New Delhi: Niche bike-maker Royal Enfield on Tuesday unveiled Himalayan, an all-terrain 411 cc motorcycle, as part of its plans to expand its product range in the mid-sized bike segment.
The company, which is the two-wheeler arm of Eicher Motors, currently sells various popular models like Bullet, Classic, Thunderbird and Continental GT. "For Royal Enfield, the Himalayas have always been very important. So the idea was to build a model ground up which can do a variety of roles, including off road," Royal Enfield CEO Siddhartha Lal told reporters in New Delhi.
The company has been working on the model for the last five years and has tested it across various terrains, he added. "As you can use it for broader purposes, including normal city riding and off riding, we see it doing well," Lal said.
The bike, which comes with 220 mm ground clearance, would be launched commercially in middle of March. Himalayan comes with five speed gearbox and 24.5 BHP engine. The company would also sell accessories to go with the 'go anywhere' bike.
When asked if the bike would also be exported, Lal said the focus first would be to establish the brand in India. Himalayan is the first model to come out of the two new engine platforms the company is developing. Multiple products could be launched on the two new engine platforms. The new products, however, would be in the range of 250 cc and 750 cc.
The launches would help the company further consolidate its position to become a leading player in the mid-sized (250 cc-750 cc) segment globally.
When asked about upgrading engines to BS 1V and BS VI levels, Lal said: "We have the technology and we can be ready whenever it is required. It would be relatively easy for us as we have limited number of engines."
Having established its business firmly in the domestic market, the company is now eying major markets across the world to sustain its growth momentum.
In the past few months, Royal Enfield has steadily expanded its global footprint in key nodal cities like London, Madrid, Paris, Dubai, Bogota and Medellin. The company plans to produce up to 9 lakh motorcycles by end of 2018, from its two existing manufacturing facilities and a third upcoming facility in Tamil Nadu.
With a view to become the leader in the global mid-sized motorcycle industry, Royal Enfield is also building two new technology centres - one in India and another in the UK, to enhance capability and execute long term product strategy.