In June this year, a scrambler version of what looked like the Classic 500 was spotted at a dealership. Back then we had assumed it to be dealer-level mod. But to our surprise, an identical motorcycle has been spied testing recently in Pune. Our doubts were put to rest when we noticed the number plate which said “On test by ARAI”. Royal Enfield certainly seems to have something brewing in their backyard!
An intriguing point to note is that Royal Enfield’s optional off-road exhaust (available for the Classic 500) is much shorter than the one on the spied motorcycle, and the brand says the former is meant for off-road use only. However, the upswept unit found in the scrambler looks like a redesigned version of the standard exhaust, which could mean that it is BSIV compliant.
Its spoke wheels were shod with knobbies and the telescopic front forks were protected by a pair of rubber gaiters. Even the handlebars were braced for extra stiffness to aid trail riding. At the rear, the it sported a raised fender to go with the slightly higher wheel travel. The test mule had disc brakes on both end. However, we believe it will come with a switchable dual-channel ABS to comply with the latest norms. Plus, a switchable unit really makes sense for a scrambler as it enables the riders to slide the motorcycle around on dirt.
We expect the engine to be unchanged. The 499cc single-cylinder air-cooled motor dishes out 27.5PS at 5250rpm and 41.3Nm at 4000rpm, paired to a 5-speed transmission. We expect Royal Enfield to launch this motorcycle early next year. It is likely to be priced in the same ballpark as the normal Classic 500, which comes in at Rs 1.85 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for the standard version. There really aren’t any natural competitors for this upcoming motorcycle as of now.
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