Special Royal Enfield Tribute Black marks end of 500 single era

Special edition run paying tribute to the  Royal Enfield’s classic 500 single is now available in the UK

Royal Enfield Classic 500 Tribute Black

As expected since the unveiling of an Indian market-only version earlier this year, Royal Enfield has confirmed the end of production of its historic air-cooled, 500cc single – which in various forms dates back to 1953 – with the announcement of this limited edition, end of line ‘Tribute Black’ special.

The Indian-owned marque says just 210 examples of the commemorative machine will be made available in the UK. It also says European sales of its current Classic and Bullet 500s will end when stock runs out and that in future it will concentrate on its new 650 twins, as introduced in 2018 – although servicing and spares will continue to be available.

The Tribute Black is essentially a customised version of Enfield’s existing Classic 500 introduced 2008. It shares that bike’s fuel-injected, unit construction, 499cc air-cooled single producing 27bhp plus its classic twin loop, twin rear shock chassis.

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Setting it apart, however, is a dual-finish black paintjob, with mudguards and tank having both gloss and matt finishes (a Royal Enfield first) and special hand-painted tank pin-striping.

It also gets an individually numbered commemorative plaque and accessories including canvas panniers with mounting racks, pillion seat, touring mirrors and machined oil cap.

The move brings an end to Enfield’s 500 singles in the UK which date back to 1953 and of its Bullet single which first appeared as a 350 in 1931. Enfield India began making 350 Bullets in 1955 and, after Royal Enfield’s UK closure in 1971, the continuing success of its 350 and 500 singles and its take over by Eicher Motors in 1994, became Royal Enfield once more.

The Tribute Black is priced £5499 (the standard Classic costs around £4699, with 1000 examples are being produced for Europe with 210 earmarked for the UK, although Royal Enfield warns that many orders have already been taken.