At last a Royal Enfield of my dreams.. the "Continental GT" Cafe Racer..!!
Nothing could be more Retro and cool at the same time than the "Continental GT" Café Racer model that Royal Enfield has shown at the 2012 AutoExpo..!!
The anticipated Café Racer model from Royal Enfield was displayed at the 2012 Auto Expo. Royal Enfield did show a Café Racer concept at the last 2010 AutoExpo, but that was quite clearly just a concept based on the current “Bullet” chassis.
This Royal Enfield promises to graduate you into a mature yet cool biker dude amidst a sea of plastic bikes/bikers..
But the Café Racer displayed during this AutoExpo is based on a completely new chassis. The finishing and detailing on the display bike suggests that it is almost production ready..!!
What is a Café Racer? In short, it is a classic/retro bike born out of the retro/classic road bikes of the 1960’s which back in those “Black & White” days days were used for racing on the European freeways by making customizations/modifications.
The signature Café Racer (modifications) stying elements are:
- An elongated and flat fuel tank
- A small humped (single) seat
- Low and narrow handlebars (2 piece clip ons or short one piece handlebars called "clubman")
- Rear set foot pegs
These modifications allowed the rider to to "tuck in" to reduce wind resistance. The bikes had a raw, lean and stripped-down look. These motorcycles were lean, light and handled road surfaces well.
Royal Enfield “Continental GT” Café Racer:
Styling: The Royal Enfield Café Racer shown at the AutoExpo has “Continental GT” pasted on its tank. The elongated flat fuel tank & single humped seat is authentic Café Racer styling. The handlebars are "two piece clip ons" which is low set. And of course it also gets rearset foot pegs.
With other details on the bike like the switchgear, twin pod instrument cluster, new sporty looking exhaust and the rear view mirrors which are attached to the handlebars in a novel fashion, this Royal Enfield promises to graduate you into a mature yet cool biker dude amidst a sea of plastic bikes/bikers.
Engine: The Single Cylinder lump looks to have been carried over from the current UCE platform. Details of the engine regarding its capacity, power, torque etc. are not yet official.
But one can see the Fuel Injector lines on the engine, therefore its probably safe to assume that the “Continental GT” Café Racer from Royal Enfield would get the 500 cc, Fuel Injected engine that does duty on the Classic 500 model. With minimalist/stripped down body, we can expect the kerb weight on this bike to come down.
Totally new Chassis & Suspension: The bike features an all new and first for Royal Enfield “Double downtube + Double cradle” frame which is a departure from the traditional “Single downtube + Engine as a stressed member” frame of the current Bullet, Classic and Thunderbird models of Royal Enfield.
With an all new chassis, plus a new swingarm, rear suspension (the bike at the show had Ohlins Gas filled rear shock absorbers), rear disc brakes and probably redesigned front forks as well we should expect the “Continental GT” to handle like a Classic Sports Bike..!!
Launch Dates: There has been no official announcement made yet but the Royal Enfield officials that were present at the Expo did mention that we can expect a launch date somewhere in 2013 in India.
The “Classic” model was developed primarily for the export markets. Royal Enfield never imagined that its Classic range of models would become a huge success in India. But to everyone’s sweet surprise the Classic enjoy a 8-10 month waiting list in India. History could repeat itself in India with the “Continental GT” Café Racer. I am sure that in export markets this model would be received very well, but I am get this premonition that it might become another Royal Enfield success story in India as well.
The Café Racer from Royal Enfield has become latest my dream bike (which is within reach for a middle class Indian ) and I have made up my mind to get one after a few years.. just let me enjoy my “Plastic Bikes” a little bit longer..
Photos Credit (Posted with permission): Bobby Roy
- What is a Cafe Racer Motorcycle? [Jan 2011]
- Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 unveiled @ 2012 AutoExpo [Jan 2012]
- Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 captured by Bobby Roy @ 2012 AutoExpo [Jan 2012]
This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.