Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Retro Racing Is Back In Vogue

In
India
too,
hundreds
of
enthusiasts
raced
Royal
Enfield
motorcycles
in
various
individual
events
as
privateers.
This
includes
drag
racing
and
rallying.
However,
there
weren’t
anything
but
attempts
to
take
Royal
Enfield
motorcycles
onto
a
racetrack.
Motorcycles
manufactured
by
the
brand
weren’t
really
seen
as
ideal
options
for
circuit
racing,
until
now.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

Royal
Enfield
set
out
to
change
this
perception
with
the
introduction
of
the
GT
Cup
in
2021.
With
the
GT
Cup,
Royal
Enfield
has
marked
its
return
to
motorsport
and
claims
to
have
brought
in
a
new
format
of
racing
to
the
Indian
motorsport
scene

Retro
Racing.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

We
were
invited
to
witness
the
final
race
of
the
2021
GT
Cup
at
the
Kari
Motor
Speedway
in
Coimbatore.
We
also
got
to
experience
the
Royal
Enfield
Continental
GT-R650,
which
is
a
race
motorcycle
based
on
the
Continental
GT650.
Read
on
to
know
more
about
the
Royal
Enfield
GT
Cup
and
Continental
GT-R650.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India


The
Royal
Enfield
GT
Cup

Simply
put,
the
GT
Cup
is
Royal
Enfield’s
most-awaited
circuit
racing
debut
in
India.
It
is
a
one-make
series
with
multiple
rounds
of
racing
being
held
in
each
season.
The
GT
Cup
is
a
grassroots-level
motorsport
event
promoting
motorcycle
racing
in
the
country.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

According
to
Royal
Enfield,
the
GT
Cup
series
is
inspired
by
the
purist
racing
culture
of
the
1960s.
It
involves
racing
a
motorcycle
that
feels
very
retro
and
gives
one
the
experience
of
racing
a
classic
motorcycle.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

Up-and-coming
motorcycle
racers
were
a
part
of
the
first
season.
The
only
criteria
one
needed
to
be
a
part
of
the
Royal
Enfield
GT
Cup
was
that
the
rider
should
have
records
of
earlier
participation
in
any
circuit
race
event.
Or,
the
rider
must
have
a
certificate
of
training
from
any
motorcycle
racing
school
in
India.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

Riders
who
meet
this
requirement
can
register
on
the
Royal
Enfield
website
to
show
their
interest
in
the
series.
All
eligible
participants
will
receive
invites
to
the
selection
round
at
the
Kari
Motor
Speedway.
Only
the
top
18
fastest
riders
are
selected
to
race
in
the
several
rounds
of
the
GT
Cup
in
the
particular
season.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

Royal
Enfield
also
conducts
a
one-day
training
program
for
the
selected
riders
which
will
teach
them
the
characteristics
of
the
motorcycle
and
on-track
mannerisms.
The
2021
Royal
Enfield
GT
Cup
consisted
of
four
rounds,
and
each
round
comprised
two
races.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

In
total
then,
there
were
eight
races
and
each
participant
was
awarded
points
based
on
the
position
they
finish
in.
At
the
end
of
all
four
rounds,
the
one
with
the
highest
points
was
crowned
champion.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

Well-known
motorcycle
racer
Anish
Damodaran
Shetty
was
crowned
the
champion
of
the
2021
Royal
Enfield
GT
Cup.
The
17
other
riders
in
the
championship
were
extremely
talented
too.
However,
special
mention
has
to
be
made
of
Lani
Zena
Fernandes
as
she
was
the
only
woman
in
India
fast
enough
to
qualify
for
the
Royal
Enfield
GT
Cup.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

Witnessing
a
race
in
the
GT
Cup
is
quite
a
sight,
and
sound.
This
brings
us
to
the
motorcycles
being
raced
in
the
series.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India


The
Royal
Enfield
GT-R650

To
conduct
the
GT
Cup
as
a
one-make
series,
Royal
Enfield
needed
to
develop
a
race
motorcycle
and
the
most
obvious
choice
for
this
task
at
hand
was
the
Royal
Enfield
Continental
GT650.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

Why
exactly
was
the
GT650
the
most
obvious
choice?
Well
let’s
dig
into
the
pages
of
history
for
a
bit.
The
most
successful
racing
motorcycle
produced
by
Royal
Enfield
was
the
Continental
GT.
Over
the
decades,
the
brand
has
produced
the
Continental
GT
with
various
engine
capacities
and
performance
figures.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

The
basic
formula
and
form
factor
though
remained
the
same.
The
Continental
GT
has
always
been
a
cafe
racer.
It
was
derived
from
motorcycles
that
riders
modified
to
go
faster
on
roads
in
the
50s
and
60s.
Being
a
cafe
racer,
it
always
features
rear-set
footpegs,
low-set
clip-on
handlebars,
and
a
decently
powerful
engine.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

In
2018,
Royal
Enfield
introduced
the
game-changing
Interceptor
650
and
Continental
GT650.
These
motorcycles
were
brand-new
in
every
aspect
and
featured
a
brilliant
engine.
It
was
quite
obvious
that
Royal
Enfield
was
onto
something
great
here.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

The
Continental
GT
featured
the
aforementioned
cafe
racer
traits
and
was
a
delight
to
ride
on
twisties.
When
we
rode
the
motorcycle
back
in
2018,
it
impressed
us
quite
a
bit,
especially
with
how
it
cornered
despite
its
dry
weight
of
198
kilograms.
This
makes
it
an
obvious
choice
for
Royal
Enfield
when
it
came
to
the
requirement
for
the
GT
Cup.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

However,
there
is
more
to
it
than
meets
the
eye.
Royal
Enfield
has
made
quite
a
few
significant
changes
to
the
motorcycle
in
order
to
prepare
it
for
the
riders
in
the
GT
Cup.
The
goal
was
to
have
a
motorcycle
devoid
of
any
electronics
and
hence
deliver
a
pure
retro
racing
experience.
The
Royal
Enfield
GT-R650
more
than
just
delivers
on
that
front.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India


Royal
Enfield
GT-R650
Design
&
Style

At
first
glance,
it
is
easy
to
see
the
retro
race
motorcycle
styling
that
the
GT-R650
carries.
It
does
look
like
a
motorcycle
that
has
been
developed
from
scratch
to
look
the
way
it
does.
However,
closer
inspection
reveals
that
there
are
only
a
few
design
elements
that
have
been
added
to
the
motorcycle.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

Of
course
the
first
of
these
elements
is
the
race
fairing
up
front.
This
is
the
one
feature
that
makes
it
look
identical
to
several
European
race
motorcycles
from
the
50s
and
60s.
It
is
simple,
yet
attractive.
If
there
is
one
single
element
that
induces
retro
vibes,
it
is
this
fairing
and
the
bubble
visor
placed
right
above
it.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

Yet
another
major
design
difference
comes
in
the
form
of
the
belly
pan
under
the
engine.
In
terms
of
race
usage,
the
belly
pan
is
most
useful
as
it
can
collect
most
of
the
engine
oil
in
case
of
an
engine
failure,
thereby
preventing
oil
spillage
on
the
track.
In
terms
of
design,
it
further
adds
to
the
retro
design
and
styling
Royal
Enfield
was
trying
to
achieve
with
this
motorcycle.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

The
seat
and
cowling
used
on
the
GT-R650
is
not
brand-new.
It
can
in-fact
be
purchased
as
an
accessory
through
the
Royal
Enfield
Make
It
Yours
program.
It
is
the
Touring
Seat
that
is
available
on
the
RE
website
for
Rs
3,300.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

In
addition
to
all
of
this,
Royal
Enfield
has
removed
the
headlamp,
tail
lamp,
indicators
and
mirrors.
The
parallel-twin
engine
that
powers
the
GT-R650
contributes
significantly
to
the
styling
as
well.
The
large
cylinders
with
air-cooling
fins,
combined
with
the
lovely
engine
casing
further
adds
to
the
retro
design.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

Then
comes
the
exhaust.
The
engineers
have
replaced
the
stock
exhaust
of
the
Continental
GT650
with
a
stainless
steel
full
exhaust
system.
The
twin
exhaust
looks
brilliant
and
sounds
even
better.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India


Royal
Enfield
Continental
GT-R650
Engine
Performance
&
Riding
Impressions

Retro,
analogue,
physical,
connected,
minimal,
and
engaging
are
some
of
the
words
that
come
to
mind
with
regards
to
the
riding
experience
on
the
Royal
Enfield
Continental
GT-R650.
It
is
the
bare
minimum,
just
like
with
other
modern
race
motorcycles.
However,
the
design,
riding
position,
braking,
and
comparatively
low-revving
engine
make
for
a
not-so-modern
experience.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

Thumb
the
starter
and
the
engine
roars
to
life.
Most
automotive
reviews
use
the
term
‘roar
to
life’
way
too
often
and
this
might
impact
the
effectiveness
of
the
same
statement
here.
However,
in
this
case,
there’s
no
other
way
to
put
it.
It
literally
roars
to
life.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

That
stylish
stainless
steel
exhaust
makes
the
648cc
parallel-twin
engine
sound
brilliant.
Race
starts
with
18
Royal
Enfield
GT-R650s
roaring
off
the
line
at
full
throttle
almost
sounds
like
a
couple
of
Supermarine
Spitfire
fighter
aircraft
from
World
War
II
taking
off.
Yes,
it
does
sound
that
great.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

Swing
a
leg
over
the
saddle
and
immediately
you
realise
just
how
dedicated
the
riding
position
is.
Apart
from
being
rear-set,
the
footpegs
are
also
moved
a
little
upwards
to
allow
for
greater
lean
angles.
The
clip-on
handlebars
are
placed
lower
down
to
allow
for
a
more
aerodynamic
riding
position.
It
was
obvious
that
tucking
in
was
going
to
be
easier
with
this
riding
position.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

Slot
it
into
first
gear
and
release
the
clutch
lever,
and
you
realise
it
feels
just
like
the
stock
Continental
GT650.
It
is
at
this
point
that
we
must
mention,
the
engine
is
stock.
No
modifications
have
been
made
to
the
engine
internals.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

In
stock
form,
the
648cc
parallel-twin
engine
produces
47bhp
7,150rpm
and
52Nm
5,250rpm.
By
installing
the
race
exhaust,
Royal
Enfield
claims
an
increase
in
power
of
around
5
percent.
This
corresponds
to
just
over
2bhp.
Transmission
duties
are
still
handled
by
the
same
slick-shifting
6-speed
gearbox.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

Even
in
stock
form,
this
engine
is
a
potent
unit
and
this
is
quite
obvious
when
you
start
gunning
the
GT-R650.
Acceleration
is
brisk
and
the
speed
builds
up
pretty
quickly.
Being
a
race
bike,
the
speedometer
was
disconnected
and
therefore
we
couldn’t
really
see
the
speeds
we
were
doing.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

However,
Royal
Enfield
claims
the
bikes
are
doing
just
over
170km/h
on
the
main
straight
of
the
Kari
Motor
Speedway.
That
is
fabulous
performance
indeed.
Yet
another
modification
made
to
the
motorcycle
comes
in
the
form
of
lower
gear
ratios.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

The
stock
front
sprocket
of
the
Royal
Enfield
650
twins
is
a
15-teeth
gear.
It
has
been
replaced
by
a
14-teeth
sprocket
on
the
GT-R650.
This
allows
for
quicker
acceleration
and
all
six
gears
can
be
used
on
a
tight
and
technical
circuit
like
Kari.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

In
terms
of
handling,
the
GT-R650
is
a
notch
above
the
stock
continental
GT650
despite
using
the
same
suspension
components.
This
is
because
the
fluid
used
in
the
telescopic
fork
is
of
a
thicker
grade
and
the
rear
suspension
has
also
been
set
up
differently.
As
a
result,
the
ride
is
stiffer
and
more
rigid
which
is
always
a
blessing
while
on
a
racetrack.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

Braking
duties
are
taken
care
of
by
the
same
320mm
disc
up
front
and
240mm
disc
at
the
rear,
as
already
found
on
the
stock
GT650.
However,
the
brake
fluid
has
been
replaced
by
race-ready
brake
fluid
which
is
more
resistant
to
overheating
and
thereby
gets
rid
of
brake
fade.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

On
the
whole,
Royal
Enfield
seems
to
have
achieved
a
lot
with
the
GT-R650
by
making
only
a
few
modifications
to
the
stock
Continental
GT650.
Riding
the
GT-R650
was
a
fun
experience,
especially
thanks
to
the
brilliant
exhaust
note.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

You
start
having
way
too
much
fun,
too
soon
and
as
a
result,
you
start
hitting
the
rev-limiter
pretty
quickly
as
you
would
be
expecting
the
engine
to
rev
higher.
Then
you
learn
to
shift
earlier,
just
before
it
hits
the
limiter.
It
really
is
a
great
learning
experience.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

Putting
in
multiple
fast
laps
on
the
Royal
Enfield
GT-R650
takes
a
lot
of
learning
and
one
has
to
be
physically
fit
to
ride
it
the
way
it
is
meant
to
be
ridden,
much
like
the
riders
in
the
GT
Cup.
At
the
end
of
the
day,
we
did
end
up
wishing
for
more
time
on
the
saddle
of
the
Royal
Enfield
Continental
GT-R650.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India


Thoughts
On
Royal
Enfield
GT
Cup
and
Continental
GT-R650

The
GT-R650
is
a
properly
retro
race
motorcycle
and
is
a
pleasure
to
ride.
There
is
barely
anything
to
complain
about
as
it
is
near
perfect.
A
slightly
higher-revving
engine
would
definitely
do
wonders
and
Royal
Enfield
might
just
be
working
on
such
a
motorcycle.
A
more
powerful
GT-R650
is
in
the
works
and
might
debut
later
this
year
or
in
2023.

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Motorsport Brings Exciting Retro Racing To India

As
for
the
GT
Cup,
it
is
a
brilliant
initiative
by
Royal
Enfield
to
promote
motorsport
in
the
country.
The
brand
has
big
plans
to
scale
up
and
we
might
see
more
one-make
races
from
Royal
Enfield
in
the
coming
days.

We would love to give thanks to the author of this article for this remarkable material

Royal Enfield Continental GT-R650 & The GT Cup: Royal Enfield Retro Racing Is Back In Vogue

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