As per a recent report, Royal Enfield is reportedly going to discontinue its 500cc motorcycles in the coming months. The brand currently offers the 500cc models under the Royal Enfield Bullet, Thunderbird, and the Classic series.
The report further states that Royal Enfield has not been able to meet the exact sales requirements in the Indian market and making the 500cc engine compliant with the upcoming BS6 emission norms is not a viable option.
The cost of conversion of the engine according to the new emission norms will reach sky high while the sales have always been minimal and decreasing by the day. Thus the brand has decided to bid goodbye to the 500cc engine before the new emission norms will commence in the country.
Given their weaker demand in the Indian market, updating the 500cc engine of the motorcycles with BS6 norms will be one of the futile steps taken by the brand. Royal Enfield has only been able to register a three-times growth in the market for the 500cc motorcycles with a total of 36,093 units sold in FY19 as compared to the 12,216 units sold in FY13.
On the other hand, the growth for the 350cc variants of the motorcycles has seen a jump of around seven times by registering 7,64,012 units in FY19 when compared to the 1,08,478 units sold in FY13.
The brand has also witnessed a gradual decline in the sales of 500cc motorcycles after the launch of 650 twins, which features more powerful engines and are available at affordable prices considering their optimum performance.
According to the report by LiveMint, the RE officials on the possible discontinuation of 500cc motorcycles stated – “The pushrod architecture of the existing 350cc and 500cc engines do not meet the stringent emission norms. As a result, the existing model lineup will be phased out. This means, not only the 350cc engines will be BS6 compliant, but they will also feature a completely new architecture – which will most likely result in better riding dynamics, acceleration, lower vibrations, higher fuel efficiency, etc.”
Adding to the statement, the officials commented – “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.”