Royal Enfield has announced two new limited-edition models: the Bullet 500 and Classic Chrome. It’s also planning a modest price increase for its upcoming 2011 model year.
The Bullet 500 is an updated version of an original 350cc Bullet sold in India. “This basic bike has been built for over 55 years but was never sold in the export markets,” Royal Enfield says. “We refer to it internally as the ‘Bullet Black’ or B5. It is built on the original Bullet frame and has the same new fuel-injected UCE engine and disc brake that the rest of the bikes have. It also sports an old-style metal badge on the tank and the original 19-inch wheels. It is only available in black.” The MSRP is $5495 (the California may cost slightly more), and availability was planned for March.
The new Classic Chrome is built on a C5 platform and features a chrome tank, chrome fenders and a chrome oval cover that looks like an air box. The bike has a brown solo seat (with an accessory matching pillion seat) and has a red stripe with pin striping down the middle. Royal Enfield says the model will be available in April at the earliest. “Because of the beautiful handmade chrome tank, it is a very difficult bike to build and will also only be available in limited quantities as a special-order-type bike,” the company says.
2010 is still Royal Enfield’s current model year. The 2011 bikes will feature only “very small changes” and have a price increase between $100 and $200, the company reports.
Until the end of March, Royal Enfield is offering free accessories to all purchasers of a 2009-2010 model at participating dealers.
Venki Padmanabhan took over as Royal Enfield’s CEO in January. An American citizen of Indian descent, he spent many years with GM, Chrysler and Mercedes. He has been running the plant operations for the past two years.
Royal Enfield reports being nine months behind production due to escalating demand. In 2010, the company says it made 52,250 bikes and plans to make 70,000 this year. The company announced recently that it’s building a new factory to meet future needs.
Posted by Arlo Redwine
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