Is a sportier-looking Royal Enfield Continental GT 650-R cafe racer on the way?

A sportier bikini-faired, cowl-nosed version of the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 cafe racer is spied amid talk it will debut with range facelift

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Another week, another rumour of a potential new Royal Enfield that may be coming our way after some curious spy shots emerged online appearing to show a bikini-faired Royal Enfield Continental GT 650.

Regular visitors to Visordown will have noticed that the Indian company has been ramping up a significant new model drive in the last 18 months or so, kicking off with the Meteor 350, which has risen to the top of the sales charts in India and even the UK.

Since then, Royal Enfield's new 350 platform has also borne the Classic 350 and the Hunter 350, while a fourth iteration - the Bullet 350 - is on its way in the coming months.

We’ve also had the Scram 411 - a Scrambler version of the Himalayan adventure motorcycle - while the 650 twin architecture will also be used for two all-new models in the Super Meteor 650 cruiser and the Shotgun 650 bobber over the coming months.

This flurry of new activity means the current stalwarts at the head of Royal Enfield’s range - the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 - are beginning to age by comparison.

As such, with so many new models due between now and when Royal Enfield gets back around to overhauling these models, which have been on sale since 2018, there is talk that it might inject some fresh interest with the development of a so-called ‘GT 650-R’ or GT-R 650 variant.

The speculation has been motivated by a spy shot on RushLane that appears to show a prototype model on the road wearing a full cowled cafe racer fairing.

With its lower clip-on handlebars and more poised riding position, the Continental GT is already classified as a cafe racer. However, it does so without the more obvious tell-tale feature of a curved front fascia - otherwise known as a bikini fairing - as worn by models like the Kawasaki Z900 RS Cafe and MV Agusta Superveloce 800.

This is despite this style of model actually being in existence and built in limited numbers for those competing in the one-make Royal Enfield Continental GT Cup. Originating in India, the Cup now also takes place in France, with plans to expand to holding championships in the United States and Europe too.

While the bikini fairing is only partially visible in these images taken from the rear-quarter, a closer inspection shows remote adjustable rear shock absorbers, suggesting it is a machine designed for use on track, as well as road.

While this could be a race bike being transported via the road, given the expansion of the Cup and talk of a facelift for the Continental GT and Interceptor models arising soon, a Royal Enfield Continental GT 650-R flagship would be the perfect way to secure some headlines for the refreshed range.