EICMA – Milan, Italy – Royal Enfield, the global leader in the middleweight motorcycle segment (250cc – 750cc), opened its showcase offering at EICMA 2021 today with the unveil of the Royal Enfield SG650 Concept motorcycle – marking another chapter in the brand’s 120 year old journey of creative expression and conceptual development.
The SG650 Concept is the result of a challenge set to Royal Enfield’s Industrial Design Team by Mark Wells, Chief of Design. At its core, the message underpinning the concept build was about celebrating ‘transition’. The aim, through this challenge, was for the Royal Enfield team to embark on a new creative journey with the SG650 Concept; starting from within Royal Enfield’s classic design sensibilities and then pushing into a whole new era of what the Royal Enfield’s of the future could look like.
Says Mark Wells, “we are a company in transition – so long a representation of the analog age and now developing new products that keep that same pure soul yet are fully integrated into the digital present. To celebrate this, we wanted to develop a project that really gave our design team an opportunity to stretch themselves creatively. 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.
The advances of today are often inspired by the imaginations of the past – the mobile phone, the smart watch or even space travel. That desire to look forward with optimism and imagine the possibilities is fundamental to the progression of our culture. And so we started this concept with a context rather than a question – imagining a world in the not so distant future and our 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 analog 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.
We believe that the resultant concept motorcycle, unveiled for the first time at EICMA 2021, inhabits this world fantastically well and offers up something very new, very original and entirely unique to fans of the brand and motorcycle enthusiasts more widely. The design team have done an amazing job in retaining the analog soul – those classic Royal Enfield lines and design nuances – subtle nods to the past – while creatively pushing the boundary of what the Royal Enfields of tomorrow could conceptually represent in form and function.”
Says Adrian Sellers, Group Manager, Industrial Design and lead for the SG650 Concept project, “We’re really excited to unveil this concept and write another chapter in the rapidly evolving story of Royal Enfield design. It is always exciting to design for a “What if…” scenario and the brief to create a motorcycle that would both be recognizably Royal Enfield but at the same time push what a Royal Enfield could be was a real challenge. This was a wonderfully collaborative and rewarding project to develop, as it required the creative input of many different aspects of the design team – from Industrial Design to Color Trim and Graphics and CGI – each contributed a piece of the puzzle to bring this other world to life.
The key concept of transition is conveyed throughout the motorcycle; from the choice of aesthetic finishes, to the materials that we used. 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.
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 aluminium, as have the wheel rims with integrated ABS, bespoke designed brake calipers, and dual front brake disks. The upside down forks, integrated aluminium top yoke/nacelle unit and low rise extra-wider bars with all aluminium 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. Graphically, the black out 650 Twin engine and exhaust system compliment our imagined near future, while the polished aluminum forms transitioning with a “digital transformation” graphic across the motorcycle speak to the progression of the brand. We’re delighted with the end result and truly believe this brings something completely new, in our 120th anniversary year, to the ever developing story of Royal Enfield.”
About the Royal Enfield 650 Twin Motorcycles
Launched in September 2018, the 650 Twins have been extremely well received by motorcycle enthusiasts in India and across the globe. The Interceptor 650 – a quintessential roadster, won several awards globally, including the prestigious Indian Motorcycle of the Year 2018 and has continued to dominate the upper end (500cc and above) of the mid-sized motorcycling segment in India. In the International markets as well, the Interceptor INT 650 has been extremely well received and has won several coveted honors including MCN’s (UK) Best Retro Motorcycle of the Year 2019 and 2020, becoming the only Indian brand to win the accolade twice in a row. It has also been the highest selling naked style motorcycle for calendar year 2020 in the UK (as per MCIA data from January 2020 – to December 2020) dominating the mid-sized segment for over a year and propelling Royal Enfield to become one of the fastest growing motorcycle brands in the country. The 650 Twins contribute significantly to Royal Enfield’s volumes in the Americas and the APAC region.
About Royal Enfield
The oldest motorcycle brand in continuous production, Royal Enfield has created beautifully crafted motorcycles since 1901. From its British roots, a manufacturing plant was established in Madras in 1955, a foothold from which Royal Enfield spearheaded the growth of India’s mid-sized two-wheeler segment. Royal Enfields are engaging, uncomplicated, accessible, and fun to ride; a vehicle for exploration and self-expression. It’s an approach the brand calls Pure Motorcycling.
Royal Enfield’s premium line-up includes the all-new Classic 350, the Meteor 350 cruiser, Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 twins, the Himalayan adventure tourer, and the iconic Bullet 350 and Classic 350 singles. Riders and a passionate community are fostered with a rich profusion of events at a local, regional and international level. Most notable are Rider Mania, an annual gathering of thousands of Royal Enfield enthusiasts in Goa, and Himalayan Odyssey, a yearly pilgrimage over some of the toughest terrain and highest mountain passes.
A division of Eicher Motors Limited, Royal Enfield operates through 1033 large format dealerships and 1038 studio stores in all major cities and towns in India and exports to over 60 countries around the globe. The company’s two state-of-the-art production facilities are located at Oragadam and Vallam Vadagal, near Chennai. Royal Enfield recently invested in two world-class technical centers, in Bruntingthorpe, UK, and Chennai, India, and in 2020 opened its first assembly unit outside India, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. With more than 17% growth year-on-year for the last 5 years and sales in international markets up 96% in 2019-20, Royal Enfield is the leader in the global mid-size motorcycle market.