Royal Enfield showcased the Interceptor, an old school retro cruiser bike and the Continental GT 650 the cafe racer bike at EICMA 2017. India launch will be by mid 2018.
After months of speculation of a Royal Enfield 750cc bike, we finally see the official launch of not one but two twin cylinder 650 cc bikes, the Interceptor and the Continental GT 650 Twin. A retro roadster bike and a cafe racer, these bikes will be well loved and welcomed with fervour by the dedicated fan following enjoyed by Royal Enfield.
“Royal Enfield is poised to be market leaders in the middle-weight motorcycle segment. The low-end grunt is what the customers love in RE bikes, the single cylinders that is and the company wanted to offer them something better, with more and accessible power and he believes that the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Twin and the Continental GT 650 Twin are the right machines.” – Siddhartha Lal (CEO, Royal Enfield)
Both bikes are powered by a 648cc, air-cooled, fuel-injected twin cylinder motor that produces 47 bhp at 7,100 rpm and 52 Nm of torque at 4,000rpm. Paired to a six speed gearbox, there is also slipper clutch assistance as well. The kerb weight is also lesser than 200 kg for both bikes, making them easier to handle.
The Interceptor is a more highway bike with a laid back cruiser focus. Design is also retro mimicing that of Triumph’s Bonneville range and Royal Enfield seems to have got it just right without overdoing it. The fuel tank design is all smooth with no sharp edges with an upright riding stance.
Coming to the Continental GT 650, the design is almost similar to the existing Continental GT. There is the sharp and angular fuel tank and now an optional small windscreen at the front.
In India, Royal Enfield is famous for single cylinder mid engined bikes, but the company had a history of twin cylinder bikes. The Interceptor is the revival of an old brand name and marks Royal Enfield’s return to twin-cylinder motorcycles. The original Interceptor was launched in 1960 with a 692cc engine.
The motorcycles will be powered by a 648cc, air-cooled, SOHC, fuel-injected parallel-twin motor that produces 47hp at 7,100rpm and 52Nm of torque at 4,000rpm, and is paired to a six-speed gearbox with a slip-assist clutch.
The new engine on the bikes look to tackle many of the issues plagued by current Royal Enfield bikes, chiefly vibrations. With two cylinders thumping now and various engineering tweaks, vibrations are now under control and performance has greatly increased. Handling has also remarkably improved with the new chassis, especially with the Continental GT 650. Both bikes sported S&S exhausts as well but we are not sure whether they are standard fitment.
The bike will be first launched in the European markets and will later come to the Indian market after they have figured out all the production and manufacturing reaches the right levels to meet the market demand. You can expect an India launch by 2018 mid.
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