REVIVING its rich twin heritage, Royal Enfield, the global leader in the mid-size motorcycle segment (250—750 cc), recently unveiled its ground-up modern twin motorcycles, the Interceptor INT 650 and the Continental GT 650.
The Interceptor INT 650 ushers in the idea of the 1960’s fun, relaxed motorcycles from the sun-drenched California beaches. With its classic tear-drop shaped fuel-tank, quilted twin-seat and distinctive wide braced handlebars, the Interceptor INT 650 looks every bit the stunning Roadster that it is.
The twin motorcycles are powered by the first modern Royal Enfield 650 twin engine. This new platform is a single overhead cam, eight-valve, air/oil-cooled, 648 cc parallel twin, producing 47 bhp and 52 Nm. The engine has a strong low and mid-range performance, retaining the Royal Enfield character of accessible torque through the rev range.
Also new to the Royal Enfield Interceptor INT 650 is the six-speed gearbox especially developed for this motorcycle. The gearbox is augmented by its ‘slip/assist’ clutch that facilitates easy riding in traffic with a light feel, and prevents wheel-hop when downshifting gears; also a first for Royal Enfield.
An all-new, dedicated steel-tube cradle chassis was developed from the ground up by the team at Royal Enfield’s UK Technology Centre and Harris Performance. It has been engineered and fine-tuned for enhanced agility that can handle different terrains and speeds with ease while retaining the period classic style.
The wide-braced handlebars offer comfortable ergonomics and a confident and commanding riding position, allowing the rider to make the most of the agile chassis.
The motorcycle is equipped with classic 18-inch front and rear Pirelli tyres and twin shock absorbers, along with front and rear disc brakes with ABS.
A ground clearance of 174 mm and a seat height of 804 mm ensure that the Interceptor INT 650 gives a superlative riding experience.
Introducing the Interceptor INT 650, Siddhartha Lal, CEO Royal Enfield said, “The Interceptor INT 650 carries forward the Royal Enfield legacy into the 21st century. While in its essence it retains the design and old-school character, it has all the underpinnings of a modern machine. It combines agility, usable power, excellent ergonomics and style in an un-intimidating manner. However, the Interceptor INT 650 is more than the sum of its parts; it is great fun to ride and brings a smile on your face every single time that you ride it.”
Royal Enfield also released the all new Continental GT 650. The motorcycle retains its central cafe racer character while bringing in new engineering and design improvements.
It shares its engine, chassis and running parts with its twin, the Interceptor INT 650, while offering completely different ergonomics and style. The motorcycle has an eager, front-leaning stance that gives it a sporty look and a speedy form.
The Continental GT 650’s ergonomics offer easy reach to the mid-level handlebars for an optimum blend of steering feel and comfort with no compromise to its 12.5L fuel tank capacity.
Like the Interceptor INT 650, the Continental GT 650 sports disc brakes front and the rear with ABS.
The upswept exhaust and rear-set footrests give the motorcycle plenty of lean angle essential for any true cafe racer. The single seat, sculpted tank, and clip on bars complete the authentic look. The rider feels ‘one’ with the machine, whether commuting on city roads, or scraping knees down their favourite backroads and twisties.
Talking about Continental GT 650 as his personal favourite, Rudratej (Rudy) Singh, President, Royal Enfield, said, “The GT has been an iconic motorcycle in Royal Enfield’s portfolio. Since its launch in 2013, the Continental GT has helped the brand strengthen its position in mature motorcycle markets across the world. In its new avatar, the Continental GT 650 is the absolute definitive cafe racer that will be loved by discerning riders across the world.
“Being authentic, accessible and creating motorcycles that are evocative is at the core of all things we do. As a brand, we encourage our riders in their journey of self-expression and exploration. It is this idea that they relate to even before they buy our motorcycles. The new 650 twins will help us strengthen this proposition further.”
Talking about the significance of the new twins in Royal Enfield’s global foray, Siddhartha said, “Royal Enfield aims to lead and expand the mid-weight (250—750 cc) motorcycle segment globally. The Royal Enfield Interceptor INT 650 and Continental GT 650 will help grow this segment. While for our large customer base in India, the new 650 twins will be a compelling upgrade, we believe it will attract customers from other developing markets in SouthEast Asia and Latin America to graduate to the middle weight segment. In addition, the 650 twins will offer a very evocative option to customers in mature motorcycle markets such as Europe, Australia and North America. For us, this marks the beginning of a new chapter at Royal Enfield“
Both the Continental GT 650 and the Interceptor INT 650 will be available in variety of colours and two distinct styles: Standard and Retro Custom. A total of 11 options have been developed with the objective of appealing to the discerning heritage seeking rider, just as much as the modern rider seeking a classic motorcycle. While the Standard range of colours take inspiration from the motorcycles of the 50’s and 60’s, the Retro Custom range is a bolder version of graphics and colours.
Talking about the development process of the motorcycles, Simon Warburton, Head of Product Development at Royal Enfield said, “The new 650 twin engine and the motorcycles have been developed at Royal Enfield’s new UK Technology Centre with collaboration with the engineering and design teams in Chennai, India. The entire platform, including the engine and chassis, has undergone rigorous testing and validation process during the development programme at world-class proving grounds with professional riders. It has been subjected to lab and bench tests, in addition to being tested on race tracks and public roads. With over one million km of testing prior to production, more than 70 different tests have been conducted on the vehicle and individual chassis components.
“Modern CAE techniques and CAD systems have been applied during the development of the chassis and comprehensive data logging and analysis have been undertaken.
“The gearbox has undergone extensive test miles resulting in an optimum shift feel, reliability of engagement, quiet notch-free selection and perfect ratio spacing.
“These motorcycles have been tested for real world riding conditions in both Europe and India.”
Gear & Apparel
Accompanying these two new motorcycles is a range of gear and apparel that has been inspired by history but tailor-made to be relevant to contemporary styles. Deriving their cuts and silhouettes from the cultural contexts when these motorcycles were originally introduced, the Clymer and the Spirit Jacket in the new range, celebrate the classic design and versatility of the new motorcycles. The range also includes, besides a curated range of t-shirts, helmets in classic shapes, both open & full-face, a boot and high-ankle sneakers along with Covert Cordura Jeans and Streetborn Gloves fusing classic styling with contemporary functionality.
Genuine Motorcycle Accessories
The Continental GT 650 and the Interceptor INT 650 will have a whole suite of Royal Enfield Genuine Motorcycle Accessories available that can help both spruce up the motorcycle and provide additional comfort, styling and protection. The range will include functional and protective accessories such as engine guards, lifting handle, pannier mounts, and an auxiliary electrical port. The range also includes styling accessories such as chrome and stainless steel silencer slip-ons, acrylic fly-screen, single and twin-seat cowls, soft canvas panniers, and others. All the genuine motorcycle accessories have also been developed and tested along with the motorcycles in real-road conditions.
A bit of history
The Interceptor has a spectacular history as the first Royal Enfield that was built specifically for the American market. It achieved great popularity in California where the motorcycle aligned well with the relaxed, hippie and surfer culture. It is this iconic movement, and the original Interceptor, that are the inspiration behind the creation of the new Interceptor INT 650.
The Continental GT is an ode to the cafe racers of the 50’s. Café racers were born in the 1950s in keeping with the emerging racing culture of those times. Racers bought stock motorcycles and stripped down the parts to make it light and aerodynamic. The new Continental GT 650 recaptures Royal Enfield’s authentic café racer legacy. It retains the look while taking performance to the next level in terms of ride and handling.
About Royal Enfield:
The oldest motorcycle brand in continuous production, Royal Enfield made its first motorcycle in 1901. A division of Eicher Motors Limited, Royal Enfield has created the mid-sized motorcycle segment in India with its unique and distinctive modern classic bikes. With its new manufacturing base in Chennai, India, Royal Enfield is able to grow its production rapidly against a surge in demand for its motorcycles.
With more than 50 percent growth every year for the last five years, Royal Enfield is fast becoming a very important player in the global mid-size motorcycle market and is working towards re-inventing this space with motorcycles that are evocative and engaging and great fun to ride.
Royal Enfield’s product line‐up in India includes the Bullet, Classic and Thunderbird models in 350 and 500 cc displacement along with Continental GT 535 cc café racer and the purpose built Himalayan powered by the new LS410 engine.
Royal Enfield operates through 17 company-operated stores and 705 plus dealers in all major cities and towns in India, and exports to more than 50 countries across the world including the USA, UK, several European and Latin American countries, as well as the Middle East and South-East Asia. Royal Enfield also organises and supports many motorcycling events and rides globally, more prominently the Rider Mania, an annual gathering of Royal Enfield riders from all over the world to the lovely beaches of Goa, and the Himalayan Odyssey, the most arduous motorcycle ride over some of the toughest roads and highest mountain passes in the Himalayas. Royal Enfield also conducts the popular ‘One Ride’ where people around the world ride out on their motorcycles on the first Sunday of April.
To know more about Royal Enfield, the motorcycles, marquee rides and other initiatives, visit: http://royalenfield.com
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