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