Royal Enfield had us all excited when it first showcased the Cafe Racer Concept at the 2012 Indian Auto Expo. The bike harked back to the 1965 Continental GT 250 and was unlike any other bike in Royal Enfield’s lineup in India. It has been more than a year and a half since then, and now the company has announced that the Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 will be launched in India between November 25, 2013 to November 28, 2013.
By definition, a cafe racer is a light motorcycle with a adequately powerful engine which is built for handling and speed rather than comfort or cruising ability. The earliest cafe racers were hand-built ones, combining the powerful engines with better handling chassis. Cafe racers are characterised by clip-on handle bars, rear-seat footpegs, an long fuel tank with recesses for the riders legs and a humped seat. In short these were cheap to own-and-maintain, powerful, and agile racing bikes meant for the road, and were at home on the track too. Motorcycle companies realised the popularity of this design and decided to launch their own off-the-shelf cafe racers.
It comes equipped with a 535cc, four-stroke, single-cylinder engine with the option of button or kick-start and good for 29.1bhp and 4.49kgm of torque. It works in tandem with a one-down, four-up gearlever. There are features like a pass-light flasher and engine kill switch, among others and single disc brakes, front and rear. The manufacturer claims it will give a 25-30kpl fuel economy.
The engine is tuned so that it can be given the beans, running out of breath competitively higher in the rev band than other bikes from RE. Couple this enthusiastic engine to a smooth 5-speed (one down, four up pattern shift) transmission and you get a riding experience like no other RE.
Further encouraging the sporty riding is the dual-tube frame tuned by famous British racing parts developer Harris Performance Products. The 18-inch rims (with alloy spokes) are shod with 100 mm section tyres at the front and 130 mm tyres at the rear. These are Pirelli Sport Demon tyres, which are quite grippy and rated for 210 KMPH.
Suspension duties at the front are handled by 110 mm forks at the front and 79 mm gas-filled shocks from Paioli at the rear. This leads to a stiffer ride,which coupled to the short wheelbase makes the Continental GT very maneuverable. Braking duties are handled by 300 mm discs with twin-pot calipers sourced from Brmabo at the front and 240 mm discs with single pot caliper at the rear.
The Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 is not a scorcher of a bike, it is rather a style statement. It does allow the rider to corner harder, drive faster than any other RE bike but it cannot match other modern 500 cc (or sub 500 cc) bikes in terms of absolute performance. The Continental GT is supposed to be driven like any other bike from Royal Enfield, cruise at high speeds for hours upon hours, but because of it’s unique styling and rider position you look fast whether you’re standing still or cruising at a 140 KPH.
Specifications of Royal Enfield Continental GT :
Type : Single Cylinder, 4 stroke, Air cooled
Displacement : 535 cc
Bore x stroke : 87mm x 90mm
Compression Ratio : 8.5:1
Maximum Power : 29.1 bhp (21.4 kW) @ 5100 rpm
Maximum Torque : 44 Nm @ 4000 rpm
Ignition System : Digital Electronic Ignition
Clutch : Wet, multi-plate
Gearbox : 5 Speed Constant Mesh
Lubrication : Wet sump
Engine Oil : 15 W 50 API, SL Grade JASO MA
Fuel Supply : Keihin Electronic Fuel Injection
Air Cleaner : Paper Element
Engine Start : Electric & Kick
Chassis and Suspension :
Type : Twin downtube cradle frame
Front suspension : Telescopic, 41mm forks, 110mm travel
Rear suspension : Paioli,Twin gas charged shock absorbers with adjustable preload, 80mm travel
Dimensions and Weight :
Wheelbase : 1360 mm
Ground Clearance : 140 mm
LengthxWidthxHeight : 2060x760x1070mm
Seat Height : 800 mm
Kerb Weight-(90% Fuel+Oil) : 184 Kgs
Fuel Tank Capacity : 13.5 Ltrs
Brakes and Tyres:
Front Tyre : 100/90-18, 56 H Pirelli Sport Demon
Rear Tyre : 130/70-18, 63 H Pirelli Sport Demon
Front Brake : Brembo 300mm Floating disc, 2-Piston floating caliper
Rear Brake : 240mm Disc, Single piston floating caliper
Electrical System : 12 volt – DC
Battery : 12 volt, 14 Ah
Head Lamp : 12V H4 60 / 55 W
Tail Lamp : 12V 21W/5W
Turn Signal Lamp : 12V 10 W (4 Nos.)
Royal Enfield Continental GT is expected to be launched in November 2013, the Continental GT is likely to command a price of Rs. 2-2.25 lakh.