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Enfield TRIALS Classic Motorbike Review

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Royal Enfield Trials EFI
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

The Royal Enfield Trials EFI is rubbish and brilliant at the same time. Rubbish because it’s slow, under-braked and ill-handling – but brilliant because it offers a unique, charming, easy-going ride you won’t get with any other bike less than 30 years old.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 0

Rating the Royal Enfield Trials’ engine is a subjective issue – base the score on performance, and it comes out low. It’s slow revving and is uncomfortable much past 65. But it has chunky single-cylinder torque right from tickover, and although it’s vibey they’re part of the character. As long as you don’t ride for hours flat-out, it’s part of the appeal. 

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 0

Modern bikes chase chassis rigidity – the Enfield’s steel tube design merely holds the components together and might as well be made of rope. Even riding slowly you can feel the chassis flex as the engine loads and unloads the rear wheel. Saying that, taking smooth lines, make your inputs progressive and accelerating through bends helps maintain momentum. The knobbly tyres are soft, so leaning over gently doesn’t stress them too much – it’s possible to scrape the centrestand and rear brake pedal. The ride is a little bouncy – exacerbated by the sprung saddle. It will go off-road – but only gentle green lanes and fields unless you want to bash it in to pieces. It’s a style thing.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 0

Centrestand, a rear luggage rack, a fuel light and an electric start are the only real luxuries. But they do mean it’s surprisingly utilitarian – it’ll happily commute across town every day, where the tight turning circle and narrow width is useful. But remember: real men learn to use the kickstart, even if the fuel injection makes it slightly easier. Compare and buy parts for the Enfield Trials in the MCN Shop.

Royal Enfield Trials EFI (2009-current)

Detail Value
New price £5,100
Used price range View Enfield TRIALS bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 499 cc
Power 28 bhp
Top speed 75 mph
Insurance group 6 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 0
Engine rating is 2 rating is 0
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 0
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 0
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 0
Value rating is 3 rating is 0

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 0

It's A 50 year-old design produced in India (converted to trial spec in the UK), so it’s fairly crude up close. It’s solid though – the motor is a piece of cake to home-service, everything is simple and accessible and it’s a tough old beast. It remains to be seen how the fuel injection will holdup under long-term ownership – it’s the only thing you might ever need to trouble a dealer to sort out.

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 0

Just under £4500 buys you a Suzuki Gladius  or a Kawsaki ER-6n – both more practical and better performing. But Enfield buyers are unique – it’s an ownership experience rather than a purchase you rationalise too much. It’s also the sort of bike you could keep for life – you won’t get the same feeling with the Jap bikes. As long as you truly know what you’re getting, it’s a great authentic experience of classic motorcycling – except with better backup, reliability and a lower price than you might pay for a ‘real’ classic bike. Find a Royal Enfield 500 for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 6 of 17

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Model History

New for 2009.

Other Versions

Royal Enfield Bullet Classic: Same basic running gear, but with dual seats, road tyres and road-bike styling.
Royal Enfield Woodsman: New for 2010, the Woodsman sits between the Trials and the Classic. Off-road looks come from unique controls and a high-level exhaust, but it has road tyres. Could be a better bet than the Trials unless you want to hit some gentle green lanes.

Specifications

Top speed 75 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 28 bhp
Max torque 30.5 ft-lb
Weight 187 kg
Seat height 800 mm
Fuel capacity 14.5 litres
Average fuel consumption 55 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 6 of 17
Engine size 499 cc
Engine specification Pushrod, 2v air-cooled single. Five gears, fuel injection
Frame Tubular steel cradle
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment None
Front brakes 310mm disc, twin-piston sliding caliper
Rear brake Drum
Front tyre size 100/90x19
Rear tyre size 100/90x19

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 0(0 reviews)

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