Lighter, faster and more powerful are words you expect to hear at the launch of a new Japanese sportsbike, not the plodding Royal Enfield.
However, the former British and now Indian motorcycle company has added a Continental GT to its range. See it in action here.
It will be officially launched today (September 11) at the legendary Ace Cafe in London, home of the cafe racer.
The new Royal Enfield won’t be out of place either, as the new model features a bigger barrel for a larger 535cc displacement.
They claim it is the most powerful and lightest bike in their line-up.
The four-stroke, air-cooled single also has revised fuel mapping and a bigger throttle body.
Together with a lower weight, the GT is now capable of a top speed close to 140km/h.
The retro cafe racer is built at the new factory in Oragadam, near Chennai.
Although it is launched in the UK, it will be launched in India next month and then make its way down to Australia.
The Continental GT 535 has a long and chiseled tank, clip-on handlebars, chrome headlight, Monza style fuel cap, wire wheels, single seat, rear-set footpegs and bar-end mirrors like a cafe racer.
Handling has been improved with the addition of a new double cradle frame, Paioli gas-charged shock absorbers and grippy tyres. It also gets decent Brembo front brakes.
It seems strange to talk about a Royal Enfield in such racy terms, especially I’ve just been watching a motorcycle travel DVD featuring many of their plodding bikes in their natural habitat of India.
The company claims to be the oldest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, starting in 1890 in Worcester.
The British company was dissolved in 1971 and the Indian company which had been making bikes under licence since 1956 bought the Royal Enfield name in 1995.
In Australia, the Bullet Deluxe is listed at $7995 (plus on-road costs) and the Classic at $8495, so the GT should come in under $10,000.
Royal Enfield GT
Engine: air-cooled, 353cc, 4-stroke single
Bore x stroke: 87 x 90mm
Power: 21.4kW @ 5100rpm
Torque: 44NM @ 4000rpm
Transmission:5-speed, wet clutch, chain drive