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Challenging Royal Enfield and besting the brand would take a huge effort

Honda India is looking at the prospects of developing a Royal Enfield challenger at present, to take the fight straight to the segment leader.

Currently, Royal Enfield heads the 350-650cc segment in India and has a range that caters to various segments such as cruisers, adventure and retro middleweight bikes.

The Japanese bike maker, on the other hand, does well in the entry-level scooter segment and decently in the entry-level bike segment. While its exotic range of motorcycles are sold in India, Honda does not have a middleweight challenger to take on Royal Enfield.

Three years ago, the firm announced that it will launch a midsize motorcycle to rival Royal Enfield. But, the Honda Royal Enfield challenger never saw the light of day since the Japanese firm changed its plans, announcing that cost competitiveness is not enough to compete in the segment.

Well, it looks like the accountants who have had the upper hand so far have been put in their place, as President, CEO and Managing Director of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, Atsushi Ogata has revealed that Honda is looking at the segment closely.

“We do not have that kind of India-oriented fun bike. We have several big bikes selling in India in limited quantities. Of course, we must study this kind of new category. Sooner than later you can see an answer on this,” said the top man from Honda.

What would that model be? Well, it seems that the Hamamatsu-based firm might bring in a Ducati Scrambler-esque modern roadster motorcycle to India.

It is not just Honda who wants a piece of the large and untouched pie that Royal Enfield has a big portion of to itself. We know that Bajaj and Triumph are working on bikes to challenge Royal Enfield, while there is Jawa in the bout as well.

A Honda Royal Enfield challenger, if it has to do well, should have one thing right – cost. We know what the Japanese major is capable of and there is no doubting its ability to bring in a top class bike. But pricing, well, that is where Honda needs to learn a lesson or two from the segment leader.

Honda Royal Enfield Challenger

  • Honda is looking to launch a Royal Enfield rival in India
  • Had shelved the plan three years ago citing cost competitiveness
  • The middleweight segment is likely to get crowded very soon
Royal Enfield Himalayan BS6 Review 7
Royal Enfield has dominated the 350-650cc segment for a while now

Source – MoneyControl.com