The 650 twins are the most powerful motorcycles in Royal Enfield’s portfolio and sport the brand’s first modern twin-cylinder engine. While both the motorcycles share similar underpinnings, they adopt distinctive body styles.
The Interceptor 650 is a retro roadster with an upright riding stance. The retro styling elements and touring friendly dynamics of the roadster are likely to make it a hit among Royal Enfield loyalists. The Continental GT 650 carries forward the design language of the now-discontinued Continental GT 535. In terms of pure aesthetics, the cafe racer will turn more heads but its committed riding stance might restrict its appeal.
Both the Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT at prices that pit the twins squarely against the KTM Duke 390 and BMW 310R and BMW G310GS in India. The Interceptor 650 at ₹2.50 lakh and the Continental GT 650 at ₹2.65 lakh which now makes them the cheapest twin-cylinder motorcycles available in the country.
The Interceptor 650 and Continental GT , however, are priced lower in Karnataka and Kerala— at ₹2.34 lakh and ₹2.49 lakh, respectively—to accommodate for higher levies and taxes in those states.
Powering both the motorcycles is an all-new 648cc, air-cooled, SOHC, fuel-injected, parallel-twin motor churning out 47hp at 7,250rpm and 52Nm of torque at 5,250rpm. The engine which was developed at Royal Enfield’s technology centre in Leicestershire, England, in collaboration with the firm’s UK staff at the new Bruntingthorpe facility and its team in Chennai is paired to a 6-speed gearbox with a slip-assist clutch. The fuel tank capacity of the Interceptor 650 is 13.4 litres, while the Continental GT has a tank capacity of 12.5 litres. Ground clearance is identical on both the bikes, at 174mm, while the Interceptor tips the scale at 202kg (dry weight); the cafe racer is slightly lighter, at 198kg (dry weight).
Both the 650 motorcycles are shod with 18-inch, 36-spoke aluminium alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli Phantom Sportcomp tyres—100/90 at the front and 130/90 at the rear. Suspension duties are handled by 41mm conventional forks with 110mm of travel at the front and twin coil-over preload adjustable shocks at the rear.
“Keeping these motorcycles accessible is a key objective for us to bring in new people to the Royal Enfield way of pure motorcycling lifestyle and give our existing enthusiasts an irresistible opportunity to upgrade. We strongly believe that the twins 650 will be attractive, evocative motorcycles for our customers across India,” said Siddhartha Lal, chief executive of Royal Enfield.