Royal Enfield discontinues the Continental GT 535 to make way for the GT 650 in India, which will go on sale later this year
Royal Enfield launched the Continental GT back in 2013 when the cafe racer market was booming especially with Triumph’s Bonnie range. In terms of design, the Continental GT was heavily inspired by the 1965 Continental GT, which was powered by a 250cc motor. Unfortunately, though, the motorcycle never became the hot seller Royal Enfield had intended it to be in India. This was mainly due to the lack of performance that didn’t gel with the new cafe racer character and the high price tag of Rs 2.08 lakh. Most importantly, it didn’t go with the touring bike image that RE motorcycles have in India. Add to that the single seat on offer as standard.
Nevertheless, the company had made every possible effort to justify the price tag, by offering quality parts like Pirelli tyres, front forks designed by Gabriel, twin Paioli gas-charged shocks, Brembo brakes and a double cradle chassis. All of this came together to make it a beautiful handler with supple ride quality and strong brakes to shed speed effectively.
But it is due to the lack of demand that Royal Enfield decided to take it off its Indian product portfolio. However, a replacement is already lined up in the form of the all-new Continental GT 650, which is expected to go on sale later this year.
While the GT 535 is not available in India anymore, there are still a few dealers that are clearing their stocks, so expect to get good discounts if you’re planning to buy one. Besides, dealerships will also ensure that customers who book the Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 till November 2017, will get their bikes delivered in the committed time.
That said, Royal Enfield will continue to export the Continental GT to international markets via the company’s facility in Chennai.
As far as the two new offerings, the Continental GT 650 and the Interceptor 650, are concerned, they made their debut at the EICMA motorcycle show last year. Also, these are the company's latest and most powerful offerings in the middleweight segment today.
The styling on the Continental GT 650 remains unchanged. What has changed though, is the newly developed 648cc parallel-twin, air-cooled and fuel-injected motor that generates 47.6PS of power at 7,100rpm and 52 Nm of peak torque 4,000rpm. This is 18.1PS and 8 Nm more than the outgoing 535cc GT. Power on the 650 is transferred to the rear wheel via a six-speed transmission.
We expect Royal Enfield to launch the Continental GT 650 and the Interceptor 650 in the range of Rs 3-3.5 lakh. The bikes will go on sale in Europe by April 2018 but should come to India around Diwali. Once launched, the Continental GT 650 cill go up against the Harley-Davidson Street 750 and the Kawasaki Z650.