Spy images of Royal Enfield’s next-generation single-cylinder models testing have been doing the rounds in the last few months. This has led many to assume that these bikes will be ready in time for the April 1, 2020 deadline for all motorcycles. However, sources tell us that the all-new single-cylinder platform is unlikely to be ready by then and that Royal Enfield will instead upgrade its existing 350cc engine to meet the stricter emission norms. Royal Enfield’s relatively quiet showing at EICMA 2019, which had no sign of the next-gen models, also suggests that the brand new bikes are not close to launch just yet.
The next-gen machines will only be ready by mid 2020, if not later. Until then, Royal Enfield will have to use the current line up with upgrades to meet BS6. A move to fuel injection will probably be necessary, and this is bound to drive the prices up. The 350cc platform currently starts at Rs 1.14 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the base Bullet 350, and goes up to Rs 1.64 lakh for the top variants in Classic 350 and Thunderbird 350X ranges.
As for the next gen machines, the spy pictures have revealed that they will be completely new from the ground up. The frame appears to have moved to a double-cradle design while the motor is expected to shift to an overhead camshaft design, leaving behind the ageing OHV head layout seen in the current 350cc range. The bikes also appear to wear fresh designs, but won't be too much of a departure and will be instantly identifiable as Royal Enfields.
The next-generation Royal Enfield single-cylinder motorcycles hold plenty of promise in terms of offering an improved riding experience, and while that's exciting for buyers, it appears that there's still quite a wait before they hit the market.