The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 continue to dominate the affordable high performance motorcycle segment, beating every other motorcycle in the market. In September 2019, Royal Enfield sold 1,856 units of the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650. KTM sold 398 units of the Duke 390 and RC 390 put together while Honda sold 96 units of the CB 300R. Kawasaki clocked 119 units of the Ninja 300 while Yamaha managed to sell only 32 units o the R3. TVS Motors sold 326 units of the Apache RR 310 while Bajaj managed 828 units of the Dominar. Clearly, joint sales of the competition (every other similarly priced motorcycle) is much lower than what the Interceptor and Continental GT650 have managed for Royal Enfield. In fact, Royal Enfield is now dominating the entire premium motorcycle segment in India.
Why are the Royal twins selling so well?
For one, they’re priced extremely competitively. The Interceptor 650 starts from Rs. 2.37 lakhs, making it much cheaper than bikes that displace half as much. It’s comfortable riding posture, powerful and smooth engine, and retro looks are proving to be very attractive. The affordable price tag has ensured that a lot of existing 350cc/500cc Royal Enfield owners are now upgrading to the twins. Also, sales of 500cc Royal Enfield variants have fallen drastically, and it appears that buyers are now favouring the twins in a big way.
Coming to the Continental GT 650, the motorcycle shares all its mechanicals with the Interceptor, and the major differences between the two motorcycles are in styling and ergonomics. Designed to be a retro cafe racer, the Continental GT 650 has a sporty riding position, with rear set footpegs and clip-on handlebars. The fuel tank is longer, and the styling also contributes to the aggressive, racy stance of this motorcycle. The prices of the Continental GT 650 start from Rs. 2.49 lakhs, again making it quite affordable.
Both motorcycles use newly developed 647cc, twin cylinder four stroke petrol engines with a 270 degree firing angle. The engine makes 47 Bhp of peak power and 52 Nm of peak torque. A six speed manual gearbox with slipper clutch is standard while the engine gets fuel injection, oil cooling and four valve heads running off a single overhead camshaft. Suspension is handled by 43mm telescopic front forks and gas charged adjustable (for preload) rear suspension. The dual cradle frame that holds the bike together is from Harris Engineering while tyres are from Pirelli. There are disc brakes on both wheels, and dual channel ABS comes standard.