There were many speculations about Royal Enfield developing a diesel engine for its iconic motorcycles since quite some time. With demand for diesel cars increasing over the past two years due to the high price difference between petrol and diesel, it was quite natural for even two wheeler buyers to want to have a bike that runs on the cheaper fuel.
While most of the current crop of motorcycles are quite fuel efficient, the heavy Royal Enfield bullet does not boast to be very fuel efficient. Even the recently launched Thunder Bird 500's mileage is only about 30kmpl. Some say a diesel engine will help more than double the cruise bike's mileage.
The idea of a diesel bullet is not new as we have already seen diesel powered Royal Enfield bullets built in the early 90s. These bikes were discontinued as they did not comply with new emission standards and were not considered to be very reliable.
Some Royal Enfield fans were hoping that the diesel bullet would become a reality but the Chennai based company's CEO Dr. Venki Padmanabhan has dashed these hopes. While interacting with Drivespark.com during the launch of the new Thunder Bird 500 in Bangalore, Dr. Venki clearly stated that a Diesel Bullet was nowhere close to being a reality.
The Royal Enfield CEO said: " We are a niche manufacturer and would like to cater to our niche buyers. A move towards diesel engines will be a huge shift from our long standing philosophy and we will not be building a diesel bullet."
Royal Enfield has launched the latest avatar of its Thunder Bird 500 and Thunder Bird 350 across the country. It will be launching a new bike in the form of Cafe Racer which is currently being developed in the UK. The Cafe Racer was first unveiled at the 2010 Delhi Auto expo and many expected the production ready model to be launched during this year's auto expo. Dr. Venki has stated that the Cafe Racer will get a grand launch later next year.