Royal Enfield Taking On Harley Street With New 650 cc Twin Engine Interceptor And Continental Models

While the 2 new 2018 models are still retro British styling, heart of the new bikes is an all-new air-/oil-cooled 648cc SOHC parallel twin engine. Claimed output is 47 horsepower at 7100 rpm from a classically-styled engine. Unlike the older push-rod singles, this parallel twin is a thoroughly modern unit with four valves per cylinder. The engine is mated to a six speed gearbox and is expected to give the motorcycles a top speed of 160 km/h (100m/h). James Young, head of engine development says that three prototype engine configurations were built and tested before the new 650 went into production, with the 270° crankshaft configuration winning out with the best power curve and usability, as well as sound.

Explaining the inspiration of the new models, Young said, “The original Interceptor was an export model to California. The California style is something I would say the Interceptor embodies.” Similarly, he said the Continental GT keeps deep roots in Royal Enfield’s long history among café racers. Although the bikes share their overall engine/transmission/chassis package, they target 2 different type of clientele. The Interecptor offers a more vertical riding cruising position while the GT Continental offers the classic tucked-in racing attitude. For the Interceptor, rank capacity id 3.6 gallons, 3.3 gallons for the Continental GT. The Interceptor weighs in at 445 pounds, while the GT is slightly lighter at 437 pounds. Both models roll on 2.50 x 18 front (100/90-18 tire) and 3.50 x 18 rear wheel (130/70-18 tire). They use a single 320mm hydraulic disc brake up front and 240mm disc to the rear, and both have ABS. There are three paint options for each model. Royal Enfield.

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14 Responses to “Royal Enfield Taking On Harley Street With New 650 cc Twin Engine Interceptor And Continental Models”


  1. 1 Seymour Nov 15th, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Wasn’t it someone on here a few years back who made a V twin RE. It was very sweet, RE should have gone that route if they wanted to take on HD

  2. 2 Xenu Nov 15th, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Aniket and Carberry both make V twin Bullets, but ths new twin can be be sold in the US.

  3. 3 Tom Ryan Nov 15th, 2017 at 10:58 am

    In the future I can see RE producing 850cc to 1200cc twins to take on the Triumph Bonneville’s etc. which would be great for the North American market.

  4. 4 franco Nov 15th, 2017 at 11:17 am

    So close but….why is the motor a mirror image of the old Interceptor? Shouldn’t the clutch/primary cover be on the left side???

  5. 5 Sharkey Nov 16th, 2017 at 5:54 am

    The Interceptor I remember was the 750. These vaguely resemble that motor, but have the older tank badge (and no chrome tank) I think a 650 is a bit small for the American market, but nice looking bikes

  6. 6 takehikes Nov 16th, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Sweet bikes, taht 650 can easily be taken out to 750 and I bet thats the plan. depending on pricing and build quality they may sell a bunch of them. Very nice looking. See you can build a bike without a foot and a half gap between rear fender and tire and without a beak. Amazing.

  7. 7 HillBilly Jim Nov 16th, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Attn: Milwaukee, you have been out classed in this round. On the flat track Indian kicked your butt. Made in USA is all you have left, be very careful.

  8. 8 Tom Ryan Nov 16th, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    On a further news front, I just read that Mahindra from India purchased the BSA name outright for $4.1 million. I wonder what they’ve got in their future plans? Any of you guy’s remember those neat sounding 3 cylinder BSA Rocket’s from ’69 to ’72?

  9. 9 barneyfife Nov 16th, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    The RE design guys should spend the extra money and produce a tank without the ugly seam. Folks would def pay the extra for the better tank. And it will attract way more customers.

    Turns out Triumph recently did some kind of partnership with RE. Don’t how that may play into the new Interceptors.

    While 650 is okay, I hope they add a bigger engine at some point. Bet they’ll sell like hotcakes because they have classic lines and don’t look like Asian designed alien beaky insects. Sport bikes are ugly.

  10. 10 NoH2Oh Nov 16th, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Not a bad looking bike. If RE can tackle the lack of dealers and perceived quality issues they may have a winner. That tank could lose the seam, however much more $$$ Triumphs still have them.
    I seriously doubt many will cross shop this bike and a Street. At least RE doesn’t gloss over where their bike is manufactured. 😀

  11. 11 barneyfife Nov 16th, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Yeah Trump’s still have them and everyone I know hates the seam.
    RE will def have to up their quality big time.

  12. 12 Badams Nov 17th, 2017 at 2:44 am

    borring product.

  13. 13 Paul d'Orleans Nov 20th, 2017 at 10:59 am

    My Cycle World column this month discussed the Indian (as in India) market: Royal Enfield already produces more motorcycles than H-D, Indian, Triumph, Ducati, BMW, and KTM COMBINED – that’s 800,000 350cc and 500cc Bullets. R-E could buy H-D tomorrow – they’ve already put a bid for over $1Bn for Ducati – or if not them, Mahindra or TVR or Hero could, as they’re much bigger companies, selling Millions of motorcycles/year. Mahindra has already invested over a $Billion in their US subsidiary, and expects to double that within 5 years. I don’t hear about H-D or Polaris investing that kind of money, anywhere; certainly not on their own production line.

    It’s not quite the same story as the Japanese takeover of the industry in the 1960s, because these Indian companies are already far bigger than their American/European rivals. They’ll simply buy the old names and add new technology, and will definitely produce large-capacity bikes for the world market. Why else did they buy the BSA, Peugeot, and Jawa names last year?

  14. 14 nicker Nov 20th, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    love those old brands… keep-em coming……

    -nicker-

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