Saturday, February 16, 2019

Chicago, stop dreaming and go see the Royal Enfield Kx

Big V-twin motorcycle on viewing stand.
John Donlon's photo of the Royal Enfield Concept Kx centers on that muscular looking V-twin.
The one-of-a-kind Royal Enfield Concept Kx V-twin is on view this weekend at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Chicago Feb. 16 and 17, 2019.

The Concept Kx is a modern homage to the mighty Royal Enfield KX V-twin of the 1930s. Beneath its long, low lines and girder forks, though, is thoroughly modern engineering including a single-sided rear suspension that only looks like a hard tail.

According to Royal Enfield North America's Facebook page, this might be your only chance to see it:

"The Concept KX is coming for you, Chicago! Accompanied by the lead designer behind the model to give you a glimpse into the future design language of the brand. Only available for show in the U.S. this weekend, the 838cc V-twin will be at Chicago IMS Friday-Sunday."

Image of motorcycle labelled with design highlights.
Royal Enfield design notes emphasize the classic styling of the Concept Kx.
Will Royal Enfield ever produce and sell such a motorcycle? Well, you can dream.

Chicago-area resident John Donlon went to see the Concept Kx and found his imagination turning to a different classic British V-twin: the Vincent.

"Today I went to the International Motorcycle Show in Chicago (always one of, if not the shittiest day of the winter. This year was no exception). Sunny and not too awful: 19 degrees ambient with a -8 windchill factor.

"Anyway, the Royal Enfield concept bike was getting a fair-to-middlin' reception from the crowd.  The usual gearheads were giving it a good going over while others just gave it a passing glance.

"My take on it is that the tank may say 'Royal Enfield,' but the rest of it is a hodgepodge of concept ideas for different motorcycles.

"The beautiful Harris-built frame uses the V-twin engine as an integral part of the frame. The design of the engine cases and monoshock suspension reminds me very much of the Vincent Series C Black Shadow. And why not? Eicher (I am told) owns the Vincent trademark and this machine can easily morph itself into a 21st Century Vincent.

(NOTE: Eicher did try for the Vincent trademark but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office disagreed and the rights went elsewhere.)

"The wheels, fenders and seat look as though they came from leftover Victory Motorcycle parts and are less than inspiring. But I think the frame-engine combination can easily be built into what Bernard Li envisioned for Vincent in the late 1990s.

Design proposal for a modern Vincent motorcycle.
Bernard Li planned to bring back Vincent in modern form.
"Bernard Li was ready to go but he was killed in a 2008 motorcycle accident and the dream died with him. And while Royal Enfield can always be the bike for the masses, Eicher's Vincent could easily be the premium brand that commands more power and a higher price tag.

"The engine in the concept bike is around 880cc but drop bigger pots in that engine configuration and there's your 1,200cc machine. Meld that engine/frame engineering into Bernard Li's Vincent designs and there is now a whole new line of premium-end motorcycles.

"That's my take and I'm stickin' to it."

3 comments:

  1. I don't expect I'll ever see that bike and I don't care about that kind of bike at all. It's just click-bait, I believe, and we already have plenty.

    I'd rather read about David changing the oil in his sweet ol' '99 Bullet.

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  2. IMHO, the front fork of the Kx looks kinda bulky. The visually prominent crankcase could possibly be painted black to de-empahsize its ungainly size. Otherwise it has a good look to it.

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  3. Holy Cow! No pun intended!

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