CHENNAI, India - Chennai-based motorcycle manufacturer Royal Enfield launched the 650 Twins, Interceptor and Continental GT back in 2018 at a compelling price point. Either classic middleweight motorcycle was updated to BS6 emission norms earlier this year.
With the 650 Twins, Royal Enfield has made a strong statement in new markets across the world. Besides regular buyers, Royal Enfield's parallel-twin range is also considered as an efficient yet accessible platform for customisation. We have shared multiple custom examples of the 650 Twins (especially the Interceptor 650) that strike an optimal balance between form and function. Certain builds that are not the most practical (such as the Royal Enfield Kamala) have set a high benchmark for attention to detail.
One of the main selling points of Royal Enfield's twin-cylinder portfolio is the extreme value for money offered in comparison to a popular European or Japanese alternative coming in the middleweight category. If we take the UK market, Royal Enfield (originally a British brand) has received good response for the Interceptor right from the start.
In fact, the modern classic has become the top-selling motorcycle in the United Kingdom as of June 2020. Last year, the title went to BMW Motorrad's R 1250 GS litre-class adventure motorcycle which hit 188 units. This also gives an insight into how European two-wheeler markets are different from ours - which is dominated by mass-volume products.
At a sales figure of 196 units (a fraction of its Indian sales), the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 also became the second-bestselling two-wheeler in the UK, losing the first position to Honda's popular scooter offering, PCX 125 (445 units sold in May 2020). Meanwhile, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) had showcased its all-electric variant earlier this year.
Both the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 are powered by a 648cc SOHC air/oil-cooled twin-cylinder engine good for 47bhp @ 7,100rpm and 52Nm @ 5,200rpm. This is mated to a 6-speed transmission via a slipper clutch. They have no direct rivals on the Indian market thanks to such brilliant pricing. However, HMSI is planning to launch the Honda CMX500 Rebel twin-cylinder cruiser in the near future.
Royal Enfield is actively working on the next-gen 'UCE 350' single-cylinder range that starts with the Meteor 350 (replacement to the Thunderbird and ThunderbirdX), followed by the Hunter. Both models occasionally reach the internet in test mule formats via random spy shots. The company discontinued its 'UCE 500' line ahead of BS6 emission norms.