Introduced in 2008, the Royal Enfield Classic 500 is a standard motorcycle that harkens back to the post-war era with its throwback styling that includes a sprung seat, die-cast headlight casing, and peashooter exhaust. Thumbing the electric starter or giving a swift right boot to the kickstart lever—the latter of which also introduces a bit of nostalgia—brings the five-speed single-cylinder 499cc engine to life. It is available in five different iterations to attract any kind of rider, from the beginner rider to the casual café hopper looking to make a statement in chrome.
Back in 2012 we noted the character that Royal Enfield’s 500cc engine offers. EIC Mark Hoyer stated, “I’ve owned and maintained a 500cc British Single that dates from 1954 and have to admit there is a pretty powerful attraction to what the new Enfield offers. The character is there when you’re riding, and you get it without all that character building in the garage.”
Other machines with some soul and character include the Triumph Bonneville Bobber, Honda Rebel 500, Indian Scout Sixty, or Harley-Davidson Iron 883.
No major updates were announced for 2020.
The Classic 500 comes in many different iterations to match your style. Blend in with Classic 500 Stealth Black ($5,799) or military homage Classic 500 Battle Green ($5,699). Don’t like to camouflage yourself? Stand out with the Classic 500 Chrome ($5,799), Gunmetal Grey ($5,699), or the base model in black, blue, or tan ($5,599).