Royal Enfield has just revealed a brand new 647 cc, parallel twin, four stroke engine. This engine will power the two new upcoming bikes that the retro-motorcycle brand will showcase EICMA tomorrow. The motor makes 47PS of peak power at 7,100 rpm and 52 Nm of peak torque at 4,000 rpm. It’s air-oil cooled, and features an eight valve head (four valves per cylinder) actuated by a single overhead camshaft (SOHC). Fuel injection will be standard, and so will twin exhaust ports. It’s a short stroke engine (78 mm bore X 67.8 mm stroke)
Other interesting bits around this engine is the fact that it’ll be mated to a 6 speed manual gearbox (first for a Royal Enfield) and gets a slipper clutch (a-la-KTM Duke) to prevent the wheel from locking during rapid downshifting. This engine should run just fine on Indian petrol given its 9.5: 1 compression ratio. It gets a balancer shaft (like the Himalayan) to curb primary vibrations. Secondary vibrations will be taken care of by a 270 degree, forged crankshaft. The alternator is a heavy duty unit – designed specifically to run many accessories.
Royal Enfield is said to have logged over 10 lakh test kilometres on this motor (First imagined in 2014) and let’s hope that it turns out to be a rugged and reliable unit. Notably, Royal Enfield will offer ABS on both the new bikes (code-named P1E and P1F) that it’ll deploy this engine in.
This engine has been developed with a top-speed target of about 160 Kph or 100 Mph. Acceleration is likely to be very brisk considering all that torque coming in low down the rev range. Royal Enfield wants bikes equipped with this engine to cruise comfortably at 130 Kph, which is the Interstate speed limit in the United States – a key export market for the brand.
Are we seeing this engine already being considered by Himalayan riders? Oh, and Royal Enfield is said to have kept engine capacity at 650cc rather than going a step up to 750cc in order to entice current riders to comfortably upgrade. This kind of sits well with the bike maker’s philosophy of relaxed, accessible motorcycling.
Coming around to the motorcycles that will first use this engine, we expect the Interceptor badge to be resurrected . The Interceptor could feature cafe-racer styling, similar to what we’ve seen on the Continental GT 535. Another badge that’s likely to be brought back from the dead is Meteor or Constellation.
One of these badges could adorn a street-focused Royal Enfield with styling and ergonomics similar to the Triumph Street Twin. The first bike will be launched close to April 2018, with India likely to be the first market to the get the brand new bikes with the new, 650 cc motor. The other bike could be launched later next year. International launches of these bikes are said to be staggered throughout the year.
Since this bike will be build ground-up at India, Royal Enfield will have the opportunity to price it very competitively. A figure in the Rs. 3-4 lakh (ex-showroom) bracket is likely. While this price tag will make the new 650cc engined bike(s) the most expensive Royal Enfield ever sold in India, it’ll also allow the new retro bike to undercut the Harley Davidsons and Triumphs of this world, in a big way.