Iconic bike maker Royal Enfield recently introduced the spirit of café racing to India with the all-new internationally acclaimed Continental GT. The lightest, fastest and most powerful Royal Enfield in production, the Continental GT has been designed ground-up as the definitive classic sports motorcycle. Ammar Alvi has more.
The all-new Continental GT is a highly responsive and nimble motorcycle with a lot of usable power and torque for the 21st century motorcyclist. Café racers of the 1960s and Royal Enfield’s own 1965 Continental GT—the first mass-produced café racer of its time—in particular were the main design inspiration for this motorcycle. It has a stretched-out low-profile fuel tank with knee recesses for the authentic period café racer look. Style meets functionality when genuine clip-on bars conspire with the flat sculpted racing seat with contrast stitching and bump stop along with rearset foldable footrests to urge the rider to tuck his elbows in neatly and get into a sporty yet ergonomic position for spirited riding. Trimmed front and rear mudguards add to the clean lines of the Continental GT and an upswept exhaust allow more ground clearance when cornering at speed. Royal Enfield worked closely with Xenophya Design of the UK to get the overall look and proportions just right and to ensure that each detail is well crafted so that it will become a modern classic in its own right.
At the heart of the Continental GT is the tried-and-tested single-cylinder air-cooled Unit Construction Engine which has been upgraded to 535cc with a re-mapped ECU and lower inertia to deliver that extra punch and responsiveness that is so essential to its café racer character. Royal Enfield worked closely with UK-based Harris Performance to create the bike’s new chassis, which delivers this authentic café racer ride and handling via a nimble double-cradle frame as well as new 41mm front forks and twin gas-charged Paioli rear shockers. The Pirelli Sport Demon tyres provide excellent grip, and the Brembo brakes give outstanding response and stopping distance to this meticulously designed motorcycle.
Siddhartha Lal, MD and CEO, Eicher Motors Limited (the parent company of Royal Enfield) says: “The Continental GT is inspired by the café racers of the 1960s in its form and simplicity; and it captures the feeling of freedom, fun and responsiveness that riders were trying to achieve then and brings it into the modern context.”
Leading the pack is a textile riding jacket with CE-approved removable protectors, high visibility reflective piping, removable winter liners and ventilation. The Continental GT range also includes a line of all-weather ankle length shoes that combine contemporary style with signature racing features. Long and short leather riding gloves are beautifully constructed and wear well. High abrasion resistant riding trousers have removable hip and knee protectors to complete the Continental GT range of apparels and accessories.
Every Continental GT will roll out of Royal Enfield’s state-of-the-art new manufacturing facility in Oragadam near Chennai which became operational in April. Available in the signature GT red and a brand new shade of GT yellow, the bike will retail for Rs 2.05 lakh, on-road in Delhi and for Rs 2.14 lakh on-road in Mumbai.