Cyberpunk Dystopia Through An Indian Lens



Royal Enfield’s EICMA 2021 press conference was extremely on-brand—a heady mix of old and new, innovation and tradition. Along with the Classic 350 and limited-edition 120th Anniversary Interceptor and GT650—which we’ll talk about later—Enfield unveiled the SG650 concept. What’s this all about, then? Let’s take a look.

Enfield introduced the SG650 concept with a short—too short if you ask me—video that leaned heavily into the retro cyberpunk aesthetic. Set in a grimy, neon-drenched cityscape and lit in shades of red and purple, the video sets the tone right from the start with its jerky camera work and thumping synthwave soundtrack. You get flashes of the bike, the sound of the engine, and a couple out of focus shots—including a pretty on the nose shot of a rotating neon sign reading BEST RETRO BIKEs (the sign maker must’ve run out of room) with the SG650 parked against the curb in the background.

After a few lingering shots of the bike that show a 650-based neo-retro bobber-style bike with lots of chrome, the video fizzles out like someone pulled the plugs out of the back of your VCR while it was running. With that, we got finally got a good look at the concept itself.

The SG650 concept is, as Enfield’s design chief Mark Wells states (and I’m paraphrasing here), a neo-restomod for a near-future digital dystopia inspired by the custom scene and the retrowave scene. It’s a great looking bike with a bobbed rear fender, bullet-style taillight, skinny turn signals, upsidedown forks, and a front cowl that integrates the headlight, running lights, and clocks in one smooth package. The paint is a glossy silver and black deal with a pixellated fade between the colors that plays into the whole cyberpunk/synthwave aesthetic.

There was, of course, little real-world info about the bike. None, in fact, which is par for the course since it’s a concept. It’s definitely a cool-looking bike, though, and an interesting look at where Enfield’s head is with regards to design and aesthetics. Will Enfield actually make the SG650? Who knows! I tell you what, though—if Enfield did build this bike and it was significantly different than the existing 650s (more than just a paint and tape stripe special) it’d be at the top of my list for new bikes to purchase.



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