In a move that definitely came as a surprise to many people, Royal Enfield decided to put a stop on its sale of Continental GT motorcycles effective January 2018. The plug however has been pulled only for Indian Market; the motorcycle will remain available for export and sale in international market. A new revised version of GT with a much powered 650CC engine will soon be replacing the its predecessor though an official launch date has not yet been made public by the company. The last few remaining models of Continental GT are still available though with several retailers; and on sale at various showrooms across the country.
Image Credit: Bikewale
The motorcycle was launched back in 2013 and was completely different from the kind of motorcycles that Royal Enfield was known for. They launched this series by the name of “Café Racer”. Though different in several ways, there were two things that GT had in common with other motorcycles under Enfield Brand. First one was that even this one fell under the “ageless, iconic and retro” image; second being the engine size.
Royal Enfield Continental GT
The term “Café Racer” was coined back in 1960s England by then motorcycles enthusiasts. These motorcycle was very light in weight and designed for speed and handling rather than comfort. The primary use of these bikes was short rides and even races between 2 cafes; and hence the term “Café Racer”. Designs of these motorcycles was very minimal with low mounted handle bars, prominent seat cowling and large fuel tank. When Royal Enfield launched the continental GT, they mirrored the same vintage image of these café racers and marketed the motorcycle with the same name.
Second common thing that Continental GT had with other Enfield bikes was the large engine size. It was powered by a 535 CC engine which actually was the largest and most powered among all motorcycles manufactured by the company. It was definitely a very ambitious project for the company but failed to produce the desired results, especially in Indian market. Not many units were sold which eventually forced Enfield’s hand to shut down the sale completely.
To fill in the gap, two new motorcycles will be launched by Royal Enfield; Continental GT 650 and Interceptor 650. Both these bikes will sport a 648 cc parallel-twin cylinder, 270-degree, air-cooled engine with fuel-injection. The motor makes about 47 BHP and peak torque of 52 NM, while paired to a 6-speed transmission. There is no official launch date yet but it is expected to be up for sale in India in the second half of 2018; whereas its international sale in Europe will commence by April.