Both bikes are undergoing extensive testing as Royal Enfield intends to get the quality right
Royal Enfield’s upcoming flagships, the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650, have been spotted undergoing extensive tests on Indian roads recently. Ever since their official unveil at the 2017 Rider Mania in Goa, the excitement among Royal Enfield enthusiasts has only grown. However, recent revelations from Royal Enfield suggest that the Chennai-based manufacturer aims to get the quality of these bikes at par with its competition. Hence, it has delayed the launch of the 650cc twins in order to put them through the paces. Earlier, the company had stated that it intended on launching the motorcycles in the global market before it was offered in India. Due to the delay, we can now expect the bikes to make it to Indian showroom around September-October 2018.
Although the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 share the same engine and mechanicals, both bikes have been designed to cater to different genres. The Interceptor 650 is the more street-oriented of the two, with a relaxed riding position. The Continental GT 650 feels more like a thoroughbred cafe racer with its classic teardrop fuel tank, swept-back pipes, clip-on or ‘Ace’ handlebars and rear-set footpegs.
The Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 utilise the bike manufacturer’s brand new 648cc, parallel-twin, fuel-injected, air-oil cooled motor that makes 47.7PS at 7100rpm and 52Nm of torque at 5250rpm. It comes paired to a 6-speed transmission, a first for Royal Enfield. The chassis has been developed from the ground up in collaboration with Harris Performance and has been fine-tuned for improved agility and riding dynamics. Braking duties will be handled by a 320mm disc brake up front and a 240mm disc brake at the rear. Dual-channel ABS will be offered as standard.
When launched, they will be offered in four different colours - orange, red, silver, and chrome for the Interceptor 650; white, light blue, black and chrome for the Continental GT 650. Expected to be priced around Rs 3-3.5 lakh, the Royal Enfield twins will compete against the Harley-Davidson Street 750, which is priced significantly higher, at Rs 5.25 lakh. However, it’s closest and toughest competitor seems to the popular Kawasaki Z650, which is priced at Rs 4.99 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom Delhi).