India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world. Even though premium bikes – priced above Rs. 1 lakh – account for only 5% of total sales, the numbers are rising. In the last fiscal, sales figures of premium bikes comprised over 1 million units. The major highlight here is that Royal Enfield models accounted for more than 80% of the total sales of premium motorcycles. So, what makes Royal Enfield motorcycles such a great success? Let’s find out.
Royal Enfield is the oldest two-wheeler manufacturer in the entire world. It’s even older than Harley Davidson. Hence, this brand enjoys quite a legacy. Thanks to the high charm on offer, it benefits from an almost cult following. The old school design and the thump for the RE engines are a favourite of many motorcycle aficionados.
Much more reliable
While Royal Enfield motorcycles have been infamous for not being too reliable, the recent crop of bikes is much more reliable than their predecessors. True, some quality issues still exist but the company has taken note of the same and is working hard to iron out all the niggles. The latest Royal Enfields are made through world-class manufacturing processes, which include the use of robots. The new Unit Construction Engine (UCE) is much more reliable and modern than the cast iron AVL motors of yore. So, basically, REs are a lot more reliable and the company’s confidence can be gauged from the fact that they now offer a 24 months/24,000 kms warranty on the Classic range.
Has become easier to ride
The latest Royal Enfield models are a lot earlier to ride than its predecessors. The new bikes feature an electric starter, disc brakes and left-hand side gear-lever. The earlier REs had the gear-lever on the right-hand side, which made riding them tougher for people who were used to riding other motorcycles. Thankfully, all this has changed and hence, the motorcycle now attracts a lot more buyers.
More spending power
Royal Enfield motorcycles have almost always been more expensive than other motorcycles. However, with the increase in purchasing power, it has now become easier for many bike enthusiasts to buy a Royal Enfield motorcycle. This has played a major role in the increase in popularity of this motorcycle.
Updated showroom line-up
Royal Enfield has been regularly launching updated products at frequent intervals. While these new products aren’t always totally different from their earlier version, the small updates often work well to keep a product fresh in the market. For example, the Redditch edition, the Himalayan Sleet, the Desert Storm, and more recently, the Thunderbird X have been some motorcycles that feel a lot fresher than the models they are based on.
While most of the Royal Enfield motorcycles are old-school and nowhere as modern as some of the Japanese motorcycles on sale in the country, the company has been working hard to change this image by coming up with all-new models every few years. For example, the company launched the Continental GT, India’s first true-blue cafe racer, a few years ago. Even the Himalayan is the only mass-market adventure motorcycle on sale in the country.
The next level
Soon, Royal Enfield will even become the only Indian manufacturer to have parallel-twin cylinder engine-equipped motorcycles. This is yet another factor that shows the company’s commitment towards innovation and launch of new products. The all-new 650-cc parallel twin motor will debut in the Interceptor and the Continental GT. These bikes will become the most affordable parallel-twin motorcycles in the country.
Royal Enfield owners have a ‘brotherhood’ between them. To promote this, and, of course, the Royal Enfield culture, the company holds many events that bring the owners of these motorcycles together. The attention these events receive from media and biking enthusiasts puts the company in the limelight. Popular Royal Enfield events include Ridermaina, Himalayan Odyssey, REUnion and Tour of Tibet.
Major dealership expansion
The company’s sales network has expanded in the recent years. The company now has showrooms in as many as 367 cities across 587 dealerships. This is in stark contrast to a few years ago when the company had only a few dealerships across the country. With the huge boost in the sales and service network, Royal Enfield has now become a lot more accessible than before.
Like we’ve been saying, Royal Enfields are the most customised motorcycles on sale in the country. The brand has even tied up with many customisers, and showcases some of their products in its showrooms. No other motorcycle company has embraced customisation so well. This enables many motorcycle owners to modify their motorcycles for a distinct visual appeal.