Royal Enfield unveils the Interceptor 650 Twin and the Continental GT 650 Twin

An unmistakable identity, a brand following to die for, sky-rocketing sales and surging profits. With all these firmly in the bag, Royal Enfield has now embarked on a journey that promises to take them farther and higher up the global chain. 

Ending months of speculation, Royal Enfield finally unveiled their eagerly-awaited twin-cylinder motorcycles - the Continental GT 650 Twin and the Interceptor 650 Twin - at the EICMA Show in Milan, Italy. With the curtains off their back, these motorcycles signal the rebirth of the brand’s legendary parallel twin engine of the years gone by. Hardcore aficionados would have also taken note of the Interceptor nameplate making a comeback.

Both, the Continental GT 650 and the Interceptor 650, look brilliant with their ‘retro modern’ styling but what piques our interest more is their source of power. 

Nestled in that solid, twin-cradle, tubular frame that the two motorcycles share is an all-new 648cc, twin parallel cylinder, oil-cooled, SOHC engine that generates 47 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 52 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. This fuel-injected motor gets a forged crankshaft with a 270-degree firing order for smoother power delivery and broader torque spread. Paired with it is a six-speed gearbox with a slip-assist clutch. Twin S&S silencers on either sides not just look great but have also been tuned for that right tone and burble, says Royal Enfield. All you thump and burble fans out there, relax! 

The chassis and frame have been developed from scratch by the Royal Enfield UK Tech Center and Harris Performance. Suspension duties are handled by conventional telescopic forks up front and gas-charged dual shocks with a piggyback reservoir at the rear. Both wheels are equipped with  disc brakes and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) is standard on both motorcycles.

While the two motorcycles share the mechanicals, they look different and cater to different needs. 

The Interceptor is a retro roadster and draws inspiration from the namesake motorcycle of the past. Classic touches include circular headlight, twin-pod instrument cluster, teardrop-shaped fuel tank and a flat, quilted, single-piece seat with a slight hump at the rear. With an upright riding stance and back-set foot pegs, the motorcycle is intended for cruising on highways. 

The Continental GT, on the other hand, is a Café Racer intended to get you from Point A to Point B in the shortest possible time. Featuring a sportier stance, clip-on handlebars and a more angular tank, the motorcycle makes its intentions clear. Despite looking very similar to the Continental GT 535 on sale in India, there are apparently very few parts that are common to both. 

Royal Enfield has designed an extensive suite of genuine accessories for the new pair of motorcycles ranging from engine guards, pannier mounts and fly screens to seat cowls, alloy wheels and mirrors. 

Wait, don’t think of owning one in India yet. Both these motorcycles would first go on sale in Europe in the first half of 2018. After accounting for the demand overseas and production ramp up, an India launch is likely towards the end of next year. Until then, continue drooling!

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