In its most ambitious foray yet, home-grown cruiser bike maker Royal Enfield on Wednesday launched the Interceptor twins in the North American markets at $5999-6749 (Rs 4.2-4.7 lakh).
Powered by a twin cylinder 650cc engines, the Continental GT 650 Twin and the Interceptor IN T 650 Twin are the most powerful and also most expensive mobikes made by Enfield till date. Its existing line-up consists of nine bikes powered by engines that range from 350-500cc and priced between Rs 1.2-2.2 lakh. With the twins, the company that calls itself the global leader in mid-size motorcycle segment, is aiming higher into segments and markets where global heavyweights like Harley Davidson and Triumph motorcycles rule the roost.
The Interceptor INT 650 twin is priced at $5799 while the Continental GT 650 Twin is priced at $5999 for the Standard colourways in North America. The Custom and Chrome colourways are be priced at $5999 and $6499 for the Interceptor INT 650 and at $6249 and $6749 for the Continental GT 650 respectively. The common 650cc engine develops 47 horsepower and 52 Newton metres of torque at 2500rpm.
Harley Davidson's entry level bike in the US, the Street 500 is priced at $6,899 while the Street 750 that the Enfield's twins would compete with directly is available for upwards of $7,599.
"We have had an amazing journey at Royal Enfield over the last decade, growing from sales of around 50,000 motorcycles in 2010 to over 820,000 motorcycles in 2017," said Siddhartha Lal, CEO, Royal Enfield. "This unprecedented growth is a result of our focus on making simple, deeply engaging, beautiful motorcycles, that are modern at the core, and building a thriving ecosystem of personal journeys and expressions around them. We are delighted with how the Interceptor INT 650 and the Continental GT 650 have turned out. The Twins are our first truly global line of products and will play a very strategic role in ushering the next set of Royal Enfield owners across the world"
These are the first twin cylinder motorcycles to be produced by Royal Enfield since 1970. The company first made a twin cylinder bike back in 1948 that evolved into its famed high-performance models, the Meteor, Super Meteor and, ultimately, the original Interceptor of 1960.
Sold mainly in the U.S.A and Canada, the 700 Interceptor and its 750cc successors quickly became part of California's sun-drenched culture, serving as two-wheeled expressions of fun, excitement, freedom and optimism in the form of fast and stylish road bikes and as competition machines that enjoyed huge success in scrambles, desert races and flat track events. Back then, the company was starkly different from what it is today.
Despite their links to the past, the Continental GT 650 and Interceptor INT 650 are entirely new motorcycles from the ground up, developed jointly by Royal Enfield's development teams located both in India and at its state-of-the-art technical centre at Bruntingthorpe in UK. The motorcycles -- the Continental GT 650, a sporty cafe racer, and the Interceptor INT 650, a stylish roadster -- combine classic looks with carefully considered engineering that has resulted in a brace of machines with a common engine that will inspire confidence in new riders as much as they will satisfy the expectations of more experienced motorcyclists.
"In India, we have over three million Royal Enfield customers of the 350cc and 500cc motorcycles, who have been waiting for the next expression of the pure, simple and fun motorcycling," said Rudratej Singh, President, Royal Enfield. "In international markets the twins will play a strategic role not just for us but for the industry to expand the mid-weight segment and invite new users into the category. We expect the Interceptor INT 650 and the Continental GT 650 to represent the perfect opportunity to upgrade commuters in South East Asia and Latin America, as well as expand the motorcycling segment in USA and Europe."