The Royal Enfield 650 twins will rival entry-level Harley-Davidson Street series; powered by a brand new parallel twin engine
Royal Enfield wants to have international as well as domestic prominence with the upcoming flagship models, as the Continental GT 650 and Interceptor 650 are waiting to be launched soon. With pre-launch activities begun, the Chennai-based manufacturer is hoping to consolidate its position in the middle-weight category by appealing to premium customers it so far hasn’t dealt with.
In quite a long while, Royal Enfield will firmly rival some of the established global premium brands courtesy of the twins, whose market entry has long been anticipated. Royal Enfield is going hard-on with way it calls “two cultural icons from the 1960s” and as typical with any motorcycle from the brand they are endorsed with evocative past, complemented by modern styling.
At last year’s annual Rider Mania in November, Royal Enfield showcased the 650 twins to the Indian public and it grabbed attention like no other leading to plenty of speculations over its market debut. The Interceptor 650 could be priced at around Rs. 3.8 lakh and the Continental GT 650 in the vicinity of Rs. 4 lakh (ex-showroom) to go up against Harley-Davidson’s Street 750 and Street Rod respectively.
Both the models are built on dual cradle tubular steel chassis and use similar mechanical components like 41 mm telescopic front forks with 110 mm travel and twin-shock absorbers with 88 mm travel. Running on 100/90 R18 front and 130/70 R18 rear tyres, they even have identical ground clearance of 174 mm and 320 mm front disc and 240 mm rear disc with standard dual-channel ABS system.
Focussed more on touring, the Interceptor 650 has a 13.7-litre fuel tank – 1.2-litre more than that of Continental GT 650 that consequently weighs 4 kilograms lesser. Moreover, the former has higher seat height of 804 mm while the modern retro cruiser has it at 790 mm for single seat and 793 mm for dual seat setup.
Both have a striking visual presence unlike any other REs out there while sharing wheelbase of 1,400 mm. The brand new 648 cc fuel-injected air and oil cooled parallel-twin engine with 270-degree firing order is good enough to produce 47 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 52 Nm of peak torque delivered at 4,000 rpm.
It is connected to a six-speed transmission. RE claims the engine delivers oodles of torque across the power band with a unique burbling exhaust note. We can expect the brand to launch the 650 twins around next month in India following its global debut on September 26.