In the past few years, Royal Enfield has given us many breakthrough products like the Himalayan and the 650 twins for instance. 5 years back, who would have thought that RE would turn itself into a revolutionary bikemaker and it was almost unimaginable to see a Royal Enfield setting some hot laps around a racetrack but here we are! Royal Enfield recently announced Continental GT Cup 2021 – a unique retro track-racing initiative. And this initiative, the bikemaker has converted a slew of Continental GT 650s into proper race machines!
The Continental GT 650, even in its stock form, is more dynamically able than the Interceptor 650 but the race-spec GT-R650 is a different animal altogether! Let’s take a detailed look at all the changes it has over the stock retro-beauty it is based upon:
The stock suspension of the Continental GT 650 might be a good balance between comfort and riding dynamics but when it comes to riding it around a racetrack, the setup required some tuning and RE has provided the GT-R650 with just that! The GT-R650 boasts of a stiffer race-tuned suspension, both front and rear, for enhanced handling at higher speeds.
Even the stock Continental GT 650 features clip-on handlebars and rear-set footpegs as compared to the Interceptor 650 but RE has upped the ante with the GT-R650 as lowered race clip-on handlebars have been added along with rear-set footpegs for a race tuck, enhancing rider aerodynamics and enabling higher lean angles.
We have already seen countless custom examples of modified GT 650s with race fairing slapped on its minimalistic bodywork and we have loved them all! Royal Enfield too, has gone ahead and included a specially designed fairing and belly pan that provides greater aerodynamics and gives the GT-R650 its quintessential retro racer look.
Weight reduction, bro!
The stock Continental GT 650 tips the scale at a hefty 198 kilograms but RE has paid special attention when it comes to weight reduction. The GT-R650 has been made lighter by 24 kgs by keeping only the essentials required for racing. The GT-R650 still does weigh around 174 kg but it remains to be seen how well it masks its weight around bends.
The stock exhaust has been replaced with a bespoke stainless steel full system exhaust that is tuned to give 12% more power. The stock motorcycle puts around 47hp at the crank so we can expect the GT-R650 to develop a few more ponies and cross the 50hp figure with ease. Courtesy of better aerodynamics and more performance on tap, the GT-R650 could also attain higher top speed. Apart from being faster, it will also be more aurally pleasing at full chat with its twin-cylinder mill singing a glorious song.
The motorcycle will be equipped with soft compound race tyres by JK Tyres to ensure enhanced grip & braking while offering better cornering speed & feedback.