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Royal Enfield prepare new model offensive on Europe and the UK

Indian motorcycle manufacturer Royal Enfield is preparing hard for post-COVID-19 and an all-out assault on the UK and European markets

ONE of the oldest continuous motorcycle manufacturers on the planet is looking long into the future with a planned new model range hitting double figures in the coming years.

With the COVID-19 lockdown in full effect, last week I took part in one of the more bizarre motorcycle PR activities I’ve ever been a part of; a video call involving myself and Royal Enfield top brass and around 70 other motorcycle journalists.

What sounded like a one-way ticket to Confusionville was actually a well thought out and easy to understand affair. With journos submitting their questions prior to the call and also live through video chat.

Here are the main points we’ve gleaned from the chat.

Will Royal Enfield make an electric motorcycle?

The short answer is yes, although the team was tight-lipped on what it could look like. I did ask them whether they were worried that they were joining the electric game a little later than others – with Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha all having electric bikes, prototypes of powerplants, to which they simply said they will follow their own timeline in moving into new areas.

Between you and me, I took it as meaning they might already have something well underway, they’re possibly simply better than everyone else at keeping things like that under wraps!

Is Royal Enfield looking for a stronger foothold in Europe?

With over 10,000 bikes sold in Europe and nearly 400 dealers over here, the Indo-English brand is already doing pretty well on these shores, although growth is at the forefront of their minds.

Speaking to the design team in the first of the two conference calls, we were advised that Royal Enfield has around 14 bikes currently in different stages of the development process that could one day make it to market.

Royal Enfield Head of Product Development, Simon Warburton, did though confirm that some of those bikes will get left on the cutting room floor though.

Will the Royal Enfield KX 838 make it to production?

It’s tricky to say and, as with any manufacturer’s future developments, the staff at Royal Enfield were remaining tight-lipped as to whether is would make it to production or not.

The chances are a bike something like the KX will go into production in one form or another. It would almost certainly have to retain the V-twin engine, as per the concept above, as that is kind of the linchpin of the bike's design. The V-twin engine is what created the buzz around the bike, especially given that the configuration is such a departure from the current and past range of singles and parallel twins.

Although, until we hear it officially from Royal Enfield, it is of course speculation!

Is a new Royal Enfield adventure bike on the horizon?

Again, without hearing the guys and girls confirm of deny the advent of a new off-road machine, it’s hard to say. What did give a bit of a clue was that Warburton and Mark Wells, head of strategy, spoke very candidly about what they’d like if a larger or smaller Himalayan did go into production. The fact that both their ideas were so closely aligned makes me believe that new bikes in that field are now far away.

They went as far as to describe what a larger Himalayan could be like, describing it as not too tall, heavy, or laden with gadgets, riding modes, or other tech.

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