Royal Enfield has finally put months of speculation to rest, courtesy the unveiling of the Interceptor 650 retro roadster and the Continental GT Twin cafe racer at the 2017 EICMA. As it revives the Interceptor name, the bike is symbolic of Royal Enfield’s return to twin-cylinder motorcycles.
The motorcycles will be powered by a 648cc, air-cooled, SOHC, fuel-injected parallel-twin motor that produces 47hp at 7,100rpm and 52Nm of torque at 4,000rpm, and is paired to a six-speed gearbox with a slip-assist clutch.
Both, the Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT Twin, get a conventional telescopic fork, with a single disc up front and a smaller disc at the rear. ABS is standard on both motorcycles and they also get gas-charged twin shock absorbers with a piggyback reservoir. A double-cradle tubular steel frame is also common between them and they sport identical upswept twin tailpipes by S&S. Their chassis has been developed from scratch by Royal Enfield’s UK Technology Centre and Harris Performance. Both the bikes also weigh less than 200kg.
The Interceptor is a highway-biased motorcycle and, therefore, features an upright riding stance with rear-set foot pegs. It features a rounded tank with mild knee recesses and a one-piece seat that ends in a slight hump. The Continental GT Twin, being a cafe racer, features a relatively more angular tank, clip-on handlebars and accessories in the form of a fly screen and a solo seat with a rear cowl. It also features larger heel plates, although the rear-set foot pegs have been positioned identically to those of the Interceptor.
The 648cc twins will also be offered with an elaborate suite of Royal Enfield Genuine Motorcycle Accessories, both, functional and aesthetic. This includes engine guards, pannier mounts, an auxiliary electrical port, silencer slip-ons, an acrylic fly screen, seat cowls and lots more. Royal Enfield will launch the bikes in Europe in April 2018 (provided they are production-ready), followed by an India launch, once production is ramped up to appropriate levels.
RE is also expecting high demand in Europe and other overseas markets and has slated its Indian arrival within six months of the international launch.