Royal Enfield has finally launched the highly anticipated Continental GT in India with an on-road price of Rs 2.05 lakh on-road Delhi and Rs 2.14 lakh on-road Mumbai. The Continental GT is the same bike that Royal Enfield had displayed at the Auto Expo 2012 by the name of Café Racer. Now, café racing, as a culture, evolved during the 1960s in the UK and involved motorcycle enthusiasts (the Rockers—a biker subculture) using stripped down, customised motorcycles to race between transport cafés. These sporty, souped-up motorcycles gave birth to the café racer genre. Low-set handlebars and rear-set footpegs—lending to a crouched down riding posture—were the hallmarks of these café racers. They were also very simple machines that could be customised easily to make them more responsive and quicker.
Café racers of the 1960s and Royal Enfield’s own 1965 Continental GT—the first mass produced café racer of its time—have been the main design inspiration for the current Continental GT. This bike has a stretched out low-profile fuel tank with knee recesses for the authentic period café racer look. Then, it has a flat sculpted racing seat with contrast stitching and bump stop along with rear-set foldable footrests. There are trimmed front and rear mudguards that add to the clean lines of the Continental GT. It also has an upswept exhaust that allows more ground clearance, especially required when you are cornering at speed. Royal Enfield has worked closely with Xenophya Design of the UK in order to ensure that the Continental GT doesn’t miss out on design details.
The new RE flagship will be sold in two colours, red and yellow only. Powering the Continental GT will be a single cylinder air cooled 535cc engine delivering 29PS of power and 44Nm of peak torque and will come mated to a five-speed gearbox. RE has developed the chassis in collaboration with UK based Harris performance. The front suspension has 41mm telescopic forks while the rear has Paioli twin gas-charged shock absorbers. The bike is shod with Pirelli Sport Demon tyres and brembo brakes.
The Continental GT is manufactured at the company’s plant in Oragadam near Chennai. The company is expanding its manufacturing capacity to 2.5 lakh units by 2014.
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Wednesday, November 27, 2013