The folks at Royal Enfield are surely working extra hours, considering the number of new motorcycles in the pipeline. One of them is the Himalayan 450, the motorcycle we told you about in our exclusive story sometime back. We followed that up with another exclusive revealing the existence of the Raid version of the Himalayan 450. Now, in an interesting turn of events, Royal Enfield’s upcoming 450cc naked street bike was recently spied out in the open for the first time. In that case, we do a detailed analysis of what all this new offering might bring to the table.
Significance and Positioning
The internet was recently taken by surprise when a spy shot of this naked roadster from RE started doing rounds. A close look at the image clearly reveals that this motorcycle is based on the same platform as the Himalayan 450. However, the design of this bike and a few components suggest that this will be more of a neo-retro roadster. So, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it will compete against the KTM 390 Duke and the BMW G310R.
With multiple brands looking to enter the 300-500cc high-performance naked bike category, it doesn’t come as a surprise to see Royal Enfield eyeing this genre. The demand for such motorcycles has been growing at a rapid pace and having such a bike in its portfolio would help RE attract a new set of riders, not just in India but also abroad. With this motorcycle, the company would be tapping into a segment it hasn’t explored yet. Also, the overall neo-retro roadster concept that this bike is based on is quite similar to the Interceptor 650, which is already a popular model. In that sense, this bike might be positioned as the smaller sibling of the Interceptor 650. Now, will it be called the Interceptor 450? We will find that out in the coming days.
Platform and Cycle Parts
As we said before, this bike will share its platform with the Himalayan 450, including the engine and the main frame. However, it will have certain differences, aimed at delivering a different feel and experience to the rider. To start with, unlike the Himalayan 450’s 21-17-inch spoke wheel combination, this motorcycle seems to be running on 17-inch alloy wheels at both ends. We believe it will also have a sharper rake angle and a shorter wheelbase than the Himalayan 450, all of which will result in a bike that’s more nimble and agile than its adventure sibling.
Another big difference visible in the spy shot is the type of front fork. While the Himalayan 450 is equipped with upside-down forks, the newly spied motorcycle incorporates telescopic forks. This is surely done to keep the production cost in check. But let’s not forget that this is a prototype, and the final version might come equipped with upside-down forks. Moreover, the bikes it would compete with, including the 390 Duke and G310R, come equipped with upside-down forks, which is another reason for RE to consider incorporating this equipment.
As for the tyres, the naked roadster was equipped with dual-purpose tyres, similar to the Himalayan 450. Well, based upon RE’s tradition of offering a motorcycle in different variants, there might be another trim of the bike with road-biased tyres as well.
The engine of this motorcycle will be the same unit as the Himalayan 450. As we already mentioned, this engine is being developed from the ground up and it will be unlike any other engine we have seen from Royal Enfield until now. This 450cc unit will get liquid-cooling, a six-speed gearbox, and a shorter stroke than the existing RE bikes. Above all, the power and torque output figures will be extremely impressive at 40bhp and 45Nm, respectively. These numbers will put it close to the existing segment benchmark, the KTM 390 Duke.
Now, considering the difference in their purpose and styling, there might be a difference in the way power is delivered by this roadster and the Himalayan 450. The former might be tuned to have a punchier mid-range and top-end performance, whereas the Himalayan’s low-end torque delivery will certainly be stronger.
Similar to the engine, the list of features is also expected to be much fancier than any of the existing RE offerings. As we already know, the Himalayan 450 will get a ride-by-wire throttle with multiple riding modes, a full-LED lighting system, and a fully-digital instrument cluster. It won’t be surprising if RE passes on all these features in this naked roadster as well. But we don’t expect a 390 Duke-like full-colour TFT screen on this bike, because RE might want to price it aggressively.
That brings us to the pricing. The naked roadster has much lesser body panels than the Himalayan 450, it gets more conventional telescopic forks, and it also misses out on things like a tail rack. So, it will definitely be more affordable than its adventure tourer sibling. Since the Himalayan is likely to start at Rs 2.70 lakh, our logical guess says this naked roadster will be priced in the ballpark of Rs 2.40-2.50 lakh (ex-showroom). Knowing RE, the company will surely have multiple variants with different prices. Thus, this pricing will place it between the existing Himalayan 411 and its upcoming 450cc sibling.
This neo-retro roadster from Royal Enfield is likely to be launched after the Himalayan 450. As the Himalayan is expected in the first quarter of 2023, the naked bike should be introduced by the end of next year. Before its official launch, we’ll get you more details about this motorcycle. But that’s not all. We believe Royal Enfield will utilise this 450 platform to give us more variety of motorcycles, apart from an ADV and a naked roadster. So stay tuned to BikeWale as a bunch of more interesting updates are coming your way.
Spy Image: Rushlane