Royal Enfield wants to grow the market by tapping into women motorcycle riders across India. To achieve this, the retro motorcycle maker from Chennai will build lighter motorcycles with lower seats. These motorcycles are meant to make them easier for women riders to handle them thanks to the lower weight and lower seat height. Even men who are vertically challenged may prefer the lighter, lower riding Royal Enfields.
By making these motorcycles accessible to a new set of buyers, Royal Enfield hopes to generate a new wave of sales. The new range of lighter Royal Enfield motorcycles could make their debut as early as the first quarter of 2020, which is just days away. Codenamed the J1C, the new Royal Enfield motorcycle platform could bring back the Explorer badge. A 250cc engine capacity is likely as there has been some talk about Royal Enfield building a more accessible motorcycle with a smaller engine.
The Explorer 50 was a Royal Enfield light motorcycle that the brand sold in the 1980s and 1990s. It used a three speed manual gearbox and was aimed at buyers who found the 350cc and 500cc Bullets sold by the brand too pricey, heavy and cumbersome to ride and maintain.
While the Explorer 50 was a flop, and never really managed to get going, the new J1C range of light motorcycles from Royal Enfield could turn out quite differently. While not denying this development, an official Royal Enfield spokesperson had this to say about the J1C motorcycle platform,
While we cannot comment about future product line-ups, we can confirm that at Royal Enfield, we assign huge focus on keeping our motorcycles accessible and approachable to all, in an endeavour to bring more people to experience pure leisure motorcycling.
Royal Enfield is spreading its wings in the motorcycle market, both in India and abroad. The leisure motorcycling brand introduced the Himalayan 400 a couple of years ago, and made a big mechanical switch towards overhead camshaft engines. It followed the Himalayan up with the twin cylinder engined Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 last year. While the Himalayan is a decent seller, the twins have really taken off, and are now the best selling premium motorcycles in the middle weight 300cc-800cc segments. Early next year, the entire line up of existing Royal Enfield motorcycles will meet BS6 emission norms. Royal Enfield is expected to come out with a totally revamped Classic, Thunderbird and Bullet range along with BS6 compliance.