Royal Enfield | India | Chadwick review

For sale:  500cc Enfield Bullet, 1995, 2,200 kms, nice condition

By Ian Chadwick, Collingwood, Ontario, Canada.
Last updated October 12, 2005.

A bit of an introduction: A moment of weakness overcame me this summer. I found a barely-ridden 500cc Enfield Bullet in Kingston, Ontario, and a friend and I drove out to buy it. It's one of the original bikes brought into Canada by T&D Impex when Bullets were legally imported into Canada. It looks a lot like my former Bullet, but black-and-chrome instead of my old red-and-chrome model.

I'm not sure why I wanted a motorcycle again at this point, but I did. I'd been off the two-wheels for a year, and while it didn't bother me over the winter, by spring I got this urge to get back on one again. It was an itch I needed to scratch. And the Bullet seemed like a friendly ride, one I could putter around on without speeding. Besides, it looks great; that classic British style is stunning.

Almost as soon as I got it home, things happened. My time evaporated. My life got exceptionally busy. One of my staff got seriously sick and I was working more hours in the store, seldom taking time off. I had a lot of council business on my plate. Then my Dad got ill - cancer - and was hospitalized and everything was thrown for a loop. We were driving to Toronto - a two-three hour trip each way - several times a week. Somehow the motorcycle never got a lot of riding.

When I got the bike, it was in okay shape - mostly needed some TLC. It had only had 1,900 kms on it in about a decade - barely beyond its break-in. I gave it a thorough clean and polish, oil and lube. It started to look great. It also started easily, too, once I got the hang of the process.

It needed some new 'soft' bits - rubber, gaskets, filters, which I quickly bought and installed. Then I had my mechanic replace the head gaskets and with them the rocker boxes and pushrods. I replaced the mirrors. I even put on a classic-looking headlight visor and made a British tax disc! So the Bullet is in about as good a shape as it ever was. True, years sitting in the sun has made some of the pin-striping peel, but that's easily fixed.

I had the oil changed, had the carb reset and cleaned, oil and air filters replaced, the main jet replaced, and a few other odds and ends done. In all, I spent more than $1,500 CAD on parts and labour. And I barely got to ride it 100 kms in three months! In fact, I never took it more than 20 kms in any direction; mostly I rode it around town on the side streets on the rare times I had to ride.

And then came the fall. Leaves were changing, the weather got cooler and winter was just around the corner. Since I don't want a garage sculpture or have it merely sit unused and unridden, I decided to sell it. No, I'd prefer to keep it, but I've always believed bikes are not meant to simply sit in garages.

The bike is in good shape: everything included including some extra parts (like oil filters, unused gaskets, etc). It doesn't leak oil, it starts on the second kick most times (sometimes even the first, but that's tricky for me). It has a left-hand shifter, and four speed gear box. The shifter can be changed back, by the way, to a right-hand shifter.

It came with the original solo seat and pillion seat (shown in some pictures, above), but I found it a little tall for my frame, so I replaced it with the lower, stock bench seat. But the solo seat is included with the package. The solo seats looks nice and vintage, and might be engineered to sit lower, if you want to do the work.

I'm asking $4,500 CAD or best offer. I think that's a reasonable price for a nice, running, vintage-looking bike, especially after all the money I put into it this summer. It can easily be certified and licensed to ride in Canada, since it's street legal here.

And the plus side over other classic bikes is that you can still buy all the parts and a whole lot of accessories and mods from the US dealer (I'm throwing in a few, too - as well as a manual)!

It was certified in June, 2005, and had its tune-up and new parts since then, so it should need nothing to re-certify. Tires are good, brakes and brake lights work, turn signals work, battery stays charged - it's ready to go!

Contact me through email at if you're seriously interested in owning this bike. I'm in Canada - about two hours' drive north of Toronto. It's worth the trip, if you're interested.

 Ian Chadwick. Please post comments or questions on my forum.


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