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Royal Enfield launches Interceptor, Continental GT 650 in India

The two motorcycles were unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle show in Italy's Milan.

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The two motorcycles were unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle show in Italy's Milan on November 7, 2017. Wikimedia Commons
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The Royal Enfield on Sunday unveiled its much-awaited Interceptor GT 650 and Continental GT 650 in front of hundreds of bike enthusiasts at its annual rider mania here.
Both the motorcycles are powered by an all-new 650cc, air-cooled parallel twin engines with an oil cooler for enhanced performance. The fuel injected motor claims to deliver 47PS of power at 7,100rpm and a peak torque of 52Nm at 4,000rpm.
The two motorcycles were unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle show in Italy’s Milan on November 7, 2017.
The engines have a strong low and mid-range performance, retaining the Royal Enfield character of accessible torque through the rev range.
Also new to the Interceptor is the six-speed gearbox, specially developed for this motorcycle.
The gearbox is augmented by its ‘slip/assist’ clutch that facilitates easy riding in traffic with a light feel and prevents wheel-hop when downshifting gears – also a first for Royal Enfield.
The chassis has been developed from the ground up by the team at Royal Enfield’s UK Technology Centre and Harris Performance.
It has been engineered and fine-tuned for enhanced agility that can handle different terrains and speeds with ease while retaining the period classic style.
The Interceptor INT 650 ushers in the idea of the 1960’s fun, relaxed motorcycles from the sun-drenched California beaches.
With its classic tear-drop shaped fuel-tank, quilted twin-seat and distinctive wide braced handlebars, the Interceptor INT 650 looks every bit the stunning Roadster that it is.
The motorcycle is equipped with classic 18″ front and rear Pirelli tyres and twin shock absorbers, along with front and rear disc brakes with ABS.
While, the Continental GT 650 is a cafe-racer and looks almost identical to the existing Continental GT 535 as it retains the same headlamp, fuel tank and many other elements from its sibling while the rear has gone through some changes along with the new dual side exhaust muffler.
Speaking after unveiling the new motorcycles, Royal Enfield CEO and MD Siddharth Lal said: “Both the Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650 will be very accessible motorcycles in India in terms of both pricing and maintenance.”
He said that with the two new motorcycles, the company wants to upgrade their 2.5 million customers in India who wants more from the Royal Enfield.
He also said that the new motorcycles will be available in the showrooms by March or April. Without announcing the prices of the new motorcycles, Lal hinted that it would be priced between Rs 3 lakh and 3.5 lakh. (IANS)
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India-Based Royal Enfield Expects To Dominate The U.S. Markets

Harley has been the historical market leader in the heavyweight motorcycle space in the United States.

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Royal Enfield, India, Motorcycle
Royal Enfield motorcycles are displayed at Royal Enfield's flagship shore in Bangkok, Thailand. VOA

India-based motorcycle brand Royal Enfield expects sales in its new North American business to almost triple this year and is aiming to dominate the market for middleweight bikes into which Harley-Davidson Inc has just shifted in a bid to revive sales.

Enfield, originally a classic UK brand but manufactured by India’s Eicher Motors Ltd in southern India since the early 1970s, has thwarted Harley’s efforts to make inroads in India, the world’s biggest two-wheeler market with some 17 million in sales annually.

Both companies are dwarfed in the lightweight categories by India’s Hero Motor Corp, Japan’s Honda and Bajaj Auto , and so far Enfield’s presence outside India in the more specialized market in medium-sized and large cruisers has been minimal.

India
Motorcycles being unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle show in Italy’s Milan on November 7, 2017. Wikimedia Commons

Its arrival in North America three years ago signaled another headache for Harley, although sales of its iconic “Bullet” and “Classic” motorcycles have been stuck in the hundreds.

Based in Milwaukee, also the home town of Harley, Enfield sold between 700 and 800 motorcycles in the year ended March, and expects to sell nearly 2,000 in the current fiscal year, according to its North America president, Rod Copes.

“Our goal, over the next three to five and 10 years, is to be the largest middleweight motorcycle player, not just globally but also in North America. We want to get up to, where we are selling more than 10,000 to 15,000 motorcycles a year,” Copes told Reuters.

The bikemaker has been able to capitalize on demand by helping younger riders own a cruiser bike, along the lines of Harley’s but at a more affordable price point

India
Harley-Davidson Inc has just shifted in a bid to revive sales. Flickr

Enfield bikes come with a starting price tag of $4,000, which will rise to the $8,000 range following its new launches early next year. Harley’s entry level bike prices start at $6,899 and go up to $43,889.

“The U.S. motorcycle market is flipped upside down and the only segment that is growing is the middle-weight. I think we are beginning to see a little bit of a trend and a change in the industry itself, away from maybe the bigger, the better to smaller is funner,” Copes added.

Harley has been the historical market leader in the heavyweight motorcycle space in the United States and has been expanding into the middleweight motorcycle market with the launch of Street 500, Street 750 and the Street Rod range.

Also Read: 10 Money Saving Tips For Buying Bike Insurance This Diwali

While Harley’s shipments have been dropping in the United States as its mainstay customer base is aging, it still managed to ship 144,893 motorcycles in the United States in fiscal 2017, according to its annual SEC filing.

The company does not break down those numbers into bike categories but analysts say almost all of those were heavyweight cruisers. (VOA)