Royal Enfield’s latest break new grounds

Royal Enfield 650 Twins will soon be coming to India. These two bikes have quite a few firsts to their credit. Is that enough for these bikes to earn a consideration?

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Royal Enfield is among the oldest motorcycle makers in the world. Today, Royal Enfield has a decent line-up of products and all are powered by single-cylinder long-stroke Thumper engines. Soon, these will be joined by two new products that will share their underpinnings and their mechanicals but will cater to different riders. One of these bikes is the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Twin. The other one is called the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 Twin. Let’s just call them the Royal Enfield 650 Twins for simplicity’s sake.

Specifications Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Twin Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 Twin
Price Rs 2.50 lakh (ex-showroom) Rs 2.65 lakh (ex-showroom)
Engine SOHC, air/oil-cooled, fuel-injected, 648cc parallel-twin SOHC, air/oil-cooled, fuel-injected, 648cc parallel-twin
Power 48HP 48HP
Torque 52Nm 52Nm
Transmission 6-speed manual 6-speed manual
Front Suspension 41mm telescopic fork 41mm telescopic fork
Rear Suspension Twin gas-charged coil over shocks Twin gas-charged coil over shocks
Front Brake Single 320mm disc, ABS Single 320mm disc, ABS
Rear Brake Single 240mm disc, ABS Single 240mm disc, ABS
Mileage N/A N/A
Fuel Tank Capacity 13.7 litres 12.5 litres

What’s new about the Royal Enfield 650 Twins?

Let’s get the most obvious details out of the way first. The Royal Enfield 650 Twins are powered by an SOHC, air/oil-cooled, fuel-injected, 648cc twin-cylinder engine (a parallel twin and not a V-Twin). In either application, the engine makes 48HP power and 52Nm torque. It has been mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. The bikes are underpinned by a double cradle tubular steel frame. The front suspension duties are handled by a 41mm telescopic fork while the rear is suspended by two coil-over shocks.

Royal-Enfield-Interceptor-650

The bikes get a 320mm disc brake up front and a 240mm disc brake at rear and both ends get ABS treatment too. The only dimension both bikes share is their length – 2122mm. The Continental GT 650 measures 744m in width, 1024mm in height, and has 199kg kerb weight (dry). The Interceptor 650 is 789mm wide, 1165mm high, and weighs 203kg without fluids. The Interceptor 650, with its bigger dimensions and slightly more bulk, has a bigger fuel tank at 13.7 litres and 804mm seat height (the Continental GT 650 gets 12.5-litre fuel tank and its seat height is 790mm).

Royal-Enfield-Continental-GT-5

Dimensions and bulk aren’t the only aspects separating the two bikes. The Continental GT 650 and the Interceptor 650 are separated most visibly by their styling. Starting with the Interceptor 650, its styling is characterized by a round headlamp up front, short mudguard, wire spoke wheel, and a big disc brake up front (on the left side of the wheel). Keen observers will also note the presence of an ABS ring.

Royal-Enfield-Interceptor-650-2

Moving to the sides, one will see a chrome-finished metal exhaust pipe on either side of the bike. Not to miss are little details like the Royal Enfield badge on the tank. A little info here – the fuel tank carries different paint finishes. The Orange Crush and Silver Spectre colours paint the fuel tank in one colour. The Ravishing Red paint is a dual-tone red-and-black scheme. The Chrome paint scheme has chrome finish around the RE logo and matte finish on the area that will contact the rider’s legs.

Royal-Enfield-Continental-GT-1

The paint scheme also affects the colour of the mudguards and wheels. All colours except Ravishing Red get silver wheels and silver mudguards. These two parts go black when the Ravishing Red colour is chosen. Do take note of the Interceptor logo, anodised finish of the gas canister of twin rear shocks, and the final drive chain on left side (right side has a disc brake with a smaller concentric ABS ring). The rear end has a small passenger grab rail, spoke wheel, separate brake and turn indicator lights, and registration number plate mounted directly under the brake light. The Ravishing Red paint scheme also carries a different RE logo on fuel tank than other three colours.

Royal-Enfield-Interceptor-650-1

The Continental GT 650’s styling elements are similar to that of the now-discontinued Continental GT (at least partially). The front end gets a round headlamp, a long mudguard (longer than Interceptor’s), and disc brake with ABS ring on the left side of the front spoke wheel. Venture to either side though and things get interesting.

Royal-Enfield-Continental-GT-4

Just like the Interceptor, the paint scheme of the Continental GT 650 will affect its fuel tank, wheels, seat cowl, and mudguards’ finish. To that end. Sea Nymph, Black Magic, and Chrome paint schemes gets silver wheels and silver mudguards. The Ice Queen paint scheme gets black mudguards and black wheels. Another difference to note is that three Royal Enfield logo finished on the tank can be had – one on Sea Nymph and Chrome shades, a different on the Black Magic paint scheme and a third finish on the Ice Queen colour. That’s not it though as the Chrome paint scheme gets a black rear seat cowl while the other three colours get their cowls and fuel tanks painted in same colour as the fuel tank. Finally, the Ice Queen colour gets a different RE logo on fuel tank than other three colours.

Royal-Enfield-Interceptor-650-3

On to the sides, the Continental GT 650, outside of fuel tank finish, an exhaust pipe (sporting chrome finish) can be spotted on either side, the Continental GT logo, and anodised twin-shock gas canister finish. The final drive chain is positioned on the left side of rear wheel to make room for disc brake on the right (with ABS). Keen observers will also note a few brushed metal bits. The rear gets separate brake light and turn indicators and the registration plate housing is directly under the brake light.

Are the Royal Enfield 650 Twins worth consideration?

Let’s talk about a few more interesting bits about the Royal Enfield 650 Twins. First of them is price. Royal Enfield has not given any indication about the bike’s pricing yet. However, there are a few things to consider here. Firstly, the Harley-Davidson Street 750 costs Rs 5.25 lakh (ex-showroom). Prospective buyers will cross-shop at nearest HD showroom while considering the 650 Twins. Another thing to consider is the Carberry V-Twin motorcycle costs Rs 7.35 lakh. Royal Enfield will likely position the 650 Twins closer to (or lower than) HD Street 750. Our guess – Rs 4.50 – 5.00 lakh (ex-showroom).

Royal-Enfield-Continental-GT-3

The Royal Enfield 650 Twins will likely be the first bikes in the company’s range to be equipped with ABS. Given the April 2019 deadline from Indian government to equip the entire product range with ABS, this will fast-track RE’s efforts in the direction. Expect other bikes in the company’s lineup to equipped with ABS soon after the 650 Twins are launched in India.

Royal-Enfield-Interceptor-650-4

This brings us to the launch time-frame of the bikes. Per reports, the 650 Twins will be launched in US in September. However, do consider the fact that this bike has been tested in the UK, so perhaps the Europe launch of the bikes will take place before its US launch. Coming to the bikes’ India launch, expecting them to be here this festive season would be fair. Delaying the launch to next year will give Royal Enfield less time to introduce their ABS-equipped lineup to buyers before the April 2019 deadline, something the company would actively want to avoid.

Royal-Enfield-Continental-GT-2

Worth consideration? The 650 Twins are worth more than just a consideration. These are two modern Royal Enfield motorcycles in some crucial aspects like powertrain and onboard riding aids. These will likely be looked at as a turning point in Royal Enfield’s history. Up until today, Royal Enfield has been known for one specific product – the Bullet – for its unchanged design since 1948. That bike influences these bikes’ styling. One can only guess the influence these bikes will have on other RE products. For that reason, these bikes are worth more than consideration. They are worth celebration.

Royal Enfield 650 Twins – Synopsis

  • Interceptor 650 prices start from Rs 2.50 lakh while the Continental GT 650’s prices start from Rs 2.65 lakh (all prices ex-showroom)
  • Chrome and Custom trims of either bike carry a higher price tag
  • Both share the same double cradle tubular steel chassis and same mechanical bits
  • Powered by a 648cc parallel-twin fuel-injected engine with 6-speed gearbox (a first for Royal Enfield)
  • Power – 48HP; Torque – 52Nm
  • Front end gets a telescopic fork while the rear gets twin gas-charged shock absorbers
  • Front brake disc measures 320mm while the rear is 240mm in size, dual-channel ABS offered (another first for Royal Enfield)
  • Both bikes get twin pod-instrument cluster
  • Both bikes have different dimensions, dry weight, and fuel tank capacity
  • Six paint schemes offered with Interceptor 650, five with Continental GT 650
  • Both bikes get an exhaust pipe on each side
  • Per photos, the Interceptor’s riding ergos more laid back than Continental GT 650’s
  1. […] Automobile of the Month – Royal Enfield 650 Twins […]

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