family was made to be convinced and dad even offered a Pulsar 220 but not the R15, as it appeared racier which according to them is more deadly.

After few years of struggle I was presented a R15, in racing blue. It was one of the best night of my life. The bike was amazing to say the least. The way it corners, the grip, not to mention the wrist pain(love bites) that it gives during heavy traffic. The bike was a learning curve to me. I was happy to putter around the city in my race bike(according to my friends). I did a few trips, not too long, as I found it's not the best in term when it comes to cruising. One thing I have to mention here is that, the R15 has exceptional build quality. It aged gratefully. Never in my ownership of 6 years I had a false start. It always turns on with a single press.

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-dsc00705.jpg
I had my first solo trip on it.

Now I found a job, and as I grow my preferences started to grow too. I never thought I would sell my R15 to get another bike. I made a deal for lifetime companionship, but fate thought differently. From last year I avoided taking her out. I found her less comfortable and was aware that i am losing it. The itch to get a new bike increased at days goes by and I was in lookout for a new one. I always had soft corner for two bikes one is the mighty RX-100 and the other the bullet. For me, its not the amazing exhaust note( dhig dhig, dhug dhug) which made them special for me but the charm these two carry. I bet almost all bikers will agree with me that these two either well maintained or rusted still carry a charm of it's own.

I felt the need to upgrade(debatable) to an advanced motorcycle which keeps me involved. There were two choices in front of me. Either the CBR 250R or anything from Royal Enfield stable. I was(and still) not a big fan of KTM, hence forgot it altogether. Now the CBR 250 R is an amazing bike. Comfortable, smooth engine, Honda tag it just seems like a sensible upgrade to a R15 rider. I test drove it and found it sublime. Now I started to dream about CBR as I was putting up my ad in OLX.

I visited my native place and came across one uncle who used to be my dad's bullet mechanic when he owned one. I have heard that if you get a bullet, you make a friendship with next-door mechanic. I never thought I would see one this close. He described about how he helped my dad to acquire a bullet, re-label it to a BSA and how he used to set the floating point to match it to heartbeat of the rider. He also narrated about how he traveled all the way to Chennai to get mod parts in Pudupet for modifications only to be interrupted by my dad saying Even he wants to own a bullet! I never told my dad that I want one, but he exactly knew what I want. The mechanic uncle told that he has restored a 80's bullet and asked if I would like to try it out. Remember, I have never ridden a bullet before and on hearing those words I felt a tension on my knees( in fast it should have been the opposite) Why, because I assumed bullets will weight a ton and need to 'grow' muscles to balance them. Anyway he took me to his shop and there she was a 'lady in black' Everything looked new, the paint, the chrome, tyres. It was like freshly rolled out of factory.

I rolled it out of the shop, searched for the keyhole only to be shown that it's located on the sides. I put on the key, aligned to kick bar, getting ready to give it a kick which I last did with the Max 100 R, only to be stopped by the uncle, who sighed a relief that I was lucky to not break my leg. I was taught about manual decompression, How I should balance the amp meter using the kick starter and finally started the bull with half kick. The sound was well, like the Diesel auto rickshaws with a difference that you are on top of the engine. The beat or 'thump' as it's called was so slow that I thought it's gonna stop anytime. I pressed hard on the gear and tap the accelerator but it's not moving. Finally found out that it was the brake pedal and the gearshift is on the right. The ride was nervous, as I was constantly reminded myself that the brake is in the wrong foot. While ding that I didn't notice a speed breaker and BAM!!

The bullet just jumped over the speed- breaker like it was a puddle. I really got hooked to it's suspension and seating and slowly drifted from CBR to bullets! The price of old bullets is alarmingly high, coupled with the restoration cost it cost more than a new classic 350. My dad insists that I get a new one from the showroom, as it was his opinion that the CI bullets need proper everyday maintenance(read patience, a lot of it!) which is very tough for a guy switching from a R15.

THE SEARCH:

I zeroed to Velavan motors, at Greams road. Unlike may experiences in previous threads, the showroom experience was very good. The ambiance was retro-cool, I was greeted by Mr. Balaji who was very courteous, provided me welcome drinks and offered test drive even before asking it. Now there was something odd in the showroom. A thing which they say can conquer the mighty Himalayas.

I sat on this thing and damn it like sitting on melted butter. The exhaust was cool, very Ducati like( Ok, maybe am exaggerating). The display was colorful reminding me of Diwali. I took it out and man isn't that engine torquey with a beautiful note. There were a few back-fire which I find cool. In the very next signal I was stop by a bulleteer asking me what is the procedure to import one. I apologized only to be shot by a question asking whether I am a famous tourer. I was bedazzled by the Himalayan! But I came here for a Royal Enfield. But this looked none like RE. Maybe I will get it during next upgrade(Himalayan with the 750 twin anyone?)

The 350 was good comfortable, has the real character of a bull. I booked one but requested for a long-er test ride only to be surprised by the offer of renting it the whole night. The ride was good, so good that I felt I have made a right decision. But something was amiss, a little thing deep within. The next few days I came across whatever information about Royal Enfield on the internet. Thanks to the 45 day long waiting period I was in a dilemma.
I was at unease, and went to another RE showroom, Haritha at Jafferkhanpet, to test drive the entire range. I started off with a red Electra.
To be honest, though the Electra though look plain, it's nothing plain at all. I was blown away by how effortless this thing rides. It was as nimble as any 150 cc commuter. I have a Honda Dio, so can say it strongly. The seats are very different when compared to Classic. It literally hugged my rear, with that curved single seat.

I hopped on to a 500 cc standard Bullet, test drive parked nearby. It was heavy to take it off the side-stand. I started it and was greeted by a louder idle noise which settled in few seconds into a calm idle. The first gear was "Thadak" I could feel the bull pleading me to let go off the clutch. And off I go! This felt like riding a proper bullet. The torque was insane. The pick-up was similar to R15. Only difference is I was sitting on a couch now! Though the vibration is more than Electra, I liked the free engine feel when compared to Electra which felt too tight, after riding the B500.

Didn't test ride the T-bird as it's not my cup of tea and the 350 bullet due to lack of basic features. So, I decided to book a bullet and the waiting period is again 45 days. I approached another dealer, Southern motors, Anna Nagar and the salesperson promised me to deliver the bike before Diwali.

And finally I took delivery of my bullet on 30 th of October at the eve of Diwali.

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-img_20161029_131348.jpg

WHY I CHOOSE THE BULLET 500

1) Better seats, than classic. More cushioning than Electra
2) Better tyres than thin 19' on Electra
3) Better Headlamps(65/55) when compared to 35W of Electra
4)Pin-striping on tank, without losing disc brake
5) That awesome Forest green colour
6) Rarity

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-img_20161029_131332.jpg

Without further ado, here is my short review of Bullet 500 UCE.


The Royal Enfield Standard Bullet 500 can be bought in India at an on-road price of Rs.1,76,836.

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-img_20161029_131326.jpg

What you'll like:
  • Big in size. A proper 'Bullet'
  • Well padded single seat
  • Torquey 500 cc, with fuss free UCD33 carburetor and TPS
  • 65/55 W headlamp to light the road
  • Improved build quality
  • Adequate sized tyres that grips even on wet surface
  • Tank pin-striping with old school logo
  • Rarity. Not as populous as the classic series
  • Old-school charm
  • Well tuned suspension for Indian roads, no-roads
What you won't:
  • Expensive for bullet. Very close to Classic 500 and DS
  • Minor niggles still to be resolved
  • Vibrations at idling
  • Cleaning is a daily chore, especially during monsoon
ENGINE

The B500 has a Twinspark 500cc engine which is best in the Royal Enfield range. The engine feels more suitable to the bullet when compared to the 350cc. I idle the engine for 2 minutes every morning. With clutch locked, in neutral, the engine roars to the first press of Electric start. It starts like a generator and settle to a rhythmic idle. I am yet to use the choke during a cold start. The idling can be adjusted by tightening the idle screw below the carburetor. There were vibrations and metal sound for the first few km. Now after 300 km the it feels less stressed and the vibrations are reduced. I never took it beyond 2000 rpm, 50 Kmph. I expect the engine to be much smoother after first service.

GEAR

Well coming from an R15, I found this gearbox long and takes some effort. I can literally feel the gear being slotted. Heel shifting was new to me but I feel it's best to use that with this gearbox. The neutral to first always slot with a 'Thadak' early morning, or warm engine it doesn't matter. That being said the gearbox is easy to work with, long but smooth. Unlike other bull riders my gear slot to neutral no hunting for neutral as of now.

BRAKES

The brakes are not bad once you get adjusted to the bike. The front disc has good bite but the rear drum has too much pedal play and needs adjustment. No matter how good both brakes are it is best to learn engine braking and use it while stopping. I have not practiced that yet as the box is still breaking-in.

HEADLAMPS

The headlamps in my Bull 500 are just awesome. The throw is good for a halogen and lights the road. Initially I doubted it's performance due to old school glass covers, but the beam throw is very straight. I literally feel like holding a Star Wars Sabre!

SEATING & SUSPENSION

The ribbed single seat is well cushioned and fells comfortable. The new bullet 500 comes with an upgraded seat to the earlier model and the quality of material is top-notch. I found it to be better than Electra and Classic model's seat. The suspension dismiss potholes,bumps at ease. Even with a pillion the suspension didn't bottom out and easy to maneuver in city traffic.

HANDLING

This was my worry right from the beginning. I read a few reviews mentioning it's not easy to handle in traffic. I did struggle on the day of delivery. It took me few days to adapt and mold my style to the bike. Now it feels like a horse obeying my orders to tackle the battlefield. One major boost to the handling is the wide tyres similar to classic. It looks good on the bull and grips well in wet. Coming from a R15, cornering was my usual style, but was apprehensive to tilt the bull at the corners. On the contrary, the bull is not tough to corner if you carry the right speed and avoid leaning too much.

So that's my review of Bullet 500, The quintessential Royal Enfield.
I will update this thread frequently. I never found any detailed information about the Bullet 500 anywhere on the internet forums except few ownership reviews.I sincerely thank the ownership review of Amun-Ra, McQueen Diaries, Another Green Bullet in my Life and their respective owners for making me to choose Bullet 500 UCE.

Thank you for your time! Here are a few pictures of my Bull,

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-img_20161029_131339.jpg
The bull looks huge from this angle.

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-img_20161103_231554.jpg
The Diamond gaurd with ropes is from Quality metal Industries!

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-img_20161103_231605.jpg
The Forest green is very British and carry it's charm.

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-img_20161103_231512.jpg
My first niggle. Don't miss the brake light glowing bright. The line to the brake lamp switch needs lube. One quick way is to give a tap on the pedal to make the light go away. This tip was from my Dad, who had the same problem in his 70's bullet. Some things never change!

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-img_20161103_231516.jpg
The Bull vibrates a lot when kept in center stand. It felt like the bull came alive during pooja!

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-img_20161103_231613.jpg
The bull it quite tall and long for me.

More to come!

Last edited by Ajay_the_Don : 5th November 2016 at 11:19. Reason: Added contents to review
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Old 7th November 2016, 09:45   #2
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Default Re: Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorcycle Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 7th November 2016, 09:59   #3
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Default Re: Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield

Nice writeup!! Wishing you many joyful miles astride the Bull!

I have ridden a colleague's Bullet 500 and I literally felt like I am sitting on a moving sofa!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajay_the_Don View Post
I can literally feel the gear being slotted.
Compared to KTM, gearbox on Bullet is a revelation of sorts! Everything happens in slow motion. That being said, the shifts were good when done the RE way. I guess it is all part of the charm!
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Old 7th November 2016, 11:05   #4
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Default Re: Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajay_the_Don View Post
The neutral to first always slot with a 'Thadak' early morning, or warm engine it doesn't matter.
From my observation, the gears in RE slots easily in motion. The trick is whenever you engage first gear, move your bike a little bit forward at the same time apply a little bit pressure on the gear pedal with the clutch engaged. You will find a sweet spot on which the gear engages smoothly. The process is easy, but takes time to master. Happy riding

Last edited by Ponbaarathi : 7th November 2016 at 11:17.
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Old 7th November 2016, 11:21   #5
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Default Re: Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield

Hey bro,

Such an awesome review!. Feel we should just make this narrative a short movie man!. I echo whatever you've said especially on the king of the road - the RX-100. I just lust for it even now. I learnt riding on that, my cousin's bike in Kerala. It was a fiery red yamaha. The exhaust note is like melting butter.

But now I have a TBTS 500 Marine clocked over 11k on the ODO. No issues whatsoever. I see you are in Chennai, we could meet up sometime. I will PM you.

Regards,
Trumpet

Last edited by trumpet : 7th November 2016 at 11:22.
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Old 7th November 2016, 17:32   #6
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Default Re: Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield

Congrats for the steed!

I've been riding the Bullet 500 since 2015 and satisfied with the performance part. however, coming from a C5 with a short 5000km stint on the NS200, I feel the power delivery (although it has to be being an FI) if C5 is much more engaging.

The seat is super comfortable for long rides and this statement comes in as an experience from the recent Pune ride.

However, anything beyond 100 is nothing short of risking your life since the bike is highly unstable beyond that threshold.

Yes the torque is amazing, be cautious to not pull the bike hard from a stand still or whack open the throttle, this results in broken teeth at the rear sprocket.

Not to demotivate, but I state the fact when I advise you to befriend the workshop guys. That being said, please stick to one workshop or if possible, specific technician at the workshop.

Talking about my experiences with the B500, I've had my shares of niggles which includes 3 block-piston kits being replaced under warranty, 3 rear sprockets replaced and one chain set replaced under warranty...all this in 15000km of ownership.

But...once you're on it and riding, this bike is second to none! Here, take a look at some pictures of my bike on a recent ride:

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-1.jpg

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-2.jpg

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-3.jpg

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-4.jpg

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-5.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 9th November 2016 at 12:00. Reason: Re-uploading images as attachments
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Old 8th November 2016, 11:24   #7
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Default Re: Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksameer1234 View Post
Nice writeup!! Wishing you many joyful miles astride the Bull!
Thanks for the wishes Sameer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksameer1234 View Post
I have ridden a colleague's Bullet 500 and I literally felt like I am sitting on a moving sofa!
Indeed it feels like a sofa. It's the comfortable place to be when parked at center-stand.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ksameer1234 View Post
Compared to KTM, gearbox on Bullet is a revelation of sorts! Everything happens in slow motion. That being said, the shifts were good when done the RE way. I guess it is all part of the charm!
Yes, the gear is not as bad as I thought it would be. Coming from R15, I can relate to your shift on the KTM. The RE is for people who like the laid back stance but powerful when required!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponbaarathi View Post
From my observation, the gears in RE slots easily in motion. The trick is whenever you engage first gear, move your bike a little bit forward at the same time apply a little bit pressure on the gear pedal with the clutch engaged. You will find a sweet spot on which the gear engages smoothly. The process is easy, but takes time to master. Happy riding
Hi Ponbarathi,

I have been aware of what you mentioned, tried everything, but still the slotting to first is audible. I quite like that noise. My R15 also had a small 'thak' but more muted when compared to the B500.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumpet View Post
Hey bro,

Such an awesome review!. Feel we should just make this narrative a short movie man!. I echo whatever you've said especially on the king of the road - the RX-100. I just lust for it even now. I learnt riding on that, my cousin's bike in Kerala. It was a fiery red yamaha. The exhaust note is like melting butter.

But now I have a TBTS 500 Marine clocked over 11k on the ODO. No issues whatsoever. I see you are in Chennai, we could meet up sometime. I will PM you.

Regards,
Trumpet
Hi Trumpet,

Very happy to read your excited response. RX is an awesome machine indeed. Hope you are having fun with your Bird 500. I am at Chennai and always open to meet new people. Please pm me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bullet_chacha View Post
Congrats for the steed!

I've been riding the Bullet 500 since 2015 and satisfied with the performance part. however, coming from a C5 with a short 5000km stint on the NS200, I feel the power delivery (although it has to be being an FI) if C5 is much more engaging.

The seat is super comfortable for long rides and this statement comes in as an experience from the recent Pune ride.

However, anything beyond 100 is nothing short of risking your life since the bike is highly unstable beyond that threshold.

Yes the torque is amazing, be cautious to not pull the bike hard from a stand still or whack open the throttle, this results in broken teeth at the rear sprocket.

Not to demotivate, but I state the fact when I advise you to befriend the workshop guys. That being said, please stick to one workshop or if possible, specific technician at the workshop.

Talking about my experiences with the B500, I've had my shares of niggles which includes 3 block-piston kits being replaced under warranty, 3 rear sprockets replaced and one chain set replaced under warranty...all this in 15000km of ownership.
Hi Bullet_chacha, (cool name)

I have gone through your solo rides on your chronicles blog, awesome work man. The pics of your B5, especially the one with overcast sky is wallpaper quality. What you said is very apt for the Bullet. Please brief us about your switch from C500 to B500. Would love to hear more about it.

Cheers guys,
Ajay
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Old 8th November 2016, 13:42   #8
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Default Post from the Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajay_the_Don View Post
I have gone through your solo rides on your chronicles blog, awesome work man. The pics of your B5, especially the one with overcast sky is wallpaper quality. What you said is very apt for the Bullet. Please brief us about your switch from C500 to B500. Would love to hear more about it.
Ah, thanks for the appreciation bro. I'm glad that you checked out the blog and went through the rides!

*@ Apologies in advance, but I don't intend to hijack your thread*

I think this would be my autobiography of being a rider and coming a long way in the past 11 years. @ajay_the_don, thank you for bringing this point over, since I would have otherwise never thought over it.

Background: I come from an upper middle class family where every thing that is done, bought, invested is done considering practicality and long term benefits. I remember the days being a kid and my father used to ride a Kinetic Honda, not much memories attached with it since I was too young to understand the materialistic and creature comforts of the world. All I remember starting my journey on two wheeler/motorcycle world is when my father bought a Vespa Select (used to come with a self start). And as I recollect my memories, this motorcycle love was inherited from my father. I would see him giving personal touches to the scooter. Sometimes a sticker on the rectangular headlamp to give it a dual headlamp look or be it some other cosmetic stuff. That being said, his passion continues till date as he rides his 4 year old Hero Maestro with LED hadlamps, dual tone horn, stylish seat covers and what not. Coming back to me, ever since I started growing up, the love for two wheeler increased. I remember my father picking me up after school and I used to vroom the scooter with him engaging the clutch. I remember this one time when we were on a pilgrimage, with my uncle and family, I descended quickly so that I could have some time sitting on the bike which was parked outside the lodge...well that happens to be a bullet, back in early 90s. When I look back at such memories, I get to know, I was made for it. Finally after riding Vespa for 5 long tears, my father decided to buy a bike. The market for scooters were declining and more and more bikes were coming up. We narrowed down upon HH Ambition with Disc and Self Start, yet another example of my father's love for such things. Well, in the same price, we could have afforded a CBZ, but rejected by my father for being too sporty and costed 65k+ for the disc and self start version. This was a soft launch for me to the motorcycling world as I used to take it for short spins, sometimes causing damage due to fall etc. I remember taking it to Rohtak from Delhi, a distance of around 60 km that time all alone as I had to attend my friend's sister's engagement ceremony without telling my family.

A Tryst With The Biking World: Fast forward to 2008, I was 19 and has started earning...and I earned pretty well considering a 19 year old guy. I was introduced to orkut some time ago and started getting in touch with the bikers and got to know something that was called stunting, touring, biking groups, bikers' meets etc. By this time, HH was going strong, however, it had become dated and I was all settled to buy a P200. Finally sold it, bought the P220 (with my own money, I was still 19 ) and the rest is history. This marked the beginning of my biking career.

Joined a biking group, left it, joined another, made friends, left that too, formed my own made more friends, conducted/organized/attended more bikers' meet and dissolved the group post a tragic accident. P220 had been a very loyal steed to me. GQ, IBA SS are two of the major rides to name a few apart from numerous short rides stretching anywhere between 2-4 days. The 220 phase came in as a transition period for me and now I was more into touring as compared to stunting (and I was doing good).

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From boyhood to manhood Well, I rode the 220 for almost 65000km without a cylinder change over a period of almost 3 years. Come 2011 and it was finally traded off for a peanuts (well not literally). The only reason for selling the P220 remained C500 that was all over me, especially the Battle Green, iit looked so scintillating. Ma'an, 500cc, 27 horses and that awesome torque. I was simply in love. Meanwhile, one of my friends, 150+kg and 6'5, had already bought the C500 in green and I was drooling even more hearing all the good things he had to say about the bike. Finally lay my hands on one in 2011 and the world changed ever since.

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Numerous rides were done on this bike (ex Delhi) including Goa, Khajuraho, Rajasthan, Chitkul and other 3-4 days rides. This is one machine which can keep one hooked with its immense power and the amount of after market modification and accessories available, once can hardly get bored out of it. Similar for me, trips to Karol Bagh became a weekly affair looking for something new...headlights, aux lights, seats, exhausts and what not.

With my experience with RE, I can safely assume that every comes with a free bag of niggles and issues. I was no different, during the first year of ownership, it was difficult for me to understand the nature of this bike with me coming from a niggle free and zero hassle P220 experience. However, once everything was sorted, I hardly had a breakdown.

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-5.jpg

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Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-9.jpg

However, towards the end of the ownership, close to second quarter of 2014, the bike had a busted cylinder kit at 65000km on the odo. Upon consulting with the technician, an estimate of around 30000 was given for the repairs which would include a block-piston kit, clutch plates, crank and every other critical component of the engine. At this time, I was into a financial crunch and did not want to spend that much on a 2.5 year old bike. Hence traded it off and bought the Pulsar 200 NS.

From boyhood to manhood and back: A major reason for selling off the C5 was to buy something faster that could haelp me cover more distance, was light on the pocket and was reliable. I was giving some serious thoughts to D390 and Cbr250R, infact I was sold on D390. However, a test ride ensured zero pillion comfort and by this time, my wife has had a taste of touring and wanted to accompany me on future rides. D390 was out of question and a bit off budget and that was when Pulsar 200NS came in as a dream...so smooth, niggle free from day one, fast, reliable...I could continue to praise this bike to eternity. Bought one cash down.

By this time, I had switched my job and the present profile included standing and running here and there for a major part of the day, I was handling a luxury leather good retail store. This had a toll on my back and due to a comparatively sportier riding position on the NS, I was barely able to ride it.

Come June 2015 and I had a chance to ride the NS to Spiti.

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-10.jpg

I was simply in love with the machine while on it. However, come tough terrain and the bike would struggle to climb up, while the DS accompanying me had no issues whatsoever! I immediately knew what I wanted and all I could think was RE. Back from the Spiti ride and I traded off 1 year old NS for a Standard 500.

From boyhood to manhood, yet again: I knew what I wanted, torque and pulling power. No other options were considered. I understood nothing matched my needs other than what RE stable had to offer. I was considering TB500, or back in my mind, C500 yet again! But no, not the FI this time. Having changed 3 fuel pumps (with one priced as Rs. 10000) in the last year of the ownership, all I wanted is a carbed bike. There was no point buying a C5 and retrofitting a carb on it and there was no way I was buying a 350. Rather buy the standard 500. My back was still a problem, and the spring supported seat on the classic would not be comfortable I knew.

Standard 500 hit the notes right. Upright stance, comfortable, good seats, 500cc, carb and fits the budget. Moreover, one being owned by my colleague had me inclined more on it. With a pathetic and money oriented experience with Lamba Motors, Tilak Nagar, New Delhi, I knew it had to be a different dealer. I check out Kaytee Motors, Mahipalpur, New Delhi and booked the bike with them. It was ready for delivery. I just had to wait for the bank to approve and disburse the loan amount.

Finally it was with me. Almost 1500 km into ownership and I could not wait to give it a personalized touch, hence came the Wildboar and RDX handlebar

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-11.jpg

Its been more than a year and 16000km with the Standard 500. And as I say every RE comes with its bag of niggles, I was given a 40ltr backpack (pun intended). On a whole in this 16000km of ownership, 1 chain set, 2 rear sprocket,1 head valve, 3 block-piston kit, 1 set of piston rings, 1 amp meter. and 1 crank has been changed though the bike has been running fine after the last repair.

@mods: please take care of the images which are uploaded from a third party website.

Last edited by Aditya : 16th November 2016 at 17:01. Reason: Image of stunt removed :)
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Old 8th November 2016, 14:35   #9
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Default Re: Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield

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*@ Apologies in advance, but I don't intend to hijack your thread*
Please proceed. I would love to hear more riders sharing their passion.

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Originally Posted by bullet_chacha View Post
I think this would be my autobiography of being a rider and coming a long way in the past 11 years. @ajay_the_don, thank you for bringing this point over, since I would have otherwise never thought over it.
I am happy that my post triggered emotions and effort for you to compile this awesome post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bullet_chacha View Post

Finally sold it, bought the P220 (with my own money, I was still 19 ) and the rest is history. This marked the beginning of my biking career.
You own a bike at 19? great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bullet_chacha View Post
Its been more than a year and 16000km with the Standard 500. And as I say every RE comes with its bag of niggles, I was given a 40ltr backpack (pun intended). On a whole in this 16000km of ownership, 1 chain set, 2 rear sprocket,1 head valve, 3 block-piston kit, 1 set of piston rings, 1 amp meter. and 1 crank has been changed though the bike has been running fine after the last repair.
That worries me a bit.


Overall, it's a fantastic journey chacha. I can see that you love touring and both the P220 and RE are good tourers. You seemed to have vast experience and knowledge regarding touring and motorcycle. I am delighted that a true hidden-gem like you shone today to members of our great forum. Looking forward to interact more with you.

Cheers
Ajay

NOTE

I request all members of our respectable forum to share their motoring experiences. This thread though titles specific to the Bullet 500, will be honored to host the ownership details or nostalgic motoring past of members, after-all it's two wheel, an engine and a soul!
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Old 8th November 2016, 21:58   #10
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Default Re: Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield

@Ajay_the_Don : The bullet 500 is a great motorcycle. May you have miles and miles of hassle free and happy ownership of your motorcycle.
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Old 9th November 2016, 08:55   #11
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Default Re: Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield

Hi Ajay,

Congratulations for standard 500, a design which had charm 50 years ago and something which would remain fresh forever, all in all a timeless design. Being a owner of forest green bullet 500 since past 7 months and 12000 kms on odo, and I am addicted to this machine. Barring small Enfield niggles bike is absolutely niggle free, keep regular maintenance, bike will reward you. Please avoid pressure washing on wiring and harnesses near handle bar or even on headlamp as I changed bulbs of tiger eye lamps due to corrosion.
Keep riding,
Enjoy the muted thump.
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Old 9th November 2016, 11:39   #12
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Default Re: Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield

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Originally Posted by Ajay_the_Don View Post
The neutral to first always slot with a 'Thadak' early morning, or warm engine it doesn't matter.
Placing both heel & toe on gear lever and then slotting into first gear wouldn't give 'Thadak' sound. Idling well (which you already do) also helps in smooth slotting into first gear.
This works in TB350, should work same way on your Bullet 500.
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Old 10th November 2016, 00:04   #13
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Default Re: Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield

Congratulations for your new bullet 500.

This is better technically than the old CI engine bullets. It will give you a better service and can be used as a daily rider with less hassles. However, you will be missing the real thump of the old engine.
Being an owner of both Enfield 350 and lightning I really enjoy riding them because of its engine beat which makes me forget all the trouble they have given me and refreshes me when I ride them. I have also used the my friend's Classic 350 and found that it is quite agile but really missed my thump. Probably in due course of time you can go back to your dad's friend and add another CI bullet for the sheer pleasure of riding.
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Old 10th November 2016, 01:03   #14
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Default Re: Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield

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@Ajay_the_Don : The bullet 500 is a great motorcycle. May you have miles and miles of hassle free and happy ownership of your motorcycle.
Thank you Adrian, Your ownership experience of the bullet 500 assured me that I have chosen the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aniruddha_Ch View Post
Hi Ajay,

Congratulations for standard 500, a design which had charm 50 years ago and something which would remain fresh forever, all in all a timeless design. Being a owner of forest green bullet 500 since past 7 months and 12000 kms on odo, and I am addicted to this machine. Barring small Enfield niggles bike is absolutely niggle free, keep regular maintenance, bike will reward you. Please avoid pressure washing on wiring and harnesses near handle bar or even on headlamp as I changed bulbs of tiger eye lamps due to corrosion.
Keep riding,
Enjoy the muted thump.
Dear Aniruddha,

Thanks for the wishes buddy. The B500 is the charming of what's on sale today in our market. It's nice to know that you own a bullet 500 and elated to hear about the niggle free enfield! I dare not pressure wash my Bullet

The muted thump is something that can be changed. Just waiting to hit 3000 on the odo and switch to Grease House exhaust or a Goldie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sukiwa View Post
Placing both heel & toe on gear lever and then slotting into first gear wouldn't give 'Thadak' sound. Idling well (which you already do) also helps in smooth slotting into first gear.
This works in TB350, should work same way on your Bullet 500.
Hi Sukiwa,

Happy to hear from you. Yeah I have tried everything still that slotting noise is there. I feel it's inherent to RE, cause I have witnessed similar slot-noise in CI Bullets.


UPDATE 1

So the Bullet is at 450km on the odo, will be going for the first service soon. In the meanwhile, I have a few more pictures to update

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-1.jpg
Here comes the sun (doo doo doo doo). Believe it or not, that's my 4 year old helmet!

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-2.jpg
This logo looks awesome on the 500. More close to a Mini badge

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-3.jpg
The odometer is the coolest looking in RE. The yellow font over the black dial gives it a retro feel. The quality is premium

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-4.jpg
The switch gear quality is good, and this is coming from an ex-R15 owner and that says a lot

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-5.jpg
The Bar grips are of good quality and have a bit spongy feel. It require no additional bar cover for cushion or grip. The bar ends are matte black and the coating is durable

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-6.jpg
The headlight dome glass is from MINDA. The finish is good and the texture is certainly retro!


From past experience and judging by the vast size of tank and painted surface of the Bullet I decided to go for 3M paint protection film (PPF). I called my dealer and was directed to Mr. Prabhu who has been doing it close to 500 bikes, from Harley to Benelli he has covered every surface and edges.

Guys if you are at Chennai and need his number please p.m me. Now a detailed picture post of how the process is done.

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-.jpg
Firstly the seat is lifted off the frame to access the bottom of the tank

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-b.jpg
The air gun is used to adhere the film to the surface. The Bull is parked at shade and in a closed space to avoid fly dust

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-c.jpg
The tank has some rain spots which will be removed first

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-e.jpg

He sprays the tank with a soapy solution and cleared the surface by using a 3m micro towel

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-d.jpg
The film is pre-cut but the tank filler cap is cut using a template as there is slight variation in position of tank cap within the classic and standard models

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-f.jpg
THe film is removed form the labelled back and sprayed with soapy solution and placed over the fuel tank

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-g.jpg
The trapped air and solution is removed using a flat tool along with the air gun blown over to activate the adhesive

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-h.jpg
Making the film to stick around the corners is challenging

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-i.jpg
The edges are pulled to avoid stretch marks and bubbles

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-j.jpg
The trapped air is pushed towards the edges


Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-k.jpg
This thin line visible along the edge will not be visible after few days

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-l.jpg
The excess film along the ribs of the filler cap is removed as petrol might seep through the gap during top-ups

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-m.jpg
After this I tipped him well

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-n.jpg
Now the battery cover gets its protection

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-o.jpg
Again the edges are carefully cut

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-q.jpg
The blades didn't mark the surface which shows the durability of the film

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-r.jpg
The headlamp get covered and this prevents the yellow tinge and scratches

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-s.jpg
No template here, he can cut in circles

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-t.jpg
The nacelle cap is quite hard to access

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-u.jpg
It's not visible unless you run your fingers over the tank surface.

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-v.jpg
The front half prone to stone chip and deserve the cover

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-w.jpg
The box is no more matte, it's glossy and emulate the chrome boxes of Electra under sunlight

Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield-x.jpg
Both the air filter and fuse box gets the film

So I got the tank(top), headlamp, front half mudguard, battery box, air filter box and fuse box covered with 3M Paint protection Film which cost me around Rs 2,900. More than avoiding scratches the peace of mind it gives when I park my Bullet makes it worth it.

Freebies:
Got the speedometer and the ammeter(no-use) glass cover protected by PPF for free!

Warranty: 1 year

Last edited by Ajay_the_Don : 10th November 2016 at 01:06. Reason: Typo
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Old 10th November 2016, 20:46   #15
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Default Re: Bullet 500: The quintessential Royal Enfield

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Thank you Adrian, Your ownership experience of the bullet 500 assured me that I have chosen the best.
Ajay, a small clarification from my end - My ride is a Standard 350 UCE. My comment on the Bullet 500 was based on my Brother in law's motorcycle.

Last edited by adrian : 10th November 2016 at 20:48.
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