Royal Enfield has a range of old-school motorcycles that are all great long-distance cruising machines. If you’ve ever been up the Himalayas, you know what the bike-of-choice is for a ride up to Ladakh. The thumping note and torque laden push rod engines are something every biker should experience at least once in their life.
Now, in keeping with their image of a ‘traditional’ bike maker, the company has launched two new retro-styled motorcycles with a brand new 650cc parallel twin engine – the Interceptor and Continental GT.
As you can see, the motorcycles look absolutely delicious. The retro styling theme on the Interceptor in particular is something that will appeal to a lot of enthusiasts. The bike looks like it was belongs to the 60s, thanks to that slim one-piece seat and healthy use of chrome all over. For those who don’t know, the bike is inspired by the original Interceptor from the 60s and 70s.
The single round headlamp flanked with twin pod instrument cluster and tall handlebar make up the front end. The slim fuel tank with the classic badge and Monza-style fuel filler has knee recess for the rider. The bike’s tubular chassis is brand new and was developed by the company’s UK Technology Centre along with Harris Performance.
The other motorcycle, the Continental GT 650 Twin is an evolution of the Continental 535 on sale currently. It shares all the chassis components such as the front forks, brakes and the frame with the Interceptor. However it’s styled like a café racer and gets shorted clip-on handlebars for a racier seating position and a single seat with rear cowl.
Which brings us to the engine. The 650cc engine is smaller than the 750cc displacement we were expecting. Royal Enfield wanted to keep the engine big enough to be powerful for experienced riders, but not too powerful for those moving up from smaller machines.
Unlike the older push-rod singles, this parallel twin is a thoroughly modern unit with four valves per cylinder. Still air-cooled, it employs oil-cooling and produces a healthy 47 bhp of power at 7,100 rpm. The maximum torque of 52 Nm arrives at a more relaxed 4,000 rpm. The engine is mated to a six speed gearbox and is expected to give the motorcycles a top speed of 160 km/h.
Here’s what the engine sounds like.
Here are some more pictures
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