UPDATE: Royal Enfield Classic, Thunderbird get alloy wheels
In the past week, rumours about the Royal Enfield 650 twins getting alloy wheels as an official accessory have been doing the rounds on the internet. But contrary to what’s being said, we’ve learned that the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 will not be receiving the alloy wheels option in the immediate future.
Royal Enfield’s website allows for potential buyers to customize the 650 Twins with accessories that include mirrors, windscreen and seat options among others. The page also has electrical, luggage and wheel options that display a “coming soon” message when clicked on. This led to the assumption that the 650 twins are going to be offered with alloy wheels. However, it seems that the company is working on alloy wheel options for the Classic series of motorcycles and is using the configurator page of the 650 Twins as a test bed.
Presently, the Thunderbird 350X and 500X come with alloy wheels as standard. The 90/90-19 (front) and 120/80-18 (rear) stock tyre sizes are the same as those on the spoke wheeled Thunderbird 350 and 500. Spoked wheels handle impacts better and are easily repairable, unlike alloy wheels. That said, a spoked wheel usually comes with a tubed tyre, with tubeless options being available in a small handful of high-end ADVs. An alloy wheel, on the other hand, can be equipped with tubeless tyres. A tubeless tyre is a lot easier to plug, in the event of a puncture which makes it a much more sensible option if you won’t be subjecting your wheels to excessive impact, say, while off-roading. The two wheel options also largely alter the aesthetics of the bike and if Royal Enfield follows a design similar to the ones on the Thunderbird X line-up, the Classic series will be offered with alloys that have coloured wheel borders. Interestingly, the Classic series has the same tyre sizes as the Thunderbird X and so Royal Enfield could offer Thunderbird X like alloys as an accessory on the Classics.
The Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650 are the brand's flagship motorcycles and will receive a host of optional accessories in addition to what is currently being offered. While the alloy wheels will likely be an option on the 650 Twins in the future, the Classic series will be receiving it first.