The Classic 350 and 500 series of motorcycles have scripted a massive success story for Royal Enfield. Sales have surpassed the company’s expectations, and the Chennai-based veteran motorcycle maker is today struggling to ramp up factory output to match a burgeoning demand for these classic bikes.
The Classic twins were launched in November 2009, since when they’ve gone on to comprise 40 percent of total Royal Enfield motorcycle sales. Not one to sit back and rest on its laurels, Royal Enfield has worked hard behind the scenes to add extra value to its popular thumpers.
Enter the Limited Edition Desert Storm and Classic Chrome. The Desert Storm’s matte, sand-coloured scheme takes you all the way back to the World War II era with its distinct, smoothened, classic silhouette looking all dressed up and ready for action. Its teardrop fuel-tank comes with thigh pads inbuilt on each side. The Classic Chrome bikes, available in maroon or black, show off their predominantly metal body thanks to a generous helping of chrome, as evident on the motorcycle’s hooded headlamp, fuel tank, swooping mudguards, oval tool-box and silencer.
Minor modifications have been made to Royal Enfield’s present generation, fuel-injected 499cc, unit construction engine. It now gets a more powerful charging circuit as well as an improved piston assembly. The four-stroke, single-cylinder and long stroke powerplant musters 27.2bhp at 5250rpm, and 4.2kgm of torque at 4000rpm, the same as on earlier variants. Electronic ignition is offered, as are a hydraulic tappet system and automatic chain-tensioner.
The chassis remains basically the same, the burly bike using a better damping rate for its spring-mounted single seat. At the front, you get a 90/90 section MRF tyre and 19-inch rim, while the rear comes with 120/80 section rubber and an 18-inch wheel.
The new Classic Chrome variants are priced at Rs 1.65 lakh – Rs 10,000 more than the Classic 500 variants, while the Desert Storm retails at Rs 1.58 lakh – making it dearer by Rs 3,000. All prices are on-road Mumbai.
Read our comprehensive ride story in Autocar India’s upcoming issue, November 2011.