CONTINENTAL GOES LARGE
750cc Royal Enfield Continental GT ready for production
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.