2018 Royal Enfield Classic 500 | First Look Review

2018 Royal Enfield Classic 500
2018 Royal Enfield Classic 500 shown in Chrome/Green (passenger seat not shown).

Royal Enfield’s aptly-named Classic 500 is getting a few upgrades for 2018, including standard ABS, rear disc brake and pillion seat. The Classic will continue to be powered by a fuel-injected 499cc air-cooled single, fitted with both an electric and kick start (for those who take the “Classic” seriously).

Read our 2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan first ride review

2018 Royal Enfield Classic 500
2018 Royal Enfield Classic 500 in Stealth.

In addition to the ABS, rear disc brake and pillion, the 2018 Classic 500 will also be available in several new colors: Gun Metal Gray, Stealth (matte black with a blacked-out engine and exhaust) and two-tone Chrome and Green or Graphite.

Other features of the Classic 500 include a 5-speed transmission with wet clutch, twin gas charged rear shocks with 5-step adjustable preload, a 3.5-gallon gas tank, a 31-inch seat (a 29-inch Low option is also available) and 19-inch front, 18-inch rear tube-type tires rolling on spoked wheels.

Read our Royal Enfield Continental GT and Interceptor first look review

2018 Royal Enfield Classic 500
2018 Royal Enfield Classic 500 in Stealth.

Royal Enfield says the Classic 500 is the most popular bike in its lineup, and with a base MSRP of $5,599 (up $100 from 2017), it should continue to appeal to those looking for a fun, simple, classically cool ride.

The 2018 Royal Enfield Classic 500 will be available in standard colors Black and Lagoon for $5,599; military colors Battle Green, Desert Storm and Squadron Blue for $5,699; new Gun Metal Gray for $5,699; new Stealth for $5,799; and two-tone chrome colors with Black, Green or Graphite for $5,799. Bikes should be available in dealers in June.

For more information, visit royalenfield.com.

2018 Royal Enfield Classic 500
2018 Royal Enfield Classic 500 in Stealth.

19 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with that. This has always been a very classy looking ride. Basic, simple and nothing too fancy. Just a plain good ride.

  2. Retro cool with clean lines and a general feel of 1940’s Deco. I do wonder about the build quality and longevity factors. A long term report will be interesting. I’ve always had a thing for thumpers————

    • Well, I recently bought a Bullet 500 and the thumping is pretty mild. Looks like they put strategic dampers on it. I live on dirt roads and handles especially well there and very nimble on the highway. It feels light and manageable. Very pleased. Good build quality. Lots of aluminum castings that leave room for further metal finishing and polishing. Very nice paint and stamped fenders. You can’t buy that look at any price.

  3. OED definition of classic: Judged over a long period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind. Hmmmm, “long period” – nope; “highest quality” – nope; “outstanding of its kind” – one of a kind, maybe. Hey, the only thing wrong with a motorcycle being a fashion statement is denying it’s a fashion statement.

    • W. Wilkins, I love mine and don’t see it as a fashion statement, but rather as a classic thumper with loads of character. It’s like riding and older 50’s British single with a rich history. Fashion has nothing to do with it.

  4. I’ve owned my Classic 500 since July 2015 and have about 2100 miles on it. No regrets at all. Just an honest, modern “retro” bike with tons of character, and a pleasure to ride at moderate speeds. I’ve removed the heavy center stand and restrictive exhaust and now the bike weighs under 390 lbs. with additional bhp and torque felt throughout the rpm range. If I wanted a “pocket rocket” I would have purchased one.

  5. Got a 2018 Gun Metal Gray in March 2019 (NOS and a deal I couldn’t refuse). Issues include that the first owners manual they gave me said to make sure I brought the spare tube and cables home with the bike. The dealer said they never heard of these free spare parts. So I downloaded the on-line manual and it said the first four planned services were free. They said that wasn’t for the US market, but they did find another manual that showed none of these oddities. With 150 miles on the bike, only a minor but annoying rub. We are paying careful attention to the break in specifications in the manual(s) and plan on a visit to the dealer (back roads due to break-in restrictions) to get the rub looked at. Up-shifting is a bit of an acquired art (my son with his recent MSF class completion has had no issues with shifting or the tranny). Otherwise, we cannot be more pleased. No oil drips or consumption, no parts have rattled off (mirrors vibrate, it is a thumper dah), the tires are holding steady air pressure and it gets plenty oo’s and aas (nobody believes it is a 2018 with ABS and fuel injection until they see the disc brakes). The brakes are fine, excellent for a 400# bike with 27.2 HP (if they use a decimal point on the horsepower wheelie control is not required) but they have not been put to the ultimate emergency stop test yet. I have to add that I got it to keep my kid off of my Bonneville and out of trouble. However, the RE came with center stand and pillion passenger hand grip that I had to buy and add to the Newchurch… and I do enjoy bombing around town on RE.

  6. “However, the RE came with center stand and pillion passenger hand grip that I had to buy and add to the Newchurch”

    I really need to ask what that means from Tom, the earlier commentor. I brought a 2018 Pegasus Edition new from a dealer in the summer of 2019. I paid a premium for it and had to drive a few states away to get it but I’m confused by why Tom had to buy those standard parts and add them.
    Also, there are no “static dampers” as the other fellow had mentioned. I love my limited edition and numbered Pegasus 500 and will never see another like her while riding around town. Build #650 out of 1000 bikes, and only 400 battle green ones were made. My understanding is that only 80 green Pegasus models made it to the the US.
    So far so good…

  7. Well, Where can I get a new transmission for this exact bike? I have one here that is a 2018, looks brand spanking new and awesome as can be looks wise but the transmission is FRIED cannot be ridden. this bike has less that 6k on it. many miles shy of 6000 and it is broken. seriously, I need a new transmission for the 2018 Royal Enfield bullet 500 – I can’t believe it really, I have some ratty bikes here from the 60’s and 70’s that have NEVER had any issues with transmissions, I mean some that still have the original clutch plates! what the heck is the deal with this?

  8. Mike, It is not my job or desire to defend Royal Enfield but if you’re still in the warranty it ought to be on them. I think you documented the issue with your dated post (are you up to date with service?). Speed shifting the Classic is out of the question. It is as if you have to wait for the RPMs to drop so the gears sync. It does not shift like a modern tranny (the best way I can say it), but I have ridden two of them and both were like this. Shifting too quickly leaves me coasting in a false neutral. Not a comfortable feeling, but if I am patient it reliably engages and pull well for 500CC bike. I have other bikes if I want to shift quickly, or feel comfortable about machine reliability when going long distances. My current issue is that I have been waiting almost a year for a new rubber shifter boot. Mine got knocked off and a replacement has been hard to get. It is less than $2 for the part so I might get a spare if I ever get one.
    Tom

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