|STEALING THE SHOW
New Delhi, Sept. 1: Royal Enfield is set to bring in the Continental GT Café Racer motorcycle in October — a year-and- a-half after it was unveiled in the Auto Expo last year here.
The 535cc Café Racer will debut in the UK this month.
Royal Enfield has been selling the Café Racer in the UK, US and other foreign markets except India.
Café Racer is customised to amplify the speed of the bike through changes made in the design and engine. The concept originated in Europe and its coinage can be traced back to a practice among British motorcycle enthusiasts who raced from one cafe to another.
These motorcycles were the first of the original sports bikes featuring an elongated fuel tank, often with dents to allow the rider’s knees to grip the tank, low slung racing handlebars and a single, rearward mounted humped seat.
Enfield has already started manufacturing the bike at its Oragadam facility and plans to raise its total motorcycle production by over 40 per cent next year to 2.5 lakh units from an expected 1.76 lakh units this year.
“The Continental GT will be launched in the UK in September. This is a product for the global audience and is one of the big steps we are taking to be a global player in the mid-sized segment,” Eicher Motors managing director and CEO Siddhartha Lal had said. Eicher is the owner of Royal Enfield.
According to officials at Royal Enfield, the Continental GT will be the company’s fastest motorcycle. “It has been built around a lightweight, double cradle frame that has helped us to drastically lighten the vehicle and give it a minimalistic, bare but extremely stylish feel similar to the Café Racer bikes. It will be 15kg lighter than our Thunderbird 500,” a senior official of the company said.
Industry insiders said the bike was likely to be priced below Rs 2.5 lakh to attract customers. It will compete with the Honda CBR 250, KTM Duke 390 and the Hyosung ST7 cruiser.
Sources said the company planned to sell a host of accessories common to Café Racer bikes and an exclusive apparel line after the launch.