They are one of the biggest motorcycle manufacturers in the world, thanks to six figure sales in its home market, and now India’s Royal Enfield is planning to become a truly global player – with the recently revealed 650cc Interceptor and Continental GT being the first of a number of new models expected in coming years.
While the bikes continue to be build at Chennai in India, the new models have been developed at Royal Enfield’s recently opened technology centre at Bruntingthorpe in Leicestershire, where the company has made a massive investment and headhunted key staff from some of the UK’s top automotive manufacturers, not least Triumph.
The Interceptor and Continental GT bring back two of the company’s most famous names. The Interceptor is a classically styled roadster, while the Continental GT features different handlebars, seat and tank to create a café racer styled machine.
While not exactly at the cutting edge of technology, the new air and oil cooled 648cc parallel twins are classic Brit bike designs. The 47bhp unit is all-new and expands Enfield’s range beyond the current single-cylinder models powered by evolutions of the ancient design used in the iconic Bullet, which dates back to the British built bikes of the 1930s.
Production is due to start in 2018 and although the Enfields are likely to remain niche models in Britain, they are likely to garner a large cult following for riders looking for an authentic classic bike with modern brakes, suspension and reliability.
The new Royal Enfields can be seen at Motorcycle Live, which is taking place at Birmingham’s NEC until Sunday.