Royal Enfield is gradually departing from the general convention that they are only good for producing retro motorcycles which weigh too much and thrive on the legacy built by the company. This transition first happened when they came up with the Himalayan. It might have faced a lot of issues in its nascent years but it was the only ADV-tourer available in its segment when it was first launched. They strengthened their global presence even more with the 650 twins which garnered praises from all around the globe. Royal Enfield isn’t planning to stop riding on the wave generated by these motorcycles as some exciting new products are in the pipeline which will propel the maker’s push towards global leadership in the middleweight space. We take a look at their future plans:
Royal Enfield Scrambler 650
RE caused quite a stir when the reports got out suggesting that RE is developing a Scrambler based on the 650 platform which currently has the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650. They already have this great platform on which they can work to develop some new products, catering to different riders. To remain trendy, it’ll probably have short fenders and a chopped sub-frame, retro-styled off-road bars, some neat touches in matte and the obligatory knobby tires. Not only Scrambler 650, but some media reports have also hinted at the possibility of RE developing as many as 3 motorcycles based on the same platform.
Next-gen Royal Enfield Himalayan?
Rumours about the Himalayan 650 have been floating for a very long time now and it won’t be wrong if we say that we started expecting RE to swap the 648 cc parallel-twin engine in the Himalayan, right after they launched the Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650. There has been no news regarding the developments of the same as motorcyclists around the country are still hoping that RE will dish out a more powerful iteration of the Himalayan. For all we know, the 411cc motor could well be replaced by an all-new sub-500cc single.
J Platform-based Motorcycles
The only concrete news that we have regarding any upcoming motorcycles from RE’s stable is that of the new Meteor 350 which is being developed on the new J platform and is all set to replace the Thunderbird 350X. Meteor 350’s studio pictures were leaked some time back and gave us a brief idea of what we can expect. The Meteor will carry forward the same attributes of Thunderbird 350x with minor design changes. What is also new is the frame, which unlike the single downtube architecture of the Thunderbird X, is a twin-cradle design which will improve stability and handling. The single-cylinder engine appears an all-new unit too and it’ll be interesting to see if it retains the typical characteristics of an RE single while offering modern performance.
We can expect RE to roll out some more motorcycles based on the J platform, which might witness the departure of the tappet-valve system in favour of a single overhead cam. A couple of months ago, a lot of new-gen Royal Enfield bikes were caught testing, which confirms that their launch should happen in the coming months. One of these machines featured a rather roadster like approach and if it makes it into production, it will directly rival the Jawa Forty-two.
The motorcycle had a sleeker and a lower stance than the Thunderbird so it’s safe to assume that it wasn’t the Meteor 350. An updated version of the Classic range of RE motorcycles has also been spotted numerous times. Though we have already received the BS6 Classic 350 and Bullet 350, we expect RE to give them a major overhaul sometime soon because ever since their inception, they have remained the same in their approach except for some minor changes and additions.
Not only motorcycles, but Royal Enfield is planning to upgrade on the technology front too. As per some reports, RE is planning to introduce Bluetooth connectivity and navigation for its future products. Until now, the instrument clusters featured in RE motorcycles have been completely bare-bone and have a rather ‘utilitarian’ appeal. It is expected that the Meteor 350 is going to be the first motorcycle from RE’s stable which will mark this technological transition. The coming few months are going to be exciting for RE fanboys and motorcyclists in general as the Chennai-based manufacturer expands its portfolio further.