Hyderabad: Today I bring to you two exciting Indian-made motorcycles, which at the moment are the most affordable 650cc machines in the market. No prizes for guessing, I’m talking about the 2021 Royal Enfield 650 Twins – Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650.
The 650 Twins get their first update this year after getting the BS VI compliant engines. Jumping right into the numbers, both the motorcycles come with the same 648 cc air-cooled parallel twin cylinder engine mated to a 6-speed gearbox, churning out 47 horsepower at 7150 RPM and maximum of 52 Nm torque at 5250 RPM.
While the build quality on both the bikes is top-notch, the oomph factor of both the motorcycles is quite high given the new colour schemes they are launched in. Both the motorcycles have great road presence, but having ridden both extensively, I must say that the Continental GT is quite a headturner. The Interceptor on the other hand is a rider’s delight as it roars through traffic making style statements.
Coming to the performance, both the motorcycles are made for some real-world fun. They may not be coming with the most attractive numbers on the charts in the segment, but trust me, they make use of each and every bit of what they have, making them zippy. The throttle response on these bikes is on point and they deliver extremely well when called up on. The gearing, I feel, could be smoother on both motorcycles as I have faced the issue of false neutrals in traffic.
Handling these bikes, given their kerb weights (202kilos – Interceptor & 198 kilos Continental GT) might seem nightmarish for some, but I promise you’ll be surprised to learn how nimble the RE Twins. Both have an amazing centre of gravity and make you feel planted throughout the ride, parking in tight spaces however is a bit of a hassle. The Bosch ABS system complements the set up perfectly further improving the braking.
Not the strongest suit of the Twins, especially when the fuel prices are sky rocketing, the Continental GT has a claimed mileage of 27 kmpl and the Interceptor 650 has a claimed mileage of 25 kmpl.
Your back and hips are the happiest while riding these motorcycles as the suspension set up is neither too soft nor is it too stiff and so are the seats. But the Continental GT 650 cafe-racer with its aggressive stance with the clip-on handles and the rear-set footpegs will take some getting used to. Bottomline is the Twins are swift, powerful and great fun to ride, but remember – Keep the rubber side down!