2019 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650

Back to the future with a classic parallel twin and megaphone exhaust

2019 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650
2019 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650Royal Enfield

Royal Enfield built a number of midsize twins during the 20th century, culminating with the 750 Interceptor of the late 1960s. Unfortunately, the British motorcycle industry wasn’t able to keep up with the manufacturing methods and higher-performing new machines developed during that era by the Japanese, and the company closed its factories in 1970. Present-day Royal Enfield—makers of the vintage-style Classic, Himalayan adventure bike, the retro INT650, and the Continental GT seen here—is a completely different operation based in India as part of the Eicher Motors Limited group. The Continental GT shares its fuel-injected, eight-valve parallel twin with the INT650, a 270-degree crankshaft like that used in the Triumph Bonneville and Yamaha MT-07 churning behind the gleaming aluminum case covers.

Styling recalls café racers of yore, with low-mounted handlebars, a slim saddle (an even sportier single-seat setup is available), and a “breadbox” fuel tank. The steel frame was designed with the help of sportbike chassis experts Harris Performance. Gabriel developed the conventional fork and twin reservoir-equipped shocks, while the ABS-equipped disc brakes are clamped by ByBre (a division of Brembo) calipers. Wire-spoke wheels—with inner tubes!—keep with the classic theme.

Likes: Period styling spot-on, priced for the current market, fun to ride

Dislikes: Accessory solo seat is thinly padded; tubeless rubber, please

Verdict: A modern motorcycle shaped like a classic "ton-up" café racer

2019 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 Reviews And Comparisons

“A continuing obsession with spec-chart numbers or internet rumors often provokes many to write off a particular model without ever having so much as looking at it in the flesh,” Kent Kunitsugu wrote. “And it’s a mistake that some are likely to make with the new 650cc twins from Royal Enfield.”

2019 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 Competition

MSRP for the Continental GT is a buck shy of $6K. Let’s put that in perspective: The air-/oil-cooled twin costs more than a Honda CB300R ($4,649) or a BMW G310GS ($5,795) but less than a Yamaha XSR700 ($8,499) or a 900cc Triumph Street Twin ($9,300).

2019 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 Specifications And Pricing

For 2019, the Continental GT 650 is available in five uniquely named colors: Black Magic ($5,999), Ventura Blue ($5,999), Dr. Mayhem ($6,249), Ice Queen ($6,249), or Mr. Clean ($6,749). A three-year unlimited-mileage warranty—plus roadside assistance—is included with the purchase of any Royal Enfield twin-cylinder model.

Manufacturer Claimed Specifications

Price $5,999
Engine Air-/oil-cooled, SOHC, parallel twin
Displacement 648cc
Bore x Stroke 78.0mm x 67.8mm
Horsepower 47.0 hp @ 7,250 rpm
Torque 38.0 lb.-ft. @ 5,250 rpm
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Chain
Seat Height 31.2 in.
Rake 24.0°
Trail 4.1 in.
Front Suspension 41mm; 4.5-in. travel
Rear Suspension Preload adjustable; 3.5-in. travel
Front Tire 100/90-18
Rear Tire 130/70-18
Fuel Capacity 3.3 gal.
Wheelbase 55.1 in.
Claimed Wet Weight 435 lb.

Cycle World Tested Specifications

Seat Height N/A
Wet Weight 461 lb.
Rear-Wheel Horsepower 44.4 hp @ 6,800 rpm
Rear-Wheel Torque 38.3 lb.-ft. @ 5,100 rpm
0–60 mph N/A
1/4-mile N/A
Braking 30–0 mph N/A
Braking 60–0 mph N/A
2019 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650
2019 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 Right SideRoyal Enfield
2019 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 GT Left Front
2019 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 Left FrontRoyal Enfield