If you love Motorcycles and riding them often, you will understand how hard it is to sit at the office and spend the entire day viewing the world through the window. That desperate craving to hit the highway and visit a new place, meet new people, have some tea at a road side 'dhabha' and then to come back, only to feel like doing it all over again. Being a motorcyclist, the desire to ride through the mundane daily routine on the motorcycles we dearly love is not just a hobby, it is a matter of keeping our sanity alive.
Thus, you will understand my delight when I found out that I am supposed to ride a Royal Enfield Continental GT and review it . It was supposed to take an entire day of riding and having fun with the Chennai based companies latest offering. Icing on the cake being, all this was to be done on a day when usually I was supposed to be at the office. Today, I was not the viewer of the outside world from my cubicle, today I was on the other side of it, beaming with energy and joy, something only a fellow motorcyclist would be able to truly understand.
Then there it was, when most of the world was starting the dreadful mid week at the office, I was standing close to a bright red Royal Enfield Continental GT, the morning sun was still gearing up for the long day ahead but it did made the chrome parts on the Continental GT shine and dazzle the surroundings. Already covered in the riding gear, I felt like a kid in the candy store. I just wanted to hop on the bike and zoom away leaving the world behind.
The Continental GT is not only the most powerful Royal Enfield in production, but it is also their lightest and the fastest. Royal Enfield has taken its time to make sure that the GT doesn't disappoint on looks front too. In fact, the Continental GT might just well be the most beautiful motorcycle you can buy out there in the market, trust us, just a look at it and you would want to own this beauty. With the simple straight lines and a long narrow tank to a beautifully done meter console housing a white backlit digital meter, the GT just personifies whatever that made the cafe racers such tempting things on 2 wheels.
Continental GT which is the historic brands modern take of the Cafe Racer styled motorcycles that originated in early 60's in Britain. Back in those good old days, where the riders would race from cafe to cafe in stripped down racier versions of their stock bikes, combined with the advent of Rock N Roll, cafe racers, their riders, and their stories were the coolest things of that era. The original Continental GT by Royal Enfield was the companies ode to the cult category, and it was one of the most sought after production cafe racer styled motorcycles in the mid 60's.
I particularly liked how the chrome has not been over done on this bikes design making it look sporty with blackened out meters, while small chrome rings on top make it feel premium. The sporty theme continues on the single seat that shows RE's single minded approach to bring the true blue cafe racer to the country. Though, if you want, you can still get a dual seat assembly as a separate accessory from RE stores.
The chassis has been designed by Harris Performance, UK, and it lends this thing of beauty do stuff with corners no other RE has ever dreamt of doing. With, Upmarket equipment like Pirelli tyres and Brembo discs upfront, aluminium wheels, Paoli rear shocks, this rebirth of the Old legend marks the turn of a new chapter in the history of Royal Enfield.
Engine and Performance -
A bored out unit from the Classic 500 and Thunderbird 500 series, which is the only thing that can be said as not all new on the Continental GT, though it still is considerably modified. The Engine at the heart of GT is now 535cc producing 29.2bhp and a staggering 44Nm torque. Not exactly high revving, the engine peaks out at 5500 but the torque surge throughout the rev range is good enough to propel the bike forward at decent pace.
As against the usual Twin-Spark Technology fitted in the Royal Enfield's, the Continental GT uses the services of only a single spark plug, but since the air intake capacity has been substantially increased due to the all new chassis and overall design, there are just no complaints on the performance front. The ECU has been remapped to provide sportier power delivery while the weight reduction also helps in performance figures. The GT can do speeds upwards of 140Kmph easily.
Ride and Handling -
The forward biased riding position might take a bit longer for most of the people to get used to, and mind you, it might be the lightest Enfield around, but at 184 kilograms, it is still heavy. However, once you get used to the ergos of the bike, it is incredible fun to dive into corners and accelerate out of them on this bike. The thoughtfully designed clip on handle bars, though, not adjustable, fit perfectly to the bikes intentions. They are wide enough to provide enough leverage during direction changes while cornering.
Speaking of cornering, the Continental GT comes alive in hill sections, this bike loves to corner with ample grip provided by the Pirelli Sport Demons and the never ending surge of torque that this bike provides just keeps pulling it further and faster.
The best piece of equipment on the Continental GT is indeed the front brake assembly provided by Brembo. the front brake is a floating disc Brembo with steel breaded lines, and Oh Boy!! the bite that the GT's front brake has, and its ability to shed the speed this RE can carry in straights and in corners is just staggering. We won't think twice before saying that the front brakes of the Continental GT are by far the best brakes on any Indian manufactured bike, ever. Even the ones on the Duke 390 pales in front of the Continental's braking ability.
The suspension is setup towards the stiffer side to enable precise feedback to the rider, though it does make the GT a bit unsettled on rough patches, but overall the ride is what every RE has, stable and assuring.
The Continental GT from Royal Enfield is gorgeous to behold, takes to corners like they are its favourite breakfast, and even after being slightly compromising on riding ergos, the GT can munch miles after miles like any Royal Enfield should. We reckon that it is the best Royal Enfield product till date. On the other hand, The engine could have been more powerful as the chassis can hold a way more power than the bike currently has and the vibration leave you numb fast and for long even after a short spirited run on the bike.
The stock bike comes with the brake and the clutch levers installed at a very strange angle, we would recommend you get them adjusted to your liking before you ride the bike, it goes a great way in ensuring comfort and better control over the bike while riding.
All in all, this is one stunning motorcycle to look at and has a great performance to show up with it too. We would say the Continental GT is worth buying on the basis of how it looks alone, and then when you look at the way she handles corners and pulls like no other RE, the Continental GT suddenly starts to make a brilliant case for itself.
My day ended at a fruitful note, and I realized how this Gorgeous red Continental GT has taken her place inside my heart. It has its own flaws, but the sheer character and soul this bike posseses, is absolutely unmatched in this price range, and in the range beyond.
You can watch our video review below -