Royal Enfield is back with the 2022 iteration of the Continental GT 650 and showing off all the qualities that made it an instant market success in the United States. Considered one of the more affordable Café Racer-inspired motorcycles, the silky-smooth and punchy enough parallel-twin engine and smooth 6-speed gearbox are unchanged. The gorgeous design and the long list of color options are also on offer.
Offered for a base MSRP of $5,999, the 2022 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 is also quite decent as a daily commuter and road cruiser, both of which can be paired with the well-designed chassis and quality suspension at edge. Build quality sees an improvement over the outgoing model, which was already quite good for the price. Competing with the Triumph Street Twin, here are 10 things every motorcycle enthusiast should know about the 2022 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650.
ten Linear power delivery and smooth exhaust note
The 648cc air and oil cooled parallel twin engine in the 2022 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 is the same as the outgoing 2021 model and is also shared between the Interceptor 650. It is a relaxed and stress free engine which produces 47 hp and 38 lb-ft of torque and has a compression ratio of 9.5:1. An electronic fuel injection system is also on board.
Even though the engine specs seem straight out of the 80s, this parallel-twin engine is highly refined and extremely punchy at low and midrange. The torque distribution is quite wide, making the Continental GT 650 a capable city and highway cruiser. However, the power disappears when you cross the 7500 rpm mark and is quite lackluster higher up.
9 Gear changes are different from most older Royal Enfields
The 2022 Continental GT 650 retains the same 6-speed gearbox found in the outgoing model. Even though the bike has been in continuous production since 2018, the gearbox is one area that does not require any changes. It is one of the smoothest and safest transmissions offered on a motorcycle at such a low price.
Put the motorcycle in first gear from neutral, and you will be amazed at how easy and precise the transmission is, especially compared to some of the other motorcycles that are similarly priced like the Duke 390 and BMW G 310 R Initial gears are short enough and fifth and sixth gears are quite tall, making it a decent proposition on town and highways.
8 The ergonomics are typical of the Café Racer style
Many potential customers would get the Continental GT 650 instead of the Interceptor 650 due to the former’s striking design language. However, therein lies the problem. Compared to the latter, the Continental GT 650 has a more engaged position, which makes it a bit aggressive.
The clip-on handlebar is not wide enough and it is also a bit forward. This causes the rider to lean towards the clip, which can cause back pain soon enough. The footpegs are also adjusted at the rear. The fuel tank is not as well designed as those of the Interceptor 650 and therefore holding and locking the tank is not very comfortable.
seven Riding the city streets may not be very pleasant
The sporty riding position of the 2022 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 will tire riders very soon. With such an aggressive stance coupled with slightly cramped legroom offered to both rider and passenger, it’s sure to tire them out, especially when going through stop-and-go traffic.
When it comes to heating, this parallel-twin motor won’t be a deciding factor. However, the manifold and exhaust give off a certain amount of heat to the rider, which is noticeable when the motorcycle is idling for a long period of time. The suspension isn’t the plushest of the lot either.
6 Highway driving is decent enough
The seat is well padded and that gives it some brownie points, contributing to the highway driving experience. Other than that, the 2022 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650s suspension system is pretty decent for highway driving. The front is a little softer but absorbs enough road irregularities. However, the sharpest bumps are transmitted.
The rear suspension is also up to the task. Adapted to a slightly stiffer side, the Continental GT 650 is very stable at the highway speed limit. The engine has impressive NVH levels and that also helps the driving experience. However, ergonomics are still an issue and the pilot should take a break before reaching the 100 mile mark.
5 A capable cornering machine
Even though the suspension system is nothing out of the ordinary, the 2022 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 is a capable motorcycle in the corners. The curb weight of 455 lbs is well distributed and the chassis is engineered to perfection, which contributes to its fun-to-drive character.
The front gets a 41mm non-adjustable fork with 4.5 inches of suspension travel, and the rear gets spring-preload, adjustable piggyback shocks with 3.5 inches of travel. The bike dives into the turn with precision, holds the line comfortably and doesn’t feel jittery or jittery when mid-corner correction is needed.
4 Build quality is quite good for the price
Contrary to popular belief, the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 is not a motorcycle that will crumble within a few years of ownership. It shows in the build quality of this cafe racer bike as all the parts are fitted with precision and the quality of the paint and chrome is on par with that of more expensive rivals.
Like the similarly priced Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, all wiring is routed cleanly and not very visible. There’s nothing to complain about regarding the switchgear and other contact points either. However, the instrument cluster has a bit of flex and some owners have reported that the chrome dulls if not maintained properly.
3 One of the most fuel efficient parallel twins
Being a lower capacity parallel-twin motorcycle with a fairly low 9.5:1 compression ratio, fuel efficiency is one of the best in the segment. The bike manages to return almost 70 mpg, and that is one of the greatest qualities of this cafe racer.
The neat tank design also adds to the versatility of the bike as it has a decent fuel tank capacity of 3.3 gallons. That equates to a combined range of nearly 230 miles. In comparison, the 2022 Triumph Street Twin offers lower combined gas mileage and tank range.
2 Café Racer styling gives it plenty of presence on the road
The Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 has unparalleled road presence, and it’s all thanks to the moniker’s café racer design language. The masculine reduced tank design, sporty ergonomics, clip-on handlebars and a long list of colors add to the beauty of this bike.
It also looks much nicer for such a low base price. The dual exhaust system and chrome-wrapped headers make the bike look bulkier and more distinctive when viewed from the sides. The neat Royal Enfield embossing and spoked aluminum wheels are also beautiful.
1 Lacks many features
The 2022 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 isn’t the most feature-rich motorcycle you can get for the price. With such a low base price, Royal Enfield has managed to put all the money where it’s needed, and so features have taken a hit.
The 2022 Continental GT 650 comes with a slipper and assist clutch system and dual-channel ABS, both of which enhance the driving experience. The 36-spoke aluminum alloy wheels and the dual-module analog and digital instrument cluster are also on board. However, no other driving aids and no other comfort functions are offered.
The Royal Enfield INT 650 and Conti 650 are undoubtedly some of the best beginner bikes you can own.
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