It’s July 13, 2023, which marks the first day of Harley-Davidson Homecoming 2023. Although it’s a major event in Milwaukee every year that it’s held, the festival takes on an even more special meaning this year because it’s the brand’s 120th anniversary. 

Royal Enfield knows a thing or two about 120th anniversaries, because it’s something that the marque celebrated, itself, in 2021. The Indian motorcycle manufacturer, which started life as a British marque, is throwing open the doors to its Royal Enfield Experience Center in Milwaukee for the first time over the Harley Homecoming weekend.  

Taking pride of place inside will be a completed replica of the very first motorbike that Enfield produced in 1901. Because none of the original Enfield machines from 1901 have survived, Enfield’s team gathered photographs and other documents together to try to recreate that machine from scratch in the 2020s. They called it Project Origin and gave a small but tantalizing glimpse into the project in November 2022. (We’re still waiting for an entire build series on the thing, as we think it would be fascinating.) 

The resulting bike has a 250cc engine, can reach a blistering top speed of about 35 miles per hour, and has no clutch. On a spectrum ranging from motorized bicycles to full-on 2023 superbikes, the 1901 machine is definitely closer to a motorized bicycle than anything. Although it isn’t electric, in a way, that makes it almost fitting to reintroduce in 2023, as the rise of electric bicycles offers yet another take on the concept of a motorized bicycle. 

The Royal Enfield Experience Center is located in the Third Ward, at Royal Enfield North America headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Previously, it was not open to the public, but the Experience Center will soon offer regular hours for all interested parties a chance to get up close and personal with a number of Enfield machines, both past and present.  

For the time being, Royal Enfield’s Project Origin 1901 machine will be on display to visitors from July 13 through 16, 2023, at the Royal Enfield Experience Center. If you’re in town for the Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Homecoming event, you can stop by and see it.  

Once Homecoming is over for the year, the Royal Enfield Experience Center will reopen for regular business hours later in July. We’ll be sure to keep you updated with more information as it arises. 

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