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2013 Royal Enfield Continental GT first impressions

Shubhabrata Marmar  | Updated: September 10, 2013, 04:02 PM IST

We've just been out for a quick ride on the Royal Enfield Continental GT, the cafe racer that Bulleteers have been keeping their eyes peeled for. Here are a few initial impressions that we have of the motorcycle:

The GT gets aluminium rims and optional rear-view mirrors mounted at the bar end.The GT gets aluminium rims and optional rear-view mirrors mounted at the bar end.

Styling: The Continental GT looks like a very neat motorcycle. The exterior is well-finished and the bike manages to hold quite true to cafe racers of the Sixties, in terms of details and overall looks as well. In that sense the motorcycle has a very strong visual appeal. In its entirety, the motorcycle is honest and stays true to the original. The GT gets aluminium rims and optional rear-view mirrors mounted at the bar end. In India, customers will get the conventional handle bar mounted mirrors.

Engine: While we only rode the Continental GT for a short while, and didn't get the opportunity to open the engine up properly, we can safely say that it is the best breathing Royal Enfield so far. When you pick up revs, some vibrations do filter through. However, at the speeds of 60 to 70kmph that we were doing, we thought it was quite stable and posed no problems at all.

 The Continental GT has a heavy sporty feel to it, and in that sense it feels like an old British motorcycleThe Continental GT has a heavy sporty feel to it, and in that sense it feels like an old British motorcycle

Ride quality: The ride is a little on the stiff side. The Continental GT has a heavy sporty feel to it, and in that sense it feels like an old British motorcycle. However, it feels like a fine-tuned version of an old British bike, and that's something that we quite like. Add to that the fact that the fit and finish is good, and the Continental GT makes for a good package overall. Of course, we're basing this on our ride in the United Kingdom, but we'll only get a proper idea of what it feels like on Indian roads once we get to ride it in India.

The new Continental GT and the 196os GT250The new Continental GT and the 196os GT250

Handling: Given that the Continental GT is a rather long motorcycle, it feels exactly like that. Of course, that isn't a problem though. We didn't get to ride the motorcycle through corners, but we're sure it won't be a problem and that it holds promise. We rode the single-seater version of the bike, which means the handlebar is further away than we're used to, but it seems natural rather than painful and doesn't really take too much effort to ride. What was an effort, though, was the clutch pull that we noticed in heavy traffic.

Verdict: We don't know whether the Royal Enfield Continental GT will convert non-Bulleteers into Bulleteers, but one thing is for sure - existing Royal Enfield customers will be thrilled with this offering.

A more comprehensive review of the motorcycle will follow soon. Watch this space!

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