Indian motorcycle manufacturer Royal Enfield currently has no plans to build larger bikes at the moment as the marque claims it does not require a wide range of products to fulfil its ambitions. This piece was among many anecdotes given by Royal Enfield boss Siddhartha Lal in an interview with the Economic Times.
Sid Lal, the CEO of Eicher Motors was speaking to the publication when he was asked if Royal Enfield planned to push further ahead and come up with even larger capacity motorcycles. Lal responded stating,
It took us a decade from 350-500cc to do this. Going bigger is certainly not ruled out, but we have no plans right now because we think that this (the two new motorcycles) has a lot of leg for us in the 650cc segment in India and markets around the world. We’d rather do less things and do them really well, like the Classic. Some other manufacturers have different strategies, but we don’t need a wide range of products to fulfil our ambitions. We need a couple of really nice products, like what the Classic was and what hopefully the Interceptor will be. That’s enough. Sure, there is a lot in the pipeline, there are interesting things coming out. The concept KX which we showcased at EICMA (motorcycle show in Milan) is still a concept. We are gauging customer reaction and if we decide to put it in the market, it will be a bigger motorcycle than this, but we haven’t decided that as yet.
Sid Lal’s comments should put any and all talks of larger engined Bobber out of the minds of Royal Enfield fans in a euphoric state after the unveiling of the 838cc KX concept at EICMA 2018 in Milan, Italy. The model shown at EICMA 2018 featured an 838 cc V-Twin engine, which was developed with the help of Polaris, the owners of the Indian Motorcycles brand. However, the bike shown at EICMA 2018 featured an engine and body parts made from foam, so its hard to tell, just how ready the new engine and bike are as of right now.
In the same interview, Sid Lal revealed that Royal Enfield’s new products are already compatible with upcoming BS-VI emission norms that go into effect in April 2020 and that they are already testing at lower levels than the norms required for the bikes to pass. Sid Lal said,
We are fully prepared. Our new product introduction takes three-and-a-half to four years. We have been working on all our BS-VI products. And we think we have an amazing generation of new products that’s going to come out for BS-VI. In all of our testing, we’re already way below the BS-VI emission requirements. So, from a pure technical perspective, we are meeting all the emission requirements. But now, as always, it’s about testing, validation, supply chain. In this case, supply chain, because it’s not easy to convert our production of 70,000-80,000 motorcycles (a month) from BS-IV to BS-VI. It’s a huge supply chain. So that’s the work that’s going on now. And it’s not just the supply chain, it’s also distribution, our service network — everything needs to change, parts, all of that. But we’ll be absolutely ready before the March 2020 deadline.