How About Racing to the Cafe on a RE Continental GT

 

Royal Enfield launched the Continental GT in UK in September and the India launch is slated for November 26th 2013. Our guess, it should happen alongside Rider Mania event in Goa at the Vegator beach. Royal Enfield Continental GT is primarily a descendent of the famous and many Café Racer motorcycles that are now hand made at the custom chop shops across the globe.

The term café racer originated in the early early 1960s among the British motorcycle enthusiasts specifically the Rocker subculture. Café Racers were the motorcycles that were made for quick rides from one “transport café or coffee bar to another. The goal of many was to be able to reach 100 miles per hour (160 km/h)—called simply “the ton”—along such a route where the rider would leave from a café, race to a predetermined point and back to the café before a single song could play on the jukebox, called record-racing. The Cafe Racer culture was also common in Italy, France and other European countries. It also said that in 1973, Popular Mechanics said the term Café Racer was originally coined as an insult toward riders pretending to be road racers but instead only parked outside cafés.

A typical café racer is a light weight with an engine that has been modified for speed and handling rather than comfort. The bodywork and control layout of a café racer typically mimicked the style of a contemporary Grand Prix road racer, 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-person, elongated, humped seat.

The café racer scene has few common things with the chopper or bobber scene in the USA where riders did not want to use the transportation-oriented motorcycles of the time. Café Racer or the bobber community, took a factory produced motorcycles, removed unnecessary parts and made them loud by removing muffler baffles for freer exhaust flow. The aim was common to both – make the standard factory motorcycles faster and lighter. The Americans preferred a long-low cruiser style  motorcycle for straight line comfort, and the Europeans preferred a nimble and better handling motorcycle suited to the more twisting roads.

In the mid-1970s, riders continued to modify standard production motorcycles into so-called “café racers” and eventually making the café racer style just a styling exercise that served no functional purpose and simply made the bike less comfortable to ride; so the trend quickly waned in popularity, making way for the motorcycles like Panigale, Ninja or the Hayabusa of modern day.

Classic café racer style has made a comeback recently, thanks largely to the increased interest in vintage motorcycles in general. Royal Enfield has brought the Continental GT into market at the right time. We believe in India it will not be another Royal Enfield but “The Café Racer”, starting the culture, the bond, and a lot more. Royal Enfield has already envisioned all this; the motorcycle is accompanied with a range of ‘Burn-up wear’ that includes riding gear, boots, and merchandise.

As part of the promotion, they also organized an 11000 kilometre three rider journey on the Continental GT from Ace Café, London to Madras Café, Tamil Nadu. It spans across continents, cultures, and captures the spirit of motorcycling “Born to Ride, Live free-Ride long”.

Continental GT is a radical motorcycle coming from an Indian company and nothing that comes close to what we call a Royal Enfield. The story of this motorcycle from the concept to the production line and rolling off it is an exciting one. See it for yourself, we think it has been captured beautifully and we would not capture it in words.

This motorcycle features design and parts that we only see on the dream machines like the MotoGP bikes or high end superbikes.

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Brembo Brakes, Pirelli Tyres, Clip-on Handlebars, Side view mirrors Mounted on the sides of the handle bar all with a 535cc Engine with 29.1 BHP @ 5100rpm and not to be missed Retro styled Speedometer  and Tachometer with Keihin Electronic Fuel Injection make it an interesting ride.

The Continental GT’s impressive specifications are:

ENGINE

Type Single Cylinder, 4 stroke, Air cooled
Displacement535 cc 535 cc
Bore x stroke 87mm x 90mm
Compression Ratio 8.5:1
Maximum Power 29.1 bhp (21.4 kW) @ 5100 rpm
Maximum Torque 44 Nm @ 4000 rpm
Ignition System Digital Electronic Ignition
Clutch Wet, multi-plate
Gearbox 5 Speed Constant Mesh
Lubrication Wet sump
Engine Oil 15 W 50 API, SL Grade JASO MA
Fuel Supply Keihin Electronic Fuel Injection
Air Cleaner Paper Element
Engine Start Electric & Kick

BRAKES & TYRES

Front Tyre 100/90-18, 56 H Pirelli Sport Demon
Rear Tyre 130/70-18, 63 H Pirelli Sport Demon
Front Brake Brembo 300mm Floating disc, 2-Piston floating caliper
Rear Brake 240mm Disc, Single piston floating caliper

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase 1360 mm
Ground Clearance 140 mm
Length 2060 mm
Width 760mm ( Without Mirrors)
Height 1070mm ( Without Mirrors)
Seat Height 800 mm
Kerb Weight-(90% Fuel+Oil) 184 Kgs
Fuel Tank Capacity 13.5 Ltrs

CHASSIS & SUSPENSION

Type Twin downtube cradle frame
Front suspension Telescopic, 41mm forks, 110mm travel
Rear suspension Paioli,Twin gas charged shock absorbers with adjustable preload, 80mm travel

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