Royal Enfield launches Continental GT cafe racer

Ride-out of 43 bikes from London's Ace Cafe to Brighton to mark new model

ROYAL Enfield has launched its new Continental GT cafe racer with a 43-bike ride-out from the Ace Cafe in London to Brighton.

The Continental GT is a 535cc single making 29.1bhp and 32.4lbft of torque.

At £5,200 on the road, it could prove tempting to A2 licence holders looking for something different.

Comedian Ross Noble, who joined the ride, said: "Anyone who likes one of those new Nortons but can't afford one could like this."

Royal Enfield says: "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...

"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.

"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."

The ride-out stopped at Brooklands motorsport museum in Weybridge, Surrey, for a presentation from Siddhartha Lal, MD and CEO of Royal Enfield's parent company, Eicher Motors Ltd.

Lal said: “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.”