Author Topic: Been offered a Classic 500, should I choose it over a Classic 350 Reborn?  (Read 549 times)

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djbreeze

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Morning all,

I've never owned an RE before but after a test ride on the new Classic 350 Reborn have decided to sell my V-Strom 650 and get one. I'm late '50's now & done with going fast, etc. Now somebody's thrown me a bit of a curveball, a nice curveball, which is they've offered me a straight swap with a 2018 RE Classic 500 with 10k miles on the clock. Seen a few pics and it looks good if a little frayed around the edges (aren't we all?). I will of course go have a look and a test ride, I guess the main thing for me is how the C5 is sitting at 60-65mph because the 350 seemed happy enough and was certainly vibe free. There are some things I really like about the C5 namely it looks even better than the little 350, has a little more oomph (or does it?), doesn't require valve adjustment. But then I hear that some are trading in their C5s for the new C350R? So any opinions welcome, advice on what I should look out for when I go & see the C5, what you would do in my position & why?

Thanks,
Dave.


oldphart

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Ride them both and decide.
The 350 is nice and modern and refined.
The 500 is a classic machine and not as refined. However, it's got bags more torque and power and while it isn't a speed machine, more of a 'gentleman's sportster', it's plenty of oomph. Think of it as a lazy V8.

It'd be a crying shame to buy the 350 and then spend your time with it wondering 'what if?'. Ride them both, the bike for you will sell itself.
Grandpa Slow

2019 Himalayan and sidecar.


djbreeze

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Ride them both and decide.
The 350 is nice and modern and refined.
The 500 is a classic machine and not as refined. However, it's got bags more torque and power and while it isn't a speed machine, more of a 'gentleman's sportster', it's plenty of oomph. Think of it as a lazy V8.

It'd be a crying shame to buy the 350 and then spend your time with it wondering 'what if?'. Ride them both, the bike for you will sell itself.

Absolutely, really looking forward to having a go on the 500...


Keef Sparrow

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My 2020 500 Bullet Trials sits very comfortably at 60-65 MPH indicated with virtually no noticeable vibration and is slightly undergeared with it's standard 17 tooth front sprocket - the 18 tooth sprocket that is standard on the 500 Classic should make them even better at these speeds, although the 500 UCE engines seem to vary enormously regarding how much each motor vibrates and maybe I'm lucky to have a good 'un.
Past: CB125-T2, T500, GT500, Speed Triple, 955i Daytona. Now: Royal Enfield Bullet Trials 500


djbreeze

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My 2020 500 Bullet Trials sits very comfortably at 60-65 MPH indicated with virtually no noticeable vibration and is slightly undergeared with it's standard 17 tooth front sprocket - the 18 tooth sprocket that is standard on the 500 Classic should make them even better at these speeds, although the 500 UCE engines seem to vary enormously regarding how much each motor vibrates and maybe I'm lucky to have a good 'un.

Yeah I get the impression that the vibes do vary but that's encouraging...


axman88

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To me, the 350 feels a bit smaller than the 500.

I'd expect the 500 to hold its value better, and perhaps even appreciate over your term of ownership.  Cosmetics will determine the value, but the 500s increased noticeably in asking price on the used market when the model was discontinued.  This may have been a pandemic related thing, and the availability of the new Classics may also affect used RE pricing, we'll see.

My 2012 C5 can cruise comfortably at around 68 mph.  It will go faster, but I notice some instability in the tracking at higher speeds.  This tendency was reduced on later model C5 with changes to the fork geometry and tire size.  My machine is fitted with a 20 tooth front sprocket.  I think this actually reduces the top speed, but torque starting from a standstill is still quite good.

Based on what I've read, I'd anticipate about 20% better fuel economy for the OHC 350 vs the UCE 500.  Both machines are excellent relative to their peers in their efficiency.


Freddy1

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Also consider that the 500 has a kick start and does not have a speed limiter.


Keef Sparrow

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Also consider that the 500 has a kick start and does not have a speed limiter.
There is a rev limiter on my 500 EFI - and due to the 17 tooth front sprocket it is undergeared and bouncing off the rev limiter in top gear at 75 MPH indicated and won't go any faster even down a steep hill. I know it's a rev limiter rather than a speed limiter as the motor will bounce off the limiter in all gears not just top.
Past: CB125-T2, T500, GT500, Speed Triple, 955i Daytona. Now: Royal Enfield Bullet Trials 500


9fingers

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I haven't ridden the 350 yet but I have to think the overall reliability will be better. No major issue with my 2016 but they electric start has worked only a few times in the past year. In my case it seems it is a connector in the headlight nacelle, not a show stopper but it is annoying. And no doubt the 350 will be much smoother, good 500 or not, as a 500cc piston in a non counterbalanced engine is always going to have some vibes. I don't mind the vibes in mine but some guys on modern bikes don't understand how I can ride it after they try it. BTW, if your V Strom is not too old and in good shape, it is worth more than a 2018 Classic 500, IMO, at least in my area.
9fingers
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2016 Classic Chrome Maroon
2020 Moto Guzzi V7III Special
V Strom 650 ABS Adventure
Beta Rev 3 270
Honda TLR200 custom
Honda TL 250 TMI custom frame
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Yamaha TY350


beagle

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The reborn 350 classic is a great little bike, however they will suffer from uphill grades and strong headwinds.  Most of the ones around here in Australia will comfortably sit on 100/110 kph., but lose momentum on inclines. I had the previous 350 for a while and although it was mercilessly flogged it wouldn't die. I traded it on the 650 three years ago, missed it so much I was torn between the then new 350 meteor or a new 500. I went for the 500 classic and am very happy with it, but its a second bike for short trips. The all new 350 is a generation ahead on everything and a nice little ride. It has overhead cams instead of push rods etc. If you ride it within its parameters it'll last forever.. If it was around last year I would have got one. The classic looks much better than the meteor to this old bloke.
Drink now....avoid the Xmas rush.
greetings from Brisbane, Australia


oldphart

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The classic looks much better than the meteor to this old bloke.
The new Classic 350s are all gorgeous aren't they.
Grandpa Slow

2019 Himalayan and sidecar.


Morgan60

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I’d go with the UCE 500 motor. This motor has the most character and will give you the most smiles per mile.😁
REs I currently own:
2007 AVL Bullet Electra Gray
2010 Bullet G5 Deluxe Black
2017 535 GT Continental Red
2018 Himalayan White
2018 Pegasus Green
2019 650 Continental GT Ice Queen or white
2020 Trials 500 Green and Chrome


Stephan

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I test rode a 500 for years now and didn’t go for it. Founded the engine rough with a very short rev usable.
The 350 convinced me. So smooth, just the few vibes needed to find the engine alive. And sure it will be more reliable.
You have to ride both to decide.


Morgan60

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I test rode a 500 for years now and didn’t go for it. Founded the engine rough with a very short rev usable.
The 350 convinced me. So smooth, just the few vibes needed to find the engine alive. And sure it will be more reliable.
You have to ride both to decide.

Was the 500 you test rode a new bike or a well broke in motor? A well broken in 2018 and up will easily do 65 all day long with power to spare and can pop up to 75-80 mph if need be. Amazing at 70 mph and up it’ll smooth out some.

I also like the no valve adjustment on the 500 UCE motor as they are hydraulic values. The kick start option has also come in handy when I had a battery go bad on me prematurely and it didn’t have enough to turn the electric starter. 

Does it vibrate? Yes, no need for a tachometer as the bike will tell you you need to shift. Is it noisy? Yes, I like to hear the values working and the piston going up and down. I makes me feel like I’m riding a motorcycle not a appliance.  The newer bikes are so smooth and quiet it’s not much fun. I like the character of the 500 UCE much better then the new 350.
REs I currently own:
2007 AVL Bullet Electra Gray
2010 Bullet G5 Deluxe Black
2017 535 GT Continental Red
2018 Himalayan White
2018 Pegasus Green
2019 650 Continental GT Ice Queen or white
2020 Trials 500 Green and Chrome


Stephan

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I think the 500 I test rode was not correctly broke in.
Anyway, there isn’t new 500 to buy anymore.