After riding into success on its Classic avatar, Royal Enfield is set to transition into the modern era. Marking the 120th year celebrations, the company recently unveiled its most modern motorcycle in a concept form at the Milan motor show - the SG 650. The SG 650 promises to be the finest motorcycle to come out of the Royal Enfield stable and much more - a huge leap from the classic mode to the modern era.
Middle weight champ
Enfield is the king of motorcycles in the 250 cc to 750 cc segments. From India to its native UK and all other European countries and the US, Enfield rode high solely on strength of the Classic 350 model. Enfield sustained the Classic with the right retro-contemporary mix. This, along with the later models like the Interceptor and the Continental GT helped the company become a global phenomenon.
In top gear
Mark Wells, chief of design at Royal Enfield, says that the SG 650 signals the growth of Enfield into new heights. A Classic ride into modernity. In the first look, the SG 650 has no Classic elements at all. The new design is totally different, attractive and completely modern. Royal Enfield is changing gear into the modern era through the SG 650.
Is it a complete change? No, says Mark. There is no Bullet without any Classic elements. Mark describes the new design as neo retro. A model that pays homage to Royal Enfield's rich history of custom motorcycles while integrating the digital future. The SG 650 defines the future of Royal Enfield, while retaining the DNA of the Bullet.
Space travel age
A ride on the Bullet in the age of space travel, connectivity and connected devices will be on the SG 650. The new motorcycle has been described as a cyber, neon saturated, urban jungle – where old meets new in a tangle of concrete, metal, bright lights and shadowy streets, where the analog and the digital intertwine and blend. Whatever it is, even in the first look one could be floored by the terrific design of the motorcycle. Unveiled for the first time at Milan EICMA show, the concept of the motorcycle has won enough fans for Royal Enfield.
Enfield twin segment
The SG 650 belongs to the 650 twin motorcycle segment that was first launched in 2018. It will sit alongside the Interceptor 650 that won accolades as one of the best twin bikes in the world and the Continental GT.
The Interceptor that won several retro motorcycle awards in the UK and India is the largest selling naked style mid-size motorcycle in the UK. The motorcycle is also decently popular in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific regions.
Sticking to lineage
Though modern, look deeper and you can find the retro elements in the SG 650. The polished aluminium front end is heritage inspired, while the fuel tank and the digital graphics are futuristic. If we borrow the language of designers, it can be called timeless. The fuel tank is machined from a solid block of aluminum. Other such elements include wheel rims with integrated ABS, bespoke designed brake calipers, dual front disc brakes, the upside-down front forks, key components made in aluminium, twin rear shocks and leather solo seat.
Thought a concept model, the production version of the SG 650 will hit the roads without much delay. Enfield could launch it in foreign markets first and then bring it to India. What made the Bullet a popular vehicle across the world is its price. What a Bullet offers is a design and quality that rivals its competitors at below half the price. It will continue the strategy in India too. So, you can now wait for a global motorcycle that costs just one-third of the imported models.