It’s been many months since Royal Enfield stopped building the Continental GT535 cafe racer motorcycle but one such example – a brand new one no less – has found a place in the garage of Tej Pratap Yadav, the eldest son of former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav. Tej Pratap, a sitting MLA from Bihar, was the state’s health and environment minister a couple of years ago.
So, how did Tej Pratap manage to buy a brand new motorcycle that’s no longer built?
Old stock. Yes, many Royal Enfield dealers continue to hold the last few Royal Enfield Continental GT535 bikes, whose stocks are now being cleared to make way for the Continental GT 650 twin, a much more powerful motorcycle that will be launched later this year.
The motorcycle that Tej Pratap Yadav owns is powered by a 535-cc, four-stroke single-cylinder engine. This air -cooled motor uses hydraulically operated pushrods and is an old-school, long-stroke engine whose calling card is bagfuls of torque right off idle. This motor makes 29.1 Bhp-44 Nm, and before discontinuation, was the most powerful engine that Royal Enfield had ever built in India. Fuel injection is standard, and so is a 5-speed manual gearbox.
Uniquely styled, the Royal Enfield Continental GT535 features cafe racer styling, with clip-on handlebars, rear-set footpegs and an aggressive riding position. It features better cycle parts than other Royal Enfields, and this includes beefy 41-mm front forks, Paioli gas-charged rear-shock absorbers, Brembo disc brakes at the front and the rear, and lighter spoked wheels.
The motorcycle was Royal Enfield’s flagship prior to discontinuation, and was the most expensive offering from the retro bike maker, with a price tag of Rs. 2.11 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi. The motorcycle that will replace the Continental GT535 – the GT650 – will feature a price tag that’s likely to be at least Rs. 1 lakh higher.
This is because the Continental GT650 will have a twin-cylinder, 650-cc engine with 47 Bhp-52 Nm, a 6-speed manual gearbox with slipper clutch, dual-channel ABS and much better performance. The motorcycle will be launched in India by December 2018.