Everything We Know About The Upcoming Electric Royal Enfield Motorcycle

For decades, the name Royal Enfield was associated with motorcycles that were antiquated, slow, and not all that well built. At least they were cheap. When the original U.K.-based Royal Enfield closed its doors in 1971, the naming rights and model lineup were taken over by Royal Enfield Motors, an Indian branch of the company which had been handling manufacturing tasks since 1955. Once on the brink of bankruptcy, the reinvented Royal Enfield brought in fresh management that turned its fortunes around to the tune of over 800,000 bikes sold in 2019 versus a mere 33,000 sold in 2006. 

In the brand's home country of India, it captures an amazing 93% of sales in the middleweight segment of the motorcycle market, defined as having engines sized between 250 and 750 cubic centimeters. Now, Enfield is coming to conquer electric motorcycles. In a joint effort between the Indian operation and a Research & Development facility in the United Kingdom, a staff of more than 65 is employed to orchestrate the company's electric future. That said, there doesn't seem to a huge rush to bring an EV product to market. 

Royal Enfield CEO B. Govindarajan told The Economic Times, "We are progressing on our EV journey and have several ideas that are already in advanced stages of testing. Our approach toward our electro-mobility journey is very different and we have spent considerable time to understand the market and trends." In a similar statement, the managing director of Royal Enfield's parent company, Eicher Motors, told the media that it'll be at least 2025 until we see an all-electric product hit dealer showrooms. 

It may keep with the brand's retro theme

In the meantime, we'll have to be content with a glimpse of a Quality Function Development (QFD) concept bike called the Electrik01. Autocar Professional shared a product brief, including a teaser photo showing the front upper portion of the Electrik01. Perhaps what's most interesting is that we can clearly see that it's fitted with a girder (or cantilever) front suspension.

The girder-style front fork is typically associated with vintage motorcycles, or at least vintage-appearing motorcycles — Harley-Davidson produced a "springer" front fork well into the 2000s. Nonetheless, it seems like a daring choice for a modern EV. Besides the front fork, we can see a black alloy wheel, a conventional single-round headlight, and a silver frame that surrounds what would be the gas tank on an ICE motorcycle.

Though Royal Enfield may not be as well known in America as its Brit counterpart Triumph, it really should be. The brand markets six of its bikes in North America at very reasonable prices, including an off-road-oriented dual-sport appropriately called the Himalaya ($5,449) and a retro cafe racer known as the Continental GT ($6,349). It's unclear at this time if the upcoming electric motorcycle will be imported to our shores or not.