Cafe Racers were born and brought up at the early 70s in Europe. This was rather a custom made motorcycle, modified from the production models. It was used for street races especially to race between cafes in the expressways. In India, it was an unexplored area until Royal Enfield introduced the very first Cafe Racer in the form of Continental GT in the year 2013. This new Continental GT is based on the old model Continental based on 250cc single cylinder made from the famous Redditch factory of Birminhgam in the 60s.
It was the time, which Royal Enfield has been waiting so long. The introduction of their new engine on a brand new motorcycle. The iconic 350 and 500cc engine were too old to be mounted on this fresh motorcycle.
Therefore, the R&D team of Royal Enfield developed this new 535cc, single cylinder, 4-stroke, air cooled engine with electronic fuel injection. This new mill has been tuned to deliver a maximum power of 29.1 bhp @ 5100 rpm and a peak torque of 44 Nm @ 4000 rpm. Engine is then mated with a 5-speed constant mesh gearbox, which is common to the all 500cc models of RE. The Continental GT is lot more quicker than its near siblings like Classic 500 and the Thunderbird 500. It takes less than 5 seconds to hit 60 kmph mark and within 12 seconds it can clock 100 kmph as well. Overall, it is the quickest and most nicest RE to ride with it.
All Cafe Racers are similar in looks. Take the mighty Thruxton of the Triumph motorcycles. Both looks similar from head to tail. As we mentioned earlier, Cafe Racers were custom made bikes to create a more aggressive riding position by modifying the seat and changing the handlebar. Therefore, it uses the iconic cafe racer styled low-down clip-on handlebars and racer styled humped seats.
The flat single saddle is supportive and wide enough for smooth comfort rides. But it is not meant for long distance rides as the forward leaning may cause back aches. But the usage of vibe dampers on the engine side doesn't suits well enough to the entire looks. The RE engineers had worked a lot to improve the fit and finish of the motorcycle. Therefore, it is the best looking RE in the town. It is available in GT Red, Gt Black and GT Green paint schemes.
Suspension, Chassis and Brakes
Unlike other models, the Continental GT uses double downtube steel frame, which has been designed and perfected from the Harris Engineering works of Hertford. It also helped the motorcycle to reduce some weight, while providing greater strength and well balanced structure. In order to add the premium feel, GT uses Paioli twin gas charged suspension with adjustable preload at the rear having 80 mm of travel. Up front telescopic, 41 mm forks with 110 mm travel is used. The 18-inch Pirelli tyres are icing on the cake. It provides a superior control on the tarmac. The ample stopping power of the motorcycle comes from 300 mm Brembo floating disc and 2-piston Brembo calipers at the front and 240mm disc brake at the rear. Here also the GT toppers its fellow siblings in the braking department with a powerful braking unit.
The Continental GT is happens to be the most advanced, good looking and well engineered RE of recent times. With a price tag of Rs 2.05, it is the most expensive Enfield as well. It has combined some of the best in class features available in the International market. Especially at the suspension and braking department. For the first time RE features Brembo disc brakes and Paioli gas charged suspension in their motorcycle. It also features Pirelli Sport Demon tyres, which is considered to be another plus point to the motorcycle. With all these elements along with the light weight chassis and wheels, it offers a better ride quality. Like every RE, it too disappoints every rider with its unique vibrations and rattles along the high revs. Apart from this, everything is refined and feels fresh in this home made Cafe Racer.