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Road Grip:


Rs. 1,81,000 (Ex-Showroom)

Royal Enfield

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RE Desert storm 500 - A love Affair
May 19, 2016 04:00 PM 19406 Views
(Updated Jun 08, 2016 02:30 PM)




Road Grip:


Hello Mates,

This is my second review on mouth shut, I had earlier reviewed my pulsar 180 which is now 11 year old.

Prelude: I have owned the RE desert storm 500 form 23 December 2014, prior to owning I had owned YEZDI 250 CLASSIC, KB125, RXG 135, RD350, PULSAR 180(Still with me)

On the RE I  have done multiple trips to the office from my home i.e. 44 km daily, and  few rides from Mumbai to khandala, Mumbai to Nasik(Bhandara), the longest ride was from Mumbai to Surat and  back(600 km)and some local riding in Sachin GIDC.  Total km clocked by me on the bike is *9000 km till date. So I believe I am in a position to write a comprehensive review on the bike

Design:  I was not able to find fault with the design no matter how hard I tried, I felt everything is perfectly positioned on this bike, the speedometer, the headlamps, the seat the engine, the tiger lamps I am trying hard to find any negative in the design but honestly I cant. It looks fabulous from any angle, no matter from which angle you look at it, I honestly believe that a motorcycle should look like a motorcycle and not like transformers which I think some of the current bikes look like. The RE Desert storm looks like a motorcycle INDEED!

Engine/Gearbox:: After riding my pulsar 180 CC for more than 11 years it was a sea change, the first time I test rode it and I was taken back by the vibration I felt, the test ride was not more than 500 meters, I was wondering how could I ride a bike with so much of vibrations. After riding than CL500(borrowed from a friend). I decided to take the plunge(Ganpati bappa morya). I booked the bike and got the delivery within 30 days, I rode it in a careful manner for the first 5 km and touched the eastern express highway(Mumbai), I opened the throttle and I was overawed by the response of the bike such an amazing torque and  the exhaust notes were t like some bullets were shot from an AK47 Rifle(Hyperbole!),  then saw the flyover coming, normally I thought of changing gears but goodness gracious such was the torque there was no need. It climbed the flyover in 5th gear, with a very light throttle and as I opened the throttle a peculiar sound was being emitted from the Desert storm which only a 500cc owner can understand.

Just to put some figures which are easily available on the net

Bhp: 27 around about 5250rpm

Torque: 42 NM of torque at 4000 rpm

The torque is of paramount importance as it is produced at a very lower rpm, so no need to change the gears or accelerate hard, just with the momentum you can ride over inclines, mark word my the feeling is surreal,

Vibrations:: The engine vibrates but that is only felt if you have ridden a Japanese bike and suddenly you climb over a Desert storm. No harsh acceleration and if ridden sensibly the vibration is less, the sweet spot is 80 to  90 km per hour.  It is Very difficult to see the vehicles in the rear view mirror if you accelerate hard,  This engine should have been rubber mounted which in turn could have taken all the vibrations away.  But mark my word it is not that bad and you get used to:. Top speed I have attained is 125 km per hour but you have to be very cruel to do so, after 100 km the engine vibrates a lot. If you want to cruise more than 100 km per hour take any Japanese 250cc and above.

Gear box It  ok, not like the yamaha or hondas but more similar to the hamara bajajs. I believe it should had six gears so that the sixth gear could have been used an overdrive which would have help in cruising. I would like to add that I have not found any false neutrals till date, false neutral in my pulsar 180 is regular occurrence

Engine performance during a long ride

I did a 287 km ride from surat to mumbai(powai). in 3.75 hours, yes the average speed was 70.2 km, I  started in the morning at 5:30 from Surat(Sachin) at reached powai at 9:15, the only break I took was 7 minutes to feel the petrol, there were very few streches where I was slower than 80 km per hour. During the whole ride the engine did not skip a beat, it was fantastic all the way during the 287 km ride. After that ride I did respect for this Bull!

Engine performance during a long ride*

Mumbai to Nasik(Bhandar) and back total km ridden 300 start time morning 6 am and back by 2:30 Pm.

In the highway if you are driving at 80 to 90 km per hour then it has its own charm, if you cross the 95 kmph mark  then the vibrations creeps in, but given its brakes and the whole design it believe the speed should be always less than 100 km per hour, you will love this bike once you hit the ghat, it’s a surreal feeling, you can smell the rustic ghat fragrance and the engine takes care of the steep ascents not much of gear changes only open the accelerator and it will chug on like a train, the feeling is marvelous as you can enjoy the beauty as the bike does most of the things and your efforts is minimal. No engine heat whatsoever the reason being is it does not rev much. not more than 5500 RPM.

have done my rides but just cited some example for the review.

Ride &Handling:: After riding it for more than 9000 km I can say that its handling has never disappointed it me, the chassis is so well balanced that even a child can ride it no pressure on your wrist and shoulders, only the seat is a bit stiff there are options available.

you can take sweeping turns with ease but in a very anticipated manner not like the VR46 or MM93 types turn, though it’s not a sports bike but the complete setup on this bike is spot on, adequate tyres and well balanced chassis makes it very rider friendly and you can ride it at very slow speed without much efforts, though not very flick-able  like the Jap's but not much to complain about.

Handling in long rides

Nothing to complain about no back pain not wrist pain no pain whatsoever(also depends on your fitness level) Rides well very well planted can take sweeping turns. Since its 100 year old chassis design, so  can’t suggest any major improvements on this. Brakes are issues though as the front disk is good but the rear brakes tends to fade away very quick lee like bruce lee, I have to tighten it quite frequently which you don’t have to do on your Indo- Jap bikes. I wish they could had a rear disk as well. In the city riding the break are adequate but during long rides the rear brakes fades away, I believe the rear brakes could have been much better.


The quality of the bike is not up to today's standard there are white spots on the engine and the front rim has been rusted in less than a year, I have seen the new bikes in showroom whose engine has developed some kind of spots which looks very bad, I had to shell out 2500 to do what people cal buffing to keep the engine shining and clean.

They could have given it a nice pair mag wheel and they could have powder coated the engine in black that would have resolved the rusting and spotting problem.

the fuel Tank is also prone to rusting so one needs to take proper care, as I have seen fuel tank being rusted in less than half year for people who put less fuel in the tank.

So far apart from the above mentioned issue I have never faced any problem, sorry  there was one complete circuit break no lights no horns nothing was working, I was coming back form khandala to mumbai in the night and suffered this, only the engine was working phew some how was able to ride back to mumbai,

There are scopes to improve the quality as if one is paying close to 2 lakh, one would excepting a good quality product.


I believe its on the higher side even the free service cost you 2000 bucks including the oil change. Whenever you go for the servicing, someone will come rushing to you wheel out nikalna padega, this cost you 900 including the service tax, 2.5 litre of oil is consumed, I change it every 2500 km. I have my doubts over the EFI as I have heard that you cannot repair it and something goes wrong then you have to replace it, the cost is 12000 to  15000. Given the indian fuel condition there are much chances that it has to be replaced in 3 to 4 years


As the paint is matte  finish so utmost care needs to be taken do not rub the tank with clothes very hard, I think its better to clean the bike with water and rub the tank with hand or a cloth but very lightly.

Fuel consumption

Nothing to write about the fuel consumption as we can’t test it  any way, but I feel that it gives about 25 to 27 km per litre. so you have to believe what the manufacture.


Even with the quality issues, I would like  rate the bike very high,  it not because I own this bike, but it is because of the connect you develop with this bike, when I walk down to my bike I admire every bit of it, when I park it and as I walk away I will look back at least once to appreciate the beauty.

so I would say that if you have Paisa, patience and perseverance go for it, even if you don’t have one am sure the day you purchased this bike and after riding it for more than 5000 km you will surely fall for it, the connect what you develop for this bike is amazing and it is very difficult for any other bike to build that connect with you.

There are many other options which are faster than the RE, reliable than the RE, and prettier than the RE, but there is nothing like the RE, either you love it or hate it but am sure one cannot ignore it.

I have tried to be as honest as I can and tried to find some faults in it but as a  Desert room owner I have developed some connect for it, so friends take this review with a pinch of salt and let me know your comments on it

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Royal Enfield Classic Desert Storm 500