Royal Enfield made no bones about the fact that they were working on an electric two-wheeler and got their hands on the first electric motorcycle concept photos. Internally dubbed the ‘Electrik01’, it features some rather unique design elements, the reasons for which are clearly explained in the product overview we took a look at.
Royal Enfield electric motorcycle concept: design, chassis
Of course, this isn’t an extensive view of the full motorcycle, but even this partial view reveals some rather interesting details. Like the front suspension, which takes the form of a rather unusual girder fork. Seeing as the product brief is full of terms like ‘non-conformist’, ‘game changer’ and ‘lone wolf’, chances are the production version of this motorcycle will stick with the girder fork setup.
Other focus areas include “high quality tactile finishes and touch points” and “neo vintage/classic” styling, which also explains a lot. After all, girder forks were most widely used in the first half of the last century, so they have a lot of retro charm. This can be seen even in the classic round headlights, and a hint of tradition is also evident in the fact that the Electrik01 features a conventional ‘fuel tank’. Of course, this is just representative.
The chassis is also very interesting. Two frame tubes come out on either side of the headstock. One runs along the top edge of the fuel tank and the other slides down and appears to be holding the battery pack. More traditional aspects include alloy wheels that appear to be wrapped in Avon Roadrider tires.
Royal Enfield Electric Motorcycle: Coming Soon
So what can we draw from all of this? The first is that it is still a while before road-ready Royal Enfield electric motorcycles are available. The bike you see here is in the early stages of development, which RE is internally calling the QFD (Quality Function Development) concept. QFD is a product development model that aims to translate customer needs and expectations into end results by listening to the voice of the customer.
Even on its recent petrol models, RE has spent a lot of time road testing the product before bringing it to market. And since this is an implementation of a new propulsion technology RE has never used before, you can expect a longer-than-usual development timeline.
What is clear, however, is that the first RE electric motorcycle will still resemble a Royal Enfield. The outline says the product should be ‘on its own’ and follow its own ethos and DNA, not the ethos and DNA of a segment. The Enfield character is also evident in the fact that it gives the bike neo-retro styling cues.
We can’t guess how the Electrik01 concept will develop, but there is no doubt that it will be an exciting journey.