ROYAL EN­FIELD

New V-twin? Sin­gle-sided swingarm? Girder forks? Make it En­field!

BIKE (UK) - - CONTENTS -

One of the big­gest sur­prises of the Mi­lan show was this, Royal En­field’s Con­cept KX. Not only is it a great-look­ing bob­ber with a girder front end and a sin­gle-sided rear, but it’s pow­ered by an air-cooled 836cc V-twin. Alas, En­field’s de­sign chief told us that it’s def­i­nitely a de­sign ex­er­cise not des­tined for pro­duc­tion – the en­gine is made of foam. swingarm hard-tail, Still, we but can is in­ter­est­ing. there’s hope. ac­tu­ally The It sin­gle-sided ap­pears a shock to be a hid­den in­side the fi­nal part of the strut go­ing un­der the can­tilevered seat. As far as we’re aware it’s the first ever sin­gle-sided sof­tail. Pre­sum­ably the shock strut con­nects to a spine frame un­der the tank – the en­gine is a stressed mem­ber. The girder forks house the head­light, which means your light will rat­tle as much as the tar­mac, which could be off-putting down a bumpy B-road. Though on the plus side, the light won’t dive when you brake for cor­ners. The con­cept’s in­spi­ra­tion comes from the 1936 En­field KX. At the time this 1140cc side-valve V-twin was En­field’s flag­ship and is still the big­gest mo­tor­cy­cle they’ve ever made. Pro­duc­tion con­tin­ued un­til the be­gin­ning of WW2, when En­field joined the war ef­fort. En­field’s de­sign chief Mark Wells: ‘We’ve got a 1937 KX V-twin in our her­itage col­lec­tion. We walk past it ev­ery­day, and the KX looks great so we started mess­ing about with the idea with the de­sign team and things we had ly­ing around. I mean lit­er­ally – we’d got a pair of 19in wheels that were left over from an­other project, and then we just started stack­ing up foam to pro­duce an en­gine, and it just looked so right, so we went from there. ‘It’s just some­thing that we played around with. I think it’s re­ally im­por­tant to al­low the de­sign team to do this kind of thing. We weren’t plan­ning to show it here orig­i­nally, but we’ve just fin­ished it, so it felt right to bring it.’ Will it be­come re­al­ity? Mark laughs. ‘We’re just play­ing around.’

‘It’s some­thing we played around with. I think it’s im­por­tant to let the de­sign team to do this kind of thing’ Mark Wells, Royal En­field de­sign chief

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