ONCE UPON A TIME, this sparkling solo sportster was something of a lumpen duckling.
The standard Royal Enfield EFI Bullet is a worthy motorcycle in the traditional mould, but it’s no featherweight at nearly 200kg fuelled.
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The chunky mudguards and well-upholstered, roomy dual seat provide practical weather protection and a comfortable ride for two people, while the low-level standard silencer muffles the 500 single’s exhaust note to a quiet murmur.
All very convenient and quite in keeping with the marque’s heritage – if, that is, you want a tourer of the classic type. Less wonderful if you’re seeking a sporting solo with a bit of a bite to match its bark.
Royal Enfield has, of course, presented its own interpretation of the café racer in the shape of the Continental GT with its new, twin downtube frame and 535cc engine.
However, the GT still weighs much the same as earlier-generation Bullets; power output from the bigger engine is only 32bhp even when enhanced with a larger throttle body and hot cam, and it’s still encumbered with a tailpipe the size of a small space rocket.
Indian build quality and fit and finish have definitely improved in recent years, but many owners choose to fit replacement, British-made ancillary components in preference to the occasionally awkward original equipment.
Read more in September’s issue of CBG