Racing On A Royal Enfield – RE Continental GT-R650
We go racing on a Royal Enfield flagship motorcycle, a race-spec version of it, the Continental GT-R650
Racing is the ultimate expression of freedom, with a Royal Enfield it’s historic as well as bewildering
Racing in the 70s was something that I never experienced but the images and some videos and movies were enough to tell me it was exhausting yet exhilarating. People used to race Royal Enfield motorcycles back in the time but for me, it was like a silly notion as the RE motorcycles nowadays were just for touring or commuting. As Royal Enfield announced the GT Cup with their flagship motorcycle, the Continental GT 650, it was something to look out for and I did!
If you’ve seen the video above except for the part of shooting the tracking, I’ve shot the whole thing on my own while experiencing what the motorcycle is all about. One might say, all vloggers do it but I am no vlogger and it takes some effort while it is a little raw. That said the new motorcycle is raw too as there’s literally no extra electronics while the weight drop of 25 kgs makes a lot of difference. The majority of the weight has come down only by changing the exhausts as they contributed to almost being 20 kgs! While still at 180 kgs the motorcycle is fairly heavy for the racetrack, it was the new layout of the Kari Motor Speedway.
The track is now much longer with flowing corners yet it is still as technical as it can be. There are technically more than 3 chicanes and there is so much more time the motorcycle is leaning than going straight. To get a hold of that on a Royal Enfield is difficult, but the balance between the chassis and the updated suspension setup with grippier tyres made it a piece of cake. Although after the first session of 15 minutes, I clocked 8 complete laps and it was just so much demanding. The participants who were actually racing the motorcycle were going all guns blazing and improving their time after every session. This meant, understanding the new GT-R650 would take time and it definitely would be worth it.
Out of the 2 days of experience, there’s one thing I can take back that the Continental GT-R650 is a rather simpler motorcycle. No electronics, sharper handling characteristics, old-school styling and a purpose-built engine. There were changes to the dynamics of the motorcycle but the heart of the matter remained as it was. There was literally no change to the 650cc parallel-twin motor apart from the exhaust. This meant that the engine RE has created for the twins is so potent that one could actually take out the full potential and find even more from it!