The first all-new Royal Enfield in 50 years

Dailies, Galleries -


This well-executed cafe racer is the first all-new design out of Royal Enfield in 50 years. The Indian manufacturer currently sells variations of an outdated post-war English design. And we do mean all-new; while the engine is only an updated version of the current unit construction design, the double-loop steel frame, suspension, wheels, bodywork, headlight and all other major parts are new designs.

The cafe racer concept is just debuting at the Delhi Auto Expo today. Bizarrely, the company is putting more emphasis on talking about its moderately-updated Thunderbird 500 cruiser than it is this genuinely-appealing model, so there’s not much information. Don’t worry, we’ve reached out to them to find out more.

Looking at these images, which come courtesy of Motoroids, we see a bike that looks like a real performer, despite its air-cooled single. Parts like the triple-clamp are relatively beefy, rear shocks are remote-reservoir Ohlins, the front wheel looks like a 17 and those Avons are decent tires. Good to see that there’s plenty of room on that subframe for a two-passenger seat option too.

This is, apparently, being called a concept right now, but everything here looks decidedly production-ready. Even the indicators are the right size, the right location and look like the kind of things a factory turns out in the thousands, not ridiculous one-off concept items.

  • Patrick from Astoria

    How do you say “Please please build it for real please” in Hindi?

  • kidchampion

    Ohh, maybe I’ll hold off on purchasing the Sym Wolf Classic:

    The Royal Enfield looks much, much, nicer.

    • Jon B.

      But you could ride the lightning.

    • fazer6

      The Suzuki TU 250 is much much better than the Sym, and cheaper than the RE.

      • Charlie

        Now all we need is that Brutale 675. I know you are waiting for the R…but the white bike looks great to me (mvorbmw). Detailing looks fabulous. Will ditch my hyper 796 commuter if it makes it to these shores. Cheers

        • fazer6

          Yeah, it really irks me that the suspension is non-adjustable, but I realize the main point it to differentiate it from the R, so I’ll wait for that. I didn’t wait for the 910R and after riding one I wished I had.

  • Chris

    That looks damn nice.

  • Denzel

    Looks like a special model Norton from the distant past. Very nice. Pure motorcycle.

  • Trev

    Very cool. Probably wouldn’t buy it as it sat due to a few things, but it looks cool.

  • fazer6

    I wouldn’t hold my breath for the ohlins or motrax mirrors and signals, but i hope they do build it.

  • Holden and Annette

    RE: “Honey, does my tank look big?”

    Me: “Yeah.”

    The proportions aren’t quite right. Yes, gimme a TU250 over this.

    • Devin

      I love the big tank. Range is a good thing.

    • michael uhlarik

      There is nothing wrong with the tank at all. Ever heard of a Norton Manx or Velocette Venom? I guess not. This Royal Enfield epitomizes the look of the classic 1955-1965 British sport motorcycle.

      The best part is that unlike half-assed attempts like Triumph’s Thruxton which is heavily compromised due to production commonality considerations with the standard Bonneville, or the utterly pedestrian looking Suzuki TU250 or Kawasaki W650, this motorcycle adheres to the long horizontal line that characterized all the great motorcycles of the cafe racer era.

      Finally, unlike the Japanese (or Chinese) copies Royal Enfield is The Real Thing. It may be made in India, but the company literally acquired the English production tooling and all of the company’s intellectual property when it moved, making RE one of the oldest and most historic motorcycle brands in the world.

      If readers of this site are so keen to drink the Ural cool aid, then they would be well served to take a much closer look at Royal Enfield. I like Ural, but these are original designs.

    • Dr. Gellar

      I’ll take this Royal Enfield…the TU250 is all yours.

      This particular Royal Enfield cafe concept is stunning. About time they (or anybody else, for that matter) made a bike like this.

  • Erik
    • Grant Ray

      Not the same at all, actually.

  • Xenophya
    • michael uhlarik

      Well done. Really careful and beautiful details. The tank strap in particular is a nice touch.

    • Nick

      The best part of that link was reading the Indians’ comments. There is a lot of enthusiasm for a homegrown product like this. Reading the comparison of this bike to others that we get stateside really shows what is important….we’re all motorcyclists.

      Looks like a neat bike.

      • oldnick

        You’re right, the best part is reading the comments. I read some other articles (and comments) on that blog and it is surprising how many people around the world are willing to sell a kidney for a motorcycle!

  • HammSammich

    They’ve had a Continetnal mod-kit available for the Bullet for a couple of years, but it is expensive and the bobbed front fender really makes the single front frame tube look conspicuous and noodle-y. This new “Concept” looks vastly better, just based on the frame alone.

  • desmoworks

    I’d swap the Ohlins shocks for some reasonably colored Bitubos and do something about the color of the front carrier, but not too bad other than that. I’d buy this before most of the other “retro” bikes out there.

    • Scott-jay

      How long ’til we see made-in-India Ohlins?

  • Coreyvwc

    Oh fuck, when and how much?

  • robotribe

    Looks like everything many would want, but if it’s like other “new” Enfields, fit and finish aren’t likely on par with the price tag.

  • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

    courtesy of Motoroids

    Motoroids? That sounds like something you get from sitting on a thumper for too long on a humid day.

    • The other Joe

      Either that or a video game.

  • zipp4

    Love it!

    …but why do I get the feeling that if released in this trim it would cost in the $20k plus range?

  • scottydigital
  • Campisi

    If they keep up their current practice of undercutting Triumph (the admittedly “better” choice) by a couple grand, this as a production machine could be my next bike.

    • robotribe

      I don’t know what you mean by “undercutting Triumph”. From what I’ve seen up close, they’re underperforming compared to the most basic of modern Bonnevilles and have welds, bolts, and castings comparable to stuff one buys at Harbor Freight.

      Are they pretty? Very much so. Are they $6000+tax justified? Well, I guess that depends on how much creative and romantic justification one can come up with.

      • Campisi

        I meant undercutting as in being a lower price. I see the Royal Enfields as more interesting for less money, despite the Triumphs being the better made and more advanced choice. Royal Enfields are a bit shit, but that just means my repair capabilities more closely match those of the factory.

  • Charlie

    Simple and classic will sell. Major potential

  • barryg

    I suppose there’s no weight listed(?). Built light it could be useful but I’d suspect looks come first. They do have that right tho’.
    GB500, anyone?

    • Kevin

      The Bullet is 370 lbs. Thruxton is 450, both dry.

  • DoctorNine

    Reminds me a bit of my old Yamaha SRX-6.

  • Scott-jay

    Enjoy both 4-cylinder engine width AND 1-cylinder economy with Royal Enfield!

  • Xenophya
  • The Other Will

    Don’t the RE’s put down something like half (35-40) the hp that a new Bonneville/Thruxton does? And most of the reports I’ve read say you can’t take the bikes much over 65mph because of excessive vibration. Maybe they’ve fixed some of that here. It is a good looking bike.