500 is a nice number, no? It makes your heart race and your spine tingle (yes, it’s the vibes), and makes for a genuine hot rod of a motorcycle, I tell you. A fusion of pure beauty and brute power without peer. I’ve never seen that familiar speedo needle nail those numbers with as much aggression as on the C500. What’s even better is the way it feels like a direct descendant of the older cast-iron engine, more so than the 350 UCE – even the kick requires as much effort as the older ones!
That 4.21 kgm of torque strains at the leash in your right hand. More often than not, it succeeds in breaking free. And then it runs wild until you’re left with the biggest pushrod buzz you can get this side of a locomotive. Adding to the involvement is a flaw – the front tyre is an 18-incher as opposed to the 350’s 19-incher, and that makes the front weave at anything above 90 kph. Even the stickier tyre doesn’t help. Also, even though that fuel injection system works pretty well, I’d prefer a carb feeding that stonking motor, just so I could fiddle with it no end. Despite these two niggles, the Classic 500 is a motorcycling experience that none should be deprived of.
Looking at it elicits loving sighs. Plugging the throttle provokes adrenaline-fuelled howls. I can imagine going off on a long ride and alternating between the two until I run out of road. Though I’ve never ridden the original performance Enfields (the Meteors, Super Meteors and Constellations), I know that this one is the spiritual successor to them all. Now RE, give us the twins we’ve been waiting for.
PS: The others might be subjective, but this is a true Royal Enfield for everyone. Sigh.
Gun Match: 500 Smith & Wesson Magnum
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