Introduced at EICMA and now recently announced for the North American Market, the all-new Royal Enfield Interceptor and Continental GT cafe racer could be the budget-alternatives the vintage-style market has been looking for.
The two new bikes come with a brand new air-cooled 648cc parallel twin-engine, good for 47 horsepower and 38 ft-lbs of torque. They’re not exactly performance figures that will set your hair on fire, but depending on what price tags Royal Enfield sets, these bikes could still turn out to be bargains. I say could because even at $5,999, the smaller, older 535cc Continental GT felt overpriced for what it was when it debuted.
It’s no secret that the bikes Royal Enfield have brought to North American shores frecently have struggled to compete on quality and performance, but there is one tactic they could use to fight back: drop the price. The Continental GT and Interceptor aren’t complicated machines — there’s no traction control, ride modes, or high-tech gauge display. They’re air-cooled with fuel injection and ABS being the most technological features. And that’s not a knock against them, but the tactic for these bikes to succeed needs to be Royal Enfield owning that minimalist, analog, rudimentary style. The more affordable price point and low-maintenance nature will also attract new and younger buyers, which are the most valuable customers to the entire motorcycle industry, no matter what brand is concerned.
According to some sources, the 650cc engine bikes will cost around $4,500-$5,250, but in India, where they are built. If the price on our shores is similar, the undercut on the rest of the market would be a serious advantage and the leg up Royal Enfield needs.