Royal Enfield drew plaudits earlier this year when it launched its limited edition Pegasus 500, inspired by British military motorcycles from World War Two, many of which RE produced.
The Pegasus 500 production run was limited to 1,000 units. This proven 'limited edition' marketing strategy has made all kinds of products extremely desirable - and it worked well for the Pegasus 500.
However, the Indian-based firm has launched another WW2-inspired motorcycle, called the Classic 350 Signals Edition. This model bears a striking resemblance to the Pegasus 500, even mirroring the stencilled numbers on the fuel tank.
But available colours for the 350 are ‘Airbourne Blue’ and ‘Stormrider Sand’; the new machine will not be available in the ‘Olive Drab Green’ and ‘Service Brown’ colours of the 500.
However, the exclusive colour schemes haven't prevented buyers of the 500 from being rather miffed by the appearance of the 350. The close resemblance might have been forgiven if the 350 was available in a limited run - but the model will be available as a full production model - at least in India.
That means those who paid a hefty premium for a Pegasus 500 believe their rides are going to be far less exclusive than they were led to believe.
Historically, Royal Enfield has a close association with the British military, which inspired the design of the Pegasus 500. The creation of the 350 was meant to pay homage to the firm’s involvement with the Indian military, for whom RE produced 350cc motorcycles during and after World War Two.
Royal Enfield was originally a British motorcycle firm, which formed Enfield of India in 1955, in partnership with Madras Motors. The UK company folded in 1971, but Royal Enfields continue to be made by the Indian company, which started selling bikes under ‘Royal Enfield’ in 1999.