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Royal Enfield May Kill its 500cc Models

Royal Enfield

The End of an Era?

Royal Enfield has been known for its 500cc engines for a while. The new 650 twin that’s in the company’s newest bikes is a departure from the company’s standard. However, it now seems that the company could kill its 500cc engine due to emissions. 

According to Live Mint, the company plans to focus on the 350cc segment and let the 500cc engine die. The company seems to have done some number crunching and testing and determined that the 500cc engine would be costly to adjust so that it’s in compliance with India’s Bharat Stage VI emissions regulations.

The company would likely not suffer much, according to analysts. If the company came out with a new 350cc engine and pushed the 650 twin, it would cover most of the market that they would lose by pulling the 500cc engine. Still, a lot of people have come to like the 500cc motorcycles, so you have to expect some pushback from buyers. 

While most of this will impact the Indian market, the move will have ripple effects in every market that Royal Enfield sells in. Personally, I love the idea of a new 350cc bike. It’s right up my alley, and if the quality is improved like it appears to be with the 650, then I’m even more interested.

  1. I would like to see the 650 moved up to 750 in the American markets. Highway driving is such a large part of motorcycle life here in the states. The extra oomph is welcome at those times.

    1. Hey Phil, I rode the 650 on the highway. It’s good for shorter stints. I could see doing a longer ride on one no problem, but I definitely know what you mean and agree. A 750 or 850 would be about perfect.

  2. I live in Texas, which is Harley-Davidson country, so other than the brand name snobbery, I can’t think of a single reason why these bikes aren’t appreciated.

    My only concern is I’m looking at the Classic 500 or the Bullet and I’m wondering if the 499cc engine is underpowered? It won’t be my main mode of transportation as I have a Chevy Silverado I’m quite fond of, so this would be more like weekend riding.

    My older brother owns a Harley Sportster in the 800cc range and has no complaints but I’ve heard others tell me to get something around 1200cc due to the lower torque engines tend to shimey on the highway?

    1. Jamie, if you’re going to do much highway riding and you’re interested in a Royal Enfield, then I’d say go with the Interceptor 650 instead of the Bullet. I think the Bullet is a great bike, but it will be underpowered for highway use. The 650 can handle highway speeds, but even that bike isn’t totally at home on the highway.

    2. Jaime,

      I own a 500cc Classic. The bike will run at 70 to 75mph on the highway. I am not a small guy. However, it prefers to stay in the 50 to 60mph range. Passing other vehicles on the highway and merging requires close attention and planning. The bike does have torque. More than a Harley street anyway.

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