There are few motorcycle manufacturers that maintain a presence by faithfully preserving their marquee’s past. Other manufacturers have slates of retro motorbikes, but Royal Enfield remains a player by continuing to build the same classic motorcycles they’ve always built.It’s a matter of de facto chic; times have come around to make their unchanged bikes very hip. This is exactly why the 500cc single-cylinder Royal Enfield is so charming. Instead of chasing up groundbreaking technological advancements the company relies on its tried and true range of long-stroked motorcycles.In India, ownership of a Royal Enfield is a sign of prestige. Despite the relatively low MSRP the machines represent a sizable investment. Evidently there’s an entire sub-culture emerging in India of successful young people who use the motorbike as a badge of honor.Stateside the motorbikes are a kind of trophy to sentimentality and the good ole days, the increased reliability of the new metals engine translating into a more sensible mode of recreation and transportation.And the popularity is increasingly more respectable for the India-based company, with production having reached 52,000 motorcycles in 2009. The company is targeting the magical 100,000-unit number as early as 2012.Royal Enfield decided to graduate from the lean-burn engine by infusing their motorcycles with fuel injection and a new air-cooled Unit Construction Engine (UCE). I met the head designer last week at the vintage rally in Venice Beach, CA and he told me about some exciting new models that are in the works.Primarily, he mentioned a new retro café racer. He was sparse with the details but his grin spoke volumes. He did say there was going to be a fairing. Clues may or may not be found in the currently available Café Racer Kit.Having reviewed the standard C5 and G5 Bullet in the past I can attest, first person, about the thrill and absolute joy of throttling one of these street bikes down a country lane.There’s something wholesomely invigorating about the 27.5 hp experience, tapping into the same kind of euphoria that accompanied our first experiences on a motorcycle.With the straight pull clutch and long throw of the 5-speed transmission, it takes us back to a forgotten time of concentrating on the motorcycling basics: clutch-shift-throttle-spongy-brakes.In a time of technological overload, of high-horsepower and electronically imbued race engines and aluminum chassis, it’s refreshing to take a step back to a simpler time. Only now we can do it with something “old that is manufactured new” that claims an incredibly green 85-mpg.Current 500cc models available here in the USA include the Bullet G5 Classic, Bullet G5 Deluxe, Bullet C5 Classic and Bullet C5 Military.