Royal Enfield took time at this year’s EICMA Show in Milan to showcase its Concept KX V-twin, a collaboration between design teams in India and the UK. It’s explicitly mentioned in press material that this machine will only live as a concept, with no plans, currently, for a move to production.
Despite the fact that we’ll presumably never have the chance to own the new KX, it does have an interesting story. Royal Enfield created the motorcycle in six months, from drawing board to prototype, and it takes design cues from the brand’s 1938 Model KX, an 1,140 side-valve V-twin. The model, at the time, purportedly represented a pinnacle of achievement in “luxury motorcycling.”
Royal Enfield has been capitalizing on both is heritage and the current popularity of retro-modern motorcycles with models like the Classic, Bullet, Continental GT, and others. These are all midsize parallel twins, so a move to make the KX would represent a notable expansion for the brand. This also likely explains why it won’t be coming to market anytime soon.
That’s unfortunate too, because the use of copper, leather, the girder fork, modern lighting components, and CNC-machined wheels and engine heads all give the Concept KX a really interesting look. A successful blend of retro styling and contemporary materials.
The announcement states that design started with the V-twin engine. Although no specifics are provided in press material, detail shots clearly show 838 on the mill. So while not a complete replication of the large-capacity original, it still marks a potential move into a larger-displacement segment.
From there two clay models were created, one with a “neo-classical” bent and the other going full “futuristic” according to Royal Enfield. Instead of choosing one or the other, designers chose to blend elements of the two.
Some of these features include the fork, which is a girder design with modern styling. The headlight is another point as is the faux hardtail build of the back end. Royal Enfield also endeavored to hide all electrical components and wiring as a nod back to days when motorcycles were less technologically complex.
It’s an interesting move on the part of Royal Enfield, dipping its toes in the V-twin waters with a machine that appears to be compellingly unique. Perhaps with enough positive response, the company can be convinced to bring it to market?