May 16, 2007

Royal Enfield Machismo 500: Proxy Riding Impression

Royal Enfield LB500 Lean Burn Machismo 500Someone asked for a wots-it-like on the Royal Enfield Machismo 500 (aka Lean Burn 500). Well, here is the dope from a chap who I trust, who got his muddy paws on the thing recently. I haven't restated everything that was fit to put on the blog...


  • Didn't seize, so it must be good. No really, the bike was ridden hard for more than 500 km!
  • Pulls cleanly through gears 1, 2 and 3. Fourth is for cruising. Fifth is dull – overdrive
  • All the usual symphonic [sic], and vibratory accompaniments continue
  • It makes 23.65 bhp@5600 rpm and it feels like it
  • This is not a disappointing Bullet to ride. Ride it hard enough to make a proper racket, it will show you a half-respectable speed on the speedo
  • It remains a dramatic machine to ride hard, but is now also fast
  • Same old same old. Run rings around... er... 1918 Triumph SD
  • Also the same – hard. Got a 120 kg pillion to smooth things out?
  • Didn't work the first day. Second day they started worked decently.
  • The disc is the same spec as a 350, and now you feel the lack of power
  • Once speeds rise, the disc feels weak
  • It's a Bullet. Nicer than what it used to be (no cables broke, no oil sweating...)
Value for money (my addition)
  • Rs 1.05 lakhs! That's seriously, seriously expensive. Why, it's borderline silly and almost ridiculous. More than a lakh (splutter, splutter) for a Bullet? And so forth...
Brief Specs
  • Engine: 499cc
  • Power: 23.65 bhp@5600 rpm
  • Torque: 4.08 kgm@3000 rpm
  • Transmission: 5 speed
  • Brakes: 280 mm disc/internal expansion drum
  • Tyres: 3.25x19 (f) 3.5x19 (r)
  • length/width/height (mm): 2120/750/1080
  • wheelbase: 1370 mm
  • kerb weight (kg): 185
  • fuel tank: 14.5 litres (2.65 reserve)
  • Price: Rs 1,05,000 (approx)


Utpal Das said...

Where did the chap get the bike from?
I mean, the only 500 I know (or thought so) has ceased production, and that was not a Lean Burn engine.
On the other hand the supposed 'Hurricane 500', this is not. About 2 years back, someone in xbhp wrote that Chandigarh is booking 500 AVLs, is this one from that stock? And how come only one city was tested?
Or is RE (re)launching the bike?
Price seems to be alright as the Iron cast engine cost 97k when in production.

rearset said...

This is the new AVL-motor-ed Lean Burn 500cc engine. It will form the basis of the Machismo that will take the place of the old 500. The bike was ridden from Mumbai to Goa as I understand it, but I don't have any more details.

And yes this does constitute a relaunch.

Also I had issues with the old 500 being 97K, so 1.05 is just exorbitant!

Gopalakrishnan said...

< rant >
I buy and no one realizes I have a new bike ...
< /rant >

Anonymous said...

Rs 1.05 lakh for the Royal Enfield Machismo 500? It's over-priced by... let's see... Rs 1.05 lakh? Yes, the Bullet 500 is definitely over-priced by Rs 1.05 lakh. Which makes it a bit expensive.

A sub-30 BHP 500? HA HA and HA..

first_synn said...

1.05 lakhs, eh?

Decade old Jap 400 with so-so papers >>> "Brand new" Same old iron lump.

sunspot said...


Seriously I cant thank you enough! Am head over heels into buying one (booking today). Any strong negatives you can mention?

rearset said...


1. It looks exactly the same as any other Bullet. At Rs 1.05 lakh...

2. It's ride quality will quite harsh unless you gain lots of weight

3. Handling's so-so. In a given set of corners, any Indian bike will run rings about you. And you'll have to suffer the 19-inch tyres and the total lack of choice in that regard

4. Reliability. Has always been suspect

5. For Rs 1.05 lakh, as someone already pointed out, you could do better. You'd get a old-ish imported Japanese multi-cylinder that would have more performance and handling...

But, and this is a big one: If you are a Bullet fan, don't let anything distract you or detract from the purchase. Just have fun, yeah?

Neo said...

How fast does it go? Can it do a reliable 130kmph over long distance? If not then its not worth 1+ lakh, c'mon its a 500cc got to do at least that

Anonymous said...

I bought a Machismo 350 in June 2007 and its great. If you are a Bullet fan then thats it for you. As rightly pointed out by a few the Mach 500 looks and measures the same as the 350, then why pay more. People buy a bullet because its about love for it and showing off with it. If paying more doesnt get you any new look then is it worth paying more????

Powerwise the 350cc has more than enough power for Indian road conditions. To make the Mach500 better RE should atleast put broader tyres or make the bike bike longer. Otherwise it's just another bullet.

Oreen said...

been riding an avl 350 for the last six years and i hear the new five speed gearbox is a definite improvement . . . thinking of upgrading, but the Yam TDM 900 won't cost a penny less than 12 lakhs on road, which i obviously don't have.

been thinking about the 500 lb because i do long rides with wife and son, and the extra torque can come in handy...

and also thinking about the pulsar 220, which is not a family touring bike...

we hardly have any options other than this now, do we?

Anonymous said...

Problem in India is that there is no other big bike that is manufactured there except the Bullet. So guys dont really have a choice. If Bajaj could make the Eliminator bigger in size and engine capacity and hike up the price to 1 lakh it might give the Bullet a run for the money. Unless some other bigger bike comes into India the Bullet Rules the Indian psyche.