In the late 1960s, a motorcycle design known as the Cafe Racer became popular among several enthusiasts in Europe. The same bike has been reinvented by Royal Enfield of India and will be known as the Royal Enfield Continental GT. Further, the new 500 cc single-cylinder motorcycle has been completely designed in India without any parts from earlier English Cafe Racer models.
Though the new Continental GT has not yet been launched by Royal Enfield yet, it did create a stir at the 2012 New Delhi Auto Expo. Being powered by a 535 cc fuel-injected engine, this motorcycle would generate a maximum power output of 36 bhp along with 45 Nm of peak torque. Interestingly, it is a whole 15 kg lighter than the current Thunderbird 500. It would also have a tubular steel frame with telescopic forks in the front and gas-charged shock absorbers at the back, which is joined to an elliptical tube swing arm. Further, the Royal Enfield Continental GT is expected to come with disc brakes on both wheels.
Royal Enfield has a factory in Chennai that was built in the year 1955, from where several 350 cc motorcycles were built for the police and armed forces. While this was in collaboration with British company Enfield, the UK arm exited from this alliance in 1967. However, the Indian plant continued independently, manufacturing the Bullet 350 cc and 500 cc in the future, getting rights of the full name. These motorcycles are also sold in 20 countries around the world and experts believe the Continental GT has the potential to create the same magic as the earlier models.