Royal Enfield’s pushrod engines will not meet BS-Vl emission norms.
The company plans to phase it out and replace it with more modern engines.
500 cc range isn’t selling well in India, 650 cc doing well in export markets.
It might see the last by March 2020.
Royal Enfield’s current lineup of single-cylinder products consists of 350 cc and 500 cc versions of the same basic engine architecture, and apparently upgrading it to meet the upcoming BS-Vl emission norms will be a large cost. Therefore the company is working on a new engine that will meet the new emission norms – which could mean the end of the 500 cc single from Royal Enfield.
The 500 cc engine was conceived primarily as an export market product, and it has found its way into the Bullet, Classic, and Thunderbird model ranges. However, now the export market for Royal Enfield relies on the 650 cc twin cylinder twins, which are doing extremely well.
In the Indian context, the 500 cc variants cost more, aren’t visually distinguishable from the 350 cc counterparts, and don’t offer a significant enough increase in performance to justify the increase in price.
As a result, the sales of the 500 cc models have been dwindling, and come April 2020 we might see a lineup from Royal Enfield that consists of 350 cc single-cylinder models, and 650 cc twin-cylinder models only.
The 500 cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine from Royal Enfield is a fuel-injected unit and generates 27 bhp and 41 Nm. It follows the same UCE construction as the 350 cc engine and puts its power down through a five-speed gearbox. It has seen competition from more modern touring rivals like the Bajaj Dominar 400 and even the Honda CBR 250R.