Royal Enfield decided to unveil its latest engine - a 650 cc parallel-twin - at its UK Technology Centre near Leicester in the UK, just a few days short of the official unveil of possibly two new bikes at the EICMA show in Milan on November 7. As we reported earlier, the new engine is indeed a 650 cc parallel-twin, and not a 750 cc twin, as has been widely speculated and reported. The brand new parallel twin engine will be Royal Enfield's most powerful engine, and the 648 cc, air-cooled, parallel-twin engine makes 47 bhp at 7100 rpm and 52 Nm of peak torque at 4000 rpm, and is mated to a six-speed transmission.
The new engine employs an air cooler, and four valves per cylinder with a single overhead cam. According to Siddhartha Lal, CEO, Royal Enfield, the engine revs to about 7500 rpm and is capable of reaching 80-90 mph (130-140 kmph) with ease. Also new is a balancer shaft which is said to reduce vibrations. The engine has been conceived at the UK Technology Centre, but was jointly developed with technicians in Royal Enfield's headquarters in Chennai, Lal added. The new engine will be a single spec engine which will be used in the new bikes positioned as Royal Enfield's global products.
Lal said the decision to make a 650 cc engine was not to compete with existing players in the up to 800 cc segment, but to create a completely new segment above 500 cc, and to provide an accessible motorcycle, both in terms of performance and price. Primarily, the new bikes employing the new engine will have India as the main market, since there's nothing else available for the consumer above 500 cc, apart from imported or foreign brands. The Royal Enfield CEO also added that the 750-800 cc segment was getting overcrowded, and Royal Enfield intends to create a new segment with the new engine and the new models.
The bikes will be available for sale from April 2018 onwards, although a launch date is yet to be finalised. Once the bikes are launched in India, they will also be introduced in different markets around the world. The new bikes with the 650 cc engine will be higher spec motorcycles, and the same bikes can be marketed across India, US, Europe, Colombia, Brazil and South East Asia as well. The new bikes are all-new from the ground up, although there is no information yet on what the models will be.
Also Read: Two Royal Enfield 750 cc Test Mules Spotted
While on a visit to the UK Technology Centre, at the Brutingthorpe Proving Grounds on November 5, we had a glimpse of one of the new bikes being ridden by a Royal Enfield test rider, as a sort of teaser to the group of journalists who were given a tour of the Bruntingthorpe airfield, where testing is done on automobiles. More details will be available once the new bikes are revealed finally at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan on November 7.