Back in August, 2020, a mysterious Royal Enfield test mule was spotted out on the road in India. It appeared to be variation on the Concept KX, and it had a similar dual exhaust setup to the 650 Twins—thus leading to suspicions that it’s a third bike powered by that same 650cc parallel twin.
Royal Enfield raised a lot of eyebrows by unveiling the Concept KX at this year’s EICMA show, and for good reason. The Concept KX, which looks eerily similar to the Indian Scout, sports a mass-forward design with a twin-stacked exhaust setup that runs parallel to the ground.
Now, in October, the Indian news media has more spy shots of what seems to be the KX650. While it was tough to see the engine in that short video clip, the new shots make it quite clear that it is, indeed, Enfield’s new 650 Twin engine.
The KX 650 also appears to have an upside-down front fork, which is a first for Royal Enfield. It appears to get its own frame, and the overall look is one of length and darkness. It’s not completely murdered out, but it’s definitely going for that very classic black and chrome cruiser vibe. All of that makes sense, since it appears to be a direct competitor to the Kawasaki Vulcan S. That said, it’s expected to be priced much more competitively in India than that bike.
The bike draws inspiration from the original Royal Enfield KX from 1938, which was supposedly one of the most powerful bikes of its time. The concept employs an 838cc, V-twin, air- and oil-cooled motor nestled inside a split-cradle frame which uses the engine as a stressed member. Much like the vintage KX, the concept employs an unconventional girder-type fork up front and a smartly placed monoshock right below the seat, to mimic the hardtail look. The Concept KX also features body-coloured alloys wheels wrapped in Maxxis tyres and features disc brakes at both ends.
As for when the production KX650 could be launching, initial thoughts are sometime later in 2021. However, since the Meteor 350 launch has been pushed back, it’s unclear what effect that delay may have on the rest of Enfield’s release calendar.
Will we see the KX650 launch outside of India? It’s a bit early to say at this point, but the fact that the two previously introduced 650 Twins have done so well in international markets definitely makes it seem like a possibility.
The launch of the KX650 is expected to take place next year after the launch of the new generation Classic 350. So, the timing would be by the second half of 2021. Expect the motorcycle to be priced under Rs. 3.50 lakhs ($4765-USD) for India and take the fight to the much pricier Kawasaki Vulcan S.