Launched in India late last year, the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 twins didn’t waste any time in climbing up the top of sales chart in the medium displacement motorcycle segment.
A very tempting price-to-displacement ratio and excellent retro-classic styling sealed the deal for most prospective buyers. Now, an uncamouflaged example of Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 has been spotted with red license plates.
The image was clicked by automotive enthusiast Ram Shankar. After having a little chat with the Royal Enfield test rider, it was confirmed that the RE 650 test mule was the BS6 version. 2020 Royal Enfield 650 BS6 is expected to launch later this year, or early next year.
Though the BS6 update provides opportunity for other improvements, we think Royal Enfield is quite happy with the customer response and hence is not likely to fiddle with the package. As evident from the spy photo, there are no noticeable visual changes except a slight extrusion of the exhaust tip on the twin canisters and a longer body-colored pillion seat cover (likely to be offered as an accessory).
The 648 cc twin-cylinder air/oil-cooled engine may have a vintage appeal but the internals are all modern and it wouldn’t take much to upgrade it to the stricter emission standards. We reckon an engine remap alone should do the trick but there could also be minor tweaks to the cylinder head.
In its current state of tune, the two-pot motor develops 47 bhp and 52 Nm of torque. We expect the output figures of the BS6 version to be in the same ball park. The 6-speed gearbox is likely to be retained without any changes. And it goes without saying that the Interceptor 650 will receive the same updates.
Royal Enfield is currently in the process of updating its entire portfolio to BS6 emission standards which are set to kick in from 1st April, 2020. The 350 family of motorcycles will graduate to next generation, supported by a new modular J platform which includes improved frame, new engine and transmission, additional features, and noticeable change in styling. The test mules have already started testing on public roads.
We expect the new range of Royal Enfield motorcycles to be ready before the BS6 deadline (1st April 2020). The new generation models are likely to be unveiled on the sidelines of Auto Expo 2020 which is scheduled to take place in early February.