In 2016, Royal Enfield, the longest-operating continuously produced motorcycle brand in the world, officially opened its North American headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Why am I telling you this now? Well, in just five short years, Enfield appears to have mastered the fine art of that most hallowed of midwestern traditions, the Midwestern Goodbye™.
How do we know? It’s pretty simple, really. As of June, 2021, we’ve collectively been bidding a fond farewell to the outgoing Classic 500 model for over a year. As I write this, the Royal Enfield Classic 500 Tribute Black Limited Edition is busy paddling its way into both Australian and New Zealand dealerships, according to MCNews.com.au. Of the 1,000 bikes Enfield planned to limit this edition to, a total of 200 are headed to Oz, and 40 will touch down in New Zealand.
Pricing for the Classic 500 Tribute Black will be AUD $9,590 including on-road costs, which works out to about $7,234. A short hop away in New Zealand, the cost will be NZ $9,690 + applicable on-road costs, or about $6,784. All sales in these two countries include a two-year warranty and roadside assistance program.
The Royal Enfield Classic 500 Tribute Black is powered by a 499cc, four-stroke, air-cooled single that makes a claimed 27.5 horsepower alongside 30 ft-lbs of torque. Beautiful gold pinstriping adorns the black, making it look both classy and classic.
A quilted saddle meant for a single rider awaits you, and there’s plenty of black to go around throughout the mechanical underpinnings that power this machine. Even the exhaust is blacked out, but the overall effect is never too much thanks to that painstakingly-applied gold pinstriping. Each of these Tribute Black Limited Edition bikes comes with a special numbered plaque, celebrating both its specialness and the Classic 500’s overall legacy.
If you’re in Australia or New Zealand and you want to get your hands on one of these, checking with your local Enfield dealer to find out if and when they’re getting theirs is likely your best bet. Farewell, Classic 500, it’s been nice knowing you.