Royal Enfield has announced a return to middleweight parallel twin engines, which will power two motorcycles for 2018. The British Indian manufacturer has revealed the new Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650, which naturally come with vintage styling and technological simplicity.
The new engine shared between the 2018 Interceptor and Continental GT is a 648cc SOHC parallel twin that is air and oil-cooled — fuel injected and mated to a 6-speed transmission. Although it’s only rated to make 47 PS at 7,100 rpm and 52 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm; one does not buy an RE bike for big speed. The brand’s enthusiasts value old school vibrations, sturdy metal, and weighty nostalgia over modern performance.
The Interceptor name should sound familiar with Enfield fans, as its heritage speaks to the Royal Enfield Interceptor of the 1960s. Back then, the Interceptor came with 692cc and 736cc parallel twin engines. For 2018, the Interceptor name returns with the new 648cc engine — mounted on a steel double cradle frame. Royal Enfield has engineered this new twin to sound more like a V-twin, due to its 270-degree firing order.
The 2018 Interceptor 650 gets conventional 41 mm front forks and twin rear shocks. Its 18-inch, wire-spoke wheels are slowed by a 320 mm front disc and a 240 mm rear unit; ABS comes standard. Seat height measures at 804 mm, fuel capacity at 13.7 L, and curb weight at 202 kg. Next year, this standard roadster will be sold in three color schemes: Orange Crush, Ravishing Red, and Silver Spectre.
Royal Enfield also upgrades the brand’s flagship café racer, the Continental GT. The British original was produced in the ‘60s with a 250cc engine, while the Indian revival in 2013 used a 535cc thumper. The 2018 version comes with the new 650cc twin available, also found in the Interceptor 650. Suspension setup, rake angle, brakes, and ABS also seem to be shared.
The 2018 Continental GT however comes with a sportier stance, but interestingly gets a lower seat height measuring at 790 mm (solo seat) and 793 mm (dual seat). Fuel capacity measures at 12.5 L, and curb weight at 198 kg. It will be sold in three color schemes: Ice Queen, Sea Nymph, and Black Magic.