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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Royal Enfield Continental GT shows off for the press

Royal Enfield Continental GT on the famous banking at Brooklands race track.
You are about to read dozens of well considered articles on the Internet and in the motoring press introducing the new Royal Enfield Continental GT cafe racer. Motor writers from around the world rode a fleet of the new motorcycles from the Ace Cafe in London to the historic Brooklands race track and on to Brighton Pier Tuesday.

More will ride the Continental GT today. Most will compliment it as the best motorcycle ever offered by Royal Enfield, and suggest that it be made to go faster. Motor writers like speed.

I know. I tried to keep up with them Sept. 10. I was the absolute last to arrive in Brighton but I nevertheless proclaim the Continental GT a fine looking motorcycle, incomparably better in every regard than my 1999 Bullet and — yes — plenty fast enough for me.

Squadrons of Royal Enfield Continental GTs await departure at the Ace Cafe.
The Continental GT's confident disk brakes apologized for my every blunder, the exacting five-speed transmission replied to every request without a single false neutral and the willing engine delivered "Let's Get Out of Here" acceleration whenever summoned.

Once I found it (my Bullet doesn't have one) the electric starter button became my great friend in traffic.

An Australian journalist saw me visibly lose the plot on approach to one intersection (we ride on the other side of the road in the U.S.)  but said later he wasn't worried about me, because "you had a smile on your face."

Very true. Hunched forward in grand prix style I gave the Continental GT the lash in an effort to regain time lost to better riders in traffic.

How close is the new Continental GT to the original? Take a look.
The press motorcycles will become "demonstrators" in the UK, I was told. If you would like to try to avoid buying mine, I will reveal that it was registered as PN63-VCE.

Seriously, I have no business telling you the rear-set controls of the Continental GT were comfortable when they are the only rear-set controls I have ever experienced and I experienced them while on the "wrong side" of unfamiliar roads on the way to somewhere I've never been in a foreign land. But they were nice.

Continental GTs rumbled into Brighton like the Return of the Rockers.
Criticism? From me? I liked it from 100 yards. Speaking as a commuter, the stylish mirrors did strike me as too small — but no one who saw them would ruin "the look" by making them larger.

Confident CEO Siddhartha Lal is interviewed on Brighton Pier.

4 comments:

  1. What a cool experience! So... if you lived over there, would you commute to work on one?

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  2. Do they come in other colors? (Colours?)

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  3. How do you rate the new frame? What about the forks and suspension?

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  4. So cool that you were able to participate!

    I love the look. And having commuted some on a ZX-6R, I would have to say that the forward lean is actually more comfortable at highway speeds on a bike where there's a lot of wind on your chest. I just can't ride my Bullet on the freeway without a windscreen, but I didn't find the Ninja uncomfortable at all at speed.

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