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Royal Enfield targets “a new era” with new 650 cc models

Eicher Motors reported excellent growth in profit for the July-September quarter thanks to record sales of its Royal Enfield brand of motorcycles, and said it wants to begin a new chapter in its Motorcycle business with its new 650 cc models.

Most of the existing models are either 350 cc or 500 cc.

During the three months from July to September, Eicher sold 202,744 motorcycles — the highest ever for any three month period. This was also 21.7% more than what it sold in the same three months last year.

However, said Siddhartha Lal, Managing Director and CEO, the company wants to begin a new era with even larger models.

Last week, the company unveiled two new motorcycles – the Interceptor 650 roadster and and the Continental GT 650 cafe racer at the EICMA Motor Show in Milan, Italy.

Both these motorcycles are inspired by the namesake Royal Enfield models from the 1960s; and include design cues and the character of the old models.

The 648cc twin cylinder engine and chassis has been developed jointly by the company’s UK and Chennai technical centres.

The company claims that they have been designed to ride comfortably at fast highway speeds. At the same time, they are also not unmanageable on city roads and for new riders.

“With a relatively flat torque curve, they have a lot of useable power and are great fun to ride,” the company said.

“While for our large customer base in India, the new 650 twins will be a compelling upgrade, we believe it will attract customers from other developing markets in Southeast Asia and Latin America to graduate to the middle weight segment.

“In addition, the 650 twins will offer a very evocative option to customers in mature motorcycle markets such as Europe, Australia and North America. For us, this marks the beginning of a new chapter at Royal Enfield,” he added.

Lal said RE wants to expand the mid-weight (250-750cc) motorcycle segment globally.

“Along with our existing portfolio of singles, the (newly announced) Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 twin and Continental GT 650 twin will help grow this segment.”

PRODUCTION UDPATES

In Q2 2017-18, the company commenced commercial production at its third manufacturing facility at Vallam Vadagal near Chennai, in August 2017.

In September 2017, Royal Enfield launched two variants of its bestselling motorcycle model, Classic – Stealth Black in 500cc and Gunmetal Grey in 350cc with a contemporary and stylish matt finish.

These variants come with rear disc brakes.

In the international markets, Royal Enfield continued to expand its footprint in the South Asian region by opening its first store in Bali, Indonesia. With this, Royal Enfield now has three stores in Indonesia.

In October Royal Enfield forayed into Vietnam – the fourth biggest motorcycle market in the world – and opened its first store in Ho Chi Minh City.

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