Royal Enfield to launch Bullet 350 in the coming months
Company plans to target prospective buyers that include everyone from a college student, a middle-income salaried individual, a trader and a businessman.
The all-new incoming Bullet is internally codenamed as the J1B, and along with the upcoming Classic 350 Bobber, it is part of the revamp of Royal Enfield’s core platform with 350cc engines.
Much like the new-age Classic 350, the new Bullet is set to get a new heart and a body. Yet, it is going to retain its form factor and character to reinforce its place in the Royal Enfield portfolio that is witnessing a flurry of new competition. So far, the likes of Jawa, Yezdi and Honda could barely have an impact on Royal Enfield, which has only grown from strength to strength. And this competitive disruption comes at a time when Royal Enfield is probably at its strongest ever.
Consider this. In the motorcycle market above 125cc, one in every three vehicles sold in FY23 was a Royal Enfield. Despite there being new entrants in the premium motorcycle market, the company increased its market share by 710 basis points to 32-33 percent.
Its latest entry-level model, the Hunter, has got off to a very good start and has brought in a lot of first-time young and new buyers to the brand, even though the brand’s core pillar of Classic has weakened a bit. The Meteor, the Classic and the new Bullet will further reinforce RE's presence in the Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 1.75 lakh segment to thwart new competition as part of the pricing strategy.
The Bullet plan
With the new Bullet, the plan is to target prospective buyers that include everyone from a college student, a middle-income salaried individual, a trader and a businessman. “The Bullet is not just owned, it is passed on to the next generations. It will retain its signature look, sound and character. It will be a nice mix of man and machine, rational, rugged, durable, rock solid and given the new architecture, the prices may marginally increase by Rs 10,000 to 12,000,” said one of the seven people in the know with whom our sister publication Autocar Professional spoke.
The new Bullet’s architecture and design will be based on a new chassis, wider front tyres and better brakes for stability and stopping power. There will be a small digital instrument cluster, an updated aesthetic and a better fit and finish. The Bullet’s transition will be quite similar to the Classic motorcycle’s transition from old to new, sources said.
There are a lot of commonalities of parts to drive in the efficiencies and the scale of the ‘J’ platform, yet there will be an attempt to give it a differentiated character and persona. The bike will continue to have its traditional hand-painted pinstripes on the fuel tank and panels.
The northern and southern regions of the country are likely to form almost 70-80 percent of the total sales at the company. “It is a true vintage; it is built to last. Simple yet rugged, built on a solid construction suitable for army and police — the motorcycles that can go across terrains at ease,” added our source.
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