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Royal Enfield to roll out high-end bikes

May 18, 2007 02:54 IST

While bike majors Harley Davidson, Suzuki, Yamaha and Honda are striving to sell their high-powered super bikes in the domestic market, Royal Enfield Motors, a Chennai-based retro bike manufacturer, is launching different bikes in the international and the domestic markets.

Eicher Motors, the owner of Royal Enfield brand, is rolling out two new engines. The all-new bikes with a 500 cc engine will target exports, while the 350 cc engine bikes will be marketed in the domestic market from the current financial year.

Eicher has decided to discontinue its current strategy to market common bikes in India and abroad.

Siddhartha Lal, managing director and CEO of EML, said, "Now we have developed different technology and bikes for India and the overseas market. We have got all the clearances (fuel emission norms) for the high-powered bikes to be fired by the 500 cc engine for the overseas market.

"We are also introducing electronic fuel-injection technology to deliver a much higher power (torque and bhp). The bike for the domestic market would have the smaller 350 cc engine to have an ideal blend of fuel efficiency and power to keep the total cost of ownership down."

With demand for lifestyle bikes increasing, the retro bike maker will expand its Chennai plant capacity from 3,000 units to 3,500 units a month and target exports of about 10 per cent.

Royal Enfield exports 2,500 bikes a year to the UK and the US out of the 33,000 motorcycles it makes annually. "We are exploring other Asian and African markets as the export market is much more lucrative for us, with higher profits coming from our top-end bikes," said Lal.

The company's top-end bikes in the overseas market fetch as much as Rs 3 lakh, almost three times more than its comparable price in India.

Chanchal Pal Chauhan in New Delhi