Since its introduction, Royal Enfield’s 500cc, long-stroke big single has powered multiple RE models, including the Bullet, the Classic, and the Thunderbird. They used to rule our indigenous motorcyclists’ hearts until the BS6 norms kicked in and forced the RE 500 to the verge of extinction. With the announcement of the end of production of the 500cc unit construction engine, RE rolled out an end-of-production, special series motorcycles, the limited edition Classic 500 Tribute Black, back in January.
Departure from the UK, too?
While the company discontinued the retail sales of the present 500cc motorcycles in India on March 31, 2020, these motorcycles continued to be available across all international markets. And now, Royal Enfield has announced that the Classic 500 Tribute Black edition is now heading to Europe, marking the end of the road for the 500s in that market as well.
A batch of 210 bikes will go to the U.K., no numbers have been announced for continental Europe yet. In the U.K., the model is priced at £5,499 (INR 5.36 Lakh) and comes with a special individually numbered commemorative plaque. The Royal Enfield Classic 500 Tribute Black Limited Edition motorcycles bear the distinguished and iconic pin-striped just like the Classic 500s that were rolled out of the Royal Enfield Thiruvottiyur facility in 2009. This RE also has a dual-tone scheme on the fuel tank with fenders carrying glossy black and matte black.
The Royal Enfield Classic 500 Tribute Black Edition is powered by the 499cc motor which cranks out 27.2 Bhp and 41.3 Nm, fueled by an injection system and paired with a 5-speed gearbox. This limited-edition motorcycle, like the Classic 500 is offered with dual-channel ABS and will only be available in a special ‘Tribute Black’ colour. The Classic 500, in particular, has garnered success for Royal Enfield across various international markets with its sublime retro-chic design and engaging ride experience. The Classic 500 Tribute Black is an opportunity for aficionados to own a piece of Royal Enfield and motorcycling history.
Royal Enfield’s growing global popularity
Royal Enfield’s 500cc motorcycles might have been gone from the scene now but the Interceptor 650 and its Cafe Racer twin has revolutionised the bikemaker’s image not just in India but across the Globe. Two truly international products, the simple but soulful motorcycles found accolades from all over soon after introduction. The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 recently became the best-selling motorcycle in the UK for June 2020 (in the more than 125cc category). Not just that, the Interceptor 650 is the highest-selling motorcycle in the UK in the middleweight segment for the last one year (250cc – 750cc; June 2019 to June 2020). Not far behind is the Royal Enfield Himalayan, which is among the Top 5 highest selling motorcycles in the UK in the middleweight segment for the last one year (June 2019 to June 2020).
This success of the Interceptor 650 and the Himalayan in the UK is also a testimony to the consistent efforts put in by Royal Enfield across its international markets to build more consumer touchpoints and curate deeper, more engaging experiences. Led by the Interceptor 650 and the Himalayan, Royal Enfield has recorded an overall volume growth of 96% across its international markets in FY20, with Europe registering 100% growth over last year.