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An iconic brand that made most of the youngsters ditch the average sports bikes for slower, bulkier cruisers. Royal Enfield, the company that was on the verge of extinction, revived by a truck manufacturing company, Eicher Motors, has expanded its range to major countries all over the world.
Apart from the appeal that the majority of the motorcycles from the Royal Enfield stable have, it was the long lasting impression that the brand had over the Indian folks. Although the Royal Enfields were not known for top speed, they could carry the rider and a pillion through the roads and off-roads as well.
The riding community in India knows the Bullet as the most preferred motorcycle to get Leh’d (a common slang for bikers who ride to Leh & Ladakh). The compression ratio on the Bullet’s engine can handle high altitude riding better than other motorcycles.
Since the past decade, Royal Enfields have been selling like hot cakes among the budding and seasoned riders alike
Several motorcycle rental operators in Delhi and around have capitalized on the need of Indian bikers to get Leh’d. For the biker who didn’t own a Royal Enfield, these Bullets on rent were considered to be a safe bet.
With the advent of the new generation of engines, efficiency, a robust build, decent technology and riding comfort made these new generation Indian cruisers affordable and desirable. Since the past decade, Royal Enfields have been selling like hot cakes among the budding and seasoned riders alike.
Royal Enfield, headquartered in Chennai is now an international brand with loyalists from almost all continents of the world. After making a mark in the Indian market, South East Asia, the Americas, Europe, Japan and Australia were just a stone’s throw away for the company.
Over the course of time, the same fraternity that was built around the Indian cruisers was budding among the several countries that embraced the budget cruisers. Not as a cheaper alternative to the Harley Davidson motorcycles, but as a legend in its own right.
Royal Enfield’s campaign in the USA for instance, portrays the Interceptor 650 as a motorcycle that a surfer would take to the Californian beaches with a surfboard tucked on the side of the motorcycle. After all, a refreshing morning surf under the Californian sun is what many Americans dream of. The Royal Enfield has caught the American waves and surfed it well too.
Since the 2018 debut of the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 in the USA, motorcycle enthusiasts have had a good mid-range cruiser that they could commute on every single day.
With a price tag of $5,999 (approximately INR 4.5 Lakhs), the RE twins gave Harley Davidson some good competition. The base price for the cheapest Harley Davidson (Iron 883 model) in North America right now stands at $9,750 (approximately INR 7.25 Lakhs).
In comparison to the V-twin engine of the Harleys, the RE 650’s parallel twin engines are better balanced, lighter, more efficient and provide a smooth ride. The torque and power figures however are higher on the Harley Davidson given that the V-twin engines churn out good amounts of it.
As of the financial year 2020-21, the Americas have a network of 49 exclusive stores and over 170 dealers. In July 2020, Royal Enfield entered the Mexico market with 7 exclusive stores where the Interceptor 650 costs 160,000 Mexican Pesos (approximately INR 5.8 Lakhs).
A recent development in South America is Royal Enfield’s first assembly unit outside India in the company’s recent history. Royal Enfield strategically chose Argentina for its ‘completely knocked-down (CKD)’ assembly unit located at Buenos Aires. With this unit in place, distribution in the future will be more efficient and quick.
United Kingdom, the birthplace of Royal Enfield has seen great numbers in sales and several recognitions for RE motorcycles. A good number of Royal Enfield enthusiasts in the UK and several European Nations appreciate the motorcycles as they’ve made a comeback in the continent.
Royal Enfield strategically chose Argentina for its ‘completely knocked-down (CKD)’ assembly unit located at Buenos Aires. With this unit in place, distribution in the future will be more efficient and quick
In the UK at least, the RE Interceptor 650 won the ‘MCN’s Best Retro Bike of the Year’ award two times in a row. If that wasn’t enough, the Interceptor remained the best selling middle-weight naked motorcycle in the UK between August 2019 and October 2020.
Royal Enfield claims that Europe has been the largest market for their motorcycles apart from India. As per their report for financial year 2020-21, Europe is their biggest overseas network with 420 retail stores which includes 36 exclusive stores.
Coming to South East Asia and Japan, Royal Enfield has played their cards well by introducing Made in India motorcycles. The Interceptor 650 was awarded the ‘Best Modern Classic in Middle-Weight Category’ two years in a row in Thailand.
Thailand being a tourist hub, motorcycle rentals in the country have seen a significant growth. Royal Enfield aims to tap on this growth in rentals to give the locals as well as tourists, a taste of the Made in India freedom. We’re not making preposterous statements here, the RE annual report has made a mention about tying up with motorcycle rental companies.
A rather brave attempt was made by Royal Enfield to set-up shop in the wolf’s lair itself. Japan, the country that has been producing the best performance and cruiser motorcycles for several decades, has now seen the advent of Royal Enfield.
The land of the rising sun as well as the land of the Big-4 in the motorcycle world has seen the first stand-alone flagship store opened in Tokyo. Check out the brief comparative analysis of the Royal Enfield Interceptor sold in Japan against its competitors.
|Cost in Yen||Approximate Cost in INR||Motorcycle Model|
|852,500||5.5 Lakhs||Royal Enfield Interceptor 650cc|
|950,000||6.1 Lakhs||Yamaha Bolt 950cc|
|800,000||5.1 Lakhs||Honda Rebel 500cc|
|550,000||3.5 Lakhs||Honda GB 350cc|
|785,000||5 Lakhs||Suzuki SV 650cc|
|913,000||5.9 Lakhs||Kawasaki Vulcan|
Without dearth in the Japanese market for cruiser motorcycles, the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is priced competitively against indigenous manufacturers (Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki & Kawasaki).
Let’s say the odds are against the Royal Enfield to some extent. The Japanese folks however, are kind and open to new experiences. We’re sure the Royal Enfield will perform well in Japan.
In 2020, Royal Enfield unveiled their new cruiser ‘Meteor 350’ which made a significant impact on the entry-level riders globally. In an effort to make a cruiser on a budget available across Europe, Asia-Pacific and Thailand, the Meteor 350 was the answer to the entry-level cruisers in these markets.
Apart from winning the ‘Best Modern Classic over 250cc’ at the Thailand Bike of the Year Awards 2021, the Meteor 350 has won accolades from riders in Australia, Philippines and New Zealand since the year 2021.
Finally, with all the numbers aside; a fraternity and sorority of Royal Enfield riders around the world has bloomed over the past decade. Group rides to destinations through the scenic routes have been and will always be organized by the Royal Enfield Club.
A fraternity and sorority of Royal Enfield riders around the world has bloomed over the past decade. Group rides to destinations through the scenic routes have been and will always be organized by the Royal Enfield Club.
In India, the Rider Mania festival is conducted every year at Goa where thousands of Royal Enfield riders from around the country meet-up for an ultimate get-together. This is legendary!
Every country that Royal Enfield is currently selling at has their own clubs which organize group rides that not only takes the participants to various places, but also builds a community of like-minded bikers.
Today, Royal Enfield is present in 26 countries with their retail touch-points across 60+ countries outside India. With more than 7.8 million motorcycling enthusiasts around the world creating engagement online, Royal Enfield is now the largest and fastest growing online motorcycle brand community. The 120 years of history has a lot to say, doesn’t it?
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