Royal Enfield to take UK distribution in-house, electric prototype spied

Royal Enfield has announced it will be taking its UK distribution in-house, while in India speculation grows over an electric bike and a bobber.

Royal Enfield Meteor 350

Royal Enfield has announced it will be taking its UK distribution totally in-house from 2023. 

Royal Enfield UK Ltd is set to take over the Indian brand’s UK distribution from next year, in a step that the manufacturer hopes will help boost its presence in the UK.

Royal Enfield has previously used third-party distributors MotoGB to handle its motorcycle distribution, marketing, after sales care et cetera, but from 2023 it will take this in-house via the aforementioned Royal Enfield UK Ltd subsidiary.

The change to an in-house distribution operation will take place on 1 May 2023, at which point the nine-year relationship between Royal Enfield and MotoGB will come to an end. 

In a press release, Royal Enfield said: “The Royal Enfield senior leadership team extends sincere thanks and appreciation to MotoGB for their association with the brand over the last 9 years.”

Commenting on the subsidiary distribution announcement Arun Gopal, Head of Business Markets EMEA, said: “The United Kingdom is a key home market for Royal Enfield, having a long legacy of cooperation with India and a rich history. From the foundation of the brand in 1901 to the first UK import sale of India produced motorcycles in 1977 and the sales growth in recent years with the assistance of MotoGB, Royal Enfield has seen good sales momentum and acceptance in the UK market. 

“We will continue to make investment in the UK localising our operations and giving our stakeholders the best possible brand experience.”

Royal Enfield electric

Elsewhere, and in a less official capacity, Royal Enfield’s electric ambitions are emerging. Images published on Autocar India show a new electric motorcycle from Royal Enfield, which the publication says has the name “Electrik01”. We know nothing concrete about the bike at the moment, but we can only hope the name for the production bike will be something more interesting. 

The limited view we get of the bike from this photo do show us some things, like the girder fork front suspension, and from that we can understand that Royal Enfield’s electric will probably take a neo-retro aesthetic approach. 

In that sense, it would not be too dissimilar from the Maeving RM1, but perhaps Enfield’s design will look even further into the past. 

The frame of what is essentially an electric prototype also has an interesting shape, with a top beam seemingly running across the top of the ‘tank’, while a lower beam seems to act as a battery/motor cradle. 

Royal Enfield bobber

On a more conventional, but still quite unofficial, note, Autocar India also reports that a ‘bobber’ style motorcycle could be on the way from Royal Enfield, as an expansion of its 350cc J-platform.

This platform has already seen the Meteor - whose own range has been expanded with the recently-announced Super Meteor 650 - as well as the Hunter and the Classic. 

Technically, this new bobber-style bike is listed as a variant of the Classic 350, just like the anticipated and upcoming Bullet 350, so we can expect many of the commonalities of the bike to be related to its J-platform siblings. 

The bobber will of course make use of a single seat, while the handlebars will be significantly raised, the exhaust will be low-slung and flat, and the wheels will be wire-spoke. Ultimately, we are only going from a silhouette image at the moment, so it is difficult to make too many conclusions about the bike. 

The engine, of course, will be the 349cc single-cylinder that is common to the J-platform bikes and therefore it would be reasonable to expect around 20 horsepower and 27Nm.

2022 Royal Enfield Hunter 350 Review | Bangkok rush hour on the new Hunter 350

2022 Royal Enfield Hunter 350 Review | Bangkok rush hour on the new Hunter 350