Royal Enfield has launched its 650cc twin-cylinder Interceptor naked and Continental GT cafe racer to fill a mid-weight gap in the market, says company boss Siddhartha Lal.
We expect the bikes to arrive in Australia in November starting at $8000.
The US prices are $5799 (plus on-road costs) for the single-colour Interceptor, $5999 for the custom with two colours and $6499 for the chrome tank version.
The Continental GT is $US5999 for the single colour, $6249 for the custom and $6749 for the chrome.
They all come with a three-year warranty and free roadside assistance in the US.
Royal Enfield’s Australian importer and distributor, Urban Moto Imports, is expected to have the bikes on show at the Melbourne Moto Expo on November 22 when pricing will be announced.
Judging by the fact that the US price for the Classic 500 is $5599 and the Australian price is $7790, we predict the Australian prices for the twins will start about $8000.
“This is the biggest moment in my career and for Royal Enfield,” Siddartha said at the world launch in California today.
“We believe there is a gap in the mid-weight market. No one really does mid-weights in a big way. I don’t know why that is, so we are filling that gap.
“We’ve changed the rules of the game. We want to become number one in the world in mid-weight motorcycles.”
Siddartha says the company last year made and sold 820,000 motorcycles, up from about 50,000 in 2010.
He expects that to increase with the introduction of the 650 twins cornering.
The twins are powered by an air-cooled parallel-twin 648cc air/oil cooled engine with four valves per cylinder and sitting in a traditional twin-cradle frame.
It produces 35kW at 7250rpm and 52Nm at 5250rpm and has a 270-degree firing interval like the new liquid-cooled Triumph Bonnevilles.
The engine is married to a six-speed gearbox with a slipper clutch and chain drive.
Siddartha says the bike has been built to a single specification for the global market.
Apart from the parallel twin in a twin cradle frame, the twins feature a lot of other traditional elements.
For example, the suspension is traditional with telescopic forks and twin shocks with five-stage preload adjustment.
Instrumentation is also a traditional twin-pod cluster with analogue speedo and tacho and a small digital screen under the speedo with limited information. There isn’t even a clock.
The Interceptor has a dual bench seat with a traditional sit-up-and-beg riding position and straight bars while the solo-seat Continental GT cafe racer has clip-ons and slightly rear-set footpegs.
Both have traditional twin pipes; the Interceptor in chrome and matte black for the GT.
they comes with the traditional single round headlight, chunky indicators and a pod-style taillight, all with bulbs, not LEDs.
Brakes are budget Brembo brand Bybre with a single 320mm twin-piston floating disc at the front and 240mm rear disc with dual channel ABS.
Pirelli developed the tyres for these twins with a 100/90 18 front the rear and 130/70 18 rear.
They have a 793mm seat height, 174mm clearance and a 14-litre fuel tank.
And at a hefty 202kg dry with only 35kW of power it more than comes in under the LAMS power-to-weight ratio limits.
So it will be learner-legal like the rest of the Royal Enfield fleet.