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Royal Enfield to launch the Continental GT in India this October

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26 Jul 2013 / 
Staff

At the inauguration of Royal Enfield’s new plant at Oragadam a few months ago, the company officials first hinted at a late 2013 launch for the new Continental GT cafe racer.

Royal Enfield to launch the Continental GT this October

The Cafe Racer was shown as a concept vehicle at the 2012 Auto Expo. Expect the production version to look similar

The GT will be first launched in the UK in September, followed by a launch in India about a month later.

The bike will feature the characteristic low-set clip-on handlebars, a long fuel tank and a narrow seat which can hold just the rider. However,a two-up seat may be made available as an optional accessory.

This design ethos is strikingly similar to the 1965 GT250, but its 535cc engine is completely new. While the displacement is same as the now-discontinued Lightning, the similarities between the engines end there.

The new chassis of the Continental GT535 has been developed by none other than the UK’s Harris Engineering. The new, lightweight, double cradle frame is said to deliver better handling and stability as compared to the single downtube frame found on other Royal Enfield bikes. Additionally, a lighter flywheel and a remapped ECU will add sting to the 535cc motor. Paioli shocks and Pirelli tyres complete the running gear.

The end result: Royal Enfield claims that this motorcycle is 15kg lighter than the current flagship, the Thunderbird 500, making it its lightest production bike yet. This also makes it the fastest RE bike on the road. We estimate the power figures of the Continental GT to be around the 33-35PS mark.

Cafe racers are popular in European countries, but are rarely seen in Indian environs, except as custom vehicles. A cafe racer typically features an elongated fuel tank, and low slung racing handlebars that allow the rider to tuck in to reduce wind resistance and for better control of the bike. These bikes generally have engines tuned for maximum speed, rather than comfort.

They were named so in Britain as an intended pejorative for high-speed bikes built for the sole purpose of racing between one cafe to another. But they grew in popularity across the continent.

The Continental GT was first introduced as the Cafe Racer concept at the 2012 Auto Expo held in New Delhi. Ever since, we have been seeing the motorcycle being tested all over the country and even RE CEO Siddharth Lal took it out for a spin.

On the pricing  front, the Thunderbird 500, the last time we checked, retails at Rs 1.82 lakh on-road, Mumbai. The Cafe Racer aka Continental GT, being the new flagship, will be priced significantly higher. With the Paioli shockers, Pirelli tyres, discs at both the ends and clip-on handle bars, expect prices to be around the Rs 2.50 lakh mark.

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  • Pankaj V. Phanasgaonkar

    Where is Mr. Rajesh Mirajakar who designed first Indian MPV.

  • vantanu

    price should be around 1.6 lakhs or below not more then…

  • vantanu

    Rs 2.50 lakh mark is too much to ask when u have more competion in the market..

  • Aditya

    The bike is a piece of art suited more for ppl who what to just keep it in garage rather than use it for regular commute. Few basic points to state here are as follows.
    1) High speed stability ? Is ABS standard ?
    2) The handle bars are too low, what is the turning radius, manoeuvrability ?
    3) The tank is long, making the rider lean forward, on the comfort front, the bike scores very low.

    4) Not at all a tourer a word which is synomyous with royal endfield.
    5) The engine exposed to water and gravel splashes as it has a very small mudguard.

    Conclusion : this bike is more suited for the Europe than in India.

    2.5 lacs for the price is way too high. If it’s priced at 2 – 2.10 there may be some takers.

    Wait for RE to produce a 250 cc bike… more in tune with Indian rider.

    • http://Overdrive.in/ Shumi

      Aditya, let me try to answer your questions
      1) High speed… no one’s ridden the bike outside Royal Enfield yet so no one knows. ABS? I dont think it is even optional at the moment.

      2) That is how cafe racers are. Turning radius will probably be inconvenient but that too is part of the cafe racer format and yes, it will affect parking lot speed manouverability as well.

      3) Again, that is how Cafe Racers are and yes, it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

      4) It’s a 60s race bike in nature… B-)

      5) And I’m betting that makes no difference to the bike. :)

  • rajesh

    535 cc, 35 ps, 45 Nm torque, EFI, Paioli shocks, Pirelli tyres, Twin disks and a stunning design, all these from a reliable maker. stop asking more. i wish they release with regular shocks and zapper tyres which gradually decreases the price to 1.80 lakhs. ( However, i feel lucky that i can buy myself a powerful cafe racer)

  • karma tenpa

    Royal enfields are normally not known for racing as it is my personal experience with my ex thunderbird avl which coughed up oil/mobile all over the air filter the crank…..u just name it…..however i didnt have the same issue with my current cl500….so I was just wondering if this cafe conti 535 would kill all the issues related above and justify what it stands for and do the unthinkable 100mph ;) …I hope it kills it coz I am one waitin customer…cheers.

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  • arul

    please manufacure bikes to look more like harleys… fat tires… big mascular body shaped…

    • Thirugns

      then go get a harley

  • Mahesh Murali

    royal enfield caters to a particular niche.those who want bikes with good dynamics go for ninja 250 or cbr.

  • http://Overdrive.in/ Shumi

    Well said, Clive! :)

  • Faizan Bhat

    I’m very keen on buying this motorcycle, but I won’t buy it if it is priced even a dime more than ₹2 lacs….not a chance

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