Wednesday, November 8, 2017

New Royal Enfield twins finally revealed

Everything new and exciting in the world of motorcycling seems to get announced at Eicma in Milan these days and so it is with the new Enfields.

The motor as finally announced is a sohc 4 valve 650 twin driving through a six speed box. Enfield seem to have picked up some flak for making it a 'small' engine at 650cc. This seems slightly unfair as it is a classic capacity and there have been some pretty successful bikes the same size in recent years, the SV650 and W650 to name but two. Let's be honest too, bringing a bike out with a slightly smaller capacity is a well used motorcycle manufacturer ruse to increase it later and pad out a few more sales as a result...

Hopefully the W650 is a fair comparison, if the Enfield has the same characteristics then they should be on to a winner. The fear is that with modern emissions regulations and lean burn technology the power is pushed further up the rev range and flexibility suffers - the six speed gearbox suggests this but then again six is a fairly standard number of ratios these days. We'll just have to wait for road tests.

Speaking of power I'm guessing that it will be somewhere in the region of 45 to 50 bhp. It won't set the world on fire but it is enough to be a bit more interesting and should easily propel the new models on at motorway speeds in comfort. Logically the 650 twins should be matched in performance to Moto Guzzi's highly successful V7 range, the market at which the new Enfields are squarely pitched.

The running gear of the new models holds no surprises at all as it is clearly from the Continental GT single - this always seemed to be the plan from the day the Continental GT was launched as the Harris designed chassis could obviously cope with a lot more power than the 535 single was able to deliver.

The models, as demonstrated by the informative (or perhaps annoying depending on your point of view) gif below, are the Continental GT 650 and Interceptor. The Continental GT 650 being the single seater and the Interceptor the one with the pillion.

For a few more details visit the blog where David has posted up more information and where I got the factual details for this article from - thanks David.


  1. I agree that criticism of the displacement seems a bit unfair. The post-war Royal Enfield parallel twins didn't start at 736cc; they were 500cc. The slightly smaller displacement and the much shorter stroke of the new 650 (compared to the original Interceptor) should add reliability and reduce vibration, I'd assume. The (actually) 648cc new Interceptor is only 88cc smaller than the original's 736cc. And it would be nice to think that Enfield can equal the W650 in quality.

    1. Having now seen performance figures I think they should be on to a winner. Peak torque is nicely down the rev range so they should be satisfying machines to ride. By the way no offense intended about the gif, I like it a lot despite a normal aversion to animations!