To many, a single-cylinder Royal Enfield product represents superiority, pride and presence that cannot be offered by any other motorcycle even though from a purely technical point of view, ‘RE’ 350 and 500 models are nothing much to brag about due to their rather archaic output characteristics. Among the former lot, lady riders and women who like to or like people who ride, form a good proportion.
Royal Enfield is aware of this and now, the Chennai-based motorcycle brand plans to introduce lighter, slimmer and shorter motorcycles – which are specially built for women riders and youngsters.
Internally codenamed J1C, the lighter Royal Enfield range will be placed below the Bullet series and is expected to break the cover in the first half of 2020. Reports state that it will be sold under the sub-brand, Explorer.
The products are still in their basic stages of development and it is too early to comment on the specifications. However, they are being developed with essential feedback from women and youngsters. Suggestions include removing the ‘bulk’ of a conventional Royal Enfield and to make it easy to get on/off the motorcycle. The primary focus is to make the new line of Royal Enfields “accessible and approachable to all”.
Single-cylinder Royal Enfield motorcycle sales are fast declining due to other (and arguably better) offerings within a similar price bracket, such as the likes of the Jawa motorcycles and Benelli Imperiale 400. Owing to this, the company is gradually discontinuing its 500cc line-up. Furthermore, the highly desirable 650 Twins are available within a reasonable price jump from the 500 models.
The J1C motorcycles will have a sportier character in comparison to the traditional theme of a regular Royal Enfield model. The company is also busy working on the new-generation Thunderbird (which, as per rumours, could be renamed to ‘Meteor’) and the BS6 versions of the current generation models. Alongside the Thunderbird, the next-generation Royal Enfield Bullet is gradually taking shape and we have shared multiple spy shots of the same over the past few months.
Coming back to the upcoming J1C models, Royal Enfield has understood that there is a lot of potential buyers across the country, especially in Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chandigarh and Kerala. It is good to see a brand associate lady riders with a motorcycle rather than just another CVT scooter. Hopefully, it will be a proper homage to the line, “Why should boys have all the fun?”.