NEW LEXINGTON – An old motorcycle has woven friends into family in memory of Slow Joe Ellis, a Perry County motorcycle enthusiast who lost his battle with cancer in 1986.
Ellis, a Shawnee native, was one of the driving forces behind a British Motorcycle show that that now bears his name, the Friends of Slow Joe British Motorcycle Show. This year’s event, the 39th annual, will be held at the Perry County Gun Club on Friday and Saturday.
The show opens on Friday, with a tribute to motorcyclists who have passed away and a surprise, said John Fiore, a long-time friend of Joe’s. “Around 5 p.m. we have our opening ceremony, a prayer and a moment of silence for the veterans.” He is calling the ceremony “those that ride, and those that died,” and keeping the details under wraps until the event.
Saturday will feature a poker run starting at noon and a bike show, which welcomes non-British bikes as well starting at 4:00 pm.
The show is free, and all are welcome, including “well-behaved children,” said Fiore. “We turned it onto a free show because there are so many people that were not showing up because they couldn’t afford it.”
Calling it a gathering of a good group of like-minded people, Fiore said the camaraderie of the local motorcycle scene brings out people who, even if they can’t ride any more, still want to come out and talk motorcycles. Fiore credits the show’s good vibes for keeping it going for 39 years, creating a bond between Ellis’ friends and those who never met him.
Slow Joe gained his nickname because he slowed down a bit during his 9 1/2 year battle with cancer, but he could still outride anyone, Fiore said.
A family man and avid dancer, Ellis and Fiore met by chance in 1977, and quickly developed a bond over a shared love of Triumph motorcycles. “We did a lot of riding together, a lot,” Fiore said.
The motorcycle, a fully restored 1972 Triumph 500 T100, that Joe used to ride on the highways and byways of Perry County has changed hands numerous times, connecting friends and family to Ellis, who died just after the third British Motorcycle Show. It now resides with Ellis’ niece, Lisa Fox and her husband Alan. “It is a blessing to have it,” she said, “a connection to Joe.”
Just before Ellis took his final ride, he asked Fiore to keep the show going. “We didn’t know this thing was going to take off,” Fiore said, but the show has attracted visitors from all over the world.
“Our eyes painted a different picture,” Fiore said of the style of the Friends of Slow Joe British Motorcycle Show. “We had that vision and we stuck with it.”
World’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters, Hero MotoCorp, has unveiled a reinvigorated strategy to invest in its Nigerian business and build a dominant market presence. It hopes to use its Nigerian business to leverage other markets in the West African sub-region.
The New Delhi (India)-headquartered company has also launched a new motorcycle, ‘Hunter’ that is developed specially for the Nigerian market.
Head, Global Business, Hero MotoCorp, Sanjay Bhan said Nigeria was a key market for the group, central to its growth plans in the region.
He said the development of a Nigeria-specific motorcycle, ‘Hunter’, was a demonstration of the commitment of the group to the country.
“Going forward too, we strive to bring our globally renowned products to Nigeria. Along with our partner KewalramChanrai Group, we are confident of delighting the customers and driving the market with our world-class products and services,” Bhan said.
The diversified KewalramChanrai Group is the exclusive distributor of Hero MotoCorp in Nigeria. With its extensive experience in the automotive sector spanning several decades, KewalramChanrai Group will play an integral role in Hero MotoCorp’s growth plans in Nigeria.
According to the growth plan, Hero MotoCorp – along with KewalramChanrai Group – is aiming to aggressively grow its presence in Nigeria and cater to the continuous demand for great quality products at affordable prices. The new strategy underscores Hero MotoCorp’s commitment towards Nigeria and to providing customers with an appealing and comprehensive range of products across the country.
Managing Director, Automotive Division, KewalramChanrai Group, Anil Sahgal, said it was gladdening to be the exclusive partner of Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters, in Nigeria.
According to him, with the group expertise in the market and Hero MotoCorp’s global excellence, the partners will provide the best products and services to customers in Nigeria.
“The initial feedback for the Hunter has been exciting. As our bikes travel across the entire country, they will definitely excite the customers. Our aim is to significantly increase our presence in the market this year,” Sahgal said.
Sahgal described ‘Hunter’ as an unstoppable machine that offers customers modern technology with the best mileage, longer engine life, and a comfortable long seat.
He said the ‘Hunter’ is available across Nigeria.
“The ‘Hunter’ also comes with an industry-first 12-month or 75,000 km Engine Warranty. The motorcycle’s engine has been extensively tested for performance in Nigerian conditions. Hero MotoCorp is also planning to have 3S outlets in 20 towns across Nigeria and will have a pan country presence through dealers and parts distributors. In addition, an extensive network of 5000+ trained technicians across Nigeria, will ensure easy access to service and parts for all customers.
“The ‘Hunter’ motorcycle offers the most durable inclined engine with Advance Oil Circulation Technology, Highest Fuel Efficiency, and Triple Air Filtration for longer engine life. With reinforced chassis structure the motorcycles also offer a stronger rear shock absorber, rubber padded gear shift lever with all down gear pattern, comfortable flat thick seat, and a flat rear carrier.
“The ‘Hunter’ comes with a four-stroke, OHC, Air Cooled engine – delivering a remarkable power output of 7.4 BHP @ 8000 RPM and max torque 7.95 NM @ 4500 RPM. The ‘Hunter’s engine is equipped with a Trochoid-type crankshaft-driven oil pump which ensures a constant oil flow rate of 3.14 Litres/minute. The internal oil galleries are designed to secure and protect oil flow without any hindrance. The area near the combustion chamber has less height difference to ensure high oil flow and optimum cooling. This advanced oil circulation technology ensures better cooling and lubrication of the engine.
“The ‘Hunter’ has three filter elements to avoid dust entry into the combustion chamber leading to higher engine life. The first is the air deflector ensuring clean air entry, whilst the second and third are the primary and secondary filters made from Polyurethane foam that absorb finer dust particles ensuring only clean air enters the carburetor,” Sahgal said.
He outlined other features of the new motorcycle to include an extra-long comfortable seat, strong and long rear carrier, strong double-cradle frame, USB port for on-the-go charging, bigger 18″ wheels for added comfort, step adjustable rear suspension for a smoother ride, smooth all down gear shift pattern, and a bigger footrest for comfortable sitting.
According to him, providing utmost safety, the motorcycle features a metallic bash plate protecting the engine on rough roads, a combi lock to protect the vehicle from theft and tyre pressure monitoring indicator to prevent deflation and puncture.
Honda’s Two Summer Models Are an Anniversary Montesa Cota and a Rincon ATV
A Honda for every need. The Japanese automotive company recently confirmed its 2021 Montesa Cota 301RR trials bike and the 2022 FourTrax Rincon multipurpose ATV and you’ll be able to ride them this summer.
Both designed for off-road powersports, but each with its specific purpose, the new Montesa Cota 301RR, and FourTrax Rincon are designed to please all kinds of off-road enthusiasts. Honda is all about diversity, as confirmed by Brandon Wilson, Advertising & Motorcycle Sports Manager at American Honda, who claims no other manufacturer produces such a varied family of powersports vehicles.
The 2021 Montesa Cota 301RR is a tribute to the early Montesa models, and it’s a special edition meant to celebrate its 75th anniversary, with an included emblem to state it out loud. It comes with a new look, a red fuel tank, and most of the components found in Toni Bou’s Montesa, because why not get inspired by the bike of the 28-time FIM World Champion?
The 299cc four-stroke engine bike with Tech forks will be available starting this July, with a suggested retail price of approximately $11,700.
Moving on to the 2022 FourTrax Rincon ATV, the vehicle spells strength, with its rugged bodywork and steel racks. The ATV is comfortable and maintains Honda’s specific luxury look. Just like the Montesa Cota 301RR, the new Rincon also comes in red, and its three-speed automatic transmission can be shifted using the push buttons on the handlebar. According to Honda, the ATV features a liquid-cooled 675cc single-cylinder with the crankshaft aligned with the vehicle’s direction of travel, for a direct link to the rear axle.
The 2022 FourTrax Rincon will also be available starting July 2021 and has a suggested retail price of approximately $9,500.
But enough said, since a picture is worth a thousand words. We’ll let you feast your eyes on Honda’s new additions, and spread the word to your wallet.
Ducati Announces Special-Edition 2022 Diavel 1260 S “Black and Steel”. It’s set to hit dealerships next month. Until then, feel free to drool over their extensive photo gallery.
A few months ago, Ducati stunned the motorcycle realm with their limited-edition Diavel 1260 “Lamborghini” – a two-wheeled tribute to the Sian FKP 37, essentially. Needless to say, this ravishing marvel was extremely well received, so it only makes sense for the Italian manufacturer to introduce more special variants of the almighty Diavel, right?
Well, Bologna’s engineers have indeed been preparing yet another surprise for diehard Ducatistas, which was finally unveiled earlier today. Ladies and gents, we have the pleasure of introducing you to the 2022 Diavel 1260 S “Black and Steel.” This fascinating machine will be exhibited for the very first time at the MIMO Motor Show starting tomorrow, until June 13.
The event will take place at the epicenter of Milan, where the public will be able to admire the Duc in all its glory and meet Andrea Ferraresi, the director of Ducati’s Style Center. Here’s what he had to say about the company’s most recent endeavor: “The Diavel 1260 S Black and Steel is a bike that does not go unnoticed. Its asymmetrical graphics, the contrast between matte black, grey and touches of yellow have been designed to enhance the power, design and sportiness of this bike.”
To be frank, we’d say they certainly achieved what they were after. We just love the way that yellow paintwork draws your attention to the Diavel’s iconic frame, which stands out in contrast to the stealthy bodywork. The new color scheme was partially influenced by a concept presented at the Milan Design Week back in 2019, namely the “Materico.”
Thankfully, we won’t have to wait that long for the Black and Steel to be released, as this bad boy will arrive in dealerships as early as July, 2021. At the time of this article, pricing remains a mystery, but we’re inclined to think this beast won’t be cheap, since last year’s homage to Lambo’s Sian FKP 37 was priced at a whopping $31,995.
Grampian Transport Museum (GTM) finally welcomes the dream machine Triumph Hurricane to the floor as Mike Ward finishes up his final year as curator.
After 37 years at the helm of GTM, motorcycle lover Mike Ward made sure to see out his last season before retirement with a rare Triumph Hurricane gracing the display alongside the other classic bikes – including an even rarer Triumph Bandit.
Mike said: “With 2021 being my last season at GTM, I was determined to have a Hurricane in this year’s exhibition.
“They are extremely rare, very valuable and much sought-after, but they’re not being used on the roads and to find one was difficult.”
Mike employed the help of the Triumph Owners Motor Cycle Club, before Scottish-based club member David Currie, from Irvine, rode to the rescue and offered to loan his rare motorcycle to the museum.
Mike’s love affair with Triumph motorcycles began in the early 70s when he was at Lincoln College of Art studying museum conservatorship. As an 18-year-old student, he was the proud owner of a 350cc Triumph 3TA “café racer” complete with clip-on handlebars.
BSA / Triumph had just swept to success with their 750cc triple production bikes, the Triumph Trident and BSA Rocket 3, with the most famous Trident, “Slippery Sam” – so called after springing major oil leaks in an early race – winning five consecutive production 750cc class TT races at the Isle of Man from 1971-75.
The Triumph Trident and BSA Rocket 3 was made by Triumph Engineering and BSA (both part of the Birmingham Small Arms Company) from 1968-75. The high-performance bike was technically advanced, bringing a fresh face to street bikes and marking the start of the superbikes era.
Mike said: “That was the golden era of the Triumph Triple just ahead of the Japanese multi-cylinder tsunami which swept the British motorcycle industry aside. Every young enthusiast coveted one, and as soon as I graduated and found employment in 1976, I remember rushing out with my first pay cheque and buying one of the last Triumph Trident T160’s – a dream come true!”
However, with Japanese superbikes hot on their heels, BSA decided a revamp was on the cards. The company sent one of their Rockets over to American fairing creator Craig Vetter to boost the showroom appeal of their Triples.
Vetter employed a sweeping fibreglass combined fuel tank/seat and extended front forks giving it the now-vintage “Easy Rider” look. With its stunning paint job and outlandish triple exhaust, the bike stood head and shoulders above the standard BSA range and, winning popular public appeal, the X75 Hurricane was badged as a Triumph motorcycle.
Norton Villiers Triumph (1973-78) was liquidated in 1978 and in the end only 1,172 Hurricanes were built. Since then, the Hurricane has remained a rarity and one of Britain’s most exciting motorcycles of the 1970’s.
“The Triumph Hurricane has such an amazing story attached to it, said Mike. “It’s a really colourful and cheerful machine – and everyone needs cheering up just now, don’t they?”
Latin America is about to get a taste of one of the most tech-loaded electric motorcycles in the world, and even enjoy its own custom versions. After winning the hearts of the younger generations in Canada and North America, Damon Motors is now moving on to Latin America.
Canadian-based Damon Motors has just initiated a long-term partnership with Auteco Mobility in Columbia, to develop and manufacture a new line of products for motorcycle riders in Latin America, including Damon’s famous Hypersport as the flagship model. In addition to that, Auteco will license parts of Damon’s CoPilot™ safety technology, for its own Victory motorcycles. This adaptive 360-degree safety warning system is an industry first.
The main objective (and a daring one) is to create a purpose-built, Latin America-specific Damon motorcycle, based on the specific needs of riders in this region. But their long-term strategy is even more ambitious, planning a wide regional distribution for what is about to become the quintessential Latin American Damon bike.
Auteco has the means to do that, as a leader on the Columbian ICE motorcycles market, as well as a pioneer in terms of electric 2-wheelers, that has created the widest network of exclusive dealers, workshops and spare parts sale points, in South America. With both companies committed to not only a greener future, but also to increased safety for motorcycle riders, the idea of creating a clean and safe bike that also features the latest technologies, specifically for this market, was a slam dunk.
Damon was one of the first startups to make waves with an electric motorcycle, when the trend was just taking off. Its first iconic Hypersport model delivered 200 hp and had an impressive 200-mile (321 km) range. Plus, it was the first to incorporate sensor fusion, mechatronics and AI, which means that it can adapt to the rider’s needs and abilities.
Bagger Racing League Partners with FITE for exclusive Live Viewing of First-ever Drag Specialties Battle of the Baggers.
Tune in to Bagger Racing League™ Utah, Sunday June 27th, and watch Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycles Battle
Durango, CO (June 9, 2021) – Race fans and riders alike can tune in live to the first-ever Bagger Racing League, featuring five unique races, most of which are the first of their kind. BRL is proud to partner with the premier pay-per-view provider FITE to broadcast the first ever BRL Sunday, June 27th at 3:00 pm EDT.
For just $14.99, viewers can watch all the action live and be a witness to motorcycle history in the making. With five epic classes and over 50 riders from across the globe the Harley-Davidson and Indian fight for racing dominance will be seen at every level live on FITE. Order here.
“I am ready to see the score settled between Harley and Indian!” announced BRL founder, Rob Buydos.
Drag Specialties Battle of the Baggers Bagger Racing League™ Round 1 takes place at Utah Motorsports Complex, June 25–27, in Salt Lake City. Tickets, hotel packages, camping and VIP experiences for Drag Specialties Battle of the Baggers are available now at www.BaggerRacingLeague.com.
“FITE fans have really embraced the motorsports we’ve offered,” said FITE COO, Michael Weber. “Battle of the Baggers is another exciting inaugural event for us that we feel will appeal to existing and new fans with some of the top riders in the field competing.”
Each round will be a 3-day event, featuring the world’s largest V-Twin vendor village at a road racetrack, stunt shows, camping, the Arlen Ness Custom Bike Show and much more. Drag Specialties Battle of the Baggers will broadcast live through FITE and will feature a live audience and announcing.
An action-packed highlight video of what to expect from Bagger Racing League can be viewed here: youtu.be/EsNBJW7dk8I.
Drag Specialties Battle of the Baggers Bagger Racing League™ will feature 5 classes of racing, making this accessible to all riders that have put in track time, not just pro-racers:
Class 1 Hooligan GP presented by Icon: Includes American V-twin inspired platforms.
Class 2 Big Twin GP presented by NAMZ: Includes any American large-displacement big twin.
Class 3 Pro-Stock Bagger GP presented by Metzeler Tires: Includes Harley-Davidson or Indian with fairing and saddlebags to qualify
Class 4 Stunt GP presented by Lucas Oil: Invitational. Invited entrants compete in a judged stunt competition Friday night, then take their bike to the track for qualifying on Saturday and the main event on Sunday.
Class 5 BRL’s premier Bagger GP presented by Custom Dynamics: Harley-Davidson and Indian touring bikes duke it out in a fight for dominance.
In addition to the excitement around the Harley-Davidson – Indian Motorcycle rivalry, featuring Tyler O’Hara on an Indian and Ben Bostrom on a Harley-Davidson in the Premiere Bagger GP Class, Bagger Racing League history will be made with the first female racer in a Bagger GP, featuring Patricia Hernandez riding for Saddlemen racing.
“With all the experience that FITE has, they are the perfect partner for the Bagger Racing League,” said Bagger Racing League COO, John M. Oakes. “The excitement of the first race will be history in the making.”
Bagger Racing League has united Harley-Davidson aftermarket parts companies from across the world, including: 31 State, Beringer Brakes, Bridgestone Tires, Continental Tires, Custom Dynamics, CVRD Canopies, Drag Specialities, Dream Rides, Dunlop Tires, Eric Herrmann, Icon, Kicker, Klock Werks, Kraus Motor Company, LA Choppers, Legends Suspensions, LePera Seats, Lucas Oil, Lucky Speed Shop, Metzeler Tires, Moto United, NAMZ, Optimate, Rider Justice, SMT Wheels and Sturgis Buffalo Chip.
Companies, brands and shops building bikes competing in the premier Bagger Racing League Bagger Premier GP presented by Custom Dynamics include: Alloy Art, Barnett, Bassani, Feuling Parts, Performance Machine, Pistol Pete Custom Cycles, Saddlemen, Slyfox, S&S Cycles, The Speed Merchant and Trask Performance.
Harley-Davidson Dealerships from across the country are fielding teams including:
Bumpus Harley-Davidson of Memphis
Harley-Davidson of Yuba City
Iron Steed Harley-Davidson
Las Vegas Harley-Davidson
Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson
Registered teams include
Blakline Speed Shop
Collective PHX & Leading Edge V-Twin
Fab 28 Industries
Miller Built Performance Cycles
My Garage – Ventura
RPM & Arlen Ness
Speed Kings Cycle
Team Dream Rides
The Chopper Place
The Warrior Built Foundation
Drag Specialities Battle of the Baggers, Bagger Racing League™ Round 1 will take place June 25–27, 2021, in Salt Lake City, Utah, at Utah Motorsports Complex. Get your tickets, hotel packages, camping and VIP experiences and more at www.BaggerRacingLeague.com.
About FITE: FITE is the premier global platform for live sports and entertainment offering many of the industry’s marquee PPV events and SVOD packages with over 4.6MM registered users. FITE is available worldwide through its iOS and Android mobile apps, Apple TV, Android TV, ROKU, Amazon Fire TV and Huawei apps. In addition, FITE supports Samsung, LG, Cox Contour, Vizio SmartCast™, Foxxum, Chromecast, PS4, XBOX, ZEASN, Netrange, Vidaa/Hisense, VEWD, Netgem TV, Virgin Media, Comcast’s Xfinity 1 and Xfinity Flex as well as 7,000 models of Smart TVs. Available online at www.FITE.tv. Follow FITE on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If it Happens, it’s on FITE.
Mile-long burnout video that broke Instagram | Bagger Racing League Competitor C-Bear:
The Peter Makris Memorial Run hits a milestone in this 15th year as the “Official Kickoff to Laconia Motorcycle Week®.” Started as a tribute to NASWA patriarch Peter Makris, the charity run offers the best riding experience with the escort of NH State and local police, offering a “feet-up” ride through the Laconia area scenic hills, lakes and small towns.
The run also accentuates one of the reasons we ride—to give back to the community. Bikers are known for their generosity and heart and this ride is an expression of both. Makris was for many years the face of the legendary NASWA Resort, the Official Hotel of the rally, welcoming all to “The NAZ” with his warm smile and handshake. He was well-loved in the community as a leader and is now commemorated in this 15th annual ride which has raised over $475,000 for area charities including the Laconia Fire Department, Easter Seals “Veterans Count,” the Laconia CERT team, and last year, the Belknap House homeless shelter and Building Dreams for Marines.
This non-profit was formed to assist Marines and other U.S. military veterans with mobility issues as it retrofits residences to enable vets and their families to live comfortably and confidently in their homes. Peter Makris’ service in the Marines and membership in the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club brings the charity full circle.
“We know my father would be proud of this initiative,” says Cynthia Makris, president of the NASWA Resort who followed in her father’s footsteps to make the NASWA a strong community service and contributor. The Resort was founded by her maternal grandparents in the early 1900’s and she now guides 4 generations of the Makris family in maintaining its legacy, with her mother, 96-year-old Hope, busy in the kitchen, baking the desserts for the resort.
The Peter Makris Memorial Run
8:30-9:30 AM – Registration – Pick up your 15th anniversary collector T-shirt, with artwork by renowned Harley Davidson artist, David Uhl’s Uhl Studios design group, chip for a beer “on Peter.” $50 registration – $75 VIP, front-of-the-pack.
10:00 AM – Inspirational opening ceremonies across the street at The NASWA parking lot on Weirs Boulevard. This year the New Hampshire Leathernecks, the U.S. Marine Corp’s motorcycle club, will also be honored and will lead the ride in Peter’s memory!
10:30 AM – Kickstand UP for a no-traffic, “feet up” cruise, thanks to the escort of the State and Local Police. Breezing by other bikers, cruise to another Laconia legend, The New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Feel like a racer, running exciting laps around the track and road course, thanks to NHMS GM Dave McGrath, who offers Memorial Run riders this breathtaking experience.
12:30 PM – After the ride, the adventure continues back at the NAZBar & Grill for the After-Ride Party. The gourmet boxed lunch and beer on Peter will be waiting for you at the NazBar! Participate in the 50/50 raffle and have plenty of fun with new and old friends. Live, rocking music will feature top talent—The James Montgomery Band will again grace The NASWA stage to bring fun to the party all afternoon.
Start your Laconia Motorcycle Week® experience at The NASWA Resort! Share Peter’s passion for riding and help benefit the area’s veterans and first responders on Saturday, June 12 with the 15th Annual Peter Makris Memorial Run.
Be sure to keep checking the events page on the official site of Progressive Laconia Motorcycle Week® laconiamcweek.com for updates on this and many other events at this year’s rally.
Laconia Motorcycle Week® gives great appreciation to all of our sponsors, especially our Presenting Sponsors: Progressive, AMSOIL and Team Motorcycle, as well as the State of New Hampshire for their large financial support of our rally each year.
For more information about visiting the state of NH, check out visitnh.gov.
Approximately US $ 276,000 was presented to State of Tamil Nadu, India which is the home of Royal Enfield. Its commitment to extend support to the state government is being accompanied by other initiatives in the region, the company said.
Chennai: Royal Enfield, part of Eicher Motors Ltd, has committed INR 20 million to the Tamil Nadu Disaster Relief Fund for the Covid-19 relief works in the State. The cheque for this was handed over to Chief Minister M K Stalin by Vinod K Dasari, CEO, Royal Enfield, at the Secretariat on Tuesday.
“Tamil Nadu is the home of Royal Enfield motorcycles and we are committed to supporting the State in all its efforts to combat the devastating second wave of the pandemic. Our commitment to extend support to the state government today is being accompanied by a host of initiatives that Royal Enfield is undertaking in the region for the community. We continue to assess the situation closely and will extend further support to the relief and rehabilitation efforts in the long run,” Dasari said.
Royal Enfield will have the highest number of launches this year: CEO Vinod Dasari
This year, Royal Enfield is ready to introduce more models annually than ever before as the niche bike maker looks to further strengthen its iron grip on the middleweight motorcycle segment
The Eicher Motors-controlled company that specialises in building bikes with engine sizes of 350cc to 650cc, currently, has its order backlog full. This can keep its factories running for the next 2-3 months without any new bookings.
Speaking to analysts, Vinod Dasari, CEO, Royal Enfield, said: “We have a very exciting (product) pipeline. This year will probably see the highest number of new models that is ever seen from Royal Enfield in a year. And that is just the beginning of the pipeline.”
Over the last few months, Royal Enfield launched the Meteor 350 and the new Himalayan, besides offering new colours on the 650 twins – Continental GT and Interceptor. Dasari did not provide details on the models that can be expected from Royal Enfield.
“We will continue to have one new model every quarter. Because there is a delay due to COVID right now, I don’t think we will squeeze everything in but there are some very big models coming in. We are very excited about it. We will have to do all the marketing and market preparedness for that,” Dasari added.
While sales of the 650 twins in India nearly halved to 10,256 units in FY21, largely due to COVID-19 disruption, Royal Enfield believes that there is space for more 650cc products.
“Yes, there is a need to think about every platform. Not just the Twins, but Himalayan, Meteor and Classic. So we should think about every platform on how we can meet other kinds of customer requirements,” Dasari added.
The pandemic disrupted the supply chain network of the automotive industry, leading to shortages and delay of critical parts with parts manufacturers dealing with high absenteeism on the shop floor. Shortage of semiconductors, which started in Q3FY21, is still impacting output.
Royal Enfield production has also taken a hit, dropping to half of its peak output during the first two months of FY22. From 80,000 units a month, Royal Enfield sold an average of 40,000 units a month between April and May. The company, however, has an order backlog of 2-3 months.
“New model launch development takes 3-5 years depending on the complexity of the vehicle. So, the models are ready, I want to be able to have a clear visibility of the supply chain so I can launch it in enough quantity and not be short of supply. So, we may delay the launch by a month or so but I don’t see any massive changes because of that,” Dasari added.
In Dasari’s own words, “This year will probably see the highest number of new models that are ever seen from Royal Enfield in a year”.
Although Covid-19 has led to disruptions of operations at many levels, Royal Enfield is still confident to launch multiple new models in FY2022
Even if the company does not receive any new bookings, it has enough backlog orders to clear which will keep the assembly line moving for at least the next 2-3 months.
Late last year, the Chennai-based bikemaker announced that henceforth it will be launching as many four models (new and upgraded) every year which meant one new launch every quarter.
Future RE models
Since November last year, Royal Enfield has launched one brand new model in the form of Meteor 350 and updated three others including Himalayan, Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650. The brand’s next big-ticket launch is expected to be the new-gen Classic 350 which will be based on the J architecture as Meteor. Along with this, the company has planned a couple of 650cc models including a cruiser and a classic roadster.
The manufacturer is also reportedly developing a new scrambler based on the same 650cc parallel-twin chassis. The company recently filed a trademark for the same called ‘Scram’.
Another crucial new model slated to launch in the coming few months is the new roadster which goes by the name ‘Hunter’ and is expected to take on Honda CB350 H’Ness. According to Dasari, all these models are ready to be launched as they have already been in development for 3-5 years.