Royal Enfield writing a new chapter in their long history
Royal Enfield CEO Siddhartha Lal spoke this evening to an assembled group of 150 media on, of all places, a beach in California. However, it is not only American soil that the Indian brand has their sights set on as they embark on an ambitious plan for growth.
The occasion was the worldwide media launch of their new Interceptor and Continental GT twin-cylinder range. They also chose the event to announce that the new twins will sell from $5799 in America and be backed by a three-year warranty. Australian pricing is yet to be announced but is expected to start around the 10k mark which will make the bikes an attractive option not only for learners, but also for experienced riders seeking out an affordable motorcycle that offers simple fun and convenience. Their arrival date in Australia is yet to be confirmed but the best guess suggests very early 2019.
Are the new twins good?
After two days and around 400 kilometres aboard these new machines I am ready to attest that Royal Enfield have indeed entered a new age of quality and overall motorcycling competence. They are really well balanced motorcycles that handle quite brilliantly and are more than a match for a Triumph Street Twin in the bends, and would certainly leave a Harley Street eating their dust.
I would not hesitate in recommending one of these to a new rider in Australia, or an experienced rider that doesn’t find a 47hp motorcycle beneath them, and is just after a really affordable fun bike. I would have never made such a statement about any of their previous models.
These two new bikes are just the first shots fired in their campaign to become a true mainstream option that opens up the appeal of the Royal Enfield brand to motorcyclists throughout the world.
Currently Royal Enfield have a production capacity of 4000 motorcycles a day but when a new plant comes on line shortly that will raise to 5000 motorcycles every 24 hours.
Royal Enfield sell how many motorcycles?
Last year Royal Enfield sold over 820,000 motorcycles and are gearing up to raise their production capacity further by embracing new high-tech production methods to lift the quality of their motorcycles to a new level.
The rate of growth over the last seven years for Royal Enfield has been phenomenal. In 2010, just after the launch of their Classic 350/500 singles, Royal Enfield sold 50,000 motorcycles. Today they sell up to 75,000 motorcycles a month.
This year they are expecting to sell over 825,000 motorcycles, that is a 16-fold increase in only eight years, and makes Royal Enfield the #1 manufacturer in the world for motorcycles between 250 and 750 cc in capacity.
New technical expertise and capability
Last year they opened their Royal Enfield Technical Centre at the Bruntingthorpe Testing Ground where a 100+ strong international team of designers, engineers and test riders are permanent Royal Enfield staff.
In recent years they have also recruited dozens of staff from Triumph and elsewhere in the motorcycle industry to increase their collective skillbase in order to bring a new range of much higher quality Royal Enfield motorcycles to market.
The new Interceptor and Continental GT are the initial fruit this new approach has brought to bear, but these are just the first of many new models on the way from the Indian brand as they position themselves to start making a real impact in mature markets.
While they have nearly gone out of business at low points in their history, Royal Enfield have always been producing motorcycles since the brand was first born in 1901. Thus Royal Enfield are the world’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer to be in continous production. After sampling their new twins I think the best chapters in Royal Enfield’s long history are still to be written.