2019 Royal Enfield Twins Review: Pure Fun On An Honest, Approachable Middleweight Moto

In an industry where a lot of motorcycle manufacturers take their brands a little too seriously, Royal Enfield is a refreshing exception. It’s certainly cares about its heritage as much as the next century-old outfit, but it’s doing a nice job using that past to move into the future, starting with a crack at the mysterious middleweight moto segment.

I think the motorcycle world is in a really good place right now, with a lot of great bikes on the market in just about every segment. But middleweights have been mostly missing from the picture - and what am I talking about when I say "middleweight," anyway? If you ask 10 different motorcycle manufacturers to define "middleweight," you'll likely get 10 different answers. Some think the classification runs all the way up to a 1200cc cruiser; Royal Enfield pegs it at anything with an engine displacement between 250cc and 750cc. Sounds about right, so let's run with that.

Looking around, there are only a few genuine middleweight bikes on the market based on this definition, like the Honda Rebel, the universally-loved Suzuki SV650 naked bike, and sportbikes in that engine range. But with the retro-modern craze that’s been sweeping the industry, why hasn’t anyone made twin-cylinder, middleweight standard bikes combining old-school styling and modern engineering?

Enter the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and the RE Continental GT 650 into a market with no direct competitors. The company recently invited The Drive out to sunny California to test the new twins on some truly incredible roads, and it was a refreshing experience that reminded me why I fell in love with motorcycling. But before we get too mushy, let's cover the brass tacks.

A Clean Sheet Design

Royal Enfield did a lot more than just stuff a new engine into the chassis of a Classic 500 to create the Interceptor and Continental GT. These twins have a unique design with an all-new chassis and engine built just for these bikes. Yes, there’s already a single-cylinder Continental GT 535, but I was told that that bike only shares seven components with its new twin-cylinder counterpart.

The engine is a 648cc parallel-twin engine with a 270-degree crank angle that gives it its characteristically delightful burbling sound. It’s air cooled in an effort to keep it simple and authentic to the brand’s identity. But don’t be fooled—that simplicity masks modern perks like fuel injection and four valves per cylinder. The result is 47 horsepower and 38 lb-ft of torque.

This was the first time I’ve really questioned whether the stated power and torque ratings were really accurate on a review. From behind the handlebars of these bikes, it feels like a hell of a lot more than 47 horsepower. Then again, that could be related to the fairly low curb weights of 435 pounds for the GT and 444 lbs for the Interceptor (the latter has a center stand that adds a few pounds).

Source : https://www.thedrive.com/motorcycles/23884/2019-royal-enfield-twins-review-sensible-middleweight-motorcycles-for-a-new-generation-of-riders

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