ROYAL ENFIELD RE-IGNITES MID-SIZE MOTORCYCLING WITH THE NEW CONTINENTAL GT CAFE RACER

In a post-performance era where consumers are increasingly looking for authentic, evocative and uncomplicated motorcycles, Royal Enfield introduces the Continental GT – a motorcycle that perfects the essential elements of the most influential idea in motorcycling history – café racing. The Continental GT brings the core idea of the rocker sub-culture from the 1960s roaring into the 21st century with a motorcycle that is nimble with a lot of useable power and torque – one that is outstanding fun to ride at regular road going speeds.

“The Continental GT is inspired by the café racers of the 1960s in its form and in its simplicity; and it captures the feeling of freedom, fun and responsiveness that riders were trying to achieve then and brings it into the modern context. We use traditional craftsmanship and modern technology as a means to achieving the perfect balance between the rider, machine and terrain. It is the lightest, fastest, most powerful Royal Enfield in production, and it is possibly the most engaging mid-size motorcycle out there.” said Mr. Siddhartha Lal, Managing Director and CEO, Eicher Motors Limited (the parent company of Royal Enfield).

At the heart of the Continental GT is the tried-and-tested single-cylinder air-cooled Unit Construction Engine (UCE) which has been upgraded to 535cc with a re-mapped ECU and lower inertia to deliver that extra punch and responsiveness that is so essential to the café racer character.

Royal Enfield's new Continental GT Cafe Racer

Royal Enfield’s new Continental GT Cafe Racer

The rest of the motorcycle has been designed afresh ground-up. Years of development went into creating the razor sharp handling and superior rigidity on the new Continental GT; also the ride is super smooth across most road conditions and the motorcycle responds naturally and instantaneously to the rider’s body. Royal Enfield worked closely with Harris Performance to create the new chassis which delivers this authentic café racer ride and handling via a nimble double cradle frame as well as new 41mm front forks and twin gas- charged Paioli rear shockers. The Pirelli Sport Demon tyres provide excellent grip, and the Brembo brakes give outstanding response and stopping distance to this meticulously designed motorcycle.

As a result, according to the test riders who put the Continental GT through its paces around various types of roads and at classic tracks such as the Castle Combe Circuit in Wiltshire, the motorcycle remained true to its glorious café racer roots and delivers a thrilling ride. It is built for burn-ups.

The café racers of the 1960s and Royal Enfield’s own 1965 Continental GT in particular were the main design inspiration for this motorcycle. It has a stretched out low-profile fuel tank with knee recesses for the authentic period café racer look and is finished in the signature GT red. Style meets functionality when genuine clip-on bars conspire with the flat sculpted racing seat with contrast stitching and bump stop along with rearset foldable footrests to urge the rider to tuck his elbows in neatly and get into a sporty yet ergonomic position for spirited riding. Trimmed front and rear mudguards add to the clean lines of the Continental GT and an upswept exhaust

allow more ground clearance when cornering at speed. Royal Enfield worked closely with Xenophya Design of UK to get the overall look and proportions just right and to ensure that each detail on this motorcycle is well crafted so that it will become a modern classic in its own right.

“In a world that is increasingly looking at reviving the mood of romantic and free spirited optimism of the swinging ‘60s, the 2013 Continental GT evokes a sense of nostalgia,” said Mr. Lal. “It is built to be an involving motorcycle, one that insists on being ridden frequently. It is a no-nonsense bike that is easy to maintain and own, and one that turns heads without exception. Novices and veteran riders will appreciate the complete control of this bike; the experience of the Continental GT is pure motorcycling at its best, much like in the heydays of café racing,” he added.

Complementing the Continental GT is a range of ‘Burn-up Wear’ – well-crafted, meticulously-detailed, purpose built motorcycling clothing and accessories. This line has been crafted from Royal Enfield rider experiences, in collaboration with veterans of riding apparel. The detailing is a nod to classic motorcycling clothing. Each article has heritage you can see and performance that you can’t do without.

Leading the pack is a textile riding jacket with CE approved removable protectors, high visibility reflective piping, removable winter liners and ventilation. Additionally, the GT Brando Leather Jacket is inspired by heritage styling but with thoughtful and helpful features for present day riders. There is also a special edition co-branded leather jacket designed by the iconic Lewis Leathers based on their Lightning series. Durability, safety and comfort are the hallmark of our half-face AGV helmets featuring stunning Royal Enfield vintage graphics and insignia. Bringing up the rear are Ton-up T-shirts, Continental GT T-shirts and pit shirts that are high on style but low on maintenance.

The Continental GT range also includes a line of all-weather ankle length shoes that combine contemporary style with signature racing features. Long and short leather riding gloves are beautifully constructed and wear well. High abrasion resistant riding trousers have removable hip and knee protectors to complete the Continental GT range of apparels and accessories.

The Continental GT is also a reflection of Royal Enfield’s growing ambition to become a global leader in the mid-size motorcycle segment. Currently under-served with respect to simple and evocative products in a post-performance era, the mid-size motorcycle segment represents an enormous growth opportunity for the brand.

“As we aim to become a global leader in the mid-size motorcycle market, the all-new Continental GT is the right product at the right time with interest in café racers rising across the world,” said Mr. Lal. “We are confident that with this product we will create a new segment in mid-size motorcycling, with bikes that are holistic in their approach, and are great fun to ride in cities and on B-roads and adequately adept for motorways too.”

Every Continental GT will roll out of Royal Enfield’s state-of-the art new manufacturing facility in Oragadam near Chennai (Madras) which became   operational in April 2013. With the surge in demand for Royal Enfield motorcycles in recent years, the overall production capacity has been increased to 175,000 motorcycles for 2013 and 250,000 motorcycles in 2014. The new facility has been designed with a master plan that allows Royal Enfield to scale production capacity to 500,000 motorcycles in the future. Royal Enfield’s new plant has also been benchmarked to achieve the highest level of quality and productivity.

The 2013 Continental GT is a machine with a story, a nod to motorcycling’s finest hour and the best expression of a cultural phenomenon that has simply refused to fade away – the café racer.

To find out more about the Continental GT Cafe Racer or indeed any aspect of owning a Royal Enfield, please visit their website at www.royalenfield.com

{lang: 'en-GB'}