Royal Enfield Twins: Continental GT 650 and Interceptor 650 2018: In the world of motorcycling in India, Royal Enfield is one of the oldest and iconic names. Now, with just a few months to go before the production versions of their two new twin-cylinder motorcycles hit the streets, Royal Enfield expects to raise the bar for the way people look at their motorcycles in India and the world. In the recent years, it has been evident that Royal Enfield has been trying to add value to their line-up with classic motorcycles that were not limited to the Bullet. A trend that really started to come to a head with motorcycles like the original Continental GT Cafe Racer, that used RE’s 500cc motor to create a throwback to Cafe Racer era motorcycles. That was followed by the Royal Enfield Himalayan, a classic take on middleweight adventure touring motorcycles. Both motorcycles captured the interest of bikers all over the country but soon fizzled out as reliability and build quality issues started to creep in on the Himalayan.
Watch our Royal Enfield Himalayan BS4 Review:
Royal Enfield later fixed most of the issues on the Himalayan and this exercise should prove helpful in achieving better initial quality with the upcoming twins. This change in quality and technology though is not an overnight decision and these changes have been a long time coming. In fact, the roots of these changes can be attributed to two new factories. The first of these factories is Royal Enfield’s primary plant in Oragadam, Chennai. This started a new age of manufacturing at Royal Enfield with new manufacturing equipment, robots and tools that helped them plug the production gap. At the time, waiting periods were over a year for some models. This in effect, was stage one. Meanwhile, Royal Enfield’s heritage plant in Thiruvottiyur, Chennai continued to produce some motorcycles and Royal Enfield motors as the secondary plant.
Stage two involved the company creating a global footprint, which started with the hire of Pierre Terblanche in 2014 as head of design and the acquisition of Harris Performance in May 2015. Harris Performance was the company that originally provided the design for the chassis of the Continental GT and then went on to build the Himalayan. Stage two culminated with the company establishing a footprint in the US setting up its North American headquarters and a dealership in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
This brings us to the Twins, the Continental GT650 Cafe Racer and the Interceptor, which were unveiled at EICMA last year. Both motorcycles are powered by an all-new 650cc twin-cylinder motor, that makes 47hp and 52 Nm of torque. This may not sound like a lot on paper but considering the lighter weight of the bikes than other 650 cc cruisers, the performance should be fine. The idea was to build an engine that would appeal to both experienced big-bike riders and riders graduating from small-displacement motorcycles. In theory, the formula seems to be correct but the risk is larger as a fallout in quality would be an unwanted event on a global stage. A discussion with Royal Enfield officials revealed that the company has incorporated all learnings from the past into the culmination of the Twins to ensure that these two new motorcycles usher in a new era for Royal Enfields’ in terms of build quality and reliability.
All about Royal Enfield’s 650cc Twin Cylinder Motorcycle:
A lot depends on the pricing though and experts from within the Industry are expecting the Royal Enfield Twins to be priced around the 3 lakh mark once launched in India. We expect it to be priced under Rs 3 lakh and if Royal Enfield can get the prices right, chances are good that the twins might end up hurting the Harley-Davidson Street 750 too. The only thing that remains to be seen and of which we can’t make any predictions is the build quality and reliability that they have promised to have improved. In the Royal Enfield camp, the atmosphere seems confident, which means that we have a lot to look forward to!
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