Royal Enfield has this week unveiled the ‘Concept KX’, a v-twin motorcycle developed from scratch in just six months as a collaboration between the company’s design and engineering teams in India and the UK.
The ‘retro-modern’ design study has been created as a homage to the brand’s original Model KX of the late 1930s, a 1,140 cc side-valve machine that was described in contemporary advertising material as being ‘the last word in luxury motorcycling’.
Working together in India and at the company’s newly-opened technical centre at Bruntingthorpe Proving Grounds in Leicestershire, the Royal Enfield team started the project in April with the design of the v-twin engine as the basis around which the motorcycle would be developed.
The designers exchanged ideas and sketches, while closely observing an original 1937 KX in the studio. From a large selection of studies, two interpretations were subsequently chosen to be produced as full-sized clay models – one with a ‘neo-classical’ look, the other more futuristic.
The finished concept machine on show at EICMA is claimed to be a blend of the two, with features such as a girder fork design that is re-imagined in a high-tech ‘blade’ set-up and the classic, pre-war headlamp casquette being revived in a modern way.
The front and rear lights also incorporate a stylised version of the old Redditch ‘E’ for Enfield logo, while emulating the ‘negative space’ typically seen on pre-war motorcycles that were not cluttered by large batteries, electronic components and complex wiring. Additionally, the frame and airbox configuration serves as a stressed member of the machine and the seat unit is of a cantilever design.
The ‘clean’ look is further enhanced by a compact electrical system and a classic-looking green and black paint scheme that is complemented by hand-painted, copper-coloured pin stripes, black and bronze finishes to the engine and exhaust system and the use of walnut leather for the seat and handlebar grips.
Speaking at the unveil of the new Concept KX model, Mark Wells, who is the global head of both product strategy and industrial design at Royal Enfield, said, “The 1938 Model KX is the perfect motorcycle to reinterpret our history and bring in a fresh, creative twist with our design and development capabilities. The Concept KX 2019 is a a perfect combination of innovative technology and traditional craftsmanship. This is, in a sense, a ‘flight of fantasy’ for motorcycle designers and allowed this team to bring in their creative design capabilities and experiment with the design language.”
However, Royal Enfield says the concept motorcycle has not been designed for production, “but could serve as an inspiration for design language in future product portfolio.”
The Indian manufacturer has also exhibited the first full-production versions of its all-new Continental GT 650 Twin and Interceptor INT 650 Twin mid-sized motorcycles at this year’s EICMA show.