There has been a lot of interest behind Royal Enfield’s first multi-cylinder motorcycles, the Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650. Royal Enfield enthusiasts have been waiting with bated breath for the arrival of these large capacity motorcycles, but they might have to wait a bit longer for the same. While the bikes will be launched in international markets by the third quarter of this financial year (early next year), the India launch is expected post that. The reason for this delay, according to company officials, is that for an important market like India, they want to get the launch right.
Currently, both 650cc bikes are undergoing final stages of validation. To gear up for the India launch, Royal Enfield is in the process of setting up an inventory big enough to meet demands when the bike is launched. The company wants to ensure that each of their 850 dealerships across India have ample 650cc test ride bikes as well as stocks in hand for speedy delivery.
Royal Enfield says the main objective is to give potential customers a good experience which starts with the test ride itself. They had a distasteful experience with the hurried launch of the Himalayanwhere meagre stocks could not cope with high initial demand for the bike and potential customers had to wait for months to get their hands on the motorcycle.
Royal Enfield’s intention to get the launch right makes sense. It is an important product for them and the large capacity engine layout has garnered a huge amount of interest among Indian audience. Now, RE will have a lot of potential buyers who would want a test ride. Not having a test ride vehicle could turn these buyers away to other competent, but probably expensive motorcycles, like the Harley-Davidson Street 750.
The 650cc platform is one which RE will want to explore for its other models too, like the Himalayan 650. That motorcycle, however, won’t be launched before 2020. We’ll be riding the 650 twins next month in California. Until then, stay tuned to ZigWheels for further updates.