Royal Enfield Continental GT – A BLAST FROM THE PAST!

“A café racer is a lightweight, lightly powered motorcycle optimized for speed and handling rather than comfort – and for quick rides over short distances. With bodywork and control layout recalling early 1960’s Grand Prix road racing motorcycles, café racers are noted for their visual minimalism, featuring low-mounted handlebars, prominent seat cowling and elongated fuel tank – and frequently knee-grips indented in the fuel tank.

Royal-Enfield-Continental-GT

The term developed among British motorcycle enthusiasts of the early 1960s, specifically the Rocker or “Ton-Up Boys” subculture, where the bikes were used for short, quick rides between cafés – in other words, drinking establishments.”

And Royal Enfield has left no stone unturned in making sure it fits that definition.

This stunning piece of eye candy looks absolutely stunning in the bright set of colors it comes in – Red, Yellow and Black; and looks exactly as if it just popped out of a 70’s automotive magazine. But amazingly though, the engineering that has gone into making the 535 cc. EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) engine is the exact opposite. The dynamic “Butterfly” chasis along with the Brembo disc setup on both the front and back along with braided brake cables work like a charm. And so does the instrument cluster which comes with a digital odometer and trip meter, much unlike other Royal Enfields, except the latest Thunderbird ofcourse.

Its an amazingly nimble and fast machine even though it weighs near about  184 kilos. The motorcycle looks really premium from a distance, but on close inspection, the plastic mudguards on the front and rear along with welding marks throughout the entire chasis really makes you lose the premium feel.

The bike felt really compatible for the highway but on the city roads it felt like a pain in the butt. I’ve made a city ride and review video on the motorcycle which you can see below.

Well if I had to reach a final verdict on this bike, then I’d have to say that one should not buy this motorcycle if they want it for all round use. This definitely isn’t an everyday bike. The price it comes for is also not on the very affordable end; 2.35 lakhs on-road. But for the occasional tourer hiding inside of you which only loves coming out on weekends and holidays, this is the bike that best fits your taste.

Thank you for reading this review. If you like it, please Like, Share and please feel free to drop a comment below. 🙂

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Royal Enfield Himalayan 410: A new breed of Enfield

"RE Himalayan"

The Royal Enfield cult in India is quite prominent on all sorts of streets. Some popular models such as the Classis and the Bullet have achieved stellar success and a lot of popularity. The brand has become quite a foothold in India and has been faring quite well even in the export markets.

The Royal Enfield is currently going through the process of expanding its product portfolio, which could lead to a considerable boost in sales in both domestic and export markets.
The latest addition to the Enfield family was the all-new Continental GT 535 Café Racer that was launched in 2013. Although the Royal Enfield does not really have an exciting new product set out to an aggressive sales in 2015. But, the year 2016 could be a game changer for the brand. The motorcycle manufacturer has from a grapevine perspective quite likely to debut two new motorcycles. First off, the Himalayan Scrambler that is under development for quite sometime now has various spy shots floating rapidly across the Internet. These test mules indicate the approach of the new and exciting production version of the Himalayan.
Going to the Himalayas on an Enfield is pretty much a rider’s fantasy in India. The trend has shifted onto Thai borders these days after the announcement of the new highway connecting India and Thailand. The upcoming Himalayan motorcycle should help tour plenty of travel crazed riders.

Here is a preview on the Royal Enfield Himalayan motorcycle:
Design:
From a design standpoint, the upcoming Royal Enfield Himalayan 410 cc scrambler seems to be an adventure bike along with a few off-road capabilities. The upcoming Royal Enfield Himalayan 410cc scrambler will feature a GT525-like front mudguard, spoke wheels, disc brakes with steel braided brake lines, black-painted engine, raised handlebar, an ever-so-slightly upswept exhaust, round-shaped headlight and round-shaped rear view mirrors. The latest pictures reveal an almost production ready model which highlights certain Scrambler like features of the bike. The fuel tank of the Himalayan also seems to get a style statement.

"RE Himalayan"
Image Source: indianautosblog.com

Engine & Performance:
The new Himalayan Motorcycle is said to come with a ingle cylinder 410 cc engine that may produce around 28-32 BHP of power and 40-44 NM of maximum torque. The new engine line of the Royal Enfield is said to be more efficient than the existing series, making way for new products with higher power values, leading to a really tough competition for other manufacturers.
It is said that the motorcycle might get 2-engine options- a 750 cc twin cylinder and a 410 cc unit. Both these engine options considering a whooping 500 crore investment by Enfield should pretty soon join the company’s assembly line.
Brakes and Suspension:

"Royal Enfield himalayan"
Image Source: gaadiwaadi.com

The Himalayan seems to have off-roading capabilities as well. Hence, the braking has to be rigid enough to withstand and put a leash on any obstacle. The braking on the Himalyan is handled by a double disc arrangement that comes with a larger disc on the front and a smaller one at the rear. Never before has a mono-shock been spotted on an Enfield bike. However, Royal Enfield seems to have an open mind in terms of adopting new technology by keeping its vintage essence. The telescopic forks along with the combination of rough tires should be a healthy combination that should touch the heart of an explorer.

Expected Ex-showroom Price:

Conquering a rough terrain or a humongous mountain in the North on two wheels is certainly a challenging task. That is one of the most primary reasons for any rider to opt for a Royal Enfield motorcycle. That said, even from a service standpoint, RE has better service accessibility than other brands. This seems to be a logical reason for RE to have built a motorcycle built especially for the riders and their journey towards Himalayas.

Officials at Royal Enfield claim that : “The management has decided that the Himalayan will not be priced above the psychological barrier of Rs 2 lakh, because once that is crossed, customers do not hesitate to move on to products which are priced even at the Rs 3 lakh or Rs 3.75-4 lakh range. Royal Enfield bikes have been selling in large volumes and the management is very clear that the Himalayan should attract customers like the way all Royal Enfield motorcycles do. So the price will be very competitive

The Royal Enfield Himalayan adventure motorcycle is most likely going to touch showrooms in November 2015. The final price is yet to be decided, but it is expected that the Himalayan will be priced between Rs 1.65 lakh and Rs 1.85 lakh, he said.

Bottom Line:
If properly marketed and if the right message goes out loud and clear to riders all across the country, RE Himalayan is going to break any sales record. November isn’t too far, so lets keep our hopes and wallets ready for something different.

P.S: The Images  displayed above are tentative. The production version of the himalayan might be different.

FaceOff: New Bajaj Avenger Street Vs Royal Enfield Classic 350

"RE Classic 350"

Any layman’s answer when asked about a few bike manufacturers will certainly have the inclusions of names such as Bajaj and Royal Enfield. The reason for this is fairly simple. With millions upon millions of riders flooding the streets everyday, it is quite obvious for anybody to remember these names.

The bike manufacturers have already created a mighty spark in the market and in order to retain their credibility, they are taking efforts to push design, aesthetics and features to unchartered boundaries.

Bajaj is a home bred player with a very strong presence pan India. The bikes manufactured by Bajaj are built for riders ranging from pretty much all walks of life. The company had recently announced the launch of the new Bajaj Avenger Street, a cruising segment bike that has gone through various structural and engine changes. This bike is likely to be launched anytime in the market, with the bike already reaching some dealerships.

Royal Enfield on the other end is built for those who like to consume a mighty chunk of adventure. The bikes from RE are a tad on the higher side in comparison with Bajaj. However, the biking enthusiasts look beyond the pricing barriers to own the Enfield. You’d know an Enfield just by the sound of it and what better way to rumble on Indian roads than cruising on the Enfield Classic 350.

For those who think that budget is no constraint but confusion sets your decisions ablaze, here is a comparison between the Bajaj Avenger Street and the Royal Enfield Classic 350.

P.s you are welcome 🙂

Design:

The Bajaj Avenger Street seems to have adapted plenty of design cues from its cousin; the Avenger cruiser. The Street comes with an all-black treatment and contains very less chrome. The looks are appreciation worthy for sure.

Combining the design aesthetics with Bajaj’s frugal way of going easy on your pocket is a great way of promoting the brand name. Further more, you can be assured of a great sales network and reputation. However pragmatic the arguments between Bajaj’s Avenger Street and the Enfield Classic, it is surely a tough decision to choose one bike over the other. The Avenger has a telescopic front suspension, Hydraulic Shock Absorber as the rear suspension. The bike has Tube type Unidirectional – 90 / 90 x 17″ front tires and Tube type Unidirectional – 130 / 90 x 15″ rear tires. The braking on this bike consists of Disc, Dia. 260 mm front and Drum, Dia. 130 mm rear brakes.

"Bajaj vs Enfield"
Image Source: www.zigwheels.com

The Royal Enfield Classic 350 comes with a timeless design that looks recognizable in a crowd. The bike, since its inception has gone through minor changes but managed to retain the same design.

A Royal Enfield biker, supposedly a macho guy who knows no limits and boundaries seems oblivious to other bikes and seems to have focus towards what’s between his legs 😛

The classic 350 has Telescopic, 35mm forks, 130 mm travel front suspension accompanied by Twin gas charged shock absorbers with 5-step adjustable preload, 80mm travel rear suspension. The bike has 90/90 – 19 front tire and 110/90 – 18 rear tire. Braking is handled by 280mm Disc, 2-Piston caliper front and 153mm Drum, Single Lead Internal Expanding rear brakes.

Technical prowess set aside, the RE brand is gaining immense popularity with each passing day. The sales are proof of the brand’s popularity and the Classic 350 doesn’t seem to have even a dent in terms of sales in comparison with the Avenger.

Engine & Mileage:

The Bajaj Avenger Street comes with a 219.8 cc, 4-stroke, single cylinder, DTS-i, air-cooled engine. The engine produces 19.03 Bhp of power @ 8400 Rpm. With a top speed of 120 kmph, the bike produces 17.5 Nm of torque @ 7000 Rpm. This bike accelerates from 0 to 60 kmph in just 5.2 seconds. In terms of mileage, the Avenger Street delivers an average of 35-40 kmpl mileage.

"Bajaj Avenger 220 Street"
Image Source: www.motoroids.com

The Royal Enfield Classic 350 on the other hand is powered by a 346 cc, Single Cylinder, 4 stroke, Twin spark engine. The engine produces19.8 bhp @ 5250 rpm. In terms of torque, the RE Classic 350 produces 28 Nm of torque @ 4000 rpm. With a top speed of 130 kmph, the bikes goes from 0 to 60 in 8 seconds. In terms of mileage, this bike averages a mileage from 40 to 45 kmpl.

"RE Classic 350"
Image Source: royalenfield.com

The Bajaj Avenger seems to have an advantage over the initial speed with its comparatively light body. The RE Classic on the other hand delivers better mileage and gains better speed eventually on the roads.

Price:

In terms of Ex-showroom pricing, the Bajaj Avenger Street out performs the Classic 350. The Avenger is priced at Rs. 80,800/- (Ex-showroom) that beats the likes of Rs. 1,25,000/- (Ex-showroom) for the Classic 350. That said, if price isn’t a constraint, the classic 350 has arguably better performance and power over its competing counterpart.

Maintenance:

Price is just the first hurdle of the journey. The Maintenance of a bike is the main vacuum lightening your pocket. The Avenger Street comes with excellent build quality.  In terms of sales and service network, this brand maintains its frugality and provides maintenance free rides that is certainly a delight.

Royal Enfield on the other hand have had their notorious attitude for quite sometime. Sadly, the service standard is pretty dodgy. With the launch of new and improved Twin spark units, the niggles cannot be overruled. Royal Enfields have been quite maintenance hungry machines and this certainly leaves behind a remark on the brand’s reputation.

They look muscular and suitable for machos, but these supposed robust bikes have been notorious for their build quality. No matter how devoted a RE enthusiast is, for the price they pay, there is always an expectation of a better build quality that is missing.

 

Verdict

It shouldn’t come as a surprise if you’ve limited your options to these two bikes and there is wee-bit of confusion. If you’re on the lookout for performance, reliability that go in sync with low maintenance and overall a less price, Bajaj Avenger is the right ride for you.

But, of you are an RE motor head and feel that the other bikes have a superfluous influence on the RE, this leisure befriending bike should offer you a steady cruise over your jaunty journey.