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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cycle World reviews the new Royal Enfield Continental GT

Royal Enfield Continental GTs shimmer in the rain at the Ace Cafe.
I've been watching for Cycle World's "first ride" story on the new Royal Enfield Continental GT since I watched John Burns and Rich Cox riding and photographing the motorcycle in London.

It's one thing for me to ride the most powerful motorcycle Royal Enfield has ever built (in India). I was preconditioned to enjoy any improvement over my own pedestrian (sometimes you walk) 1999 iron-barrel Bullet.

What would experienced motorcycle journalists say about a 2014 "cafe racer" with only 29 (claimed) bhp at 5,100 rpm?

Well, Burns writes, the Continental GT sure makes you appreciate why "doing the ton" was such a big deal back in the heyday of the cafe racers: this bike won't do it!

"Purely from a functional standpoint it feels like a lovable antique..."

Which — surprisingly — might be a good thing:

"Eureka! Reliable modern bikes that look like antiques are just what many doctors are ordering lately — to be transported to a happy, simpler time without the need to bring tools. Hats off to Royal Enfield for producing a bike that will appeal to mature riders while still being affordable enough... to get the attention of hipsters."

Check out the article for a complete briefing on the new bike and its features. Naturally, Burns spotted a lot of things I overlooked, overcome as I was by what my wife calls "Moon Eyed Adoration." She ought to know.

Here's a fun thing: one of the photos in the Cycle World article is not of the new Continental GT — it's of the original 1965 Continental GT.

Talk about authentic reproduction; I completely missed the distinction the first time I read the article.

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