Iconic motorcycle manufacturer Royal Enfield unveiled the much anticipated Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 during its annual rider mania event in Panaji on Sunday . Both bikes are powered by Royal Enfield’s all new 650cc parallel twin engine and as the company puts it– “The 650 twin is the rebirth of Royal Enfield’s legendary parallel twin cylinder engine”.
The motorbikes were first showcased in Milan at the EICMA motorcycle show on November 7, but Sunday’s unveiling gave Indian riders a hands on opportunity to acquaint themselves with the new entrants into the Royal Enfield roster.
The showpiece 650 twin is air-cooled with oil cooler for enhanced performance. Its fuel injected motor can deliver up to 47 PS power at at 7,100 rpm while producing peak torque of 52 Nm at 4,000 rpm. The chassis was jointly developed by the Royal Enfield UK Technology Centre team in UK and Harris Performance.
The engines have a low and mid-range performance that retains the character of Royal Enfield and also provides accessible torque through the rev range.
The Interceptor is geared with a six-speed transmission with a special augmented slip/assist clutch affording easy rides through traffic. It will give a lighter feel and more importantly stop the wheel-hop while downshifting which will be a first for a Royal Enfield motorcycle.
The bike has been crafted especially to handle multiple terrains and speeds but has been modelled to retain the period classic touch.
“The Interceptor 650 ushers in the idea of the 1960’s fun, relaxed motorcycles from the sun-drenched California beaches,” said Royal Enfield. The motorcycle sports a classic teardrop shaped fuel tank accented with a quilted twin-seat. Characteristic wide-braced handlebars make the Interceptor 650 a stunning roadster. The bike comes with the classic 18 inch wheels with pirelli tyres coupled in a twin-shock suspension, front and rear disc brakes and anti-lock braking (ABS).
The Continental GT 650, on the other hand, is a cafe-racer with an uncanny resemblance to the Continental GT 535 single cylinder engine motorcycle with the characteristic headlamp, fuel tank and other elements from the Continental family. Changes are visible more on the rear-end of the bike as well as dual side exhaust mufflers. The company has, however, said, no parts are shared between the two.
Both the new bikes feature a double cradle steel tubular frame comprising 41 mm front forks along with twin coil over shocks at the back. The wheelbases (both 1,400mm) are also same in terms of ground clearance (174 mm) and length (2,122 mm). Building up, the differences are evident. The Continental GT 650 Twin is a bit shorter than the Interceptor 650 Twin. Both bikes employ 320 mm and 240 mm discs at the front and back, respectively along with standard ABS functionality.
The entry of the two bikes into the market will strengthen Royal Enfield’s position in the mid-weight (250-750 cc) motorcycle segment globally and the new entrants will push to expand its current position and for the 2.5 million Indian customers, the 650 twin engines will be an attractive upgrade.
They will, of course, be available in a wide range of colourways and in two styles–standard and retro custom. The company has developed a combined total of 11 options to choose catering to both the modern rider as well as the classic lover. The standard colourways are inspired from the bikes of the 1950s and 1960s. The retro custom, however, gives a much varied, bolder, graphic and colourful palette to customise your bike. At Rider Mania, the Interceptor 650 was displayed styled in Orange Crush, and Glitter and Dust while the Continental GT 650 wore Ice Queen and Mr Clean.