RE may discontinue its 500cc range of motorcycles

Royal Enfield may have to pull the plug on its 500cc engine-powered Classic, Bullet and Thunderbird by early 2020. A report in Livemint suggests that the manufacturer will have a different approach in tackling the difficulties in adapting to the stringent BSVI emission norms. The investment cost to make these 350cc and 500cc push-rod engines compliant to the BSVI standards could be high and may not fetch as many customers for this segment of motorcycles.

"The pushrod architecture of the existing 350cc and 500cc engines do not meet the stringent emission norms. As a result, the existing model line-up will be phased out, Royal Enfield plans to restore the 350cc segment with an all-new powertrain as that accounts for the bulk of sales. Meanwhile, it would quit the 500cc displacement," said one of Livemint's sources.

The news comes in after the sighting of the test mule of the next-generation Royal Enfield which not only shows styling and design tweaks but a newer drivetrain. The newer model could be the blend of both segments and could be placed between Royal Enfield's 350cc and 500cc range of motorcycles. However, Royal Enfield garners the majority of its sales numbers from the 350cc range which could mean the 350cc Royal Enfields could see the light of day post-April 1, 2020 i.e when the BSVI norms come into play.

"We will transition along with the rest of the portfolio by the mandated time frame. All our products are future-proof. While we do not comment on speculative news and product pipeline, we will make the announcements in a timely manner," said Livemint's sources.

Post the adaptation to the BSVI norms, expect to witness a price hike of Rs 10,000 to 15,000 across all models in the portfolio.