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Author Topic: RE product developments  (Read 1244 times)

RE product developments
« on: January 30, 2011, 12:24:13 PM »
Hi all.   There were so many RE corporate announcements in the past week or so that it kind of boggles the mind.  The ones I can pull out are
1)  Two new Twin models, 700/100 likely parallel twins  (according to CEO like "Meteor"
2  Two new UCE 500 cc models now -"Chrome Classic " and  new/old lower priced entry level "Bullet" with the squared rear feder like a 350 Bullet
3) Return of kickstarters....I think
4) A new multi fuel model in the works----very interesting from adventure touring point of view
5) new 600 cc Cafe racer model for 2012
6) Second production facility

Of these, the one tha really grabs my attention is the 600 cc.  Does anyone (Scooter Bob Mr Mahoney  or anyone else on the inner circle) know if the 600 cc motor will be available on other models in the range?  I personally would not be interested in a cafe racer, but I would be very interested in an ordinary Bullet with a 600 cc motor.  Thanks, Nigel

Maturin

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Re: RE product developments
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2011, 02:20:10 PM »
When we discuss new RE development its critical to keep in mind that the export markets are only the cream on the cake in terms of revenue. The money is earned in the domestic market, so  a Meteor twin is designed to offer something for the growing Indian middle class who will fancy a little more punch and were forced to change brands even if satified with the RE infrastructure. Time has come to get them something from RE´s own stable.
The change of mobility in India that will happen in the next 10-20 years will be much different from the change that happend in Europe and the US fifty years ago. In Europe the market shrinked 80% in less than 5 years because wages went up dramatically in the fifties, cheap cars were available and suddenly a motorcycle was considered to be a poor man´s ride - in the status-fixed after-war-society a lethal danger for a branch that - just pocketing record sales - is in no need of market analysis. Having that in mind it should be well possible for RE to avoid that danger.
So what could fit into a developing Indian bike market with growing spending power, then again including literally millions in need of a inexpensive bike?
I´m convinced that we will see a lot of Bullets to come. Once the flagship (actually the only vessel) in the fleet it is now able to cover the low end of the production range. If RE doesn´t completely fuck up the marketing (and there is no indication they are about to do so) we will probably live to celebrate the hundredth birthday of the Bullet  8). It´s clear that tuning up the UCE ,unless reliability will suffer, will push the old lady forward again so we will see some more nice singles, probably up to 40 HP.
So a Meteor, designed to fullfill the lust for extra power, will have to have at least 50 HP and should contain adittional possibilities to improve even that output without much extra expense. It´s just logical to do without more than 70 HP, as there are not many roads in India to take advantage of the additional power.
To calculate the engine´s exact power and displacement it will be necessary to get to know the Indian taxation and insurance regulations. Maybe an Indian friend could help me out here?
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Maturin

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Re: RE product developments
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2011, 02:37:35 PM »
Being exited with the impact of a Meteor I nearly forgot about another very interesting project: the multi-fuel adventure bike.
The only thing that is clear as mud is the name: when RE doesn´t call it Elephant I´ll resign ;D
But that´s a bike that could work pretty fine on many export markets. The idea of being able to burn diesel or even worse juice is tempting, even if the rider does only benefits from that feature while dicussing it with his/her pals in the pub. That´s really somthing new!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2011, 05:40:25 PM by Maturin »
2010 G5
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When acellerating the tears of emotion must flow off horizontally to the ears.
Walter Röhrl

Re: RE product developments
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2011, 03:56:29 PM »
Actually, Maturin,  the announcement that RE-ALLY got my attention was neither the twin nor the multifuel (though both are interesting) but the 600 cc single.   With power to weight ratios , cost of operation, cost to purchase and everything else taken into account plus the whole tradition and SOUND FACTOR  (which I understand is  a very big selling point in India) I think a 600 cc single which shares most of its parts with the familiar 500, and which streetcorner repair guys are already very familiar with, will be a lot more popular with the mass market there than a twin.   And from the international market point of view, I would be very excited about a 600 single here:  This in itself solves any highway limitations of the 500, and also puts you in the sidecar pulling league without fear of speed loss in headwinds and on hills. 

So what I want to know is, is the 600 single
a) going to be available across thr current range of styles/frames , and
b) will it be going international and
c) will it be basically just a bore and sleeve\piston upgrade from the current 500, and if so
d) will the upgrade be available as a manufacturer supported upgrade aftermarket package for current UCE 500 owners :  That would be huge.  .

These singles are amazing.  They sound great.  A twin, (unless they do it at a crank angle like the Triumph America to get the Harley like "blurble")  just doesn't sound as interesting as the big singles, and I doubt, when weight is taken into consideration, that they will perform much better than a well tuned 600 songle. If it anin't broke , don't fix it.   The basic Bullet has survived this long because it is great.   An extra 100 cc would just make it that much better for our roads without losing it's trademeark character.   Thoughts anyone, and  does anyone have the answers to those questions?   Nigel

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Re: RE product developments
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2011, 04:22:10 PM »
Actually, Maturin,  the announcement that RE-ALLY got my attention was neither the twin nor the multifuel (though both are interesting) but the 600 cc single.   With power to weight ratios , cost of operation, cost to purchase and everything else taken into account plus the whole tradition and SOUND FACTOR  (which I understand is  a very big selling point in India) I think a 600 cc single which shares most of its parts with the familiar 500, and which streetcorner repair guys are already very familiar with, will be a lot more popular with the mass market there than a twin.   And from the international market point of view, I would be very excited about a 600 single here:  This in itself solves any highway limitations of the 500, and also puts you in the sidecar pulling league without fear of speed loss in headwinds and on hills.  

So what I want to know is, is the 600 single
a) going to be available across thr current range of styles/frames , and
b) will it be going international and
c) will it be basically just a bore and sleeve\piston upgrade from the current 500, and if so
d) will the upgrade be available as a manufacturer supported upgrade aftermarket package for current UCE 500 owners :  That would be huge.  .

These singles are amazing.  They sound great.  A twin, (unless they do it at a crank angle like the Triumph America to get the Harley like "blurble")  just doesn't sound as interesting as the big singles, and I doubt, when weight is taken into consideration, that they will perform much better than a well tuned 600 songle. If it anin't broke , don't fix it.   The basic Bullet has survived this long because it is great.   An extra 100 cc would just make it that much better for our roads without losing it's trademeark character.   Thoughts anyone, and  does anyone have the answers to those questions?   Nigel

Nigel,
At this time, only the RE factory can answer those question, and it's quite possible that nobody else has even been informed of those details.

Technically speaking from a view of ONLY a displacement increase, without other changes to the engine, it's only about a 20% increase, even if they do manage to translate all of the added displacement into power. At the currently available rear-wheel power figures for the 500(measured at 19.7hp to 21.2hp on different dynos that I've seen published), that amounts to about 4hp.
So it will probably end up around 25hp at the wheel.
And that's pretty good-feeling, because it will all be produced by improved  torque.
A Bullet with 25hp at the rear wheel goes fairly well.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2011, 04:27:58 PM by ace.cafe »
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Kevin Mahoney

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Re: RE product developments
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2011, 05:46:11 PM »
You heard it here

The cafe racer will be a departure from the Bullet. It will have an entirely new cradle frame for example. Its design goal from a performance point of view is that it is able to pull the ton. In order to do this and to differentiate itself from the rest of the line a displacement increase was decided upon as the answer. The general feeling was that a very modest increase in power was all that was needed to attain this goal. The bike will also be lighter than the current offerings. I would NOT expect to see this engine in other bikes. For what it is worth the current engine was designed to put out 40bhp as far as engine strength goes. From what we are seeing on the warranty side (almost nothing, Scooter Bob has become the Maytag repairman) this hold true.

The twin is still conceptual. There is a raging debate at the factory (and I mean raging) about whether it should be a V-Twin or a parallel twin. For what it is worth, it is not that big a deal to go sideways with the current engine for a parallel twin. Also don't get hung up on the name Meteor. That name was dropped by Venki the new CEO among others and was really only a reference to our heritage. Royal Enfield is singularly unimaginative in our naming conventions and we are hoping that corporate will start to resurrect some of the glorious name from the past.

The Himalayan touring bike was a new concept to me. This is an unfilled niche in India with roads and conditions that call for such a bike. The bike would run on diesel of any other type of non gasoline fuel including kerosene.
This has nothing to do with a BMW look alike, its purpose really is to tour the Himalayas and other extreme areas. We feel that there would be a good market in India for this product. If our Bullet is the bike of choice for the Himalayas today, think what we could build if we really built a purpose built bike. In my humble opinion no one in the world can build bikes as rugged as the Indian motorcycle manufacturers. The TVS moped and millions of other small cc bikes in India are testament to this. No Indian bike is a "throw away" like the Chinese bikes. They are all expected to be reliable and last for a long time in extreme conditions with no maintenance and while carrying loads that would strain a mini-van.

The current factory has been bursting at the seams for some time. Last years production was 52.250 (slightly more than Triumph I believe) with a goal of 70,000 units this year. We have purchased more land adjacent to the factory and expanded that way. We have moved some non manufacturing functions such as spare parts to remote facilities. Even at that we need more room. There has been talk about a brand new factory and from what Venki said this is happening. He says that by 2012 we will have a brand new factory in a new site with a brand new paint plant. We are buying the best paint plant money can buy. (the same people Harley uses). The current factory is located in a terrible spot which is difficult to get to. It is becoming more and more difficult as the road to it runs through the sea port which is a mess and getting worse.

The two new bikes we introduced are the "Classic Chrome" on a C5 platform and the Bullet 500 on the old Bullet frame. All have the UCE engine/transmission etc. The chrome bike is stunning. It has a lot more chrome than the G5 Deluxe with a stripe down the middle. It really reminds me of the paint on the Interceptor. It is only available in red.
The Bullet 500 (Bullet Black as we call it in house) is the old 350 Bullet with the UCE powerplant in it. It will be our entry level bike and will only be available in black.

Neither bike is available at present so don't hold your breath. I don't expect the Bullet 500 for a couple of months at least and they will only have limited availability. The Chrome is even further out (none have been built yet). Final pricing will be announced soon.




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Re: RE product developments
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2011, 07:48:13 PM »
You heard it here  ...

The two new bikes we introduced are the "Classic Chrome" on a C5 platform and the Bullet 500 on the old Bullet frame.  ...

The Bullet 500 (Bullet Black as we call it in house) is the old 350 Bullet with the UCE powerplant in it. It will be our entry level bike and will only be available in black. ...

Great post, Kevin!  In what way will the Bullet Black be different from the G5 other than the rear fender?  I wonder what makes it "entry level".  Thanks.
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ace.cafe

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Re: RE product developments
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2011, 08:19:35 PM »
Wow!
Hitting "The Ton"!
That's going to be interesting.

After having been down that road, all I can say is it's alot harder to do it, than it is to say it. ;)
Home of the ACE Fireball 535 Bullet,  Ace GP Hi-Lift Roller Rocker Head . Pistons, cams, etc. Highest performance Bullet engine mods available .  AVL mods. Redditch 700/750 Twin mods. UCE kit soon.

Please visit my new website:
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Re: RE product developments
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2011, 08:54:45 PM »
WOW !   The traffic is flying so fast today my last response got bumped out of queu.
Thanks Kevin for your full response.   By the way, when the two new models (Chrome and Bullet come) do you happen to know if they will be availbale in Canada?

And looping back , Maturin why 600? 
a) I love single
b) No replacement for displacement, and $ wise probably the simplest way to get more out of the engive, especially if it were just a bigger jog on the same bottom end. 
c) You are right , the 500 has lots of unexplored potential, but I have heard that it would be a strain to maintain 60 mph with a sidecar, and this is one of the things I am thinkng of. 
In the end, however, I don't care if that happens with a beefed up 500 or a production 600.

Also, (full disclosure ) my dad had a Panther 600 in 1936:  i guess it would just feel nice to have a similar ride.  Don't get me wrong however.  I'd rather have aa big single than a middle twin., and if 500 is what is going, then thats what I am buying.  I LOVE THESE BIKES    Thanks, Nigel

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Re: RE product developments
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2011, 02:32:07 AM »
The Bullet 500 is on the old Bullet frame and not the much newer Electra frame. The sheet metal is also old, old old. (this is not necessarily a bad thing). This bike is less expensive to produce because it uses old dies and older equipment. On the other hand the engine, transmission and disk brake are the same in all of the other bikes.

Someone also mentioned (Ace I think) that it won't be long before people have tweaked the heck out of the 500cc UCE and made it much faster. Tis true but not street legal from a manufacturers point of view. Anything we sell needs to be "green" and meet all emission and noise standards.

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Re: RE product developments
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2011, 03:00:28 AM »
Wow!
Hitting "The Ton"!
That's going to be interesting.

After having been down that road, all I can say is it's alot harder to do it, than it is to say it. ;)

@Tom:

I am quite enthusiastic about these UCE bikes as you know - and also about your Fireball which is just unbeatable. The rock steady idle of Chumma's bike still rings in my ears - What a sound  :) !

I need some insight from you on this one - Do you think my enthusiasm is misplaced to think that these 500 cc UCE bikes have the potential to hit a ton as many stock UCE engines, without any modification have touched 80 - 85 mph by GPS (not speedo).  Is it that much harder to add another 15 mph to its speed ?  

I have read the Italian and UK modifications on UCE bikes, but no one has reported a ton - to my knowledge.  So, where is the hamstring holding it back ?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 03:03:23 AM by singhg5 »
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Re: RE product developments
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2011, 03:36:32 AM »
The Bullet 500 is on the old Bullet frame and not the much newer Electra frame. The sheet metal is also old, old old. (this is not necessarily a bad thing). This bike is less expensive to produce because it uses old dies and older equipment. On the other hand the engine, transmission and disk brake are the same in all of the other bikes.
...
Okay, so in this case "entry level" basically just means a lower price.  I would go for it over the G5 easy. 
A Royal Enfield owner's cup is always half full.

Re: RE product developments
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2011, 11:36:16 AM »
I too like the Bullet Black for several reasons.   Price is one, but also, the potential of availablity of all the aftemarket frame euqipment that is already available at low cost for the 350.  Some of the carriers with gas can spaces make in India , should, for instance , be bolt ons.   Also, I happen to like the styling. 
Kevin, could you answer, two things about the Bullet Black /  Are the wheels 18 or 19 inch (one early announcement said "built on the C 5 base," which suggested 18 inch, but your statement that it is built on the 350 base suggeststs 19 inch.   Second, are there any other important developments (swing arm bushings, wheel bearings, wiring harness , voltage  etc) in which the "old" Bullet 350 frames differ from the new Electra G 5/C 5 models that might be a factor in the decision between them.  If it is just old body plates, I actually like them.
To Singh,  some of your performance questions may be answered in ACE's contributions to the thread 'Announcement of 48 hp Bullet"   Thanks, Nigel.

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Re: RE product developments
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2011, 01:56:36 PM »

I have read the Italian and UK modifications on UCE bikes, but no one has reported a ton - to my knowledge.  So, where is the hamstring holding it back ?

Gearing? I'm writing this from memory without referring back to facts but I think that the G5 gearing could be raised to about 90mph tops going one tooth up on the front sprocket but there's no room for anything bigger. Not sure that the C5 gearing can be raised at all.

I have almost certainly decided though that I will fit a Power Commander and K&N, (already have the open pipe) and raise the gearing once the bike is out of warranty. A real 90mph will probably show a ton on the clock and that's enough for me!

ace.cafe

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Re: RE product developments
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2011, 02:51:03 PM »
@Tom:

I am quite enthusiastic about these UCE bikes as you know - and also about your Fireball which is just unbeatable. The rock steady idle of Chumma's bike still rings in my ears - What a sound  :) !

I need some insight from you on this one - Do you think my enthusiasm is misplaced to think that these 500 cc UCE bikes have the potential to hit a ton as many stock UCE engines, without any modification have touched 80 - 85 mph by GPS (not speedo).  Is it that much harder to add another 15 mph to its speed ?  

I have read the Italian and UK modifications on UCE bikes, but no one has reported a ton - to my knowledge.  So, where is the hamstring holding it back ?

Hi Singh,
There are some things to overcome, and one of them mentioned in the post above would be gearing.
The other option is to rev over 6000rpm, which I don't think is likely out of a 600cc stroker engine in street trim.

Regarding "how difficult" it is to do, the wind drag increases exponentially with speed. So, what looks like "just 15mph" becomes alot harder than it looks.
Our Fireball is a very powerful engine, and we just  barely sneak over "the Ton" at 103mph. And we didn't get that on the first try, either. We got 97mph, and had to work on the tuning for weeks to get it over "the Ton", and now we can hit 103mph in favorable conditions(no headwind).
It's not as easy as it sounds.
Of course, Chumma's military Bullet with those big hard pannier boxes on the back is not the "paragon of aerodynamics", but we got it over "the Ton" with some work.
But it can be done, if enough effort is put into the job.

If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 03:05:59 PM by ace.cafe »
Home of the ACE Fireball 535 Bullet,  Ace GP Hi-Lift Roller Rocker Head . Pistons, cams, etc. Highest performance Bullet engine mods available .  AVL mods. Redditch 700/750 Twin mods. UCE kit soon.

Please visit my new website:
http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/AcePerformanceBullets/info