Royal Enfield's 2013 Cafe Racer

The Bullet finally gets a factory-built Cafe Racer guise

ROYAL Enfield, which has made an art form out of persisting with the manufacture of a single product more or less unchanged for over half a century, will sell a factory-built Cafe Racer next year. 

The Cafe Racer was displayed at the New Delhi Auto Expo in January, where it generated enough buzz to evidently convince the company management to build it for 2013.

It looks like a proper grounds-up jobbie. The upswept exhaust, humped seat, clip-on bars, sculpted tank, liberal splashes of chrome and various little retro touches make it look the business, while a tuned version of the 500cc unit-construction engine should pack a bit more oomph propelling the relatively lighter bike. Most importantly, modern build quality from Royal Enfield's brand-new plant at Oragadam in India will cater to 21st century buyers who want all of the style and none of the breakdowns.

RE's range, once consisting solely of the venerable standard Bullet, has expanded in the last ten years to include the cruiser-styled Thunderbird and single-sprung-seat Classic variants. 

In the UK, importers Watsonian-Squire already offer a rather nifty Clubman version of the Bullet. No word yet on whether the Cafe Racer will replace or complement the Clubman, or remain an India-only product (which would be a real shame).

Meanwhile, if you fancy a bit of thumper action, Watsonian-Squire is offering 'Bargain Bullets' for £3,995 to celebrate the fact that RE is on target to achieve its production target of 100,000 motorcycles this year. 

UPDATE: Watsonian-Squire has confirmed to us that the new Cafe Racer will make it to UK shores in late-2013. The bike will be on display at their Motorcycle Live stand later this month at the NEC.