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Royal Enfield Bullet Trials 500 comes to North America

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People say they want a Royal Enfield scrambler, based on the company’s 650 parallel twin. Sorry, kids, that isn’t happening for 2021, but we are getting the Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Trials in North America, similar to other Trials models it’s sold over the past few years. This bike debuted in other markets last year, and now it’s coming to Canada and the US.

This isn’t a true modern-day trials bike. The Bullet Trials 500 is based on vintage British offroad machines, from the days when the manufacturers used the same basic parts to make street bikes and trail bikes. The Trials 500 follows the same formula, using the Bullet 500 street bike as its basis.

That means you’re getting an air-cooled single-cylinder engine, with 27 horsepower and 30 pound-feet of torque. It’s fuel-injected, and has both kickstart and electric boot, and a five-speed gearbox. That’s basically the same engine Royal Enfield’s used in the Bullet 500 line for decades, with only a few small updates to push it through emissions testing.

The rest of the bike uses similar old-school components: Twin shocks in rear, with five-way adjustable preload. Spoked wheels (19-inch front, 18-inch rear). Lots and lots of steel in the chassis. A sensible 31.5-inch seat height.

While Steve McQueen and his buddies might have used bikes like these in the desert (at least, until they got their hands on Husqvarnas), they certainly have limited off-road performance compared to other modern bikes. There’s only five inches of ground clearance, and curb weight is 423 pounds. These machines aren’t designed for max offroad hoonery, like a modern big-dollar Triumph or Ducati desert sled. However, they’re attractive machines, perfect for posing at your local Starbucks or the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. And, countless Royal Enfield have been pressed into ADV bike duty around the Himalayas with little expectation of true dirt riding. The Trials 500 should do well in both those roles, at least.

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