Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, Continental GT 650 Launched In India; Prices Start At Rs. 2.50 Lakh


The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 come in three variants – Standard, Classic and Custom. The bikes have been launched at a starting price of Rs. 2.50 Lakh for the Interceptor and Rs. 2.65 lakh from the Continental GT.




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Royal Enfield CEO Siddhartha Lal and President Rudratej Singh announcing the prices of the bikes

Royal Enfield today officially launched the company’s new 650 cc twins – Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT India. Introduced at a starting price of ₹ 2.50 Lakh for the Interceptor and ₹ 2.65 lakh from the Continental GT, both the bikes will be offered in three variants – Standard, Classic, and Custom. The top-of-the-line Custom variant of the Interceptor 650 is priced at 2.70 lakh which Continental GT 650 Custom is priced at ₹ 2.85 lakh (all prices ex-showroom, Goa). These prices have truly surpassed our expectations. In some states, the prices will start as low as ₹ 2.34 lakh (ex-showroom).

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Powering both the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 is a new 649 cc, air and oil cooled, parallel-twin engine that churns out 47 bhp at 7250 rpm and develops 52 Nm of peak torque at 5250 rpm. We have already ridden both the motorcycles and the engine is possibly the smoothest and most powerful Royal Enfield engine we have ever experienced. About 80 per cent of the torque is available from 2500 rpm and a flat torque curve results in ample power all the way till about 6000 rpm. Sending power to the rear wheels is a 6-speed gearbox that comes with a slipper clutch, for a lighter lever operation. The bikes are capable of speeds in excess of 160 kmph.

Also Read: Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 First Ride Review

Visually, both the Royal Enfield 650 twins are designed based on the original motorcycles of 1960-70s. The bikes come with a retro flavour and use an all-new frame developed by RE subsidiary Harris Performance in the UK. Furthermore, the chassis of both the bikes have been optimised to offer excellent handling and superior comfort. In terms of dimensions, the bikes measure 1024 mm in height and have a ground clearance of 174 mm. The Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 will have a fuel tank capacity of 12.5 litres, while the Interceptor 650’s fuel tank will be slightly larger at 13.7 litres.

Also Read: Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 First Ride Review

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The Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 and the Interceptor 650 will come with the conventional 41 mm telescopic front forks and twin shock absorbers for the rear suspension. Braking will be handled by a 320 mm disc at the front and a 240 mm disc at the rear. Both bikes will come with dual-channel ABS as standard. The bikes will also ride on large 18-inch wheels wire-spoked wheels.

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Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, Continental GT 650 India Launch Live Blog: Prices, Images, Specifications, Features


The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 is all set to be launched today and the bike maker will finally announce the prices for its all-new middleweight motorcycles. We’ve ridden the bikes and did come back quite impressed with what they have to offer. This does raise expectations from Royal Enfield’s modern-day large capacity motorcycles, which could be game changers for the segment and the company as well. The 650 Twins are expected to do wonders for RE globally too, establishing the Chennai-based bike maker on the global front.

Also Read: Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 & Continental GT 650: Price Expectation

Royal Enfield has announced prices for the US and UK markets, while that for the Indian market still remains a mystery. Dealers have unofficially started accepting bookings for the motorcycles while deliveries are expected to begin towards the end of this month.

Also Read: Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 First Ride Review

The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 also mark a major leap for the brand technologically. The bike uses a newly developed platform developed by UK’s Harris Performance, while the engine is a 649 cc parallel-twin motor, a first-ever for Royal Enfield. The air/oil cooled motor is tuned to produce 47 bhp and 52 Nm of peak torque, while paired with a 6-speed gearbox and also gets a slipper clutch. The bike also comes with dual-channel ABS across both versions.

Also Read: Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 First Ride Review

The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 will be offered in three versions – Standard, Classic and Custom – each of which will be offered in different colour options. More details on the motorcycles will be available in sometime from now.

Also Read: Royal Enfield 650 Twins: Top Questions Answered

Catch all the details Live from the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 launch event here:



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Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, Continental GT 650 Prices Leaked; Starts At Rs. 2.34 Lakh


Prices for the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 have been leaked online and the motorcycle starts at a highly competitive sticker price of Rs. 2.34 lakh (ex-showroom).

The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 are all set to be launched in a few hours from now. RE has kept the prices hidden for the big day today, but a leaked price sheet has made its way online revealing the prices on the motorcycles. According to the leaked image, prices for the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 start at ₹ 2.34 lakh for the standard version, while the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 starts at a price of ₹ 2.49 lakh (all-prices, ex-showroom). Those are truly breathtaking prices for the motorcycles and by far the most affordable twin-cylinders to go on sale in India.

The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is at ₹ 2.34 lakh for the Orange Crush, Mark Three Black and Silver Spectre colours of the standard range, while Ravishing Red and White and Red colours are priced at ₹ 2.41 lakh, part of the Classic range. The custom Interceptor 650 Chrome is priced at ₹ 2.54 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom).

Meanwhile, the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 starts at a price tag of ₹ 2.49 lakh for the Black Magic shade, while the grey and black paint scheme and queen white colours are priced at ₹ 2.56 lakh. The Continental GT 650 Ventura Blue is priced at ₹ 2.69 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom), same as the chrome version.

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(Together with the Interceptor 650, the Continental GT 650 could possibly disrupt the middleweight segment)

The prices will make the new Royal Enfield 650 Twins a complete game disrupter in the middleweight segment and also for the competition. In comparison, the KTM 390 Duke is cheaper by ₹ 20,000, but the BMW G 310 R is about ₹ 66,000 more expensive than the standard Royal Enfield Interceptor 650.

It is likely that these prices will be introductory, but even then they are extremely competitive undercutting every 650 cc offering on sale. For the price, the bikes come with a completely new 649 cc parallel-twin engine with 47 bhp and 52 Nm of torque, newly developed chassis, dual-channel ABS, 6-speed gearbox with slipper clutch and more. The bike is by far the most powerful RE offering to go on sale in modern times.

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Stay tuned for all the information from the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, Continental GT 650 launch event.

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Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 & Continental GT 650: What To Expect


With prices yet to be revealed, a lot is riding on the 650 Twins. With the launch just a day away, here’s what you can expect from the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 and Interceptor 650.




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The Royal Enfield 650 Twins will be launched on November 14

After waiting for a little over a year, Royal Enfield will finally introduce the highly anticipated Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 in India on November 14, 2018. The bikes were first showcased at EICMA 2017, followed by its domestic showcase at RE Rider Mania the same year. Since then, we’ve spoken a lot about the Royal Enfield 650 Twins which mark a new chapter for Royal Enfield not only in India but globally as well. We’ve also ridden the motorcycles on the sunny highways of California, US, and were quite impressed with what they have to offer. With prices yet to be revealed, a lot is riding on the 650 Twins. With the launch just a day away, here’s what you can expect from the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 and Interceptor 650.

Also Read: Royal Enfield 650 Twins: Top Questions Answered

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(The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is promising, but pricing will be key)

Design

The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 borrow heavily from the original motorcycles of 1960-70s. The bikes are retro in design, underpinned by an all-new frame developed by RE subsidiary Harris Performance in the UK. The chassis has been optimised to offer excellent handling without compromising on comfort. Both the Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650 measure 1024 mm in height, and have a ground clearance of 174 mm. The Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 will have a fuel tank capacity of 12.5 litres, while the Interceptor 650’s fuel tank will be slightly larger at 13.7 litres. The twin pea-shooter exhausts finished in chrome add the retro touch on the motorcycles.

Also Read: Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 & Continental GT 650 Launch Details Revealed

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(Different variants will have different decals and colour options; the mechanicals remain the same)

Engine

The Royal Enfield 650 Twins are based on the brand new 649 cc, air and oil cooled, parallel-twin engine that belts out 47 bhp at 7250 rpm and 52 Nm of peak torque at 5250 rpm. About 80 per cent of the torque is available from 2500 rpm and a flat torque curve results in ample power all thee way till about 6000 rpm. Sending power to the rear wheels is a 6-speed gearbox that comes with a slipper clutch, for a lighter lever operation. The bikes are capable of speeds in excess of 160 kmph.

Also Read: Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 First Ride Review

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(The fit and finish on the Continental GT 650 is immaculate)

Suspension and Braking

The Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 and the Interceptor 650 will come with the conventional 41 mm telescopic front forks and twin shock absorbers for the rear suspension. Braking will be handled by a 320 mm disc at the front and a 240 mm disc at the rear. Both bikes will come with dual-channel ABS as standard. The bikes will also ride on large 18-inch wheels wire-spoked wheels.

Also Read: Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 First Ride Review

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(The 650 cc engine has been developed in partnership with Harris Performance)

Different Ergonomics

While both motorcycles share the same chassis and engine, the bikes will appeal to a different set of riders. The RE Interceptor 650 is designed as a relaxed cruiser with a more comfortable riding position complete with a tall and wide handlebar, centre-set footpegs and a comfortable seat. Meanwhile, the Continental GT 650 is slightly more aggressive with rear-set footpegs and clip-on handlebars that make for a more dedicated riding position. The seat height is also taller on the CGT 650 at 804 mm, as opposed to the Interceptor’s 790 mm.

Also Read: Royal Enfield 650 Twins Price Expectation

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(The RE Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 mark a new era for the brand)

Accessories

An integral part of the RE-verse in today’s times, both new offerings will come with a host of additional gear on offer. This includes apparel, accessories, merchandise, motorcycle safety gear and more. Royal Enfield will not only sell you the motorcycle but a lifestyle around it that you can flaunt in more ways than you think.

Also Read: Royal Enfield 650 Twins Prices Announced For The US

Pricing

This one is a big question for RE fans and potential buyers alike. A market-disrupting price tag has been promised, which means that the Continental GT 650 and Interceptor 650 just might be the most affordable twin-cylinder motorcycles to go on sale in India. They will surely be the most affordable 650 cc bikes to be on sale. A price tag around ₹ 2.75 lakh (ex-showroom) is possible for the Interceptor 650, while the Continental GT 650 is likely to command a premium of ₹ 10,000-15,000. The bikes will also be available in a number of versions including Standard, Custom and Chrome, so do expect prices to increase depending on the variant.

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We will be bringing all the details live from the launch event tomorrow evening. So make sure to catch all the action here for the new Interceptor and Continental GT 650.

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EICMA 2018: 2019 Yamaha Niken GT Leaning Motorcycle Unveiled


The three-wheeled 2019 Yamaha Niken GT is mechanically similar to the standard model but gets additional equipment which make it a better touring motorcycle.




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The new Yamaha Niken GT has gotten more comfortable and suitable for longer commutes.

We first saw the Yamaha Niken three-wheeled motorcycle last year at EICMA and this year, the new Yamaha Niken GT that’s been unveiled at the 2018 EICMA in Milan, Italy has definitely gotten more comfortable and suitable for longer commutes. Instantly noticeable are the 25-litre panniers which also feature grab handles for the rear passengers and has a 12-volt outlet to charge a smartphone or any other gadget. The 2019 Niken GT also gets a centre stand unlike the standard Niken. Moreover, it gets a taller windscreen, wider seats and heated handle bar grips.


Yamaha

Mechanically the 2019 Yamaha Niken GT is similar to the standard three-wheeled Niken. It is also based on the Yamaha MT-09 and has two 15-inch wheels with modified cycle parts which help it lean at corners. The wheels are connected to the frame with two separate pairs of inverted forks which allow the Niken GT to lean through corners just like a regular two-wheeler. It is powered by the same 847cc in-line three-cylinder engine which is seen in the MT-09. The engine develops 114 bhp at 10,000 rpm and 87.5 Nm of peak torque at 8500 rpm. The 2019 Yamaha Niken GT is equipped with a standard slip and assist clutch, quickshifter and three-mode traction control. It also gets cruise control which is effective from fourth gear and over the speed of 50 kmph.

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The Niken was the first three-wheeled motorcycle from Yamaha and as radical it may look, Yamaha is sure about this design and is planning more such motorcycles. Earlier, the company had also acquired the leaning three-wheeler designs and concepts from a Norwegian firm called Brudeli. The Yamaha Niken is already on sale in some of the international markets like the UK and US for $ 15,999. However, the company as of now is producing the Niken in limited numbers and has similar plans even for the 2019 Niken GT.

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Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, Continental GT 650 Bookings Open


The Royal Enfield 650 Twins will be launched in mid-November and prices are expected to be around Rs. 3 lakh (ex-showroom).




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Royal Enfield dealerships have started accepting bookings for the 650 Twins for an amount of Rs. 5,000

Royal Enfield dealerships have started accepting bookings for the soon-to-be-launched 650 Twins for an amount of ₹ 5,000. According to dealers, the two new models – the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 – are expected to cost around ₹ 3.5 lakh (on-road Delhi) and deliveries will begin by December 2018. The 650 Twins, as they are called, are the first Royal Enfield motorcycles in the company’s modern history to sport an all-new 650 cc, parallel-twin engine. Dealers say there is expected to be a 30-45 day waiting period for customers who book the bikes now.


Royal Enfield

Also Read: Royal Enfield Interceptor First Ride Review

The RE Interceptor 650 and the RE Continental GT 650 will be launched by mid-November 2018, around the Rider Mania 2018 event, and prices are expected to be very competitive. We have ridden both models, and are impressed with the performance of the new RE 650 Twins. According to Royal Enfield officials, the bikes will be priced in a way that they become the natural upgrade for existing Royal Enfield customers. We expect the bikes to be priced at around ₹ 3 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) or even just under the ₹ 3 lakh mark to make the bikes affordable and not out of reach for the typical Royal Enfield customer.

Also Read: Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 First Ride Review

Both bikes are powered by an all-new, air-cooled, 649 cc, four-valve, SOHC, parallel-twin engine which puts out 47 bhp of maximum power at 7,100 rpm and 52 Nm of peak torque at 5,200 rpm. The oil-cooled engine is mated to a slick six-speed gearbox and comes with a slip and assist clutch. The RE 650 Twins share a common double cradle, steel tubular chassis and 41 mm front forks and twin shocks at the rear. Braking is handled by a single 320 mm disc on the front wheel and a 240 mm disc on the rear wheel. Dual-channel ABS is standard. Royal Enfield has already started rolling out other models from the firm with standard ABS. Once launched, the new RE Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 will probably be the most affordable twin cylinder motorcycles on sale in India.

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The new Royal Enfield 650 cc parallel-twin engine is counterbalanced with four-valves and runs smooth without any vibrations

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The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650 were first unveiled at the 2017 EICMA show in Milan last year. The two bikes will not just be targeted at the domestic market, but Royal Enfield intends to gain a significant hold and presence in global markets with the all-new 650 cc parallel-twin platform. The engine has been designed with inputs from Royal Enfield’s tech team in the UK Tech Centre, in collaboration with engineers and technicians in India. It’s the most advanced and modern engine in Royal Enfield’s modern history, and according to RE officials, a stringent 1007-point quality check is being maintained across the model-range to ensure seamless quality of the products.

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Skoda Kodiaq GT Unveiled; World Premiere In China In November


The new Kodiaq GT will make its global premiere in China at the Guangzhou Motor Show, which takes place from 16 to 25 November 2018.




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The Skoda Kodiaq GT will only be available in China

Skoda has unveiled the Kodiaq GT and it’s the company’s first SUV coupe which is intended exclusively for the Chinese market. China will be the only market in the world where Skoda offers a total of four SUV models: Kamiq, Karoq, Kodiaq and Kodiaq GT. The new Kodiaq GT will make its global premiere in China at the Guangzhou Motor Show, which takes place from 16 to 25 November 2018. The Kodiaq GT looks similar to the SUV but there are a few changes that make it stand apart. The Kodiaq GT is characterised by a wide bonnet and blackframed grille with chrome-plated dual ribs. The LED headlights, three-dimensional bumper and front spoiler with wide air inlets reinforce its powerful appearance. The roofline gently sloping behind the front doors merging into the flat tailgate gives the Kodiaq GT a dynamic profile. Powerful wheel arches and chiselled side skirts in the body colour with matte black elements also add to the robustness of the coupe version of this large SUV.

Skoda Kodiaq

Dr. Ralf Hanschen, President of Skoda China, said: “The Skoda Kodiaq GT is an important milestone in Skoda China strategy. Being the first coupe SUV in our model range specifically designed for the Chinese market. We are confident that this sporty and stylish Skoda model will appeal to new customer groups and provide an even more impressive driving experience for our customers in China.”

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The Skoda Kodiaq GT’s sloping roof offers a dynamic profile 

The rear end features sharply drawn LED taillights with crystalline shapes. There’s a fine reflective tape that runs down the loading sill along the entire width of the vehicle and creates further accents alongside the black diffuser. The interior of the new Kodiaq GT is also sporty and stylish and comes with a fully customizable Virtual Cockpit, which comes as standard. There’s Wi-Fi access and MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay among other features.

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The rear of the Skoda Kodiaq GT features sharply drawn LED taillights

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The Kodiaq GT comes with a 2-litre TSI motor which drives the front wheels and makes 184 bhp. A more powerful version too is up for grabs which makes 217 bhp and drives all four wheels thanks to the 7-speed gearbox. Numerous assistance systems including Blind Spot Detect, Front Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with stop-go function to ensure maximum safety.

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Hyosung GT 250 RC and 650 Aquila Pro Launched In India, Prices Start At Rs. 3.39 lakh


The Hyosung GT 250 RC will rival against the likes of KTM RC 200 and TVS Apache RR 310 while the Hyosung 650 Aquila Pro will go up against with Kawasaki Vulcan.

Joining forces with Kinetic Motoroyale for its future operations in India, Hyosung has launched the GT 250 RC and 650 Aquila Pro in India priced at Rs 3.39 Lakh and Rs 5.55 lakh, respectively (all prices are ex-showroom, India). Kinetic Motoroyale has joined hands with five global motorcycle makers that will be operating under its umbrella in India. In the first phase, Motoroyale has launched seven new motorcycles and will start operations in six metro cities where all the five brands will retail their motorcycles.

Also Read: Kinetic Motoroyale Launches 7 New Bikes In India

The Hyosung GT 250 RC is powered by a 249 cc, twin-cylinder fuel-injected and oil-cooled engine that produces 28 bhp and 22.07 Nm of peak torque which is mated to a five speed gearbox with a wet-multiplate clutch. The GT 250 RC has a dry weight of 188 kgs and delivers 30 kmpl of fuel economy with a tank capacity of 17 litres. Up-front, the Hyosung GT 250 RC is equipped with inverted telescopic suspension while has a hydraulic mono suspension at the rear. Both the front and the rear wheels are 17-inch in size. While the front wheel has 300 mm dual-disc brakes, the rear wheel has a 230 mm single disc brake.

The 650 Aquila Pro has a 647 cc, twin-cylinder liquid cooled engine that produces 74 bhp and 62 Nm of peak torque. This engine is belt-driven and is mated to a five-speed gearbox with wet-multiplate clutch. The cruiser is weighs 240 kg and delivers a fuel economy of 18 kmpl. It is equipped with upside-down telescopic front suspension at front and hydraulic double shock absorbers at the rear. Moreover, it has an 18-inch wheel at front and 17-inch at the rear which get which get 300 mm double disc brakes and 270 mm single disc brake, respectively.

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Out in the market, the Hyosung GT 250 RC will rival against the likes of KTM RC 200 and TVS Apache RR 310 while the Hyosung 650 Aquila Pro will go up against with Kawasaki Vulcan. 

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Intermot 2018: KTM 1290 Super Duke GT Unveiled


The KTM 1290 Super Duke GT gets more power and added features for 2019.




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The 2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT gets a long list of updates

The 2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT has been unveiled with a host of updates making it faster and more efficient. The sport tourer from the Austrian brand now gets new titanium intake valves, new ECU mapping and resonator chamber technology. The 1290 Super Duke GT’s LC8 engine now makes 175 bhp of power and 141 Nm of peak torque. A two-way quickshifter provides clutchless and smooth up and down shifting. KTM has also updated the semi-active WP suspension and is now available in three settings – Comfort, Street and Sport. The suspension can be tuned and selected for varying load – rider, passenger, luggage, or all three – at the push of a button.


KTM
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For 2019, the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT gets several updates, with power now at 175 bhp and peak torque at 141 Nm

A new 6.5-inch TFT dash is big, bright with very good readability even under direct sunlight and can be integrated with KTM MyRide app that installs on a smartphone and is connected to the instrument panel via Bluetooth. The 2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT is now navigation ready for onscreen turn by turn directions, as well as audio prompts in five languages, via a separately available app. The rider can also receive or reject incoming calls with caller ID displayed on the screen.

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The semi-active WP suspension has been updated and now the bike gets cornering lights

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The face of the 1290 Super Duke GT gets a powerful new LED headlight and LED DRLs. The fuel tank spoiler mounts the LED cornering lights which are said to provide superb illumination even on the inside of corners. Cruise control has also been updated with an improved user interface. The new windscreen offers improved adjustment and wind protection. It’s unlikely that the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT will be launched in India anytime soon.

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Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 First Ride Review


The Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 will be available in three variants – Standard, Custom, and Chrome, each with distinctive styling cues, although the basic motorcycle is the same. The basic difference between the Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650 is that the GT has sportier ergonomics, and is slightly lighter, thanks to a different steering yoke, clip on handlebars, and most importantly, the centre stand, which the GT doesn’t get. The fuel tank is marginally smaller as well, with recesses to lock your knees in. The RE Continental GT 650 with a 198 kg weight without fuel, is 4 kg lighter than the RE Interceptor 650 at 202 kg. The difference in weight may not be much, but the personality of the bikes is quite different.


Royal Enfield
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(The Continental GT 650 gets sportier ergonomics & is slightly lighter than the Interceptor 650)

Also Read: Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 First Ride Review

Looks and Design

The Continental GT 650 follows classic café racer styling, with clip-on handlebars, and a riding position where you crouch down low on the bike with rearset footpegs. The different riding position is immediately apparent from the relaxed, upright riding position of the Interceptor 650. The chassis development team spent months of testing prototypes with riders of different weight and build to fine tune the handling. But more importantly, the brief was clear – the Continental GT had to have twin shocks at the rear and the same basic platform to give it its authentic period design, but it had to have intuitive and sporty handling.

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(The seat of the Continental GT can be bought with a solo seat as an accessory)

The fuel tank design is inspired by the 1960s Continental GT and the clip-ons, though lower set, offer more practicality than providing an outright aggressive riding position. The stock seat of the GT 650 has a standard removable seat cowl towards the rear, but an accessory solo seat is also available, like the one on our test bike. The period sporty café racer design is evident, yet the Continental GT 650 offers a practical approach. The clip-on handlebars with the rider forward and rear-set foot peg position offer a blend of steering feel and cornering clearance for sporty riding. The new Continental GT 650 though is not based on the older Royal Enfield Continental GT 535. The riding position isn’t as aggressive as the 535, and even though the GT 650 is a café racer, it has more comfortable ergonomics.

Also Read: Royal Enfield 650 Twins Price Expectation In India

Performance and Handling

khvbado8(The Continental GT 650 loves to take on corners)

The RE Continental GT 650 shares the same 649 cc, air-cooled, parallel-twin engine with the Interceptor 650. The air/oil-cooled counterbalanced motor puts out 47 bhp at 7250 rpm, and 52 Nm of peak torque at 5250 rpm and is mated to a brand-new 6-speed gearbox has been specially developed for the 650 Twin platform, after thorough testing to improve shift feel and the right gear ratios. The result is a slick-shifting gearbox, which is smooth and slots into position with precision. The slip and assist clutch has a light feel at the lever, and should be quite handy in our traffic conditions. It’s to be noted that the gearbox is so refined and smooth, that many of us resorted to clutch-less upshifts and downshifts while riding through the canyons up to Big Basin State Redwood park and then down to our lunch stop at Mountain Terrace resort, across the intersection from Alice’s Restaurant, a popular eating spot for local motoring enthusiasts.

ua3533vg(The engine offers solid grunt in the mid-range, making for effortless cruising at 130-140 kmph)

The counterbalanced engine is super smooth; in fact, it’s the most refined engine on any Royal Enfield motorcycle we’ve seen so far. The power delivery is smooth and entertaining throughout the rev range, and it actually hits the rev limiter under full-clip acceleration. Power delivery is linear and the torque kicks in under 3,000 revs, making for a very likeable mid-range; only upwards of 6,000 rpm is when the power begins to taper off, but by then you’d already be in the range of 140 kmph. On several occasions on our test route, which involved a fair bit of the Pacific Coast Highway, or Highway 1, as it’s called, we saw the speedometer needle heading upwards of the 160 kmph mark. On most highway duties, the GT 650, like the Interceptor 650, can effortlessly cruise at 130-140 kmph.

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(The fit and finish on the Continental GT 650 is immaculate)

Ride and Braking

The Continental GT 650’s suspension is shared with the Interceptor 650. So, it gets the same 41 mm front forks, and coil-over rear shocks, but the shocks are adjusted on the stiffest position to offer more tautness in handling. And handling is superb, just a push on the clip-ons is enough to countersteer through a set of left and right twisties, and the GT certainly feels more planted, and more taut, while carving corners around the foothills of the Californian Rockies.

bj9hingo(The grip from the Pirelli Phantom Sportcomp tyres is good, making the bike feel more planted in corners)

The 18-inch wheels are shod with Pirelli Phantom Sportcomp tyres, which were specifically developed for the 650 Twin platform. Both wheels come with disc brakes, a 320 mm single disc on the front wheel, and a 240 mm at the rear, with standard dual-channel ABS from Bosch. The brakes work well, as we discovered while negotiating a series of turns and coming almost head-on with a Chevy pick-up on a single-lane section after Big Basin State Redwood Forest.

Verdict

lmcsj5rg(Superb engine, fantastic road manners make the Continental GT a very likeable motorcycle)

The Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 is the café racer Royal Enfield always should have had in its portfolio. A superb engine, fantastic road manners and easy accessibility make the Continental GT 650 a great bike to have for the occasional blast through your favourite roads, and even for in-town duties. The sporty riding position may not be suitable for inter-state distances, but our test ride route of more than 200 km in a day’s riding left us little to complain about. Of course, the committed position feels a little different initially, but it only takes a few minutes to get used, and a break every once in a while is all you need to stretch your limbs before you straddle the GT 650 for another hour or so of carving canyons through back roads.

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(The Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650 could possibly disrupt the middleweight segment)

Royal Enfield has really upped the game with the 650 Twin platform, offering two flavours in a package that has little shortcomings. The only thing we need to see is how the ride quality is on our road conditions back home, since our test route only offered smooth tarmac, on the highway and in the back roads that we went through. The RE Continental GT 650 offers a unique proposition. The committed café racer styling and ergonomics may not be as practical as the Interceptor 650, but it begins to grow on you. The taut and intuitive handling makes the Continental GT 650 a blast to dip from corner to corner, left to right. It certainly makes for an engaged riding experience, with an engine and gearbox combination that’s the best any Royal Enfield has ever seen. Given a choice, I’d probably still pick the Interceptor 650 for its practicality, but the Continental GT 650 has its own charm and attractive personality. And it has to be experienced first hand on a twisty mountain road to make out the difference and appreciate it for what it is.

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Photography: Pawan Dagia

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