Royal Enfield 500 engine bows out with Classic Tribute Black

After almost 100 years on the market, the venerable Royal Enfield 500 engine bows out with a very special final edition

Royal Enfield Classic 500 Tribute Black

As one of the oldest serving motorcycle engines still on the market, it is only fitting that Royal Enfield is giving the soon-to-be-discontinued 499cc units a final flourish with the Classic Tribute Black edition.

The single-cylinder, overhead valve engine can trace its origins right back almost 100 years to the 1930s when the engine helped to mobilise millions of motorcyclists in the UK, Europe and in India, where it is still popular.

However, ever tightening emissions regulations – in India’s case BS6 – have essentially sounded the death knell for the venerable 500, not least because the newer, cleaner 350 and 650 engines has siphoned off many of its potential sales in the Royal Enfield range.

Nonetheless, motorcycling is rife with nostalgia so Royal Enfield will ensure the 500 goes out with a bang with a Classic Tribute Black version. It isn’t clear how many will be available but 500 seems a logical number…

As the name suggests the motorcycle is dressed in stealthy black hues covering the tank and fenders, plus a matte black finish on the exhaust. Each Classic Black Tribute will be made to order and built by hand in India.

The Royal Enfield 500 Classic Tribute Black will be the last model to roll out with the 499cc engine, making it a very special final edition. It produces 27hp and 30Ib-ft of torque.

The 350cc single-cylinder engine will still remain in the lineup, as with the newly developed twin-cylinder 650cc units. The Himalayan also should be safe from any worry, having been developed recently and hopefully with some continuity to the regulations in mind.