Royal Enfield have given us a glimpse into the future as they mark the brand’s 120th anniversary with the unveiling of the SG650 Concept motorcycle, a bike designed to celebrate transition.
Developed by the bike maker’s industrial design team, the concept motorbike captures a vision for Royal Enfield’s future could look like.
“We are a company in transition – so long a representation of the analogue age and now developing new products that keep that same pure soul yet are fully integrated into the digital present,” Royal Enfield’s Mark Wells said.
“The goal [was] 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,” he added.
“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.”
Wells said the team started the concept build with a context rather than a question – imagining a world in the not so distant future and the brand’s place in it.
“A cyber, neon saturated, urban jungle took shape – where old meets new in a tangle of concrete, metal, bright lights and shadowy streets, where the analogue and the digital intertwine and blend – setting that felt both familiar and alien to us, and in doing so foster an environment that would force us to think differently about how we approached the aesthetics of a Royal Enfield motorcycle.”
Unveiled for the first time at EICMA 2021, and with a presence that feels decidedly Blade Runner-esque, the SG650 offers a subtle nod to the past – while creatively pushing form and function.
“It is always exciting to design for a ‘What if…’ scenario, and the brief to create a motorcycle that would both be recognisably Royal Enfield but at the same time push what a Royal Enfield could be was a real challenge,” group manager of industrial design and lead for the SG650 Concept project, Adrian Sellers said.
“The key concept of transition is conveyed throughout the motorcycle; from the choice of aesthetic finishes, to the materials that we used,” he added.
“From the heritage-inspired polished aluminium front end, flowing into the futuristic, digital graphic on the tank – this was about bringing the old and the new together and resulting in something timeless.”
A number of elements on the motorcycle are a first for a Royal Enfield concept and many of the component parts have been individually, one-off fabricated or designed exclusively for this particular bike.
The tank has been CNC billet machined from a solid block of aluminium, as have the wheel rims with integrated ABS, bespoke designed brake callipers, and dual front brake discs.
The upside down forks, integrated aluminium top yoke and nacelle unit, and low rise extra-wider bars with all aluminium switch cubes, all add elements of originality and design progression to the concept too.
The twin rear shocks, mounted to the classic chassis loop, hand stitched black leather floating solo seat are a clear nod to our past. Graphically, the blacked out 650 Twin engine and exhaust system complement an imagined near future as well.