Royal Enfield has its SG650 concept bike on display at EICMA … although we’re not quite sure what it is.
Here’s how Mark Well, Royal Enfield’s Chief of Design, described the machine in the press release:
The goal: to build a unique concept motorcycle that pays homage to Royal Enfield’s rich history of custom motorcycles, but one that wasn’t encumbered by the past. A neo-retro interpretation that pushes the boundaries of what a Royal Enfield motorcycle could look like, but at its core still celebrates that iconic Royal Enfield DNA
So, does that mean this is Royal Enfield’s take on the neo-retro theme? Apparently. Looking at the photos it likes kinda like a bobber, more retro than neo, although the neon lighting in the photos below does have kind of a Blade Runner feel.
However, note that Royal Enfield did put a bit of effort into improving this project. The 650 parallel twin seems to be un-modified, but Royal Enfield did put plenty of trick, one-off parts on the machine.
As per Adrian Sellers, Group Manager, Industrial Design, and also the person who was lead on this project:
There are some really special elements to this motorcycle that are a first for a Royal Enfield concept—many of the component parts have been individually, one-off fabricated or designed exclusively for this motorcycle. The tank has been CNC billet machined from a solid block of aluminum, as have the wheel rims with integrated ABS, bespoke designed brake calipers and dual front brake discs. The upside-down forks, integrated aluminum top yoke / nacelle unit and low rise extra-wide bars with all aluminum switch cubes all add elements of originality and design progression to the concept—while the twin rear shocks, mounted to the classic chassis loop, hand-stitched black leather floating solo seat are a clear nod to our past.
It does not seem likely that Royal Enfield will put this into production, as a result. It’s a one-off. But, maybe this will signal a new direction for the brand to steer towards, because it can’t make only mid-century styled retros forever. Maybe it’s time to branch off into the world of cyberpunk? Or into the more lucrative, here-and-now world of factory customs? It’s working for Triumph and Harley-Davidson …