Everything you need to know about the Royal Enfield Bobber concept
Royal Enfield gave a glimpse of what they have planned for next year by unveiling the Bobber concept, the SG650, at EICMA 2021. The new bike is a testament to the company’s rich 120-year heritage in the field of custom retro bikes. As the world leader in the medium-duty motorcycle segment (250cc – 750cc), the SG650 provides a glimpse into the Indian two-wheeler manufacturer’s current transitional period by retaining its classic design strengths with modern elements. Even though the Bobber is a concept, it retains the nostalgic Royal Enfield style with futuristic cyber hooligan graphics that will appeal to bikers of different age groups and even get a boost from the Manga world. The SG650 will be Royal Enfield’s third 650cc motorcycle, after the Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650.
Stop the press, who is it?
The SG650 looks like a new aged Dark Knight with a mix of chrome, aluminum and blackened components. Could this be what will happen in the future for this legendary bicycle manufacturer? Perhaps one of the many new looks that will emerge as he explores an unexplored route pushing the boundaries of neo-retro interpretation. The design is on the lines of a Bobber: it sports cut front and rear fenders, a hand-sewn black leather floating solo seat, low and wide handlebars with mirrors at each end and large tires. Giving a distinctive look and a first for a Royal Enfield motorcycle, the SG650 sports a solid polished aluminum front cover that houses an LED headlight and comes with LED turn signals. The old-fashioned tank top, in the shape of a stretched teardrop, restores vigor and character of yesteryear. The tank has been CNC machined from a solid block of aluminum and balances its charming classic layout with the new age digital graphics, also seen on the 648cc parallel twin engine. Royal Enfield went for an interesting paint combination of polishing aluminum up front, then getting all dark from the engine components including the seat, rear fender, and twin tailpipes. The SG650 is distinguished by dual rear shocks with chrome coils and a single circular taillight.
The SG650 is equipped with a two-pod instrument cluster. The left pod is a funky looking digital speedometer with tachometer and houses all of the warning lights. The second is Royal Enfield’s Tripper navigation system, which is powered by Google Maps and debuted last year with the Meteor 350 cruiser. Even though it features a color display console, it might not be. carried over to the production version, but Royal Enfield may opt for this as it won’t really increase the cost as the affordable KTM 390 Duke has a color TFT display.
Features that caught our attention
Even though the company didn’t reveal any details about the SG650, there were a few features that are a first for a Royal Enfield bike like an inverted or upside down front fork, dual disc brakes up front, Metzeler Meaty Roadtec 01 tires and solid aluminum wheels with integrated ABS. Let’s start with the inverted forks, as chances are the actual bike has them. The advantage of these over traditional ones is that they are lighter and stronger. The other thing is, because the inverted forks have thinner tubes, they offer responsive steering control, making them more maneuverable, especially when cornering. Switching to dual front disc brakes, they will improve the safety quotient and stopping ability of the bike, but Royal Enfield has yet to confirm their size and brand. The concept’s siblings, the Interceptor and Continental GT, come with a 320mm front disc brake and 240mm rear as well as dual piston calipers from Bybre (Brembo). We expect the concept to borrow Bosch dual-channel ABS from the current 650cc duo. As for the tires, as impressive as the Metzeler Roadtec 01s are, Royal Enfield could miss them or offer them as an option as they are offered at a higher price. These are typical all-season tires that provide solid grip in both dry and wet conditions.
If it ain’t broke why fix it
The SG650 will be powered by the simple, trouble-free, smooth 648cc air-oil-cooled parallel twin-cylinder engine that develops 47 hp at 7,250 rpm and 38.35 lb-ft of torque at 5,250 rpm. The secret of this engine is that 80% of its torque is available from 2,500 rpm, which guarantees great pulling power in a low and mid-range power range. The engine can also comfortably run at 80 mph without any issues. The powertrain will be mated to a six-speed gearbox and assisted by a slip clutch.
The new Royal Enfield Bobber is the perfect way for the company to celebrate its 120th anniversary as it integrates the analog age with the digital age while maintaining its timeless design. There is good news for all fans of retro bikes as you don’t have to hold your breath for too long as we expect the SG650 to hit dealerships next year.
The 2021 Classic 350 will launch in a few days and Royal Enfield hopes it will replicate the success of the previous model.
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