Heavenly Racer : Royal Enfield Continental GTPosted On: April 29, 2014 By : AutoLife Team
Racing is probably the last thing that fires up in your mind when you think of Royal Enfield motorcycles. But many are still unaware of the fact that Royal Enfield had actually built a Continental GT back in 1965, which was a tuned 250cc café racer bike developed to target the young riders of that era. Café Racing culture had first originated in Britain during the post-war era, when motorcycle enthusiasts in leathers, boots and open face helmets began using stripped-down customized fast motorcycles, and raced each other from one café to another. Now, the thing with some cultures is that they never fade away. Thus as a nod to the original Continental GT, Royal Enfield has revived the feeling of freedom, fun and responsiveness that riders were trying to achieve back then and re-introduced it in the modern context with the new 535cc Continental GT café racer motorcycle. So is this really the fastest, lightest and most powerful motorcycle Royal Enfield has ever made?
The Royal Enfield Continental GT has got everything in terms of styling to be called a proper Café Racer. There’s a low profile extended fuel tank with knee recesses, retro aluminium spoke wheels, clip-on handle bars, stubby front mudguard, fully-chromed headlamps, rearset footpegs and neatly sculpted racy single seat with red contrasting stitching and a curved seat cowl. The gloriously red paint scheme on the minimalistic design contrast well with the generously laid chrome bits. However, the GT isn’t flawless because the build quality and the level of finish does leave some room for improvement. Interestingly, Royal Enfield offers a mini aluminium bar end mirrors, upswept performance exhaust pipe and a pillion seat as optional accessories to further enhance the styling and functionality.
The GT features back-lit twin pod analogue instrumentation cluster with one dial acting as the speedometer in both miles and kilometres, while the other acts as a rev counter with other tell-tale lights such as engine check light, battery warning indicator and turn indicators with high beam. A digital display on the left pod shows fuel tank level, two trip meters and an odometer.
It’s guaranteed that every time you head out on the Continental GT, there will be plenty of on-lookers craning their necks to get a better look at your motorcycle. It has the right balance of retro sophistication and modern elegance.
Thumb the starter or hit down the kick-starter and you might be surprised to hear none of the good old thumping that Royal Enfield’s have always been associated with. There is still a throaty, less angry rumble though. The new Royal Enfield features an upgraded 535cc single cylinder air-cooled Unit Construction Engine with a re-mapped ECU and lower inertia, all of which promises extra punch and responsiveness with a power of 29 bhp and 44 nm of torque. It’s no rocket, but when you lean over and gun the throttle, a grin comes automatically to your face. It certainly is happier to gather momentum than any other Royal Enfield I’ve ridden. It’s not difficult though to leave everything behind in a blur because the handlebar vibrations literally make the stock mirror absolutely useless. The vibrations kick in after around 3500 RPM and can make the experience quite annoying on a long haul. It’s impossible to ignore the fairly heavy vibes when you ride it flat out. The gearbox too isn’t perfect – shifts are heavy in feel and not always positive – but it is nice enough.
Rather than sitting upright, the rider sits sportily crouched over to the clip-on handlebar and the footpegs have been moved back a bit. But though you need to lean a bit more towards the sporty side, the bike still has a comfortable riding stance. Through traffic the GT was very nimble and once out of the city congestion, it dealt with the highway bends exceptionally. Unlike other Royal Enfield motorcycles, the GT actually handles pretty well. Thanks to the new frame by Harris Engineering and sticky Pirelli Sport Demon tyres, the GT carves corners without breaking a sweat. The rear Paioli Twin gas charged shock absorbers combined with the 41mm telescopic suspension at the front further inspires confidence with its stiff set-up. There’s massive stopping power as well with the 300mm Brembo discs in the front and 240mm at the rear.
Truth be told, there are better motorcycles that will outperform the GT, whether in a straight line or around corners, for its price or much lower. As with every Royal Enfield motorcycle, it also has its own set of problems like the excessive vibrations. But if you can live with all the quirks, it’s a pure emotional joy to ride. There’s a certain aura of some heavenly nostalgic charm around it, and extremely hard to translate into words the blissful experience of raw motorcycling. Also, the bike turns heads wherever you go, because the Continental GT does look tremendously beautiful.
So it’s time to get your leather jackets out, don those boots, sunglasses and get that retro-looking half face helmet on. The Royal Enfield Continental GT Café Racer is here!
Engine Type: 4-Stroke
Cylinder Layout: Single Cylinder
Cooling System: Air Cooled
Displacement: 535 cc
Maximum Power: 29.1 bhp @ 5100 rpm
Maximum Torque: 44 nm @ 4000 rpm
Starting Method: Electric/Kick
Final Drive: Chain
Frame Type: Twin Downtube Cradle Frame
Seat Height: 800 mm
Ground Clearance: 140mm
Front Suspension: 41mm Telescopic Forks
Rear Suspension: Paioli Twin Gas Charged Shock Absorbers
Front Tire: 100/90 – 18
Rear Tire: 130/70 – 18
Front Brake: Brembo 300mm Floating Disc w/ 2-Piston Calliper
Rear Brake: 240mm Disc w/ Single Piston Calliper
Dry Weight: 184 kgs
Fuel Tank: 13.5 litres
PRICE: Nrs. 7,05,000/-
DUGAR BROTHERS & SONS PVT. LTD
Ph. No: 01-4362992