Current Bullet & Thunderbird 500 discontinued according to the company’s online booking portal. This probably is the end of the 500 platform….
Royal Enfield thrives on retro motorcycles. This also means that it has to continue using technology which is not very modern. Hence, upgrading to very stringent emission norms is even more resource intensive for it.
The maker was caught testing what looked like newer-generation Classics and Thunderbirds (spy pics here) and it was obviously believed that it has decided to overhaul its lineup. But, it almost surprised by introducing the exact same Classic 350 recently, with just the updated version of the same 350cc engine along with some colours and minor cosmetics.
This almost proves an online report correct which claimed that the maker is not ready with its newer-gen motorcycles and they will come later. Amidst all this, rumours of the company discontinuing its 500cc platform surfaced.
A build-up of this can be found on Royal Enfield’s online booking website. Apart from the Classic 500, the company has stopped taking bookings of all other 500s, which include the Bullet 500, Thunderbird 500 and X500. It is also not listing the premium variants of Classic 500 (Desert Storm, Chrome, etc).
This looks like the end of the 500cc platform. If it indeed is, then there will be a substantial gap between the 350s and the twin cylinder 650s (apart from the Himalayan). It will be interesting to see how will the company bridge this gap – will it be through new motorcycles (it has patented few names) or will it expand current variants with new colours and shades (like it did with the new Classic 350).