Royal Enfield, maker of the iconic Bullet motorcycle, is learned to be contemplating a 250-cc motorcycle for the Indian market.
The bike, which sources say is in the early stages of development, may go on sale some time next year.
This would be a step-down of sorts for the Eicher Motors group company, whose products Bullet, Classic and Thunderbird are all in the 350 cc-plus displacement range. The new bike would compete against Bajaj Auto’s Pulsar 220cc and Honda’s CBR 250R.
The company refused to confirm the development. “Royal Enfield is a dominant player in the premium 350 cc and above motorcycle segment in India and will continue with its focus on this segment. Currently, Royal Enfield is not planning any motorcycle below 350 cc. In the second half of 2013, Royal Enfield will be launching the much awaited Cafe Racer that will also be in the premium category,” a spokesman said when HT contacted the company for its comments.
Sources said Royal Enfield has secured a patent for twin spark engines between the 250cc and 1,250 cc engine capacities, which would indicate that the company has significant long term plans for new products.
The company did not provide information on this development either.
Royal Enfield’s newly commissioned plant in Oragadam near Chennai will open for commercial production soon, taking its capacity from 70,000 units a year to 1,50,000 units.
According to the company’s 2012 annual report, Royal Enfield sold 52.0% more motorcycles over 2011.