It seems Royal Enfield is actually planning to build an R&D facility in the UK, not a factory as we initially had reported.
The plan to build a research station makes a bit more sense than a factory, as it would be much easier to establish such a facility before the end of the year, and it wouldn’t have to deal with the biggest obstacle facing those wishing to manufacture motorcycles in the developed world – high wages.
In some ways, this announcement is even better for fans of the brand, as it means prices are going to stay low – made-in-the-UK machines would likely have ended up costing more. The technology centre plans (that’s what they seem to be officially calling it) mean we’ll see bikes designed in England, but built in India – not that unlike what other Euro manufacturers are already doing, with Italian, British, Austrian and now even German marques moving production for some models overseas. Royal Enfield is just reversing the process, by moving design overseas.
Speaking of those plans – British magazine Visordown says the UK importer has told them Royal Enfield is working on a vertical twin motor, as well as a new single-cylinder motor in the 410 cc range. That’s the second time we’ve heard about the rumoured new thumper, so we’re guessing there’s truth behind that gossip, at least.
[…] Correction: Since publication, the news about Royal Enfield’s British plans have been clarified – find out more here. […]