The Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 is a looker even in factory-fresh form. But the folks at the factory wanted to bring something more apt for the Bike Shed festival which was held last year and among the three machines they got along was a Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 custom race bike which won pretty much every race in which it participated.
Eager to know more, the Bike Shed Motorcycle Club invited RE’s chassis development rider Paul Young and Lester Harris from Harris Performance to Brands Hatch, with a track-ready Royal Enfield which wears a full fairing which has been sprayed in blood-red.
Following the road bike’s ‘Easy to ride’ appeal, the track version follows the same philosophy and the motor still displaces 650cc, running standard pistons. To up the output, they haven’t increased the bore. Instead, they got in a high-lift cam and ported the cylinder head for the new fitment. The cat-con has been removed from the exhaust pipes which appear to be standard. The result of all that is a 15-17 hp gain in comparison to the road bike’s engine output.
To make the bike behave on track, it has been fitted with 18″ wheels, wrapped in classic racing rubber, where the rear is a slightly wider 150 section tyre. As is visible, the bike runs an Ohlins suspension setup at both ends and four-pot Brembo calipers to make it stop in time. Overall, it looks great just standing still and the fact that it’s faster than the stock bike makes us wonder if RE should introduce a kit like this for customers or maybe start a GT cup as discussed in the video. Watch it and do listen to the legendary Lester Harris for some great insights about chassis development and how do they go about it.
Coming back to their production bikes, a slew of new-gen 350cc bikes are in the pipeline and the first among these machines to be introduced will be the Meteor 350. Powered by the new-gen UCE350 motor, the Thunderbird X replacement will carry modern equipment too in the form of a Bluetooth-enabled semi-digital meter and an improved clutch and gearbox.