Royal Enfield Classic 500 Stealth Euro 4
Royal Enfield’s latest version of their venerable single has been booted into the modern mix to comply with the stringent Euro 4 specification. That’s not a simple task with a big single, but it has been achieved admirably.
I picked up the bike from Burwood (Sydney) and headed out into the incessant traffic of Parramatta Road, but this is a very easy bike to ride in traffic and a pleasant bike to ride around rural North West Sydney. I also took it for a spin up the Putty Road where it motored along happily. All up did over 400 kilometers, and through twisty stuff like Galston Gorge and Berowra waters the suspension proved very capable – a joy to ride. Forks are 35mm (same size as the iconic CB750!) and the rear has piggy back shocks with preload adjustment. The swing arm has been updated from a circular section to an oval section shape and together with good quality Avon tyres proved a good package. Both brakes are excellent as they now have a disc brake rear to complement the front disc and this new Euro 4 model has the obligatory ABS. The light weight (190kg fuelled) is evident when cornering and also when putting the bike on the centre stand – there’s a side stand as well. Good quality equipment includes Keihin electronic fuel injection and a Denso starter motor. The switch gear, indicators and lights (headlight 60/55W halogen) all worked faultlessly. The battery is a large 14AH (again the same size as the CB750). Instrumentation is basic, with only a speedo, odometer and warning lights for oil, indicator, neutral, ABS and high beam, and I found the speedo hard to read in certain light conditions. One interesting feature is that there are key locks for the air filter cover,
battery cover and toolbox (which includes a small tool kit). The seat looked like it was going to be less than average, but turned out to be quite comfortable. The Stealth includes a pillion seat as standard, but I was not game to ask the bride to try it out, as she only likes Goldwings! The motor shows its heritage and feels like a good English 500cc single from the ‘sixties. However that is the only similarity, as it has digital fuel injection matched to a modern gearbox and clutch which are on a par with similar Japanese models. There is no point in revving the engine through the gears – just short shift into 5th around 50-55km/h and the engine pulls cleanly up to 110. The motor sits sweetly at 80-85, but above that the vibration becomes noticeable. It is a single after all. Starting had me a bit nonplussed at first until I realised that you must not touch the twist grip at all, just push the button and it will fire up first push every time. For old times sake I tried the kick starter and it was three out of three success. Again no throttle! The tank holds 13.5 litres and based on a not too scientific method, should give about 350 km per tank. The Stealth comes in Matt Black (which I have been told is the colour of the times) – everything is black – tank, frame, rims, guards, handlebars, engine, exhaust etc. Some loved it and some did not! Obviously this is not a performance machine and knee scrapers can be left at home, but it still drew lookers. On a vintage bike run in the Hawkesbury, everyone wanted to have a look and ask questions, then back in the city a number of 20 year old P platers asked a whole range of new and very different questions. Obviously a motorcycle with wide appeal, which does not leak oil, and is LAMS approved.
Excellent brakes and grippy Avon tyres.
BELOW LEFT A lockable toolbox so no one nicks your spanners. BELOW RIGHT Speedo can be a bit hard to read in bright sunlight.