Chennai based motorcycle manufacturer, Royal Enfield, has officially discontinued the Bullet 500, the Classic, and the Thunderbird 500cc models. The company has also removed the motorcycle models from its website.
While bookings can still be made via website and dealership channels, a Pune based dealer has confirmed that the 500s will continue to be available until stocks last, or 31 March, whichever comes earlier. RE had announced during November last that they were considering discontinuing the 500cc range of motorcycles as a result of low sales. The company felt that upgrading the 500cc engines to make them BS6 compliant were not worth the sales the motorcycles were drawing.
While most of the 500cc motorcycles in Royal Enfield’s stable were made for exports, demand for the class of motorcycles grew after the company launched 500cc AVL engines during 2009. Domestic sales went up three times over the next ten year, but was still nowhere close to the volumes of sales the company’s 350cc motorcycles achieved. While the 500s topped sales at 36,093 units during 2019, Royal Enfields 350cc range topped sales at 7.64 lakh units.
Industry analysts have said earlier that the company’s 500cc range of motorbikes never did well because they offered the same ‘look and feel’ that the 350cc range offered. While Royal Enfield’s 500cc Bullet, Classic, and Thunderbird models are designed differently, they all share the same 499cc air-cooled engine. The engines mounted on the Bullet models produce 26.1bhp of power and 40.9Nm of torque.
The engines on the Classic and Thunderbird models produce 27.2bhp of power and 41.3Nm of torque. All engines come mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. The Royal Enfield 500cc range of motorcycles are priced between Rs 1.89 lakh and Rs 2.15 lakh (ex-showroom, India).
In related news, the company recently filed a Trademark application for the Royal Enfield Hunter. While speculation has it that the motorcycle could be a new adventure styled one, there is a possibility that the Hunter could replace the current range of 500cc motorcycles.