There are modern two-wheeler manufacturers and then there is Royal Enfield. This is the statement often used by critics of Royal Enfield over the lack of new engine and technologies from the Chennai-based brand. The motorcycles from Royal Enfield are either powered by single cylinder 350cc mill or a 500cc mill and recently the 410cc mill for Himalayan. Even if you are a true blue RE fan, you will agree that the R&D team of the brand needs to pull its socks up. The good news is, they have done so.
Royal Enfield unveiled its first modern twin-cylinder engine at its new Technology Centre in Leicestershire, England on Sunday. It's not a 750cc mill as rumoured. It is a new 650cc, air-cooled parallel-twin and the new mill will power the brand's next-generation motorcycles expected to debut this week at EICMA show in Milan.
650cc parallel-twin engine
For those interested in the numbers, it is a four-stroke, single overhead cam, air-cooled, 648cc parallel-twin cylinder engine developed by Royal Enfield's UK Technology Centre and Chennai teams. Royal Enfield claims the new mill has been precisely engineered to be able to accelerate and deliver higher power and torque at lower RPMs. The new engine has an output capability of 47bhp and 52Nm torque.
Honestly, the numbers are not as aspirational when compared to the output of 650cc mill of KTM, Honda and Kawasaki models. However, in this state of tune, the upcoming models of Royal Enfield will be easy to ride, fuel efficient and it will be ideal for touring.
The engine looks classically styled but it is a modern mill. The twin pipes and the cooling fins on the classic air-cooled engine render a visually beautiful impact.
|Type||4-stroke, single overhead cam, air-oil cooled, 648cc parallel twin|
|Power||47bhp @ 7100rpm|
|Torque||52Nm @ 4000rpm|
|Bore x Stroke||78mm x 67.8mm|
|Fuel Management||Fuel injection|
|Ignition||Digital spark ignition – TCI|
New generation Royal Enfield bikes
The spy images so far indicate that one will be a café racer model and the second one will be a modern classic. The café racer model is expected to have same Continental GT cloth with a bigger heart. The café racer models are widely accepted in the international market and hence, the Continental GT 650's target audience will be primarily export market.
The modern classic model, on the other hand, is expected to feature Triumph Bonneville kind of design. The retro style motorcycle is aimed at the domestic market where there are many takers for such design.
When can we expect new bikes?
Both the new models with 650cc mill will be unveiled as pre-production prototypes at the EICMA show. Royal Enfield targets to launch production version by April 2018. Though there is no official confirmation, India seems to be one of the first markets to get new bikes.