• Jan 25, 2011
Royal Enfield Classic Chrome – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Royal Enfield camp is abuzz with interesting news. The British Indian motorcycle manufacturer has just whipped the sheets off of two new models that are destined for U.S. shores starting this April.

The Classic Chrome is appropriately draped with enough shiny stuff to signal the space station on a clear day, and while we typically don't go all gooey-kneed at the sight of copious brightwork, this bike is officially on our do-want list. The Classic Chrome looks to share more than a few bloodlines with the popular C5, though the eagle-eyed among you will likely note a kick start lever. The U.S. C5 is currently only available with an electric starter, though we'd expect that omission to soon be rectified.

Royal Enfield also showed off its new Bullet 500 – a bike that heralds to the Bullet 350 that's been a staple of the Indian moto scene for half a century. Company CEO Venki Padmanabhan said that the future's looking bright for larger displacement version of this bike soon. Royal Enfield just showed off a 600cc café racer concept at the India Auto Show, and there have been whispers that the manufacturer is also hard at work on a new parallel-twin engine displacing between 750 and 1000cc.

That's right, parallel, not V-twin. Meteor, anyone?

Of course, for us, we're equally as interested in the rumors surrounding a new adventure bike from the company powered by a multi-fuel adventure touring bike. Such an engine could swill down diesel, kerosene or gasoline as needed to get you where you're going. Sounds like a perfect vehicle for the impending Zombie apocalypse, no? Thanks for the pics, Wes!



[Sources: Indian Cars Bikes, Royal Enfields, Visor Down]


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  • 28 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      This bike looks like one from the golden era of motorcycle design. Love it.
        • 3 Years Ago
        That's because it is!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wasn't/Isn't RE famous for having a diesel motorcycle? I think a turbodiesel bike would be awesome. That multi-fuel concept sounds interesting!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Alex: Worse. It was a 6.5 hp 325 cc Greaves engine. For Indian roads, it works.

        There is a community that likes to put 10 hp 406 or 418 cc Chinese Yanmar clone engines on these, but even though they're more powerful, more than 55 MPH isn't realistic.
        • 3 Years Ago
        They did make one that was sold in the India market but it was pretty bad. 350cc thumper that made something like 10 hp when first released and eventually pumped out 18 hp by the time it was discontinued.

        At the present the only company I know of working on bringing diesel bikes to market is a company out of the US called HDT (i think) that converts the Kawasaki KLR650 to run diesel. Last I heard they were too busy keeping up with military demand to release a civilian version but they plan to.
      • 3 Years Ago
      OK... V-config, I get.
      Horizontally opposed (boxer), I get.
      Inline, I get.

      But what the heck is a parallel engine??
      Is it any relation to an aircraft radial engine, but with only 2 cylinders? (but if that was the case, it would be horizontally opposed)
      Inquiring minds want to know.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ adrenalnjunky

        Wow.
        Why in gods name would someone design a 2-cylinder engine where the pistons are synchronized?

        Aren't one cylinder engines supposed to be hella shaky? A 2 cylinder, synchronized engine sounds like a terrible idea... (but I am assuming they are probably torquey as hell). But there's gotta be SOME reason that that design was tried out and actually put into production.

        I have always found "wacky" engine configurations that were tried in the past to be very interesting.
        • 3 Years Ago
        They could also be at a 270 degree firing order to get a more V like power delivery and sound.
        • 3 Years Ago
        A parallel twin is essentially an inline 2. Parallel just seems to be a better descriptor when only two are involved - the connotation of "inline" strikes me as implying some multiple number.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's a four stroke engine. They pistons are generally 360 degrees opposed so that one is on suck-squeeze while the other side is on bang-blow. Compared to a single you have half the thump but do it twice as often. This produces more even power.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Triumph runs a parallel engine in the Bonneville family of bikes. The Bonneville and Thruxton both have a 360 degree firing interval while the Scrambler and America are set a 270. My understanding is 360 gives more HP while 270 give more torque.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Parallel twins typically are also syncronized pistons - meaning both go up and down at the same time.

        I'm rebuilding a 79 yamaha XS650 parallel twin right now - and all people can tell me is to be prepared for the vibration increase compared to my sport bike.
        • 3 Years Ago
        For 180 vs. 360 degree...

        180 degree inline-twins have the most balance of their reciprocating masses. A 180 degree engine goes like this, however:

        Cyl 1: suck squeeze bang blow
        Cyl 2: blow suck squeeze bang

        See the problem?

        360 degree inline-twins have the most balance of their power pulses, as they go:

        Cyl 1: suck squeeze bang blow
        Cyl 2: bang blow suck squeeze

        But they've obviously got the least balance of reciprocating masses.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Two cylinders side by side - classic twins.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I have a 83 Yamaha XS400r Seca. 400cc Parallel twin. At 400cc, it still puts out 47HP and pretty good torque. Being 390 lbs. makes it pretty quick for a little bike. The parallel engines also allow for more flexibility in engine placement in the frame. The engine is a little wider than a v twin would be, but it's not nearly as long. You can have a shorter framed bike with the displacement you want in a smaller package. In the modern world, you still have a lot of parallel twins in the small displacement arena the 500cc Ninja, the Suzuki GS500, Kawasaki's 500cc cruiser uses the same Ninja engine, etc.

        My little 400 can still pull redline in 6th gear at 102mph. 0-60 is right around 5 seconds, and this in with a 28 year old motorcycle in unrestored and not exactly babied condition. I've seen the same model as mine with a few mods dyno at 56HP. That seems like a small increase, but it is 15 or 20%, which isn't shabby.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had a Royal Enfield, The bike was very nice, The only problem I had was blowing head gaskets. The spsce between the two cylinders should have been mare surface area, so the gasket would not blow out. But outherwoise good bike. EXP lawa--Areial made a bike that they called a square four, two cylinders in front and two cylinders in back, connected (I think by a chain) A sound all it's own. Loved the Brit Bikes. Is the BSA and Tirumph still around. I remember Tirumph made a 3 cylinder with a electric start they called "Trident" B.S.A. ("British Small Arms") As mush as I like Harley's I have a soft spot for British Bikes.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Pardon my spelling in the last posting, still 1/2 asleep.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Slight correction - BSA is Birmingham Small Arms.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Thanks Bob L Like I said I was almost asleep. I had a BSA Thunderbolt and A lighting. I beleive the main difference is The Thunderbolt had a single carb and the lighting had Two. There might have been some outher changes. I think both were nice bikes, I have had Nortons, Aerial square fours, triumph's , AES, I think they were British made. I have had Chec Bikes Hondas, Harleys, Simplex ( made in USA LA,) Cushman, Mustang, Right now I Am doing anotjher project A Suzuki 1500 Intruder V Twin. I am removeing the Two Carbs and installing One Harley Screaming Eagle Carb, To see how it will work. Between my 1934 Ford Project and My Bikes I keep busy... Thanks again W.D.C
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Brits generally used 360 degree cranks on their parallel twins, while Honda and many others used a 180 crank where the pistons rose and fell alternately. They sound very different. The 180 engine has a flat, raspy sound, while the 360 is typically pretty throaty. A 360 motor has the same primary balance as a single, but is smoother due to firing twice as often. The 180 has better primary balance, but fires with uneven intervals, and has a rocking couple that the 360 does not.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think I would save up a little longer and buy the resurrected Norton Commando. That thing is it as far as retro goes. I little salty on the price though.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't like the big black mailbox thingy that holds the tail light. what the heck is in there anyway?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Also holds your license plate. Plenty of companies offer aftermarket alternatives.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I fell in love with the Enfield after seeing them on the streets in Bangalore--often times with four passengers clinging to them. I was obsessed with getting one when I got back but ran into a couple problems--no CARB certification being the biggest. I get emails from the importer every now and again saying that California eligibility is just around the corner.

      Please hurry.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Love the classic British bike looks.
      • 3 Years Ago
      what a gorgeous motorcycle, this makes me want to buy one for my DD badly.
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