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Royal Enfield Continental GT (2018-on) Review

Published: 04 October 2018

Updated: 28 February 2020

Brilliant Sunday fun bike that won’t break the bank

The Royal Enfield Continental GT

Brilliant Sunday fun bike that won’t break the bank

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

As an overall package, the Royal Enfield Continental GT is great if a little one dimensional. Because it’s a café racer, the position is more extreme, so it’s less comfortable than the Interceptor. It’s only got a single seat too, so you can’t take a mate around.

As a Sunday blast bike though, it’s great fun, arguably more fun than the Royal Enfield Interceptor but as an overall package, the Interceptor is the better buy.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

The Royal Enfield test riders say their brief for these bikes was to make them fun and they’ve succeeded. Because it doesn’t make huge amounts of power, you can rev the nuts off it and spend the whole day stretching your throttle cables without feeling like you’ve had the shit kicked out of you.

When a corner approaches, the Bybre brakes scrub off speed well with a decent bite and good modulation – hell even the budget Pirellis do a great job of sticking to the road. Riding along you start wondering where they’ve saved the money, then you come across some challenging corners and it all becomes painfully apparent.

When you really start to push on, the budget suspension starts to struggle although it remains slightly more composed than the Interceptor. The bikes are very soft, at the request of the Indian market, and can wallow on fast, sweeping roads but the GT comes with more rear preload as standard, which helps put a bit more weight onto the front.

The clip-ons and rear sets also push you weight further forward, eliminating the worst of the ‘floaty’ feeling from the budget springs. When you consider the price, you can forgive the bike a few faults – there are more expensive bikes with naff suspension too – but it’s still disappointing.

Engine 4 out of 5

The Continental GT is fitted with Enfield’s brand new, air-cooled 650 parallel twin. It doesn’t make huge amounts of power or torque, but that’s not really the point and it has ‘enough’.

Down low there’s a reasonable amount of torque with 80% arriving before 2500rpm, so you can chug it out of corners but you can rev it all the way to its 8000rpm redline. The throttle is lovely and smooth too, partially as a by-product of its low power, plus it’s A2 compliant.

Holding on to gears brings you a bit more power while also rewarding you with a fantastic exhaust note. It sounds like it’s straight out of the ‘60s, which is a miracle in a Euro4 strangled world – there are even some S&S cans coming for noisy types.

The new six-speed gearbox (an Enfield first!) is slick and if you keep feeding it gears it will clamber all the way to the magic ton.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

For the brief 150 miles we rode the bike on the launch, nothing broke so I guess it’s 5/5. In all seriousness Enfield doesn’t have the best rep for reliability but that’s something they want to change.

All the new bikes that come off the line will go through a 1007 point check, which Enfield say takes over six hours to complete. If that’s not enough, every new bike will come with a three year unlimited mileage warranty, so it comes with peace of mind too. Speaking personally – I wouldn’t have any concerns about buying one and it falling apart on the ride home.

Insurance, running costs & value 5 out of 5

Royal Enfield are known for the budget bikes and the Continental 650 continues that crusade. The 'Black Magic' colour will cost an incredibly reasonable £5700, and the 'Mister Clean' option will be £6200. A brand new 650cc twin bike with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty for under £6000. Could leave Triumph Street Cup owners feeling a little sick.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Despite its budget price there’s some decent kit. Brakes are from Brembo subsidiary ByBre and they’re paired with Bosch’s two-channel ABS. Pirelli provide the tyres (although 18” sizes doesn’t leave many aftermarket options).

The retro clocks are nice too and they’ve even got a fuel gauge, although they’re not as feature rich as the ones on the Royal Enfield Himalayan, which is a bit of a shame. The fit and finish of the rest of the bike isn’t bad either – the only thing that really lets it down is the budget suspension.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2018
Year discontinued -
New price £5,700
Used price £3,500 to £6,200
Warranty term -
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £91
Annual service cost £230
Max power 46 bhp
Max torque 38 ft-lb
Top speed 105 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption -
Tank range -
Engine size 648cc
Engine type Air-cooled 4v parallel twin
Frame type Steel twin spar
Fuel capacity 13.7 litres
Seat height 793mm
Bike weight 202kg
Front suspension Non-adjustable 41mm RWU forks, 110mm travel
Rear suspension Preload adjustable twin shocks, 88mm travel
Front brake Single 320mm disc, dual piston caliper
Rear brake 240mm disc, dual piston caliper
Front tyre size 100/90 – 18
Rear tyre size 130/70 – 18

Owners' Reviews

2 owners have reviewed their ENFIELD CONTINENTAL GT (2018-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your ENFIELD CONTINENTAL GT (2018-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great bike at an amazing price

29 July 2019 by Redpat1

Wow. I have many bikes over the years mostly more powerful and more expensive than the cgt. This bike has all the performance you need to have fun around the legal mark, its well made, has a long warranty and break down cover. Oh and its a head Turner. What's not to like!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
It rides wonderfully, only getting out of shape a little when you stray into sports bike territory, but why would you? For reasonably quick every day riding the chassis and breaks are well tuned to the average riders (including mine) abilities
5 out of 5
Plenty if torque and feels more powerful than the 48bhp on the spec sheet. Has a lovely soundtrack with the standard exhaust. You can get a move on if required but you can especially just trot along at a consistent pace being a little lazy with the gear changes thanks to the torque available.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Well put together, especially compared to a few people I know who ride the great American brand.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
In line with other bikes of a similar nature
3 out of 5
Ok so nothing is perfect but this would come close with a clock and gear change indicator, honestly though I am knit picking. I have the small screen purely for visual effect and the bar end mirrors which suit the bike and are very well priced. I will stick on the scorpion cans shortly.
Buying experience

The local dealer down in medway has been great, they seem to understand their customers. Cant speak for warranty claims yet has I haven't needed far. I managed to get a small discount off of the list price.

5 out of 5

A proper modern classic

02 April 2019 by Grant Tipping

I've never owned a more enjoyable bike, turns a heads everywhere it goes and sounds awesome even with the standard silencers.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
I'm not sure why MCN didn't like the suspension, I think the models that came to the UK may be a bit stiffer sprung than the launch bikes they were testing. Alongside my Continental GT I own a Honda Fireblade so the bike to handles like a pig compared to that. When I found myself on a twisty B-road with plenty on tight turns and crests I was not disappointed with the Royal Enfield, the Continental GT can more than hold its own for this kind of bike. I have also ridden with a pillion and the bike more than exceeded my expectations, I left the rear shocks alone and hoped it would handle the extra weight and they did with no wallowing what so ever.
5 out of 5
This engine is a masterpiece, good amount of torque and will more than happily sit at motorway speeds even with a pillion. There is no point revving the nuts off this bike as the enjoyment comes from letting the torque pull you out the bends, also the six-speed box is slick and works great with the slipper clutch although I always blip on the downshifts just to hear the lovely note from that 650 twin.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
I haven't owned the bike long, but it seems to be very well-built and the finish is lovely. There are a few rough edges but for the money I can't complain.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
The bike seems to be reasonably economical, I tend to refuel after around 100 miles but I'd imagine they will do 130-150 on a full tank depending on how you rode it.
3 out of 5
These bikes are basic, poor storage even under the seat but the standard UK spec bikes do come with a twin seat. Also as standard is a pillion grab rail and ABS, the Bybre brake offer more than enough stopping power and the Pirelli tyres offer good grip and feedback although they do use inner tubes.

Photo Gallery

  • The Royal Enfield Continental GT
  • The Royal Enfield Continental GT ridden by MCN Senior Reporter, Jordan Gibbons
  • The Royal Enfield Continental GT's top speed is 105mph
  • The Royal Enfield Continental GT has some beautiful, detailed styling
  • The Royal Enfield Continental GT clocks
  • The Royal Enfield Continental GT uses Bybre brakes
  • The Royal Enfield Continental GT's rear tyre size is 130/70-18
  • The Royal Enfield Continental GT's handlebars and tank, which has a 13.7l fuel capacity
  • The Royal Enfield Continental GT's headlight
  • The Royal Enfield Continental GT runs with an air-cooled 4v parallel twin engine
  • The 2018 Royal Enfield Continental GT
  • A front view of the Royal Enfield Continental GT
  • An aerial view of the Royal Enfield Continental GT
  • MCN's Jordan Gibbons riding the Royal Enfield Continental GT in the US
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