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Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 2020 Review - Prices, Specs, Variants, Features and Mileage

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Bike Reviews

By Tijo Tenson - Content Writer Feb 17 2020 Share this blog

This is the second attempt for Royal Enfield at providing a cafe racer for the masses. The first one was with Continental GT 535 which didn't fare out so well due to its contradicting character. The chassis was well overcompensating for the underwhelming powerhouse. RE decided to go back to the drawing table and now have finally come out with a worthy bike for its “cafe racer” tag.

Continental GT 650 fits right into the shoes and boy does it look gorgeous. The combination of Royal Enfield’s very first 650cc parallel-twin engine with a very involving riding position makes way for a wholesome riding experience that will leave a mark. It is powered by the same engine as in the Interceptor 650 and is also tuned in the same curve. It pumps out an impressive 46.8 bhp of power and 53 Nm of torque with no vibrations! This committed offering takes the fight to the likes of the orange pocket rocket and BMW G310R.

Pros

  • Vibration-free engine!

  • Crisp and precise engine-gearbox combo

  • Insane value for money proposition

  • Gives a proper Grant Touring vibe; which the GT 535 couldn’t achieve

  • Fantastic looking bike

Cons

  • Aggressive riding stance for commutes

  • Hazy rider’s triangle

  • Imbalanced suspension setup(soft front + stiff rear)

  • The digital fuel meter cannot be relied upon

What’s New

  • A 650cc parallel-twin offering from RE; for the first time!

  • New Dual-tone colour options

  • BS6 norms compliant

What characters does the all-new power source uphold in GT 650?

How well do the parallel-twin engine balance performance and mileage in Continental GT 650?

The 648cc parallel-twin engine used in Continental GT 650 is a first from Royal Enfield and we must say, they have aced it with this one. It is crisp and devoid of vibrations(Yes! In a Royal Enfield) and has a meaty mid-range. You will instantly fall in love with the way this engine behaves. The power and torque come in linearly and thus gives you ample time to prepare for the rush. The air-oil cooled setup helps in maintaining the optimum temperature of the GT which translates to fatigue-free performance.

Despite being a 650cc motorcycle, it doesn’t take the fight to other 650cc offerings, but with the likes of 390 Duke and BMW G310R. RE’s decision to go with a toned-down performance curve helps it extract commendable mileage figures which are surprising for a 650cc motor. The close to 200 kg kerb weight is also another factor that should be kept in mind while evaluating its efficiency. The fuel tank is small with 12.5 litres and doesn't go with its tag of a “Grand Touring” machine

Motorcycle

Royal Enfield Continental GT 650

KTM 390 Duke(BS6)

BMW G310R

Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)

Rs. 2,71,674

Rs. 2,48,000

Rs. 2,99,000

Engine 

648cc Parallel-twin air-oil cooled SOHC engine

373.3cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled DOHC engine

313cc single-cylinder water-cooled DOHC engine

Power 

46.8 bhp

@ 7150 RPM

42.9 bhp

@ 9000 RPM

33.52 bhp

@ 9500 RPM

Torque

52 Nm

@ 5250 RPM

37 Nm

@ 7000 RPM

28 Nm

@ 7500 RPM

Fueling

Fuel Injection

Fuel Injection

Fuel Injection

ARAI Mileage figure(kmpl)

25.0

23.0

37.39

Fuel tank capacity(Litres)

12.5

13.4

11.0

Continental GT’s sober performance figures as compared to its 50cc pot are what makes it a direct rival to the likes of the Orange Rocket and the single-cylinder beamer. The RE surely has an edge over the competition in terms of performance figures, but the kerb weight steals this edge away from it thus making it much slower than it actually could have been.


How calm and composed is the acceleration in GT 650?

Acceleration is linear in the Continental GT and Royal Enfield has gone forth with a flat curve for both the torque and power which makes it very beginner-friendly; but trust us, with the amount of weight it carries, it is no beginner’s play! But RE has tuned it well to make it easy for newbies to master it.

Despite having close to 200 kg of kerb weight, the Continental GT 650 still manages a swift 100 kmph run in under 7 seconds. Top speed is capped at 161 kmph but the cafe racer loses its composure after 140 kmph. The sweet spot is confined to 90-120 kmph and you will not get weary of it. It can eat up the tarmac like a breeze but the aggressive seating position is a bummer, which is why RE has another trick up its sleeve; the Interceptor 650.

Motorcycle

Royal Enfield Continental GT 650

KTM 390 Duke(BS6)

BMW G310R

Transmission

6-Speed

6-Speed

6-Speed

0-100 kmph

6.54 s

5.7 s

7.47 s

Top Speed(kmph)

161

167

143

KTM 390 Duke comes a close second in top speed run but is the quickest to cross the 100 kmph mark due to its insane power to weight ratio. Beamer comes in at last due to the performance handicap as compared to the other two but still maintains a commendable record. This is an interesting comparison as each bike among the three have varying character which leaves less of common ground among them.


How are the brakes able to do an impressive job with the almost 200 kg bike?

The brakes are very impressive in this Enfield and do a clean job of bringing this heavy machine to stop without a fuss. RE has clipped on discs on both ends which are from bybre and have ample of bite to induce confidence while riding.

The dual-channel ABS unit is well-versed and comes into play at the slightest hint of lockage. There is no unnatural intervention which would hamper riding dynamics but you tend to lose confidence at high speeds, not due to the brakes, but because of the weight, it carries.

Motorcycle

Royal Enfield Continental GT 650

KTM 390 Duke(BS6)

BMW G310R

Front / Rear

Disc/Disc

Disc/Disc

Disc/Disc

Front Rotor Size(mm)

320

320

300

Rear Rotor Size(mm)

240

230

240

80-0 kmph(m)

29.80

29.78

32.45

ABS (Single or Dual Channel)

Dual-Channel

Dual-Channel

Dual-Channel

The competition has an advantage here despite having an overall smaller setup due to its drastically less kerb weight which in turn helps in providing a better braking experience but RE is not inferior. It is just the tinge of doubt that comes in at high speeds which is absent in the other two. 

How does the GT carry itself around and, is comfort commuter-friendly?

The Continental GT 650 will bring a wide grin on your face when you take on those curves. The bike is stable and has a low centre of gravity which helps you enjoy the backroads to the maximum. The suspension setup, however, makes it a mixed bag due to the soft-stiff combo. The front telescopic setup is too soft and would bottom out in a deep pothole and the rear suspension is stiff which makes it an internal fight! The Pirelli Phantom Sportcomp tyres are specially made for the Continental GT 650 which in turn enhances the riding experience.

Riding comfort is good for a 650 cc motorcycle. The seat is long and has enough clearance for the rider to move about freely. But it will be a bit narrow for the likes of some riders and is not exactly a long-distance companion. The riding stance is aggressive and you sit tucked in at all times. Short riders will have a hard time clinging their thighs onto the tank, as it is positioned high up and so there are high chances of burning your legs. The stance is perfect for people above 170 cm and these riders won’t have a hard time adjusting.

Motorcycle

Royal Enfield Continental GT 650

KTM 390 Duke(BS6)

BMW G310R

Chassis 

Steel tubular double cradle

Steel trellis

Tubular spaceframe

Tyre-Wheel Size(Front)

100/90-18

110/70-17

110/70-17

Tyre-Wheel Size(Rear)

130/70-18

150/60-17

150/60-17

Front Suspension

Telescopic front forks

WP open cartridge Upside Down forks

Upside down forks

Rear Suspension

5-Stage Adjustable

Twin-coil overs 

WP mono-shock

Cast aluminium dual swing arm spring preload-adjustable

Seat height(mm)

793

820

785

Ground Clearance (mm)

174.0

178.5

165.0

Kerb Weight(kg)

198

170

158.5

Starting System

Self

Self

Self

The catch of Continental GT 650 is its kerb weight which will be a test of your riding skills mostly on tight turf. On the highways, it helps the bike be as stable as possible. The GT is not a nimble mover as compared to the orange rocket and beamer. It takes its own sweet time to change directions and doesn’t hesitate in doing so. You will just have to adapt to its calm nature.

How retro does the new Continental GT 650 look?

Royal Enfield has delivered a proper cafe racer with the Continental GT 650. It just looks dead gorgeous, and in those unique dual-tone shades, the bike is a sucker for attention. RE didn’t overdo it and the minimal bodywork is also done tastefully to flaunt this cafe racer build. The clip-on handlebars give it an aggressive stance and the standalone headlamp casing is one of the few retro touches.

Engine and the exhaust system is laden with chrome that adds to its classic look. The spoke rims flaunt either blacked outlook or its raw aluminium look as per the colour combination. The seat is long and thin and has textured embroidery on it which adds to the premium look. RE didn't go for LED lighting but stuck to halogen lamps to uphold its classic touch.


Aesthetic Features

  • Dual-tone colours

  • Chrome laden components including engine and mufflers

  • Tubeless tyres with spoke rims

  • Clip-on handlebars

  • Pattern stitched leather seat

Motorcycle

Royal Enfield Continental GT 650

KTM 390 Duke(BS6)

BMW G310R

Length (mm)

2122

2145

2005

Width (mm)

1024

760

820

Height(mm)

744

830

1080

Wheelbase(mm)

1398

1340

1374

GT 650 is the longest of the lot and its street presence cannot go unnoticed. Unlike the KTM 390 Duke and BMW G310R in which the engine is well wrapped in the trellis frame, Continental GT 650 has it the other way round. The engine is its biggest component and it bulges out in every direction possible which makes it the dominating component.

What are the various safety and class-leading features available?

Safety is backed up with a dual-channel ABS unit which helps maintain control of the bike without locking the wheels. The air-oil cooled setup makes sure that the engine runs at its optimum which also adds to the safety. There aren't many safety features on this cafe racer and that isn’t bad as it handles situations well even without it. RE has also added in a slipper clutch to aid in riding.

The 650cc pot is an all-new unit from Royal Enfield which makes it a bold offering from the maker. The instrument cluster is basic with two dials, one for the speedometer and the other for the RPM-meter. A digital MID is present in conjunction with the speedometer but it is still basic and only provides with the fuel meter and varying distance meters. The digital fuel gauge cannot be trusted as it tends to act up weirdly.

Motorcycle

Royal Enfield Continental GT 650

KTM 390 Duke(BS6)

BMW G310R

Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)

Rs. 2,71,674

Rs. 2,48,000

Rs. 2,99,000

Features

Clip-on handlebars

WP sourced suspension setup

Upside down forks


Quick-release seat

Up-down quickshifter

Saddle stays


Piggybank gas chambers for the rear suspension

lightweight

Add-on touring accessories


Twin exhaust setup

Triple clamp handlebar

Under-belly cowl

KTM 390 Duke is the most jam-packed one of the lot when it comes to safety and features. It gets a full LED colour instrument cluster that is the window to any adjustments in the bike. Along with slipper clutch, it also gets up-down quick shifter and Anti-wheelie control with its ABS. Beamer is a bit sober as compared to the KTM but is well ahead of the cafe racer in terms of features.

How does the Competition stack up against this cafe racer?

Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 vs KTM 390 Duke

KTM changed the definition of motorcycling in India with the launch of its pocket rocket, the 390 Duke. It triumphs over the competition with insane power to weight ratio which many automakers are still struggling to achieve. The only common factor which both these bikes have is the price tag it carries. Other than that, both are opposite poles that cater to completely different types of riders. If you are the type of person who likes to stay on top the adrenaline rush, then the orange pocket rocket is the one for you, else if you are the person who likes to take life slow and enjoy the slow increase in the RPM gauge, the cafe racer will befit you perfectly.


Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 vs BMW G310R

BMW wants to have a piece of the most heated two-wheeler segment of India with the G310R. But the fact that it has a single-cylinder with an asking price of Rs.3 lakh makes it a tough nut to crack. Continental GT is Rs. 20,000 less and has an extra cylinder which instantly wins us over. It has more power and provides a demanding street presence. The GT is our go-to bike here.

What has Royal Enfield finally achieved with the GT 650?

Royal Enfield has got everything right which they wanted to achieve with the Continental GT 535. The parallel-twin 650cc motor is an energetic one and is worth every rupee you pay thus providing an insane value for money proposition. No vibrations and an involving riding make you look at it with awe even at the nth time! Royal Enfield has finally achieved the experience makes it the epitome of Royal Enfield motorcycles. It packs a torquey punch and will quintessentially cafe racer than ticks all of the boxes and puts a smile on the rider’s face.