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Classic 500 Ownership Experience : Part 4 | One year later

by on February 25, 2016

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Hello, my fellow gear heads! Hope you all are riding and clicking well. My Royal Enfield Classic 500 aka Silver Storm completed a full year this week. Honestly, it has been a tremendous experience with the Bull. I will be sharing the overall ownership experience after 1 year. If you are planning to buy CL500 and haven’t read my previous posts regarding this bull, I will suggest you go through the parts above before moving further down here.

Classic 500 – 6016 clicks – 365 days later!

Exactly one year ago, I realised my dream of owning a Royal Enfield. It was an awesome feeling which can’t be expressed in words. Royal Enfield Classic 500 marked the first substantial purchase (investment) I did with my self-earned money. That point alone makes my Silver storm very special.

I shared my history of ownership of 2 wheeler(s) in Classic 500 Ownership Experience: Part 1 (Prebooking/Test-drive), so you know I came back to the world of Two-wheelers after about 4 years. I had some solid expectations and I feel happy to say that Classic 500 has met most of them in past year.

Let’s break down how my Royal Enfield Classic 500 has aged, into some sub-topics as we dive deep into it, but first:

Royal Enfield Classic 500 Engine specifications

Nerd stats.


Well, let’s accept it. We all love the old charmed style of Enfields. Classic 500 is no exception. It’s a massive head turner no matter where you are riding it. I have been stopped by a dude driving in a Merc to an uncle riding a Bajaj Chetak to answer all sorts of questions. Royal Enfield has nailed the looks of it’s Classic series which takes it’s designed cues from J2, a 1950s model Bullet. 

Royal Enfield Classic 500 adaption of J2 1951 - One year later ownership

Design cues from RE J2 1950s model

From the delivery day when I saw it first in the Showroom until today, I am just a sucker for it looks. Retro classic charm makes it one of the best-looking cruisers on the market. You just can’t park this beast and not look back.

Build Quality, Fit and finish

Though the bike is all metal and feels strong, but sadly even after spending like close to ₹1,80,000 on an RE, all you get is Desi finish which is evident everywhere. Be it the finish of paint quality of tank, or patches of Chrome paint on OEM Leg guard, you will see imperfections everywhere when you inspect closely. This is a heartbreaker as when you start looking at the competition (KTM, Honda, Yamaha), RE is the poorest in the stable.

If RE doesn’t deal with their sub-standard fit and finish, sometime in future, when this segment will be populated with some great machines, the average RE consumer will rise above brand loyality and fanboyism to ditch them for good.

Most of the guys tend to overlook it by stating that the imperfections are what gives an Enfield a character. Honestly, It’s just bullshit to convince your own mind to justify your purchase. I am not saying, I don’t love the bike, but Royal Enfield being one of the market leaders in its segment really needs to get it’s shit together.

Powertrain, Driveline & Ride quality

Royal Enfield Classic 500 Comfort ride quality - One year later ownership

Dual layer suspension ensures a cushy ride.

This. This is the one place where Royal Enfield Machines excel over anything present in the market (in its segment ofc). The 500cc mill provides ample driving pleasure with one of the most comfortable rider’s seat on a cruiser. You can ride all day with short brakes in between without breaking your back.

Royal Enfield Classic 500 Engine RHS- One year later ownership

500cc powerhouse with the beast amount of torque.

But what truly sets it apart is that it’s a Big Bore Long Stroke Engine. The engine makes a huge 41 nm of Torque at a measly 4000 rpm along with 27.2 BHP which is quite fun to ride and a different experience in itself. It has a very large bore for a motorcycle engine at 84 mm for the Classic 500 when compared to 57 mm for the Yamaha R15. Also, it is a long stroke engine which is basically the stroke length is larger than the bore diameter (90 mm). Usually, a long stroke engine has very good low-end torque and has a lower RPM limit than other sports bikes which are Short Stroke (bore diameter > stroke length). Also, Long bore engines are more efficient because the energy produced in a single cycle is utilized for a longer time.


Due to this low-end torque, a bullet ride is said to be addictive in nature. As the popular saying goes –  Once you ride a Bullet, you are fucked for life.

Fuel Economy

Disclaimer: I am an all-rounder rider. One day, I may be riding my Bull calmly at 50kmph on a smooth tarmac in the city and on some other day, I could be cruising over 100kmph on a highway. But I am not a fan of red lining my bikes by any means.

Royal Enfield Classic 500 Engine LHS - One year later ownership

FE is impressive for an EFI 500cc bike

FE is rather impressive for a 500cc engine if we talk as per the convention. I have tried tracking the same over the year for most of the part and results are as follow:

>> City (~29 Km/L)

  • Heavy traffic – 27.8 Km/L
  • Moderate traffic – 29.2 Km/L
  • Light traffic – 30.8 Km/L

>> Highway (~35 Km/L)

  • Urban – 33.6 Km/L
  • Rural – 36.8 Km/L

Service & Maintenance

Well, I have explained my overall experience with after sales service and maintenance in Part 3 of this post, so I will just sum it up here.

Royal Enfield Classic 500 Ride quality -One year later ownership

The maintenance wheel.

Though the cost:maintenance ratio of the bull is pretty reasonable as everything has held well with the passage of time and I didn’t face any mechanical/electrical issues. But the service experience in the RE workshop(s) is poor at it’s best. Most of the times, the workshop will try to overbill you by adding fancy add-ons and unnecessary oil change prompts. They will try their best to make you feel that there is a problem is some component (Suspension, Engine, Brakes etc) and you should let them open it to change it. You will never get a proper explanation about the service process and to my surprise, they don’t even go through the whole checklist mentioned in the service booklet.

The whole experience gives a “DESI JUGAAD” kind of vibe which is strictly not acceptable for a sub ₹2 lac bike.

My suggestion will be to get over with the so-called “Free services” as fast as you can and move on to a third-party mechanic who knows his way around your bike and doesn’t charge like a bomb. Also, learn a few basics like greasing, waxing, wiring etc. yourself, it could make a difference when it matters.


Pros (+) Cons (-)
Great Torquey ride, pulls like a locomotive , thanks to EFI! RE’s reluctance to move to Modern tech like Tubeless tyres, Rear disc, lighter frame and more refined engine.
Comfortable seat with upright handle bar ensures a great riding position Bad paint quality and product finish is a turn off.
Iconic design and nostalgic association makes it a head turner Crippled Workshop service experience.
Decent fuel economy for a 500cc miller

Summing it up

So, as you can understand above. Royal Enfield is not a bike for a regular joe who wants things to work ideally in his life. An Enfield comes with its own set of experiences as it’s one of the best and unique experience you can ever have in both good and bad sense. However, it’s a matter of personal choice and for me, the good outweighs the bad more than I would like to and it’s just liberating to ride after a long tired day.

My silver storm is the perfect recipe to light up my mood.

Though, I didn’t ride it as much I would have liked to but still It has been really a blast of a first year with Royal Enfield Classic 500 aka “Silver Storm”. There were some minor quirks here and there, but overall I am quite satisfied with the experience. I plan to make some real trips the next year and get some different experience with my Bull as it grows…

Till then, Happy riding, folks!

Royal Enfield Classic 500 Front view - One year later ownership

Dug Dug Dug 😀


Leave a reply »

  • Mahesh Dewan
    June 17, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Hi Jatin
    Writing to you after a long time. I finally bought myself a RE Classic SQBlue, have completed 3500kms. Wanted to check with you what are the rules for oil change. So far i have completed 2 services, 1st one at 500km, the 2nd one at 3000kms as per RE’s requirement.

    My 3rd service is due in 2 weeks, but this time i haven’t completed 3000kms, so should i still ask them to change the oil? Does the oil have a life, whether i use the bike or not i should change it every 3-4 months?? That would help in keeping the engine in a healthy condition… pls advice.

    My 2nd question, once the free services are completed, do i switch to Motul oil?? If yes then should i stick to mineral, semi synthetic, or synthetic?? What is best oil for my Classic 500 engine?? What are u continuing with?? Or do i stick to RE’s Liquid Gunn, what they sell in the service station?? pls advice.



    • September 1, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      Hi Mahesh,

      Life’s been really busy here. Couldn’t reply.

      Congratulations on your purchase!

      Well, I go with the stock oil only. It works just fine, just make sure you get it replaced every 3k kms. Motul is good, but I don’t think it will really make much difference this early on. I have read recommendation against fully synthetic oil as Enfield has a long bore piston so it starts slipping resulting in a misfire.

      You can, however, try Motul semi synthetic and see if you notice any difference.



  • Danop
    May 7, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Hi Jatin,
    Thank you for the awesome review!
    I sold my trusty 2009 Harley XL883N last week at a very decent price (75% of what I bought it for), to a colleague who would not stop asking. The bike had served me well the last 8 years (although I clocked only 13K kms with it total and most of which was in the infamous Bangkok traffic with very few long trips).
    Watching the guy riding off on my beloved bike, I knew right away that I needed a new ride, a simpler, more user-serviceable and equally reliable, cheaper to maintain, and just as good to look at. I love low-key, vintage bikes, so I decided to check out the Classic 500.
    I approched the demo bikes as though they were my old Harley. And at first touch, they felt almost the same, hefty, solid feel, all metal, with slightly higher center of gravity. Then after spending sometime with the test bikes, I started to notice all the flaws which weren’t too distracting per se, but quite enough to make me doubt the overall quality control. Minor rust here and there, dull, discolored and scratchy chrome parts . . . loose controls, misaligned mudguards, poor brakes and suspension, stuck toolbox, exposed cables, leaks, etc . . . These bikes must have about the same mileage as my XL, I thought.

    So I checked the odometer on one . . . 340 kms! Ah, so probably it was not properly maintained or perhaps a customer reject. I then checked all of the customer’s bikes parking there, none of them were over 3 years old since RE dealership is new here. But they were all in varied stages of decay. Some have already clocked over 5000 kms and still looked spotless. While some less-ridden ones already exhibited the same shoddiness I had experienced in the demo units.

    I had never considered my XL to be a high-end bike, it lacked the finesse and extravagant glossiness of the pricier Harley models (which were way too glossy for me). But for the least, everything about it was solid. The tolerance on the controls were super tight and the performance (in Harley terms) and reliability were second to none (the same with the quality of service.) There was a definite quality feel to it and 8 years of service in harsh condition had not done much to change that. (Not to mention the Harley dealer here had lent me 3 higher-end bikes over the last 8 years for me to commute with unconditional and indefinitely while my humble XL was being serviced, and all I had to do was ask. An unhappy customer asked RE dealer the same while I was there because they couldn’t get his bike finished as promised and they said they didn’t have loan policy.)

    Yes, I know I am buying an experience and not just a bike. All of the things that worry me are a part of the RE Classic experience. And I’m pretty sure the RE is more user-friendly than the XL which required torx screw everywhere and 4 different tools just to reach the battery alone. After all, the Classic costs only about 1/4 of my XL when new, the same price ratio also applies to all its accessories and parts.
    I made a reservation on my second visit (since they offered me some nice discount and freebies). But I am now seriously deciding whether to go with the RE or a second hand Triumph Thruxton or a Bonnie (for roughly the price I had sold my XL for) just for that solid, tight tolerance and quality I am accustomed to, plus a comparable vintage cool. But then, it would mean I had gained nothing from parting with my beloved XL. (And I was planning to spend the difference I could save from buying an RE on a new garage . . . )
    Should I go with the Classic? And if I were to do so, should I go with a classic paint scheme or chrome. After 8 years with my matte black XL, a desert storm or battle green would be too cliched (although I really like that sand color). I am thinking either chrome green or tan. But it would be heart breaking to see either finish flaking off after a few months.
    So should I or shouldn’t I go with an RE?


    • May 9, 2017 at 11:19 pm

      Hi Danop,

      I really love to read comments like this. Your one above oozes love for the biking clearly. Harley XL883N is one mean machine, took a ride last year and just loved how it guzzled.

      Now, coming to your question. TBH if I was you, I would go for a Triumph or Bonnie as it is a more practical choice. I will explain why, but since you expect some gaining from selling your HD and want to up your garage game, it is a bit twisted.

      Let’s understand why? Since you are living in Bangkok, you will be investing in an export Classic 500 model (which is at-par the quality RE sells back in India) but you won’t get the benefit of cheap mech-jobs in case something goes south. Royal Enfield is not popular for its reliability TBH, but since it worked out great for me till now (16K clicks and counting in 2 years), I would hope same for you. Best suggestion would be to consult with Thailand-centric biker blog where you can directly ask an owner in your locality and gauge via his experience.

      On the other hand, I would suggest you to test-ride one of the Classic and I am sure you would love the old-school pleasure/charm it provides on mounting. If logistics/maintenance is not a deal breaker for you? Sure, go ahead and live the novelty of riding one of the few real vintages brands across the world. RE is producing bikes since 1893, so there is a legacy thing with it.

      As for the paint job, I would agree with your judgement as in my experience I have found metallic paints to fare well when compared to matte paint jobs, but that could be due to the extreme climate here in North India. If I were you, I would settle on the CLASSIC TAN. Just look at it:

      Classic 500 TAN

      Whatever you chose, keep me updated. Would love to hear an update to this story?

      Happy Riding,


      • May 14, 2017 at 9:23 pm

        Hi Jatin,
        Thank you for the awesome reply!
        The Tan is very classy indeed. It’s very Brit and would definitely stand out around here. It was initially my first choice. But after some walkarounds, the top of the tank just looks too plain. It would have been perfect if it had the same pinstripe that runs through the middle of the tank as on the chrome models.

        Maintenance would not be much of a problem for me and I also have a friend who knows his way around vintage thumpers. Getting a Triumph would put me in the same situation I had with my HD where cost and benefit go the opposite directions. I had decided on the RE as an all-rounder knock about bike, trusting that I would end up using and working on it more than I did my old HD.

        I actually made a reservation for the Chrome Green, finding it to be equally Brit but a tad bit more sporty somehow. As a matter of fact, I am supposed to be picking it up tomorrow. But there another twist to my story.
        After making my reservation and arranging my pick up date, I came home and told my wife but she was anything but pleased. She was mighty relieved weeks ago when I sold my Harley. She’s always afraid that I would kill myself in an accident. The points about RE’s easy and cheaper maintenance had eluded her completely.

        She has a point. And since she reasoned with me with unusual respect rather than with her usual ogre mode. I will gladly heed her.
        Bangkok is indeed not a fun place to ride. The traffic is horrible and the weather extreme (either too hot and sunny or downpouring) most of the day. (But again, that’s also why I need a bike. 3-5 hours in traffic daily getting stuck in my car just doesn’t make much sense. I need my sense of freedom. My bike gives me just that. It’s not for commuting per se, but my own peace of mind.)

        The fact that I am a family man also lessens my chance to enjoy riding. Driving my kid back from school already takes up 2-3 hours every evening, then it’s teaching her homework, preparing dinner, spending some quality time with my wife, sending both of them to bed, then get back to my own projects. It’s usually around 2AM by the time I am done. And by 5AM I would be up prepping breakfast and sending my kid to school and get to work and repeat the same cycle over again in the evening. That would explain why my former XL had only seen 12K kms of the road.

        My wife promised to let me get any bike I wish and ride as much as I want should we relocate back to the US or elsewhere where the traffic and climate are more forgiving. Just not here, and not now.

        Well, after 11 years, I am used to not getting what I want and doing as I wish by now. But sometimes we don’t really need everything we want to be happy, right? I guess I’ll be telling the RE dealer that I’ll pass. One parting mount on that chrome green bike that could have been mine probably wouldn’t hurt either. (sighed)

        Well, I have attached my former job’s website just so you’d know my sort of lifestyle. I was into crowd simulation A.I. and movie visual effects. I used to ride more often then. But those jobs didn’t go too well with my fatherhood. So I am self-employed now, doing my own projects. (Even more time at home and less time to ride, I guess.)


  • ketan
    May 7, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Hi jatin,

    Please help me in selecting the colour for my c500 hell lot confused.

    1) desert strome
    2) black
    3) silver
    4) battel green (is it available in india).

    Thanks in advance


    • May 9, 2017 at 11:04 pm

      Hey Ketan,

      It’s really up to one’s own choice here. If you are asking for my personal preference? It’s like:

      1. Squadron Blue
      2. Silver
      3. Tan
      4. Black
      5. Desert Strome.

      Battle Green is not available unless you are from Military and procure it from Army canteen. Hope it helps. 🙂



      • Suraj Fartyal
        August 11, 2017 at 9:50 am

        Hey Jatin and Ketan ,

        1. Awesome blog brother – Coming from a proud owner of Sqn Blue RE.
        2. Battle Green isn’t available in CSD canteens.. As a matter of fact , you cant get a Battle Green in India (unless imported ) due to their reserved access to Indian Army – thought i must clarify.



  • Rohan
    March 9, 2017 at 3:45 am

    Hello sir,
    First of all thanks for providing such a detailed info about classic 500.
    I was stuck between the many queries. And have read many complaints regarding the EFI system problems. I’m mad for classic 500. But have some questions in my mind which are striking again and again. I’m a mechanical engineer and I too agree with EFI system as these are used now a days in all high end techo 4 wheelers like BMW Audi n etc.
    My questions are
    1 If I buy CL500 should it be used on daily basis or I can use it for special days like for going to wedding ceremony does it affects the system ? Bcoz one of my friend who is in RE showroom he told me if I buy 500 I have to use it atleast 3-4 days in a week.
    2 I’m going to invest 2lac for RE so I want to know what precautions i should take Care while riding my CL500 bull and especially for the EFI system longlivity ? Bcoz if the EFI gets damage i won’t be able to replace it faster. As I’m taking it on loan ?
    3 what are the daily small checkups should be made while starting the bike ?
    4 And I’m planning to go for leh ladakh trip so for which bull i should go CL350 or CL500 ?
    5 Are there any precautions to be taking while washing CL500 at the washing centre and if so plz let me no ?
    6 Shall I go for Indore silencer ? Will it affect my bulls performance or it will have any adverse effect on EFI system ?


  • Padmaprakash KB
    January 23, 2017 at 2:34 am

    I am planing to buy RE 350 and my mind is goin through lots of question
    after reading your review I understood yor will be the right person to solve my problem
    I have the following doubts hope you would give some opinion
    a) I love the class design of Classic 350 but I heard that built quality and fit and finish of Classic350 is more vibrating and noise as compared to its sibling Electra
    this is why I’m afraid to go for the classic
    b) I have driven Electra and reached 120kmph but didn’t feel much vibration
    but while TD classic because of road conditions I couldn’t cross more than 80kmph but I already started to feel lot noises and vib
    c) The classic has split seat and it is little short compared to Electra so some people says Electra feels comfy for tall guys and classic feels bit uncomfortable
    you said you are 6’2″ so you are taller than me that’s why I’m feeling little confident
    did you feel any short of difficulty or body pain such as arm or back pain after riding a long distance of 1100

    these doubts came to mind on a flash if is der any other points I left you may find let me know

    thanks buddy for this beautiful and the most useful post


    • Padmaprakash KB
      January 23, 2017 at 2:38 am

      I forgot to mention my height
      dose it make any differences while sitting


    • January 25, 2017 at 11:24 am

      Hi Padmaprakash,

      Welcome to Bitsnapper!

      I will answer your queries in the same order asked:

      a. I can’t vouch for it but in my opinion, I find Classic’s build quality at par with Electra. Rest assured you can check for yourself by visiting an RE showroom and compare.
      b. 120 kmph on Electra with no vibrations is hard to believe. I ride Classic 500 and Bullet 500 and both vibrates like hell over 115kmph. If that’s the case really with the new UCE Electra, maybe you should buy it then.
      c. Well, I find Classic rider seat to be ultra comfortable for long distances but rear pillion seat is another story as it is just a makeshift jugaad and can hurt your behind in just 100kms of the ride. As you are 5’11” I think any RE should be relatively comfortable for you.

      Let me know if you have any other doubts buddy.

      Happy Riding,
      Jatin K Malik


  • Dr Virupaksha
    January 2, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    HI Mr Jatin ,
    It was wonderful to read your blog and ownership experience . I should say that am a proud owner of classic 500 now and have been enjoying the ride . Yet to go for the first free service . I have a small query for you . when i ride my bike , when i acceralate , there is a sound which almost sounds like knocking which is in the initial part of the acceralation which goes off after few seconds when the speed picks up . I went and enquired about this in the authorised service centre , the guy said its something which is normal in CL500 and even company have given them that instruction . He said that its not knocking and its safe to drive . I have done only 200KMS now . Just wanted to know your inputs .
    Dr Virupaksha


    • January 25, 2017 at 10:55 am

      Hi Virupaksha,

      Congratulation for your purchase man! 🙂

      Thanks for the appreciation too.

      The knocking feeling in first 500kms is pretty common as the pistons move and smoothen the rough edges of the valve. It will get significantly better with the first oil change, it will almost feel like a different bike to you.

      Also it can be vibrations in the initial accelerations which will also improve drastically as you ride more and more. Enjoy your bull mate.

      Happy Riding,
      Jatin K Malik


  • Mahesh
    November 13, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Hi jatin
    Sorry Ur name changed to Karin in my previous mail becose of auto correction…

    Thanks fr Ur reply, had some doubts abt the change of gears during the breaking period.

    U mentioned abt the speeds in the first 500 km but wat abt the gears, should it b ridden in the 2, 3, 4 or 5th gear?

    So too wat about nxt 500 km, speed 70km, but wat is the ideal gear in which it should b ridden?



    • November 17, 2016 at 10:10 pm

      No problem Mahesh!

      I don’t have a hard n fast rule about gear shifting, that is something which comes naturally to me. I shift to the 5th gear mostly at 60 KM/h.

      You will get to learn that with experience. Rule of thumb is to ride in as high gear as possible without straining the engine.

      – Jatin


  • Mahesh
    November 8, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Hi Karin
    Wanted to check with what’s the best way to go through the breaking in periods? How did u do it? For a classic 500cc.

    Have read somewhere:
    When U Buy Ur Machine, Dont Start It Up In The Showroom Or Service Centre For Sheer Fun Of Listening To The Thump, Start The Engine, Let It Warm Up For About 10 Mins., Take It Out On An Empty Stretch Of Road And Get The Machine To Run Hard On 2nd Gear For Some Time, Do Sudden Acceleration And Sudden Deceleration. Continue This Through 3rd Gear Also.

    Is this advisable?
    What’s Ur opinion?
    What’s the best way to go abt it?



    • November 12, 2016 at 11:51 pm

      Hi Mahesh,

      The whole shebang you mentioned above is a bucket load of bullcrap. Breaking in an engine is seriously a way more simple task than it is projected.

      Here’s what I followed:

      • For first 500 KMs – Speeds < = 50 Km/hr, give it a burst till 70~80 Km/hr once in a while on an empty stretch, hold for 2-3 seconds and get back to the upper limit.
      • For next 500 KMs – Speeds < =65~70 Km/hr

      After 1000 clicks, I didn’t have any restriction on my riding style though I am a cruiser head so like my bike to glide at speeds of 60-70 Km/hr only.

      Note: You should NEVER do stupid stuff as sudden acceleration and deceleration, especially in short gears. It will severely decrease the life of your gearbox and clutch plates.

      Happy Riding,
      Jatin K Malik


  • Mahesh Dewan
    October 16, 2016 at 9:03 am

    hi jatin
    writing to you after a long time…

    i am going to book my RE 500cc SQB, next month, should get delivery in 2017 Jan.

    Is Royal Enfield coming up with any changes in the 500cc segment in 2017, that maybe i should look forward to?

    What chain lubricant do you use for your bike?


  • Gaurav
    October 9, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Hey Jatijn,

    You shared –
    >> City (~29 Km/L)

    Heavy traffic – 27.8 Km/L
    Moderate traffic – 29.2 Km/L
    Light traffic – 30.8 Km/L
    >> Highway (~35 Km/L)

    Urban – 33.6 Km/L
    Rural – 36.8 Km/L

    Hmmm.. Is it same from the starting or gradually reach to these marks.
    I am curious to know as on some forum and posts it is written to expect mere 20 KMPL from a 500 cc Desert storm engine.


    • October 27, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      Hi Gaurav,

      Welcome to BitSnapper!

      Well, before first average I was getting somewhere around 25 Km/L so yeah it improved gradually for me. It could be due to multiple factors including my riding style adapted from Pulsar to Enfield, Air pressure, Gear shifting, Engine overhaul etc.

      Happy Riding,


  • Karan Singh
    October 4, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Hi Jatin, amazing blog buddy ! appreciate the the detail with which it has been expressed. it connects so well 🙂
    So i too need a suggestion..here is how my query goes … (lil long , please bear.. as i dont want to present a half baked query 😛 )
    I was quite a bike lover earlier during my teens, college days and until first few years of my professional life. Later I graduated to a car and my passion for biking just disappeared as I climbed higher up in the corporate ladder. My current office is ~40 kms away and I kill 4-5 hours as a daily commute. It just drives me crazy !
    One fine day I just pulled out my bike (Yamaha Fazer) to see if it serves any god. I was overwhelmed by the fact that it reduced my daily commute by almost 60-80 % ! Plus I enjoyed the bike ride like anything, it was like a complete game changer. Yamaha is an amazing machine but it had been discretely standing idle for months and years in totality. That was the point I decided that I need a new bike for sure, the question was, which one ?
    budget – not really a constraint, i can go upto maybe 4-5 lacks.
    type – cruiser for sure. not that sporty type, i need a comfortable riding posture. Powerful ofcourse, not because i want to ride @100 miles an hour, but powerful enough to give me enough torque when i need. AND definitely a classy one that grabs attention and demands a stare when it walks through the road or stops at a signal.
    ah .. and yes I want a bike with a loud sound … that helped me filter out and arrive at a few options ..
    Hyosung GT250 – naah rejected. i find it under powered and overpriced.
    Next is Harley, 2 choices for me – iron 883 and street 750/500. Iron 883 – amazing machine but beyond my budget and its maintenance is just going to create a hole in my pocket. So i was left with street 750. Well to be very frank a really powerful machine but just not worth 5 lacks. plus additional enhancements (without which it looks too bland) another 1.5-2 lacks. hence, dropped.

    Here comes the twist, last week i took a test ride of royal enfield – ALL models and I understood what i want. (like you said .. once you ride a RE, youre fucked for life). to cut the long stoy short, i zeroed down my decision to RE classic 500 Desert Storm – thats exactly what i want – within budget, comfortable ride, classy looks. Untill I read your article.
    NOW my query …
    I am not the kind of guy who rubs and cleans his machine everyday, neither the kind who knows every nut and bolt of his machine. So if this metal monster breaks in the middle of the road while commuting to the office,its just going to make me insane. Provided with the kind of after service these guys offer, is it really worth investing in a Royal Enfield ? not everyday i may be in a mood of an adventure..wearing biker boots, jeans ready to grease my hands and toil with this heavy monster. Buying RE is not an issue for me, but is its maintenance really all that creepy ! ?? i almost finalized the desert storm, but looking at its weird services model i wonder if I regret making this decision.
    Do i have a justification for bringing this beauty home despite the drawbacks you mentioned and the purpose for which i intend to buy this classic beauty ??


  • Pratik Bhojane
    October 2, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    This is the best RE CL500 blog I have come across I am about to own a CL 500 sliver next month. I just wanted to know about all the unnecessary things that are taken into consideration in these so called “free services”. Also what are are the necessary things to be covered up in every service. And thank you for such a wonderful and detailed blog


  • chandan banerjee
    September 11, 2016 at 1:31 am

    My std 350 uce is nearly one and half years old and providing me excellent service but few days prior I found sudden problem at the time of gear shifting. I am not able to shif from 1st and 2nd gears to neutral with ease. I have to pull my bull forward and backward while shifting the gear . Can you guide me properly?


    • October 3, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      Hi Chandan,

      I missed you comment somehow. I will suggest you to check the level of Engine oil as it also lubricates the gears. Also, make sure your clutch play is correctly set. This should solve your problem.

      If not, then faulty clutch plates are to be blamed which can be replaced under the warranty.



  • Avinash Vashistha
    August 17, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Dear Jatin,

    I need your advise, I want to buy a new Bike, I also have an option to buy a used royal Enfield (350cc) 2yrs old, So please tell me what would be a better deal, Buying RE 350 or I should buy fz or gixxer..
    I cant buy new RE, my budget is 1 lac. Please advise me .

    Thx in advance:-)


    • August 21, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      Hi Avinash,

      Well, when you are in the market for pre-owned vehicles (be it a car or a bike), you need to be really careful as I have personally observed (in North India), people don’t really sell their vehicle unless there is some major flaw with it or they are shifting abroad.

      However, sometimes you can grab an excellent deal too. I will suggest you to explore your options and get that CL 350 diagnosed by a good mechanic so as to get a genuine feedback about bike’s engine, suspension, chassis etc. Then only you should think about negotiating with the seller.

      Personally, I (or my family) have never bought a pre-owned vehicle so I will be inclined toward buying something fresh out of showroom (read: New). A new vehicle is generally maintenance free for initial few years which saves a lot of times spent in the workshop to get the old one fixed.

      If you really want to buy an Enfield, why not go for the finance (bike loan)? There are plenty of great options available with all-time-low interest rates in the market. That should be the best option IMHO. 🙂



  • Rajappa
    July 7, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Dear Jatin Kumar Malik,

    Thanks for your detailed information and it is helping many new RE Buyers like me to know the complete information about RE and we will not get this kind of information even from RE show room.

    Now , i am planing top buy Classic 500 Squadron blue and Please suggest me is any upgraded versions are coming in next couple of months? if you have any info?



    • July 16, 2016 at 9:30 pm

      Hi Rajappa,

      Sorry for the delay in response, was occupied at work.

      Welcome to BitSnapper! Squadron blue is an amazing looker. It is one of my favourite color in RE stable right now.

      As far as I know, there won’t be any new release in rest of 2016 as RE is working on new BS4 engines for 2017 as it will be a mandate as per the RTO.
      You can read about that news here: http://goo.gl/CmzXGR

      If you can wait till next fiscal, i.e April 2017, It should be pretty rewarding with the new lineup (hopefully with a 750cc mill). The decision rests with you. Let us know.

      Happy riding,


  • Amit K Jena
    June 12, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Hi Jatin. Thanks for this detailed review of the bike. I enjoyed every bit of it and helped got rid of many queries. I’m planning to buy a DS soon. I have got few inputs from friends that’s it gets fuel pump problem due to the EFI system which causes the starting problem. The whole EFI assembly had to be changed in the cases costing around 14k. I had visited a service centre in Visakhapatnam and enquired about the issue. The mechanic explained that it persisted in the older models and after changing of the interior of fuel tank from red oxide to zinc, the problem has been resolved. Hope to get a comment from you on this. Thanks.


    • June 14, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      Hi Amit,

      Welcome to Bitsnapper.com!

      I am glad you liked my post series. Desert Storm is surely one mean looking bull 😉

      Royal Enfiled Desert Storm

      As for your query, I have already answered this numerous time. You can check here and here.

      Rest assured, I believe in proper maintainance on my vehicles so I have had rarely faced any problem as such. It’s all bad publicity with EFI.

      Fun fact- Did you know, even you car has EFI (even Alto)? Have you ever heard of such a problem? Nah!

      Happy Riding, mate!


  • Mahesh Dewan
    June 4, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Hi jatin
    thanks for reply about the free service…
    most people say that the standard 500cc is much smoother bike to ride than the classic 500cc. its the carborator which makes all the difference as opposed to the EFI system. whats your opinion on this? do think that this is true?


  • Mahesh Dewan
    May 30, 2016 at 10:48 am

    hi jatin
    wanted to check with you what r the rules for free services… if i buy a bike in Delhi, after completing the first 2 services i decide to bike down to bangalore and stay put there for a couple of months, can i go to any RE showroom and get my 3rd free service completed in bangalore or do i have come back to delhi and get the bike serviced from where i bought?


    • June 3, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Yes Mahesh. You can them your bike serviced across the country but make sure you carry your service manual with all the necessary information on it. 🙂

      Btw Delhi to Bangalore? Seriously? That is so awesome!

      Happy Riding!


  • Justin Sare
    May 13, 2016 at 3:13 am

    Nice review and post. Thanks.

    I’m thinking of getting a RE 500 in January 2017 in Barcelona. But by that date, in Europe, any bike sold new must, by law, have ABS brakes. As far as I know, RE don’t have ABS, even as an optional extra. If they don’t fit them they can’t sell them in Europe. I like them a lot, but I don’t want to buy one without ABS if that issue is to become law. I wrote to RE asking them whether they were planning to fit their bikes with ABS, but they haven’t answered. That comes as no surprise, as their after sales service looks awful.

    I don’t suppose you know if they have plans to introduce ABS brakes in the near future…


    • May 22, 2016 at 5:06 pm

      Hi Justin,

      Welcome to BitSnapper.com!

      Thank you for your kind words.

      RE 500 is a great machine and I am sure Euro model which are imported from India as identical to the ones sold here. So, you are correct about the ABS concern.

      Good news? By 2017, all the bikes must have ABS to be sold in India too. I think you should wait for the 2017 lineup as a massive Engine refresh is just off the edge which should come with ABS.

      Happy Riding,
      Jatin K Malik



  • Mahesh Dewan
    April 25, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Hi Jatin
    I would like to know whether there are any significant performance affecting differences between the RE Classic 500 Tan, the Sqaudron Blue and the Desert Storm….

    In the spec comparison there are certain differences between the 3, like height, wheel base etc but how do they in anyway affect performance?

    i have also read somewhere that RE Desert Storm gives a mileage of 42k/l where as the others 32k/l. Could this be true, since all of them are 500cc bikes?

    What is your input on the matt finish of the bikes, in the long run does the paint wear out, or does the color fade?

    I am particularly interested in the Squadron Blue, what do u have to say as a first choice?

    your inputs


    • April 25, 2016 at 11:45 pm

      Hi Mahesh,

      Welcome to BitSnapper.com!

      So, here is a direct comparison chart I built for you:
      Royal enfield classic 500 tan vs desert storm vs squadron blue

      As you can see, there is virtually no difference in Specs other than dimensions as you mentioned. If you notice, the key difference is the Fuel tank as both Desert storm and Squadron blue packs 14.5 litres of fuel as opposed to 13.5 litres in good’ol Classic 500. I guess , this makes up for the difference in dimensions. I won’t worry much about performance differences here as the gross weight is almost same with exact same 500 cc mill.

      Ha! 42 km/l is a myth. It just doesn’t exist. We have almost all Enfield(s) in our group and all 500 cc ones offer ~35 km/l on a mixed City/Highway usage.

      Well, you need to be extra careful with Matte finish on any metal as it requires extra maintenance neglecting which leads to chipping off of the paint which looks really bad IMHO. A dry dusting is mandatory almost every day as even if something as harmless as wet dirt sticks on the body and you remove it after a few days, it takes the paint with itself. *Such is quality control of Royal Enfield* 😛

      Royal Enfield Squadron Blue | 2016

      I love Squadron blue!

      It’s quite refreshing and has a great road presence! I would buy it if given a chance now. 😎

      Hope, I was able to fulfil your dug-dug queries, let me know if you would like to know something else.

      Happy riding!

      Jatin K Malik


  • Shubham J
    March 20, 2016 at 1:07 am

    Thank you so much fellow rider for such a detailed report of the servicing hoopla’s!
    I recently became a proud owner of a DS500 and I’ve been experiencing the same problems like you’ve mentioned from the so called “free servicing” guys! During my second servicing they pointed out so many unnecessary problems in the bike which frankly shouldn’t have been there for such a beauty within 3 months! I mean how do you get a faulty alignment in such a high end bike within 3 months? Well I’ve not been striking it with hammer! For the love of god,I don’t even remember the last thing i owned which was valued by me like this beauty!
    And I wanted to know if it was a common practice to change the air filters every 3000 km. Please get back to me if you have any information regarding the same.Thank you once again.


    • April 25, 2016 at 11:52 pm

      Hi Shubham,

      I swear I never noticed your comment, so apologies for a late reply. 😀

      Welcome to BitSnapper.com mate!

      Congratulations for your Desert storm. gotta love that war era look! Sad to know you also got caught up in poor after sales service loop. I had exactly same problem and same reply. I didn’t trust them and went to Karol bagh (the mecca of biking in Delhi) and got my wheels inspected. My rear tyre was off alignment. I got it done for ₹300 and 7,000 km later, that issue never came up again.

      It’s a good practice to change your Air filter with Engine oil (every ~3000-4000 km) as air filter makes sure your engine’s combustion chamber gets the purest form of Air-Fuel mixture to churn out that 42 nm of torque 😉

      So, you should probably not compromise with that.

      Cheers and Happy Riding,
      Jatin K Malik


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