The Royal Enfield Interceptor and Continental GT 650 are now India’s best selling premium motorcycles. Both motorcycles have together managed to clock 5,168 units in just 5 months of launch. Other motorcycles such as the KTM 390s, the Honda CB 300R, the Bajaj Dominar, the BMW G 310R and G 310 GS, and the TVS Apache RR 310 are all behind the Royal Enfield twins in terms of sales.
Such is demand for the Royal Enfield twins that waiting times for both motorcycle stand anywhere between 4-6 months depending on the colour chosen. Royal Enfield recently announced plans to double monthly production of both motorcycles in order to meet the high demand, both from India as well as from other international markets. Apart from selling the twin cylinder motorcycles in India, Royal Enfield exports them to countries around the world.
Developed from scratch, the 650cc Royal Enfield motorcycles are the least priced twin cylinder engined motorcycles sold in India. Prices of the Interceptor 650 start from just Rs. 2.37 lakhs, which makes it cheaper than a lot of single cylinder premium motorcycles such as the KTM Duke 390 and the BMW G 310R.
The Continental GT 650 is slightly pricier, with prices starting from Rs. 2.49 lakhs. Both motorcycles share a lot of parts and the platform. However, the ergonomics and styling are quite different. The Interceptor 650 gets laid back, street bike styling while the Continental GT 650 features a much more aggressive riding position and is styled like a retro cafe racer.
Both motorcycles use a newly developed 647cc parallel twin engine that is primarily air cooled but one that also gets a secondary oil cooler. This motor makes 47 Bhp of peak power and 52 Nm of peak torque, making it the most powerful engine Royal Enfield has ever produced from its Indian factory.
The engine features a 270 degree crank that gives it plenty of low end torque and a distinct exhaust note. Four valve heads run on a single overhead camshaft while fuel injection is standard. The engine is paired with a 6 speed manual gearbox that gets a slipper clutch as standard – another first on a Royal Enfield.
The biggest surprise about both these motorcycles is the sheer refinement they offer – unusual for Royal Enfields. From the way they handle to their powerful brakes and most importantly, the super smooth engine, the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650 have been earning high praise. A lot of non-Royal Enfield owners have also been buying these bikes apart from the hordes of existing Royal Enfield 350cc/500cc bike owners also upgrading to the twins. This is the reason why sales have been so strong.
If these bikes manage to be reliable in the long term, Royal Enfield could become the strongest premium motorcycle brand in India for a long time to come. As of now, the great performance of the Royal Enfield twins are making things look very positive for the retro motorcycle brand that wants to dominate the world’s middle weight motorcycle segment.