For now, the bike will only be available in the Stealth Black colour option and comes at a premium over the non-ABS version
As per our previous reports, Royal Enfield had announced plans of equipping its entire lineup with ABS, post the launch of the Classic 350 Signals Edition. True to its words, the company has launched the Classic 500 with dual-channel ABS. At a price tag of Rs 2.02 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai) the Classic 500 ABS variant commands a premium of Rs 14,860 over the standard variant. Unfortunately, the bike will only be offered in the Stealth Black paint scheme for now, with other colours likely to follow suit in the next couple of months
This comes in the light of the new government norm which makes ABS/CBS mandatory for all two wheelers. As per the new mandate, all new motorcycles launched after April 2018, displacing 125cc or more had to be equipped with ABS. Moreover, from April 2019, all 125cc and above motorcycles on sale must have ABS. And with the current spree of updates, Royal Enfield seems to be well ahead of the timeline.
If you discount the ABS sticker, the Classic 500 remains unchanged cosmetically. And barring the inclusion of this safety tech, there are no mechanical changes either. The Classic 500 ABS continues to draw power from the same 499cc, single-cylinder, fuel-injected engine that makes 28PS of power at 5250rpm and 41.2Nm of torque at 4000rpm. It comes mated to a 5-speed transmission.
Royal Enfield also confirmed in one of our recent interactions that the company will update its complete portfolio of bikes in stages. Considering that the firm has already updated three of its bikes, namely the Himalayan, the Classic 350 and now the Classic 500, we expect the Thunderbird X to be next in line.
Royal Enfield is also slated to launch the much-awaited 650 twins overseas by the end of this month which will compete with Harley-Davidson’s entry-level Street 750 and Street Rod. Both the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650, like other international RE products, come with dual-channel ABS as standard, and will feature the same when launched in India as well.