RoyalEnfield has launched more affordable 350cc bikes under the ‘Bullet’ tag, and hasalso announced the opening of new dealers as well as some changes to theservice schedules of bikes across the range
“Customer satisfaction” is the buzzword that Royal Enfield has adopted, and by Jove they’re going all guns (no pun intended) blazing on it. In an effort to combat low sales, rising insurance costs and the government’s push towards the adoption of electric vehicles, the brand has launched two new variants of the Bullet 350, priced as entry-level offerings. Next, they have also planned some changes to the engine oil to be used for their entire range, and consequently some changes to their service schedules. Lastly, the brand has vowed to open as many as 250 new dealerships.
Let’s first address the important news. Affordable Bullets! Yes, the two variants of the newly-launched Bullet, namely the Bullet 350 and Bullet 350 ES will retail at Rs 1.12 lakh (ex-showroom), which is a good Rs 10,000 lower than before! We all know that the Bullet moniker has been synonymous to the Royal Enfield brand, and the new duo, bookings for which will open August 9, will no doubt cement it in public consciousness.
Mechanically, the Bullet 350 will remain unchanged, the air-cooled 346cc single cylinder making 19.8bhp and 28Nm. Visually, though, there are quite a few subtle changes. Firstly, except for the all-black version, the body panels on the Bullet 350 minimise the use of chrome for all parts, including the indicators. Also, the 3-D metallic Royal Enfield emblem on the tank has been dropped, as have the hand-painted pinstripes, and been replaced by a conventional ‘Royal Enfield’ decal. Finally, both the motorcycles will have a blacked out theme (instead of chrome/brushed alloy) for the engine, handlebar and wire-spoke wheels.
In addition to its existing black colour, the Bullet 350 will now be available in three new colours – the Bullet Silver, Bullet Sapphire Blue and the Bullet Onyx Black, whereas the Bullet 350 ES will be available in Jet Black, Regal Red, and Royal Blue colour options (along with the current Maroon and Silver colours).
Along with the new Bullets, Royal Enfield has announced a new initiative on lowering the cost of ownership for their offerings. Across all its authorised service centres, the company will use a new mix of semi-synthetic oil, which will consequently increase the service intervals from the current three months/3000 km to six months/5000 km. Additionally, the oil change interval will also increase from the earlier six months/5000 km to 12 months/10,000 km. Royal Enfield claims this will, therefore, bring down the overall number of service instances as well as the cost of service by an average of 40 per cent over a three-year period, thereby significantly improving cost of ownership for the customer. This new service improvement initiative will be applicable to all current Unit Construction Engine motorcycles models – the Bullet, Classic and the Thunderbird.
Lastly, Royal Enfield has announced the opening of 250 new ‘Royal Enfield Studio’ stores. These stores, to be located primarily in smaller towns and cities across India, will house the entire range of Royal Enfield motorcycles, alongside service and spares and the entire suite of Royal Enfield motorcycle accessories and apparel. The compact stores, spread across a 500-600sq ft area, will be identical visually and operationally to existing Royal Enfield dealerships. They are intended to provide significantly greater accessibility of sales and service to existing customers and to cater to increasing demand from potential customers in smaller towns.