Royal Enfield has an aggressive strategy in place to expand in the middleweight motorcycle segment (250-750 cc) globally. While the RE 650 Twins are already here, there will be newer motorcycles in tow and needless to say, the bikes will harp back into the company's illustrious history. The Chennai-based bike maker does seem to be looking into something similar for its next launch and has trademarked the 'Meteor' nameplate in Europe, hinting at resurrecting the moniker. RE's parent company Eicher Motors has applied for European trademark rights to the name 'Royal Enfield Meteor' and has asked permissions for the title to be used on 'motorcycles and parts and fittings therefore' as well as on clothing.
The trademark for filed in February this year, and Eicher received the same on April 3, 2019. The company now needs to wait till July 3, 2019, as applying for a trademark requires a three-month wait, in case other companies would want to object to the nameplate. RE already holds the rights to the Meteor nameplate in India since 2002. Internationally, the company already has had problems with naming its products. For instance, the Interceptor 650 is badged as the INT 650 in the US, since Honda holds the rights to the name 'Interceptor' in the country. Similarly, the Thunderbird nameplate belongs to Triumph, which means RE's motorcycle is usually rebadged when sold in several markets overseas.
So what will the Royal Enfield Meteor motorcycle be exactly? It will be too early to comment on the offering, but there could be a possibility of a new offering with the same 650 cc parallel-twin motor as the Interceptor and Continental GT. In fact, the Meteor Minor was originally a 500 cc parallel-twin motorcycle sold in the late 1940s and later succeeded by the Super Meteor in 1953 with a 692 cc parallel-twin engine developed for the US market. The Meteor nameplate was eventually replaced by the Interceptor moniker over a decade later in the 1960s, only for the latter to be revived in 2018.
Expect a similar revival with the Royal Enfield Meteor. The company has already played with the idea of Bobber with Concept KX revealed last year, and the Meteor name could make it on the production version. The Royal Enfield Concept KX though was a 838 cc twin-cylinder motorcycle, and the bike maker was quite clear there were no plans of putting the motorcycle into production. However, a 650 cc Bobber would certainly be interesting and at almost one-third the cost of the next available option - Triumph Bonneville Bobber. The Interceptor 650 has done that over the Triumph Street Twin, hasn't it?
Now, it's not necessary that applying for a trademark means that Royal Enfield will use the same on a motorcycle. However, it does open room to more possibilities in the future. The all-new motorcycle though could be sometime away from launch, as RE has previously said it will now be concentrating on bringing the BS6 ready motorcycles first, before introducing all-new higher capacity bikes. That said, we could see some interesting developments at EICMA this year.