Rent this classic Royal Enfield 500 Bullet from me, a Riders Share Power Owner, through Riders Share, the AirB&B of motorcycle rental. Link at the end of this post.
Coupon available with this code.
Contact me with the link below to meet “Biggie,” a show-winner in the cruiser category at Superstition Harley Davidson 2021 BYO bike show. It’s clean and in good condition, modified with/ custom paint of the RE traditional logo on the tank repping Britain’s WWI Enfield .303 rifle.
Royal Enfield motorcycles are showing up in the US and it’s not a surprise as they are the world’s highest-selling volume motorcycle. Most people think mine is an old school Triumph; but it’s an India-made Bullet 500 Classic Enfield that came off the line in January 2017. I first rode a bullet 40 years ago in India and now you can take my Classic Bullet 500 for a spin. The bike is great fun, easy to handle, and sharp.
My last renter wrote, “Bike is in pristine condition.” The thump makes you feel like you’re on the original English-made 54 Bullet. If you are 6′ or taller you’ll feel cramped, but you can still do it. NOTE: starting is by kick-start only, old school. Easy to do and reliable. Custom paint with the Enfield traditional RE logo on the tank and the representation of the WWI Enfield .303 rifle; a design tying into the history of Royal Enfield as a munition’s provider in Redfield, England, pre-WWI, the number 5, a new seat, and mirror.
Late 70’s in New Delhi, I rode a bike like this India produced 54. It’s essentially the same frame I ride today.
Add-ons include a custom leather seat a special order from India w/ “Built like a gun goes like a bullet,” etched into the leather. Note the Enfield rifle between R and E, designed to showcase the history of Royal Enfield as a munitions plant during the early 19th Century in Redditch, England.
This is not a bike for Interstate Riding, although I’ve driven it on Arizona highways at 65 mph; but if you want to hit the corners with a sense of adventure and a test of your riding skill, come along and give it a try.
ALERT. People will ask lots of questions about the bike at every stop so I’ve prepared a summary sheet. If you have questions about the mechanical specs shoot me a message and I’ll send info from the owner’s manual.
BTW . . . do you know that RE made a tiny model during WWII, called the “Flying Flea.” It was dropped behind enemy lines – to get the men into enemy territory with transportation – the flea was light enough to carry across muddy creeks or fields. Below, a T-shirt design of the “Flying Flea.”
Below: model S250 “Clipper” English-made 1954 rigid frame Bullet. Take a good look, there’s no change to the frame on this 1954 model from what you’d ride on mine now except they’ve been manufactured in India by Madras Motor Company since the mid-1950’s. In 1994 they were rebranded as ROYAL ENFIELD MOTORS LIMITED.
Its Motto, paying homage to RE history of Wartime Production (bikes and munitions), reads “Built like a gun, goes like a Bullet.”
Royal Enfield Motorcycles dominated the British motorcycle market post WWII and pre-1950, but when Japanese bikes were brought to Europe, and British soldiers were looking for new adventures after the war, they began purchasing imported motorcycles because they were faster and cheaper than the Enfield.
Royal Enfield began to struggle because motorcycle sales competition was intense with Enfield facing inroads by Triumph, Norton, Coventry, Wolverhampton, and BSA along with the burgeoning Japanese bike makers.
It’s a long story related to global economics and pride, but Royal Enfield lost its footing in the mid-1950s and the company and brand were sold to Madras Motor Company.
Up until 1962 production was a dual effort
by England and India, but the 500 became fully produced in India from 1964 on, and that’s where “Biggie,” According to the ID stamping, “Biggie” was manufactured in Chennai (formerly Madras), India, in January 2017.
16-years of continuous Bullet twin production in England, 1948-64.
1891 Company begins manufacturing bicycles after transitioning from a needle making factory.
1892 Enfield (bicycles) announced to the public by the Enfield Manufacturing Company in Birmingham, England
1901 Enfield produced a car and the 172cc motorcycle. 1901, the factory started making motorcycles and didn’t look back.
1909 First V-twin 297cc produced.
1912 Enfield created a 2.5 hp open-frame two-speed engine; and produced, The Lady Drives, a publication containing letters and photographs of lady riders which was reviewed by The Queen in 1917
1914 First 2-stroke motorcycle fully produced with priority to WWI needs. WWI the Royal Enfield company was firmly established and helped out in the war effort by making bullets for guns.
Above, bikes for WWI factory in 1915.
1924 Increased variety with 8 different models
1928 RE goes to the center-spring girder fork from the Druid Design
1930 The 350 and 500 CC motorcycles are introduced.
1939-45 RE produced large quantities of motorcycles for the War effort that included sidecars, stretcher cars, and “the Flying Flea,” a 125 cc to drop from planes and light enough for soldiers to carry.
1948 The “New Bullet” was introduced in UK along with production of some parts in India at the Madras Motor Company.
1949 Paris cop on beat riding the RE
1952 India Army requested the Bullet which led to great success and volume production by both the Madras Motor Company and the Reddich Enfield factory.
1955 To increase profit and production, the Reddich factory partnered with India Enfield growing its manufacturing factory in India near Madras (now Chennai)
Not widely known was the Enfield-Indian connection, collaborating on 4 bikes in 1955 like this Indian.
1956 The turn-a-round. England sells company to India Enfield in Madras.
1957, The Royal Enfield motorcycle begins a phase out of production in England and the British Bullet 500 ends for good after 16 years. The Madras plant begins manufacturing the Bullet motorcycle (not just providing parts) under license. India begins exporting the 350 Bullet to UK and Europe.
1989 The “New Bullet” 500cc is released in Classic, Deluxe, and Superstartrim models.
1994 The Eichler Motor Group acquired Enfield India Limited (the Madras factory) and renamed it as ROYAL ENFIELD MOTORS LIMITED
2011 The “ONE RIDE” event (Royal Enfield Motorcycles) was planned for the first Sunday in April (RE riders the world ride) to celebrate the story of Royal Enfield Motorcycles.
2015 Royal Enfield North America established a North American headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is set up for the first direct company distribution outside of India.
2017 Enfield’s newest plant in Vallam Vadagal, near Chennai, is a world-class manufacturing facility dedicated to producing Royal Enfield 350cc machines.
2017 Three new high-tech 350 Enfields introduced, signaling the end of the 500 which would come in 2018.
2018 Royal Enfield Motors Limited discontinued the Bullet 500, ending the Royal Enfield Bullet, a model that had been in production in one form or another for 86 years.