Royal Enfield Announces Two More Models

Royal Enfield Classic ChromeRoyal Enfield Classic ChromeRoyal Enfield recently won approval from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to sell their entire exported model line in the huge motorcycle-mad state. This finally gave Royal Enfield a 50-state legal status and they quickly put dealers in business selling their products. At the time, that was the Bullet G5 Classic and Deluxe and the Bullet C5 Classic and Military versions, and those are still readily available all over the country.

However, the Indian firm has an extensive model line, far beyond what they export, and they now have the capacity to build even more. Thus, the announcement has been made that Royal Enfield will be importing two new models this way – the Classic Chrome and the Bullet 500.

“Wait a minute,” you might say, “don’t they already have the Bullet models?” Well, yes, they do. However, the new Bullet 500 is a throwback meant to call to mind the ultra-classic Bullet 350 – a motorcycle which was in continuous production for more than five decades. Its appeal will be in that heritage, but there are many modern touches here.

Royal Enfield Bullet 500Royal Enfield Bullet 500Unknown are the official technical details as well as any features or alterations to be included with the new model. It is likely to have the new UCE (unit construction engine) single-cylinder four-stroke which the new 350 UCE model utilizes in other Royal Enfield markets, except with the requisite 499cc displacement. If braking components do follow suit, there will be a single front disc and SLS drum rear.

Two-up riding will be accommodated, and a 5-speed transmission and electric start will get the two of you moving. Fuel efficiency is not stated, but the 350 model has seen between 70 and 90 mpg according to company claims and owner forums. The Bullet 500 will certainly be seen as a replacement for the 350 version in the States, but with a serious upgrade.

The new beauty queen of the group has to be the Classic Chrome, a new model with a serious bend towards the bright side of life. The bright-work extends from stem to stern, covering the sides of the front and rear fenders and fuel tank, and encompassing the engine covers, air cleaner cover, headlight cover, exhaust and more – take a look at the photos. Royal Enfield has even pinstriped all painted surfaces; and all of it is done as it always has been, by hand. The Classic Chrome will inherit similar specifications to the Bullet 500, but will certainly make its own show in the world.

Royal Enfield Classic ChromeRoyal Enfield Classic ChromeThe interesting part of this is really in the details. Going back to the photos, look closely and the kick-starter may stand out to most fans of this marque. The models currently imported to the U.S. are all electric start, so will the kickstarter also come with the new models? No word on that yet, but it would be a very nice vintage touch. The Classic Chrome and Bullet 500 should be available in dealerships in April of this year.

This is not the whole story, though, as Royal Enfield also displayed a 600cc café racer at the recent India Auto Show – hinting at a displacement bump in the near future for all models, if Royal Enfield stays true to their M.O.

The rumor mill has them working on a parallel-twin engine to have a displacement of between 750 and 1000cc and an adventure machine with true multi-fuel capabilities. Royal Enfield has aspirations to become a world-class motorcycle manufacturer, and parent company Eicher Motor is putting in the capital necessary to do so. We can guarantee that there is much more to come.

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Broken Ankle, Wrist, Confirmed for Sylvain Guintoli

sylvain-guintoliAfter a series of tests, Sylvain Guintoli came back to the Liberty Racing Team with some bad news. He had broken his ankle and his wrist.

Guintoli had sustained the injuries during a high speed crash at Phillip Island nearly a month prior at the opening round of the World Superbike season. Initial tests showed no broken bones, but after continuing pain, Guintoli decided to have his injury retested.

Guintoli was able to compete at Donington Park round of the World Superbike series, but constant pain caused him to return to seek medical advice.

“I spent all of Monday trying to find out why i had so much pain during the weekend in Donington,” Guintoli said. “After some more X-rays and an MRI scan in Manchester, these are the conclusions of my doctors in UK.

“There are 2 fractures on my hand, one of which is quite bad. Fortunately, the bones have not moved and i should get better and better without surgery. There is also a fracture on my ankle that is not healed and is at risk of non-union. The bones have not moved.

“This means i will have to wear a support for 10 days and get some rest. More exams will be made after the Assen race to make a decision about surgery or not.”

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Rico Penzkofer Will Return to Isle of Man TT in 2011

Rico_at_Isle_of_Man_TTRico Penzkofer will be returning to the Isle of Man TT this year after a superb performance in 2010. The German will be embarking on his third year in the TT, and he is aiming for top 10 finishes.

Penzkofer came less than a tenth of a second short of lapping at 125 mph around the mountain course last year, and earned a 12 place finish in the senior TT. But Penzkofer hopes that he’ll be able to put Germany back to the podium soon, something the country hasn’t accomplished since 1986 when Helmut Dahne took 2nd in the Production B TT.

“Germany has a strong TT tradition and while they have not had much success recently,” said Paul Phillips, TT and Motorsport Development Manager. “It’s great to see Rico coming through the ranks. I’m sure that he’ll add to his country’s illustrious TT history if he achieves the results that his talent deserves.”

Penzkofer made his TT debut in 2009, where he earned a 30th place finish and set a fastest lap of 119.24 mph. Penzkofer would vastly improve in 2010, bettering his speed by more than 5 mph to become the 27th fastest rider to ever lap the 37.25 mile mountain course.

Penzkofer plans to ride the Superbike and the Senior races this year with BMW. He’ll ride the Supersport races on a Yamaha.

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PTR Romania Debut Disappointing, but Not Disheartening

PTR_RomaniaThe PTR Romania team made it’s debut at Donington Park last week, but things did not go off as planned. Clutch problems throughout practice and a crash during Sunday morning warm-ups, prevented the team from starting its first World Supersport race. Still, pilot Roby Muresan and the PTR Romania team are “living a dream.”

The PTR Romania team is currently the only team from Romania racing in the major motorcycle World Championships, but they hope that that will change soon. PTR Racing says that there goal is to put Romania on the motorcycle map, and with sponsors like Ursus, Asirom, The Romanian Tourist Board and PTR, it looks like they’re on their way.

“It is a dream come true for me to be racing in the World Supersport Championship, said 20-year-old rider Roby Muresan. “The team is the best out there and that gives me a fantastic chance to show what I can do and put Romania firmly on the world motorcycle racing map.

“I am a racer and want to score strong points right from the outset and have a clear aim to be challenging for race wins soon. Thank you to Ursus, Asirom, The Romanian Tourist Board and all the current sponsors who have helped to make this happen.”

Muresan and PTR Romania will hopefully make their racing debut at the next World Supersport round on April 17th in the Netherlands.

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MotoGP Expands Coverage in 2011

motogp_logoThe MotoGP World Championship is already broadcast to millions of fans in countries around the world, but the MotoGP is extending its global reach even further this year.

Currently, the MotoGP is shown by no fewer than 63 television networks in 207 countries. For the second year, the MotoGP will be offering full HD Live broadcasts of every MotoGP practice, qualifying session, and race, and 17 countries have taken up the opportunity to broadcast in full HD.

The MotoGP also welcomes a new group of broadcasters that will help to cross over some language barriers.

“The growing popularity of MotoGP around the world has seen a host of new broadcasters come on board this season, meaning that the sport will continue to develop its reach to a truly global audience,” said the MotoGP in a statement. “In the Netherlands, Sport1 is showing all qualifying sessions and races throughout the year. TV Plus in Bulgaria will show MotoGP races live, with Moto2 and 125 live or with same day delayed broadcast, whilst in Ireland Setanta Sports will provide live coverage of the free practice and qualifying sessions and the races.”

The MotoGP is also happy to announce that it’s current relationships with networks in Africa, Venezuela, Belgium, Japan, Russia, etc… have all stayed intact or grown. Most networks have agreed to continue the MotoGP throughout 2011, and a few have signed multi-year contracts to broadcast MotoGP races.

The MotoGP has also revamped it’s websites, and is offering live coverage, race recaps, rider interviews, and of course, Fantasy MotoGP on the internet.

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