Royal Enfield is developing next-generation models of the Royal Enfield Classic, Himalayan, Thunderbird and the Bullet range of motorcycles, according to a report from ET Auto. These models are not just for BS-6 compliance, with changes planned inside-out.
The report states that Royal Enfield is working on a dozen models based on four new architectures – J, P, Q, and K. Of these, the ‘J’ architecture is responsible for underpinning the next-generation Royal Enfield Himalayan, Thunderbird, Classic and Bullet range. The move is aimed at maintaining its leadership in the middleweight segment (250-750 cc) against the incoming attack from Bajaj-Triumph and Harley Davidson.
Earlier this month, Harley Davidson announced its plans to develop a 250-500 cc cruiser motorcycle for Asian markets. On the other hand, the Bajaj-Triumph partnership is reportedly developing a 500 cc, single-cylinder motorcycle to compete against Royal Enfield.
The next-gen Royal Enfield 350-500 cc bikes should feature design changes without disconnecting from the basic layout. Royal Enfield's unique iconography with the Classic needs preservation as it is a main reason for its cult status. The design of the Bullet may be modernized, but not fashionable.
The motorcycles are likely to receive comfortable riding ergonomics and the most significant change could come in the form of an updated engine and a new gearbox, setting new internal standards in NVH. The current Royal Enfield bikes are infamous for the below-par braking performance, and dual-channel ABS is only the first step in the progression.
The new motorcycles need larger disc brakes with radially mounted brake callipers to make further strides in this department. A new suspension system could offer a plush ride quality. As far as features are concerned, the new-generation motorcycles could get LED lighting and graphics.
The new BS-6 emission norms kick-in April 2020, while the new safety rules come into effect April 2019 for the existing range of motorcycles. The rules mandates manufacturers to provide ABS and fuel injection on bikes above 125 cc displacement. The expensive parts are likely to increase prices of current and future Royal Enfield bikes by up to 30 percent, analysts predict.
The current-gen 346 cc, single cylinder motor produces 19.8 bhp of power and 28 Nm of peak torque. On the other hand, the 499 cc mill produces 27.2 bhp of power and 41.3 Nm of peak torque. Both the engines are mated to a 5-speed transmission.