Earlier today, Royal Enfield President Rudratej Singh launched the first-ever, dual-channel ABS-equipped motorcycle in the form of the Classic 350 Signals Edition. At the same event, Mr. Singh also revealed that dual-channel ABS-equipped Royal Enfield Classic 500, Thunderbird 350/500 and the Himalayan motorcycles would be launched next month. Some Royal Enfield dealers have already begun accepting bookings for the Himalayan ABS. The price of the Royal Enfields equipped with dual-channel ABS will be Rs. 25,000 higher – a small price to pay for the greatly improved safety levels.
Currently, the Royal Enfield Himalayan starts from Rs. 1.67 lakhs, while the Classic 500 range starts from Rs. 1.8 lakhs. The Thunderbird 350 is priced at Rs. 1.49 lakhs, and the 500-cc variants start from Rs. 1.91 lakhs. The addition of ABS will push up 500-cc Royal Enfield prices to over Rs. 2 lakhs. ABS will also be offered on the Bullet 500. While the Classic 500 and Thunderbird 500 range use a 499-cc, air-cooled, overhead valve motor with 27.2 Bhp-41.3 Nm on tap, the 350-cc models use a smaller bore version of the same engine, and make 19.8 Bhp-28 Nm. The Himalayan gets a 411-cc, air-oil cooled engine with 24.5 Bhp-32 Nm. The Himalayan’s engine runs on a single overhead camshaft.
Dual-channel ABS refers to a system that acts on both front and rear wheels. It’s more effective than just a single -channel ABS system and credit must be given to Royal Enfield for going the whole hog and sticking to the dual-channel system despite the higher costs involved. ABS works by modulating brake pressure such that even the hardest grab of the brake lever during panic or emergency braking situations does not lock the wheels. This allows the motorcycle to be steered around obstacles even under hard braking. Also, ABS ensures that motorcycles don’t skid during emergency braking, making riding in the wet a much safer experience.