Mumbai-based Maratha Motorcycles’ Asura build is unlike the usual kind of Royal Enfield mods
Chennai-based motorcycle manufacturer Royal Enfield discontinued its ‘UCE 500’ single-cylinder range ahead of BS6 emission norms. Rising competition and reduced demand were the key reasons for phasing out the decade-old air-cooled single-cylinder chassis. Furthermore, the British-origin brand’s highly desirable 650 Twins, Interceptor and Continental GT were available at a reasonable price jump over the ‘500’ models.
Royal Enfield Asura
Mumbai-based bike builders Maratha Motorcycles has taken a rather unique approach whilst creating the Asura (based on a BS4 Royal Enfield ‘UCE 500’ chassis). Maratha Motorcycles states that the “sports cruiser” is inspired by a “Transformers beast”; quite possibly a Decepticon. The final result may not impress everyone but one cannot deny that it stands different from the usuals.
Notable design and styling elements include custom LED headlamp and tail lamp setups, LED fog lamps, sculpted 20-litre fuel tank, USD front forks, rear monoshock suspension, drag handlebar, bar-end mirrors, single-sided swingarm, belt-drive and several revamped styling bits.
Maratha Motorcycles’ Asura project is finished in a satin gold shade (against a gloss black theme). It rides on 120/70ZR (F) and 240/45ZRA (R) tyres shod on black alloy wheels. The diamond-outlet exhaust system was made completely in-house at Maratha Motorcycles.
Royal Enfield ‘500’ Specs
In its final format, the Royal Enfield ‘UCE 500’ line was powered by BS4-compliant 499cc air-cooled FI single-cylinder engine good for 27.2bhp @ 5,250rpm and 41.3Nm @ 4,000rpm. Transmission duties were done by a 5-speed unit. A stock Royal Enfield Classic 500 weighs roughly 196kg and has a fuel tank capacity of 13.5 litres. ‘UCE 500’ models might never make a return even in OHC format like the upcoming new-gen ‘UCE 350’.
As a worthy tribute, Royal Enfield had introduced the limited-run ‘Classic 500 Tribute Black’ in BS4 format itself. It carried some exclusive styling bits and an ‘End of Build’ serial number plaque. Royal Enfield was able to find a decent number of takers via its dedicated online sales page. Meanwhile, the company is almost ready with its next-gen ‘UCE 350’ lineup that starts with the Meteor 350 (Thunderbird 350/350X replacement).
Hardcore Royal Enfield fans still find charm in the ‘500’ range, especially the Classic 500. Owing to this, the motorcycle sees considerable demand in the used market. It has also become a platform for motorcycle builders to test out their creativity. However, Royal Enfield’s single-cylinder range cannot achieve the form-function balance associated with 650 Twin mods. The entry-level parallel-twin middleweight siblings have become really popular in foreign markets due to their value for money.