After the success of the Bajaj Pulsar, R.L.Ravichandran, former marketing head of Bajaj Auto has moved in as the CEO of bike maker Royal Enfield (RE). Subsequently RE announced the launch of two new variants; Bullet Electra 5S and a new variant of its cruiser ‘Thunderbird’. The new Bullet, with gearshift on the left, comes with gas-filled shock absorbers, glass wool silencer, multi-focal reflector lamps with option of disc brakes and electric start.
Ravichandran said the company would also come out with a new integrated 500 cc engine in next six months. This is most probably gonna be the AVL 500, a definite thumping bull and my next bike upgrade (plans subject to change if a better bike is in the pipeline).
Judging by the way Ravichandran and BAL launched almost 5 variants of the Pulsar in 2 years, I wouldn’t be surprised if the existing Thunderbird is upgraded in versions 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and finally version 2.
RE is also working on a completely new engine platform. Its widely spoken that this one is gonna be more sporty (the RD 350 just crossed my mind ;) The integrated engine will give the riders the advantage of efficiency, an absolute necessity owing to the steadily rising fuel prices (currently Rs 49.81 in Hyderabad)
So its good that the R&D team has atlest woken up, and I just hope that they design bikes and not just new stickers (an inherent characteristic of a few Indian bike makers… read “Hero Honda” ;)