CON­TI­NEN­TAL GOES LARGE

750cc Royal En­field Con­ti­nen­tal GT ready for pro­duc­tion

Motorcycle News (UK) - - THIS WEEK - By Jor­dan Gib­bons MCN SE­NIOR REPORTER

Royal En­field’s new par­al­lel-twin en­gine has oc­cu­pied the same ‘worst kept se­cret in mo­tor­cy­cling’ sta­tus as Du­cati’s V4 for some time now. Sid­dhartha Lal, CEO of Royal En­field, has even con­firmed the new en­gine him­self – but this is the first time we’ve seen un­mis­take­ably clear im­ages of it in a bike, and it seems things are shap­ing up nicely.

The bike in the pic­ture ap­pears to be a new ver­sion of the Con­ti­nen­tal GT, fit­ted with the new 750cc par­al­lel-twin. It’s still air-cooled, like the ex­ist­ing 500c sin­gle used in the rest of the En­field range, but with fuel in­jec­tion it should get through Euro4 and still pro­duce a healthy 45-50bhp. In­ter­est­ingly, we’ve heard the bike run­ning here in the UK and the ex­haust note leads us to be­lieve it uses a 270-de­gree firing or­der, to give it a tasty V-twin sound and power de­liv­ery. The other change that some users will no doubt miss is the lack of a kick­starter – even if they would never ac­tu­ally use it bar­ring a dead bat­tery emer­gency.

We were ini­tially led to be­lieve there may have been a tyre size in­crease to go with the in­crease in power but look­ing at this (rather tired) test mule, it ap­pears that is not the case. The wheels have changed though, and the chain drive has swapped sides. The bike also has other tell-tale signs of moder­nity, in­clud­ing ABS.

What still re­mains un­clear is how En­field will price this bike and when it will ap­pear. The firm have tra­di­tion­ally been very price con­scious, largely due to their do­mes­tic mar­ket, but the In­dian mar­ket is chang­ing – even Du­cati are sell­ing well there. That said, we’d ex­pect a sim­i­lar price to the Har­ley Street 750 (£5995), which is also made in In­dia. As for the ‘when?’ ques­tion, En­field have been test­ing this bike for over a year and this test mule is far more ad­vanced than a model MCN spied six months ago – so we ex­pect En­field will un­veil the 750 at EICMA in Novem­ber, with the bike ar­riv­ing in Spring 2018.

The bike is based on the gor­geous Con­ti­nen­tal GT

En­field have cer­tainly been putting in the miles on the 750

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