We visited India’s party capital to hoon about on the new Royal Enfield 650 Interceptor and Continental GT. Here’s how they performed under the scorching Goan sun
Story: Harket Suchde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar & Royal Enfield
Royal Enfield have been living a bit of a charmed life for the past six to seven years. The brand has seen a sudden and unexpected renaissance that has seen it become a must-have for any Indian rider who wants to stand out. Having an RE, I’m told by ardent Bulleteers, means you’re a real biker. It means that you have a warrior’s soul and a wanderer’s spirit. It means that you can take on all challenges, summit all passes and do it all with pride, panache, and bravado. It means that petrol and testosterone run through your veins, that you drink engine oil and eat sheet metal, and spit out torques. It means, apparently, that you are unequivocally the most badass individual on the road and the whole world knows it.
Now, while all this is a matter of preference and perspective, it seems that this particular brand of Royal Enfield fanboys (few though they are) care more about abstract platitudes and intangible attributes than about the bikes themselves and what they bring to the table. They wear their hearts on their sleeves and proudly so. Well, I don’t.
I like my bikes to be fast, to handle well, to shed speed with alacrity when required, and to be able to sustain triple-digit speeds without rattling me to the core of my bones. No amount of attitude and “feel” can compensate for this in my book and I’m very happy with this state of mind, thank you very much. So, when I read the resounding praise the new Royal Enfield Twins received from the Ed in the previous issue, I became curious. Very, very, curious with, maybe, even a dash of optimism. And then the rumours of sub-Rs-3-lakh expected price started swirling and I sat up bolt straight, ears perked, eyes wide and thought to myself, ‘This… this could be RE’s Freddie Mercury at Live Aid ’85 moment.’