Monday, October 8, 2018

Reviews: Royal Enfield INT650 and Continental GT 650

Motorcycle moves by in a blur of motion.
One of the new Royal Enfield Interceptor 650s at speed in California.
Still more reviews of the new Royal Enfield 650 twins from the writers who tested them at the U.S. launch in California last month. This batch highlights aspects not addressed in my first bunch of excerpts from these experienced, fast riding motor journalists.

"Royal Enfield talks a lot about its bikes offering riders a 'pure motorcycling' experience, which sounds like marketing nonsense until you actually get on one. The engine is gushing with character and the aesthetics are charmingly retro. These are motorcycles that make you want to be a better rider. They're always encouraging you to twist the throttle a little harder, lean into the corner a little deeper, and enjoy the visceral ride without ever being intimidating." Eric Brandt in TheDrive.com

"The question of vibration doesn't arise. We rode the bike at slow speeds in low and high gear as well as up to something like 87 mph. There's barely any vibration to complain off. It isn't anesthetic though — there is just enough vibration to let you know that there is a large engine running well. I rather liked the feel of the motorcycle." Shubhabrata Marmar in Overdrive.in

Two versions of the new Royal Enfield 650 twins wheel to wheel.
Continental GT 650, left, with INT650, right. What kind of figure do you want to cut?
"While the steering setup does make the front-end of the bike feel very loose and light on the Interceptor, the Continental GT doesn't have this issue. Because of the clip-on handlebars and the front leaning seating position, there is more weight on the front-end of the bike. The bike handles very well and behaves properly during fast turns. The suspension, however, does feel a little soft, especially if you are looking to ride aggressively." Jared Solomon on AutoX.com

"The 55-inch wheelbase with an 18-inch, 36-spoke alloy rimmed wheel at either end, shrouded in Pirelli Phantom rubber (the rear was specially developed for the bike), allows for excellent control when carving through the turns. It's not massively dynamic to turn but the tires give plenty of grip when hauling around the 459-pound (wet) machine." Michael Mann in BikeSocial

"With considerable ease in tucking in, wind blast was significantly lesser, and more often than not, we found ourselves crossing the 100 mph  mark blasting down the Pacific Coast Highway. In fact, a few times we even saw 110 mph on the speedo, and the GT felt fairly stable at this speed too.. Personally, after spending two days riding the Continental GT 650 and Interceptor 650 back to back, over the same Californian roads, I can unequivocally say that I enjoyed the cafe racer much more. The GT’s sporty riding position makes it much more suitable for twisty mountain roads and even high speed straight line blasts." Priyadarshan Bawikar in Zigwheels.com

"The Interceptor 650 certainly is the best motorcycle to come out of the Royal Enfield stable in modern history. On our test route, we easily saw the speedometer nudging 90 miles per hour... on several occasions, and that too, without the engine feeling strained, or any part of the motorcycle's body rattling in vibration. This is a Royal Enfield motorcycle which can comfortably cruise at 80 mph, with some more power and performance on tap to go even faster. You do feel a small buzz, particularly on the footpegs at over 5,500 rpm, but it's not something which will likely irritate you, or make you complain. There's little to criticize the new Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, and to sum it up, it's just too good a motorcycle for us to be stingy with praise. Take a bow, Royal Enfield." Preetam Bora in CarAndBike.

Want more? Click here for the first batch of Royal Enfield 650 twins reviews.

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