Royal Enfield KX bobber concept wows EICMA, won’t see production

What’s got a V-twin engine, a girder front end and far-out Buck Rogers styling? If you said the Royal Enfield Concept KX, you answered correctly.

While Royal Enfield did not announce any new production motorcycles at Milan’s EICMA show this week, the Indian company did reveal a very interesting concept that shows the company is fully capable of more than simple riffs on the vertical twin or single-cylinder Brit bike formula.

For now, Royal Enfield isn’t saying much about the engine.

The Concept KX is based around an air/oil-cooled 838 cc V-twin engine. For a while now, spies have been saying Royal Enfield is working on such a motor, so this is probably our first look at it. There was no mention of horsepower or torque output. The engine is mated to a pedestrian-looking set of dual pipes that would probably be revised if this was to hit production—but right now, that’s not happening.

Presumably, Royal Enfield designed this engine in-house, but again, details are scant.

The other immediately noticeable feature is the girder front end, with integrated headlight nacelle. It’s strangely retro and modern at the same time, like something you’d see in a classic sci-fi film.

Cool single-sided swingarm isn’t something usually seen on retro models.

The single-sided swingarm is a definitely all-modern touch, although this isn’t the sort of motorcycle you normally see using that arrangement.

Then, stepping back and viewing the bike as a whole, it has visual similarities to the Indian Scout and the Triumph Bobber, but some of the lines, especially that stretched-out fuel tank, certainly recall classic roadsters of the 1910s, 1920s and 1930s; we’re talking motorcycles like the Henderson Model F, the Brough Superior SS100 and so on. Indeed, Royal Enfield says the bike is inspired by its own 1930s-era KX model, which sported a side-valve V-twin engine.

Here’s the original KX model.

Again, there are a few bits that look a bit phoned-in, especially the fenders, but overall, it’s a very cool styling exercise (and since it’s a bobber, we can forgive a little ambivalence on the fender design).

The wheels have alloy rims, those dual-disc front brakes are radially-mounted, and the bike has LED headlight and taillight and digital gauges.

Just the thing for Buck Rogers to take out for a spin.

Now, about the whole “not for production” line: even though Royal Enfield builds and sells hundreds of thousands of motorcycles a year, it’s still really just finding its stride in the global marketplace, and the management seems very keen to build a strong foundation on the models it already has before introducing new machines. The Himalayan adventure bike and the 650 Interceptor and Continental GT twins are definitely the machines the company wants to focus on for the immediate future.

So, we’d take Royal Enfield at its word, and wouldn’t count on seeing this KX Bobber anytime soon. But does that mean we’ll never see the company build something along this theme? On the contrary, we’d be very surprised if that wasn’t the case.


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