Royal Enfield launches limited edition Classic 500 at Rs 2.24 lakh

Royal Enfield, India’s oldest bike manufacturer, will sell 200 limited edition units of its most popular motorcycle Classic 500 through the online medium only, a first by the 115-year old company.

As a tribute to the despatch riders of the World War era, only 100 units each, priced at Rs 2,24,752 (on road, Mumbai), of Desert Storm Despatch and Squadron Blue Despatch will be manufactured for sale in India. The price is 25 per cent higher than the regular Classic 500 priced at about Rs 180,000 (on road, Mumbai).

Each of the 200 bikes will have its own unique camouflage pattern making it stand-out not only from the crowd but also from other Despatch bikes of Royal Enfield. In addition, a new range of riding apparel and accessories designed on the lines of the bygone era will also be retailed along with the bikes.

Customers can book the bikes on July 15 on the company’s website. A booking amount of Rs 25,000 will have to be paid. About 200 units of the third kind – Battle Green Despatch – will be sold only to markets outside India as the colour forbids Royal Enfield to sell it in India due to restrictions imposed by the military.

A motorcycle despatch rider relayed vital information between headquarters and ground forces through the World Wars often riding long days and nights through varying weather and terrain. Royal Enfields were one of the most popular motorcycles for this arduous task due to their durability and ruggedness.

Each Despatch motorcycle comes with Italian leather seats with a classic leather buckle strap to hold the air filter box. Inspired by the stealthy, non-reflective paint on the engines of the original Despatch rider the bike gets a matte black paint on the engine, exhaust and the silencer.

Rudratej Singh, president, Royal Enfield, said the move to sell online was prompted by the huge shift in purchase patterns and buying behaviour.

This is however not the first time that two-wheelers makers have hopped onto the online market place. Hero MotoCorp, India’s largest selling two-wheeler maker, sold 100,000 bikes worth around Rs 500 crore on Snapdeal. This was done over a period of five months from December last year. Mahindra Two Wheelers had also tied up with Snapdeal to sell the Duro, an automatic scooter, two years ago. In May this year , Piaggio had joined hands with Snapdeal to retail the Vespa range of scooters.

Even car makers were not too far behind. But unlike two-wheelers, demand for cars sold online has remained muted.