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A comprehensive Road test done by Zigwheels
article about cleaning and maintaining your royal enfield
Everything you need to know to take care of the new EFI system
Royal Enfield Bullet-The Indian Cult ? Find out !!
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Royal Enfield’s flagship Classic series has been upgraded with the introduction of two limited edition bikes – the Classic Chrome and Desert Storm. The Classic series has been a runaway success story for Royal Enfield since its launch in November 2009, its sales far surpassing the Chennai-based manufacturer’s expectations. With demand far outstripping supply, the veteran motorcycle maker has increased capacity substantially but Enfield aficionados continue to have to bear a long waiting period.
Configuration and make up :
Royal enfield Desert Storm as the name suggests comes with sand colored paint.The Desert Storm draws inspiration from the World War era, with its bold, macho sand colour scheme. The matt finish paint job, with the Royal Enfield monogram on the tank and the thigh pads, portray the same strength and grit that of a true veteran. The authentic styling features on this ride comprise wide mud guards, an oval tool box, a single spring saddle seat and a unique tail lamp. Besides, there’s also the trademark Royal Enfield tiger lamp that further enhances this bike’s appearance.
The Royal Enfield Desert Storm 500 is powered by same 500cc single cylinder engine which comes loaded with classic 500 or C5 and the refined engine is added with lots of technological goodies. Its 500cc engine is Unit Construction Engine (UCE) that depends on fuel injection rather than a carburetor. UCE means there is an integrated assembly for gearbox, clutch and the engine, this reduces the friction happening from movable parts and this lowers the transmission losses. To retain its classic look the engine looks borrowed from the post World War II period, but it uses the latest technology. The engine is with electronic fuel injection system that keeps working on to get the best possible mixture of air and fuel depending on ride condition and speed levels. Thus the Royal Enfield Classic 500 is in its best mode at the cruising speed of 100kmph without worrying for fuel efficiency.
The looks and the styling of the Royal Enfield Classic 500 in India cues to the J2 a Royal Enfield model from the early fifties. Also the classic green colour on the 500 reminds highest development in the British motorcycling era. According to the company the green colour also reflects company’s commitment towards greener environment.
Every single detailing from its well design front and rear fenders, exhausts fins, oval tool, its fuel tank, headlight cap to its split seats spring saddled, every thing seems taken from post World War II period. And if not its body frame, air-cooled engine and body paints confirms that the ride is surly a classic to roam around in the 21 century.
When Royal Enfield brought the Thunderbird it gave vibes that the company is moving away from its original design. But with the launch of the Royal Enfield Classic 500 in India we all got our Bullet back.
Engine and Performance :
The Desert storm is based on the same platform as the RE Classic and is also loaded with the same 500cc Twin Spark unit construction engine. The long stroke mill, which is powered by a Japanese-made Keihin Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) system, can churn out a good 27.2 bhp of power at 5,250 rpm and 41.3 Nm of peak torque at 4,000 rpm. Owing to this, the Classic’s pick-up is really something for a 187 kg bike and it seems like the Enfield can sustain speeds for long durations of time without the engine stuttering or tiring.
The Bullet finally lives up to the reputation of its tagline "Built Like a Gun, Goes like a Bullet". After dispatching nought to sixty in under five seconds, you'll be hurtling past the ton mark in just over 10 seconds (if you keep her pinned that is). Its top speed is about 130kph, with 140 being registered on the analog speedometer.
There is plenty of torque everywhere in the rev range and the plenteous torque is what this motorcycle is all about. The vibes though, make their presence felt at two points of the rev range. The first set is at speeds of around 60kph, where the typical single cylinder resonance tingles your palms. The next is at the top of the rev range at about 120kph, after which the engine smooths down near the top speed. An appealing factor of the Desert Storm is that the throttle response is crisp and gives a Japanese bike feel, all credit to the fuel injection system that brings a modicum of modernity to what is otherwise a retro looking motorcycle. The thump though is subdued by the long Bazooka exhaust. Naturally, the shorter bottle muffler is what will be the first accessory that Desert Storm owners would resort to and that takes care of the all important thump.
Ride and Handling :
Handling is always a fun factor on Bullets and the Royal Enfield Desert Storm in India is no exception. New electricals, switchgear, electrical self-start, combined engine and gearbox parts, EFI and even more rigid components like the new front forks, make the new Desert Storm as reliable and refined as any in the segment.
A clean response throughout while revving is what Royal Enfield has engineered into this motorcycle after some jerking concerns on the first few batches of Classic 500s.
The new front fork suspensions have been modified compared to the older Classic model to improve rigidity and provide more refined handling. The result is that the Desert Storm also offers much better riding comfort and enhanced braking. There is no feeling of pitchy or late reacting brake performance. Minor adjustments to the rake and trail of the front suspension provide comfortable handling especially on bumpy roads.
Coming to the key element of the ride, the Desert Storm is clearly the upgraded version of the older classic bearing the spring saddle seats and Bullet fans will love it. Zipping through a traffic bottleneck in the city has been never easy with a big Bullet, but the Classic variants manage to do just that. The gearshifts are smooth, with false neutrals being almost non-existent.
Mileage / Fuel economy -
As far as fuel efficiency is concerned, the Desert storm returned 38 kmpl in-town runs and 46 kmpl on the highways riding at 60 kmph. A 42 kmpl overall mark is terrific by any stretch of the imagination but this is the real world we are talking of and it equates to a 567 km range using the bike's 13.5-litre petrol tank.
Royal Enfield Desert storm 500 price in India settles at Rs 1.58-1.65 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai). It’s the best set of wheels you can get after paying for that price tag, total valve for money.
Royal Enfield Desert storm 500 EFI Specifications:
|Engine||Single Cylinder, 4 Stroke, OHV, SI Engine, Air cooled, and Keihin Electronic Fuel Injection|
|Bore x Stroke||84 mm x 90 mm|
|Maximum Power||27.2 bhp @ 5250 rpm|
|Maximum Torque||41.3 Nm @ 4000 rpm|
|Transmission||5 Speed (left foot gear shift)|
|Ignition||Digital Electronic Ignition|
|Ground Clearance||135 mm|
|Wheel Base||1370 mm|
|Seat Height/ Saddle Height||800 mm|
|Front||90/90 - 19|
|Rear||120/80 - 18|
|Electrical System||12 Volts - DC|
|Head lamp||60 W / 55 W, HALOGEN|
|Tail Lamp||21/5 W|
|E-Start Starter Motor||0.9 KW, DENSO|
|Front||280mm Disc, 2-Piston caliper|
|Rear||Foot Operated 153 mm Single Lead Internal Expanding|
|Front||Telescopic, Hydraulic Damping, Stroke 130 mm|
|Rear||Twin gas charged shock absorbers with 5-step adjustable preload, 80mm travel|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||14.5±1 ltr|
|Compression Ratio||8.5 : 1|
|Air Cleaner||Paper Element|
|Engine Oil Grade / Qty||15W 50 API, SL Grade JASO MA|
|Weight(Kerb)||187 Kg (with 90% fuel & oil)|
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