Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 Twin – 2024  (Weektest)

Since 2018, Royal Enfield’s successful parallel-twin motorcycles, the Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650, have been popular among enthusiasts worldwide. A pleasurable riding experience and individuality have played a significant role in Royal Enfield’s growth over the past few years. Earlier this year, Royal Enfield unveiled new versions of both models. The updated versions of the Interceptor and the Continental GT are available in special All Black variants, including a sleek black exhaust. Of course, the 2024 models offer more than just a new color scheme, featuring improved seating comfort, new switchgear, a USB charging port, and a brand-new LED headlight. For a week, the Continental GT 650 Twin was provided in the distinctive Rocker Red color scheme.

The Continental GT 650 as a modern cafe racer.

And then you ride home on the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650. This new motorcycle evokes the nostalgia and spirit of the café racer era for many motor enthusiasts. What stands out even more is the number of onlookers staring at you, almost wondering if it’s a classic. Not surprisingly, this modern interpretation of a classic design combines retro style, acceptable performance, and affordability.

The Continental GT 650 is a visual tribute to the café racers of the past, with its sleek lines, clip-on handlebars, squared fuel tank with deep knee recesses, and classic saddle. But beneath its vintage exterior lies a modern motorcycle, equipped with Royal Enfield’s latest technology and technical prowess. Powered by a 648cc parallel-twin engine, this bike delivers a healthy dose of torque and horsepower, making it suitable for both city traffic and spirited rides through the countryside.

The riding position is sporty, with the low profile of the Continental forcing you to lean forward. At 1.86 meters tall, I still had some room, and sitting upright with one arm on the handlebars was easily possible. However, most of the time, you’ll be riding sportily. Notably, once accustomed to the sporty position, I experienced almost no discomfort in my wrists. The beautifully designed clip-on risers certainly help with this, showcasing Royal Enfield’s attention to detail. Riding for several hours at a stretch was no problem, although my back didn’t appreciate it after a few days. But perhaps that’s just age catching up. Positively, the ease with which the Continental takes corners is impressive, especially if you embrace the sporty riding position. This is a bike that might spontaneously have you scraping your knee on the track.

Customization is a key aspect of the café racer ethos, and the Continental GT 650 does not disappoint in this regard. With a wide range of aftermarket parts and accessories, the GT 650 can be tailored to individual tastes and preferences. Whether it’s replacing the exhaust system, upgrading the suspension, or adding retro-inspired accessories, the Continental GT 650 offers endless possibilities for customization and personalization. Options include engine guards, screw-in “finisher” bits, a larger windscreen, a touring saddle for the GT, heel guards, covers for various engine parts, and rear axle bobbins for lifting the bike onto a stand.

The Continental GT 650 starts at a very enticing $6349,- or £6599,-. Unlike many brand-new motorcycles, where you’re lucky to have three color variants, the GT 650 is available in no less than six different shades. Your choice affects the price, with the base price of $6349,- or £6599,- covering British Racing Green and Rocker Red. For $7149,-, or £6799,- you can choose between Apex Grey, Dux Deluxe (white and green), or Slipstream Blue. For £7099,- , you get Mr Clean, featuring a beautifully polished, bare metal tank, no US price at this time available.

A Timeless Café Racer with Modern Improvements and Reliable Performance

Updates and improvements, such as revised suspension settings and refined fuel injection tuning, ensure that the new Continental GT 650 remains competitive in an ever-evolving market. With its timeless styling, engaging performance, and accessible demeanor, the GT 650 is a testament to Royal Enfield’s commitment to delivering authentic and exciting motorcycles for riders worldwide. These enhancements were needed for the 648cc parallel-twin engine, which has been often critiqued for its ‘lack’ of power. With 47hp, the Continental is indeed not the fastest 650 twin-cylinder. However, the Continental can be used for everything from daily commutes and weekend rides to even long-distance tours, providing reliable and usable power for everyday use.

The GT 650 is a disarmingly simple bike. It uses a cable-operated throttle, so there are no rider modes and no traction control. The tachometer is delightfully analog and simple. The speedometer is also analog but includes a basic LCD screen, which at least provides a fuel gauge along with odometer and trip information. Yes, the dual-pod analog setup looks great and fits well with the retro theme, but the built-in digital display could offer a bit more information. You still get only two trip meters and the odometer. At the very least, a clock and/or a gear indicator would be very useful. However, the GT 650 now comes with a new LED headlamp, borrowed from the new Super Meteor 650, and you also get a USB charger for GPS or mobile, which is a very nice addition.

Despite improvements, the Continental GT 650 has a minor drawback. The most commonly mentioned issue is the vibrations at higher speeds/rpms. Personally, I didn’t find it particularly bothersome, but on longer rides, it could lead to numbness in the hands. A set of heavier bar-end weights can help with this, or you could customize it with different handlebars and mounts. I also found the seat a bit firm on long rides, but it was comfortable enough for everyday use.
Nevertheless, the Continental GT 650 remains an attractive option for riders who want to embrace the café racer lifestyle without spending a lot of money.

Braking is handled by a single 320mm disc at the front with a dual-piston caliper, and a 240mm disc at the rear with a single-piston caliper. The GT 650 features a non-adjustable, conventional 41mm telescopic front fork and twin rear shock absorbers with adjustable preload and external ‘piggyback’ reservoirs. Although the rear suspension felt a bit harsh at times, I hadn’t adjusted it, and most bumpy roads and cobblestones were not a problem.

Since the suspension is on the stiffer side, the Continental GT handles beautifully in corners. Thanks to the reasonably torquey engine, it’s very satisfying to exit corners with a loaded engine. The GT 650 has a surprisingly compliant and predictable chassis. Thanks to its lower center of gravity, quick lane changes feel like a breeze. Another pleasant surprise was the short turning radius, making the GT highly maneuverable in heavy traffic and sharp U-turns.

But the real handling prowess shines on winding back roads. Leaning lightly next to the GT 650 towards the apex of your lane, then opening the throttle and smoothly accelerating towards the next bend.

A Cafe Racer with Modern Technology and Accessible Power

With its 648 cc parallel-twin engine, the Continental GT 650 is not the fastest or most powerful motorcycle in its class. However, this engine configuration was originally designed in the 1960s to power superbikes and was incredibly popular until Honda revolutionized performance in 1969 with the four-cylinder Honda CB750. With a touch of modern engineering, Royal Enfield has produced a new 648 cc air/oil-cooled twin with fuel injection. The 650cc engine delivers just under 50 hp and produces 52 Nm of torque at 5250 rpm. It won’t set any land speed records or pose a significant threat to 1000cc superbikes, but at no point did I feel that the motorcycle lacked power.
The 650 engine offers a very linear power delivery, which I found rewarding at both low and high revs.

If you’re looking for a cafe racer in this cc class, your choices are limited to the Continental 650 GT, the Moto Guzzi V7 III Racer, or the slightly older Kawasaki W800 Cafe. Every other cafe racer is either 125/250cc or 900+ cc. When it comes to true cafe racers with a single seat, clip-ons, the right style fuel tank, and vintage looks, your options are surprisingly limited. In recent years, there have been a few special edition cafe racers that have come and gone, and the Triumph Thruxton is likely to be discontinued as well.

Personally, the Continental 650 GT is the most classic-looking option. It comes in various colors and is also the most versatile. With 52Nm of torque around 5000 rpm, you can pull through to the full 47 hp at just over 7000 rpm. Shift to the next gear, and you’re back in the powerband. This makes riding the Continental 650 so enjoyable; you can easily use the powerband while cruising through the green countryside. Despite these impressive performances, the Continental GT 650 remains accessible for riders of all levels. Beginners will appreciate its forgiving nature and manageable power delivery, while more experienced riders will enjoy its agility and playfulness. Whether you’re navigating city streets or winding mountain roads, the Continental GT 650 exudes both confidence and excitement.

The Continental GT 650 has a fuel consumption of approximately 22-25 kmpl, which is quite good given the engine capacity and performance. It has a fuel tank capacity of 13.7 liters, meaning the estimated riding range is nearly 340 km. My week of riding showed a slightly smaller range, but this naturally depends on riding style and terrain. My average consumption ended up at 4.2 liters per 100 km.

Towards the end of my time with the Continental, I began to understand the rapidly growing RE customizer community. The custom possibilities for a reasonable amount of money seemed easily achievable. Enhanced handling with a front fork set and a fancy exhaust to amplify that parallel-twin sound, along with bar-end mirrors, would be a great start.

If you’re not the type of person who rides very fast all the time, the Continental can offer a very pleasant riding experience. The GT 650 feels polished and offers more features and convenience suitable for any enthusiast. Sporty does not mean uncomfortable, as even after hours of riding, I felt little fatigue, except in my wrists, but that’s normal for motorcycles with clip-ons and for someone not used to it.


In summary, the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 represents the perfect marriage of past and present, combining classic aesthetics with modern engineering and performance. With its timeless charm and engaging ride, it’s no wonder the Continental GT 650 continues to capture the hearts and minds of riders everywhere. It may not be perfect, but it is a true classic.

There are a few things I would change, but considering the bike’s price, these are all suggestions rather than complaints. Firstly, the mirrors do their job, but they aren’t very attractive. Installing a pair of bar-end mirrors would be a significant styling upgrade. Along with handlebar weights, the GT 650 would ride even better.

Another personal change would be the exhaust silencers. The original exhausts are okay, but the new black exhaust version looks stunning and delivers a fantastic sound. So, if you can switch, definitely go for it.

Aside from these changes, touring with the GT 650 is an absolute pleasure. The 650 engine offers a very linear power delivery, which I found rewarding at both low and high revs. The Continental GT 650 handles beautifully in corners. Thanks to its reasonably punchy torque, it is very satisfying to power out of bends with a loaded engine. Sporty riding on a classic through winding country roads. Sometimes, that’s all you need.



Two-cylinder in-line, 4 stroke / SOHC

Cylinder capacity

648 cc

Bore x Stroke

78 x 67,8 mm

Compression ratio

9,5 : 1


Electronic ignition

Max. power

47pk / 34.9 kW @ 7250 rpm

Max torque

52.3 Nm / 39 lb-ft @ 5150 rpm


6 gears, constant mesh


Steel tubular frame with double cradle

Front suspension

Telescopic front fork, adjustable

Rear suspension

Double gas-filled shock absorbers with adjustable preload

Front brakes

320 mm disc, double piston, ABS 

Rear brakes

240 mm disc, ABS


Aluminum spoke wheel Tubeless

Front tire

100/90-18 M/C 56H

Rear tire

130/70-R18 M/C 63V



2119 mm / 83.4 inch


780 mm / 30,7 inch


1067 mm / 42,0 inch


1398 mm / 55,0 ​​inch


24 graden

Seat height

820 mm / 32,3 inch

Ground clearance

174 mm / 6,9 inch


212 kg / 467 lbs rijklaar

Fuel capacity

12,5 Liter

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