Classic Motorworks, the importer and distributor of Royal Enfield motorcycles in the U.S., earlier this week announced the arrival of the 2010 Royal Enfield Bullet lineup. All the models will feature the company's new, Unit Construction Engine.
"Today begins a very notable new model year for Royal Enfield in the United States," Kevin Mahoney, president of Classic Motorworks and Royal Enfield USA, stated in a press release.
2010 marks the transition of Royal Enfield's production models for the U.S. market to the Unit Construction Engine. Prior to this year, the Bullet's engine and transmission were housed separately; Royal Enfield says it designed the new power plant to combine the traditional appeal of a classic long-stroke "big single" with modern technology for cleaner, reliable operation with less maintenance. The Bullet line now gets hydraulic lifters, a closed-loop electronic fuel injection system and a three-stage catalytic converter.
2010 Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycles will begin rolling out to most dealers this month, with availability expected to follow later this spring for pending dealers in California. The 2010 model line will include a new version of the popular Bullet Military, which continues Royal Enfield's tradition of building mainstream versions of its military contract bikes for Western consumers.
Bullet C5 Classic EFI (MSRP: $6395)
You might have first seen this machine in October 2008 as the "new Bullet 500 Classic." The bike is unashamedly retro-looking, channeling 1951 styling, but it also sports a newly designed, modernized Unit Construction Engine, and Royal Enfield's first electronic fuel injection (EFI). The company says this model is a complete departure from Royal Enfield's existing models but with the essence, look and feel of the original Bullet.
Royal Enfield says the basic goals for designing the new engine included increased reliability and low maintenance, the ability to sustain higher speeds on the U.S. roads, and the extra passing power, torque, and lower emissions associated with an EFI-equipped single cylinder, pushrod engine.
Bullet G5 Classic (MSRP: $5995)
The updated G5 model also carries the new UCE engine with EFI while still retaining its 1955 style and vibe. Improvements include the UCE engine with 5-speed transmission, better fuel economy, lower emissions, an improved suspension, higher cruising speeds and better handling. Avon Speedmaster Mk. II tires provide the grip and a front disc brake slows things down.
The Classic G5, Deluxe G5 and the Military (MSRP starting at $5,995) are said to be available now, while the C5 (MSRP: $6,395) is expected to be hitting U.S. shores in June. Both come with a two-year, unlimited-mileage manufacturer warranty, with options like the Café Racer, Continental and Scrambler/Trials kits also available (they'll run you $1,896-$3,196).
Along with the introduction of the new models, Royal Enfield also plans reassert its US presence and focus on getting more motorcycles to a broader swath of riders. To prove it's serious, the company recently hired two industry veterans for top positions, is in the process of finalizing CARB testing on all its bikes, and is conducting a demo tour lasting the rest of the year.
Classic Motorworks's Kevin Mahoney is touting the new machines Royal Enfield will offer this year: "There are some great opportunities as we begin to carry our new reliable Royal Enfields."
For the 2010 model year, Royal Enfield's Military model will move from its G5 platform to the C5. That model is scheduled to begin shipping this week, and the firm says CARB testing should be done in about a month, at which point dealers will be allowed to sign up.
Parent company Royal Enfield Motors was founded in 1901 in England, but has been based in India since 1955. Last year it sold more than 52,000 bikes worldwide, up about 50 percent from the previous year. Mahoney adds, "Royal Enfield is working on a second major factory expansion, which will double capacity."
The company's biggest marketing push is the Royal Enfield Experience demo ride tour. The events will take place in key markets across the United States throughout the year. The tour will educate people on the modern features of the new motorcycle line, as well as the rich history of the Royal Enfield marque. It all culminates in a 45-minute adventure ride.
Future stops for the Royal Enfield Experience tour are scheduled for Americade, Laconia Bike Week and Sturgis, with additional stops and details to be announced throughout the year.
Bullet G5 specifications:
Engine: Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke, Air-Cooled, OHV
Cubic Capacity: 499 cc
Engine Output/Torque: 27.5 BHP, 41.3 Nm @ 4000 rpm
Fuel System: Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI)
Electrical: 12V System; Headlamp 60/55W; Tail lamp 21/5W
Transmission: 5-Speed gearbox
Suspension: Gas-filled shock absorbers
Brakes (Front): 280mm Disc
Brakes (Rear): 152mm Drum
Tires (Front): 3.25 x 19in
Tires (Rear): 3.50 x 19in
Wheel Base: 54 inches
Ground Clearance: 5.5 inches
Weight (Wet): 412 lbs