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Want to upgrade Royal Enfield community with new 650 cc twins: Eicher CEO

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Royal Enfield
Royale Enfield

Panaji, Dec 4: Royal Enfield, known for its iconic 350 cc Bullet, is now all set to upgrade to the next level of performance bikes — Interceptor and Continental GT — both powered by 650 cc twin engines. And the company wants country’s market for high-power motor cycles to grow.

In a candid interview with IANS here, Siddhartha Lal, the CEO and Managing Director of Eicher Motors, the mother company of Royal Enfield, said the two new motorcycles will “upgrade” the Royal Enfield community with performance-oriented features.

“Our team here… most of them are riders and we try to talk to our customers, dealers most of the time, and what we understood was that a lot of our customers were delighted with what they currently have and it’s absolutely perfect for them,” Lal said.

Eicher Motor Ltd. CEO Siddhartha Lal

Eicher Motor Ltd. CEO Siddhartha Lal

“But certainly there is a set of customers who now have been riding bikes for five-ten years and are now looking at the next level of performance… they like Royal Enfield, they like what we stand for, they like our style, but they want a bit more performance,” he said.

The Interceptor and Continental GT 650 cc twins were unveiled in Goa last month during the Royal Enfield’s ninth annual Ridermania.

Both motorcycles are powered by the all-new 650 cc, air-cooled parallel twin engines with oil cooler for enhanced performance. The fuel injected motor claims to deliver 47 PS of power at 7,100 rpm and a peak torque of 52 Nm at 4,000 rpm.

“It is really to start up with a motorcycle that, we believe, our community is interested in. We have 2.5 million customers since we started this new generation of motorcycles in 2009-2010,” he said.

He pointed out that “there is a good number here (in India), who are interested in getting to the next level of performance and that is what it is about”.

Elaborating on the need to bring 650 cc motorcycles, Lal said: “That’s obvious… company has to progress and for us the decision was (if you are making a new motorcycle) to go down or go up. Currently we have our products between 350 cc and 500 cc. We could have gone down to 250 cc or gone up above 500 cc. Or we could have gone parallel in the way we went with Himalayan (with 411 cc).”

“But we decided that we don’t want to go down where there are a lot of other players,” he said, adding: “We want to grow the market in the same way we grew the market of 350 cc, which didn’t exist before Royal Enfield.”

Lal, optimistic of growing the market for 650 cc motorcycles in India, said that in the old days it was a very small market and in the last one decade “we have grown the market”.

“We grew the market with 350 cc and 500 cc; we will do the same with the 650 cc. It doesn’t exist in India; the 650 cc market is very tiny in India, as very few motorcycles sell here and we think with the 650 cc we can grow that market,” he said.

Commenting on the export plans of the new offerings, Lal said: “Very importantly we think that this motor cycle will be absolutely spot on for markets outside of India, because the average speed, highway speed and riding speeds in markets outside of India are normally higher.”

“So we are looking for slightly higher level of performance than today. And these motorcycles will certainly help us get into the mainstream in the export market,” he said.

“In the international market we have an open field; we have people coming down from other emerging markets like Latin America and Southeast Asia,” he said.

Both new motorcycles have been engineered and fine-tuned for enhanced agility that can handle different terrain and speeds with ease while retaining the classic style. They are equipped with front and rear disc brakes with ABS, 18-inch front and rear Pirelli tyres and twin shock absorbers.

The gearbox is augmented by its “slip/assist” clutch that facilitates easy riding in traffic with a light feel and prevents wheel-hop when downshifting gears — also a first for Royal Enfield.

The chassis has been developed from the ground up by the team at Royal Enfield’s UK Technology Centre and Harris Performance.

IANS

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When Vajpayee heartily relished South Indian cuisine

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Atal Bihar Vajpaeee

Way back in February 2006, when the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was conferred the “8th SIES-Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi National Eminence Award” he could not travel to Mumbai owing to certain health issues.

He suggested to Mumbai South Indian Education Society (SIES) President V. Shankar to hold the function at his New Delhi residence, and also made a surprise special request – “to organise the best of South Indian cuisine dishes for the evening”.

Since Vajpayee was known to be a connoisseur of good food, the SIES authorities rushed to comply and ordered the choicest of the delicacies from the Saravana Bhavan, Connaught Place, in the capital.

“He relished the food immensely that evening, and seemed to have had a little more than his normal intake,” reminisced SIES spokesperson K. A. Viswanathan on Friday.

In fact, Vajpayee later expressed surprise that such delicious South Indian food was available in the heart of New Delhi about which “he was not aware”, and wanted to know how many waiters had come from that restaurant to serve for the evening.

“He magnanimously assembled all the eight boys on the lawns for a group photo session with him, followed by individual shots with each of them. Then, he called for Rs 100 currency notes, autographed each of them and presented them to all the excited servers,” Viswanathan said.

The boys were thrilled and overjoyed when Vajpayee smiled and decided to have “one more cup of nice South Indian filter coffee” with all of them before they left the venue.

During the formal award ceremony, of the several mementos presented to him, was a portrait of Vajpayee sketched by a Class I student of SIES School.

The late Prime Minister was highly impressed and wanted to know who had done that sketch.

After the SIES authorities informed that it was a young student Nirman Olwe, Vajpayee immediately said he wanted to meet him and asked that the student should be brought along with his parents to New Delhi.

A few weeks later, the boy accompanied by his grandmother who was also a teacher in the same school, his mother and Shankar, went to the capital and Vajpayee warmly received them.

He presented a return memento to the delighted boy who cherishes those memories till today, Viswanathan said.

Now grown up, that little boy from Antop Hill area of central Mumbai, completed his schooling, HSC and is now pursuing engineering studies.

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Horan, Steinfeld make romance public

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Niall Horan

Los Angeles, Aug 18 (IANS) Former One Direction star Niall Horan and actress Hailee Steinfeld were spotted kissing here marking their first public display of affection since romance speculation started in February.

The two, who have kept their romance largely under wraps, coordinated in white T-shirts and sunglasses, reports people.com.

As they walked to restaurant Target, Steinfeld, 21, hung her arm around Horan, 24, as they shared a smooch.

The two continued to indulge in some public display of affection as they waited for the elevator.

Six months before their outing on Thursday, the couple was spotted together for the first time singing and dancing at a Backstreet Boys show in Las Vegas, but a source told people.com at the time that the actress was newly single and not ready to jump into a new relationship.

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Ways to pack nutritious food while travelling

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Packing food
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New Delhi, Aug 16: Do you travel often for work or personal reasons, and end up munching on junk? Make sure you get the best of both worlds and eat local, but with a twist — carry your power jars with you so that you don’t come home with a lot of guilt.

Akshit Rungta and Naina Trehan, Co-Founders at Hungry Jars and Sargam Dhawan, Director, Planet Herbs Lifesciences Pvt Ltd, list the solutions to maintain a wholesome and nutritious diet.

* Almond butter is a healthy alternative. Not only is it sweet and luscious, it is also high in nutritional value. Apart from being highly nutritious, it is also high in antioxidants and has properties which help in controlling blood sugar and weight. So, carry almond butter as it serves as a nice dip for your fruits and sweet crackers.

* Besides being a great snack, cashew butter can also blend well in smoothies and provide a rich creamy consistency. Cashew butter is a good alternative to other nut butters. The monounsaturated fats found in cashews promote good cardiovascular health with magnesium and antioxidants. If you need an instant sweet fix, dark chocolate with 75 per cent cocoa value will be a quick grab-and-go snacks.

* Sandwich is one delight that is loved by many. Make them healthy with garlic butter as garlic is a good source of nutrition and combats sickness including common cold, roasted chicken and veggies which can taste heavenly and is an instant snack which is easy to carry.

* Roll up your wheat tortillas or chapatis with nice and tangy pickles to savour the ultimate taste of health.

* Make healthy and nutritious snacks like chilli garlic brown fried rice sautéed vegetables and grilled chicken with the fiery and tangy chilli garlic sauce which can help to lower the cholesterol level because of the antioxidant properties in garlic.

IANS

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