In Two Years Continental GT Reduced to Half; In Double Digit Monthly Sales Now

Back in November 2014 when the Continental GT was launched, I was a happy man. Not only the concept of cafe racers made a comeback (Triumph’s Thruxton was also launched around the same time), but they were also becoming affordable. With a 535 cc fuel injected mill Continental GT was the largest motorcycle in Royal Enfield’s portfolio and came equipped with Pirelli tyres, Paioli rear suspension and a chassis setup by Harris Performance.

The output figures of 29.1 bhp and 44 Nm were low for a 500 odd cc engine but Royal Enfield used the term ‘affordable’ and ‘usable’ power/throttle response at least a dozen times during its media ride. I, kind of, liked the motorcycle and it was fun riding it on the streets, but yes, it did lack the practicality factor. Neither was it a log distance motorcycle nor a very comfortable city gadabout.

Continental GT Sales Failed model

Following the initial hype, sales figures were fairly encouraging in the beginning and it enjoyed a pretty decent run. However, it began to drop shortly after and the motorcycle is now in worrisome double digits. February 2016 figures stood at 43 which is still marginally better than the lowest ’22’ it hit in January. March saw it rise to 90 units. For the second half of last year, sales never crossed 150 in any month. If looked in isolation, these figures may not sound as bad as they actually are. Only if we tell you that Royal Enfield older models generally sell in thousands every month you will understand how bad a response the motorcycle has got.

If we talk numbers, RE sold over 41,000 units of their other 500s in the last financial year which is an average of about 3500 units a month.

Royal-Enfield-Continental-GT-Pics-three-wuarter

As per SIAM data, Royal Enfield sold 1,351 units of Continental GT in the months between April 2015 and March 2016. That’s a drop of over 50 per cent on a year on year basis! International demand though has increased as exports grew from 1,629 in the last fiscal to 1,801 units in the present one.

Royal Enfield Continental GT sales

In comparison, its closest indirect rival, Harley Davidson’s cheapest model Street 750 has been having a gala time. While it too showed a huge drop in the months of December and August (which was primarily because most of the produce was exported) and despite being double the cost it outsells the CGT handsomely and consistently.

Continental GT vs Street 750

Quite clearly, Royal Enfield’s diehard fans have shown aversion towards the model and the company has not been able to pull customers from other folds.

Also Read: 600cc Twin-Cylinder Royal Enfield Coming Next Year! [Rumour]

This also, kind of, tells that niche products do not have a very strong market acceptance and this brings us to the latest Himalayan, which is yet another motorcycle in a segment which is not very common. Will Himalayan be able to carry the initial momentum it has built or will it also fizzle down with time? What do you think?

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9 COMMENTS

  1. They got the chassis right with Continental GT but failed to get the engine right. Also it was somehow trying to imitate the Cafe Racers of 70s of British era which really used to do ton in miles i.e. those bikes used to do 160kmph while this one was not even close to that ton figure. So it was a kind of pseudo Cafe Racer experience.

    Their latest Himalayan is the best and the brightest offering by RE. The star of the Himalayan show is off course the chassis – the chassis of Himalayan is just brilliant. The engine is also big improvement over previous RE engines – it is refined and smooth unlike any other RE engine. But the engine of Himalayan pales before the chassis of Himalayan. I mean as good as the engine of Himalayan is, it still has its fair share of shortcomings – when you rev the engine beyond 5000 RPM, you can feel the engine becoming coarse, struggling somewhat and the vibrations start appearing at that point. What this practically means is that you can do comfortable cruising on Himalayan only upto speeds of 90-105 kmph at the maximum.
    So if you were thinking of doing vibe free cruising on Himalayan at speeds of 110-120 kmph, I am sorry – that is just not possible with Himalayan.

    But still Himalayan is a praise worthy effort from RE. It has brilliant off road capabilities and I like it a lot and hope it succeeds. But at the same time I hope RE makes a lot of improvement with the Himalayan and hopefully give it a much better n more powerful engine, something which the chassis of Himalayan certainly deserves !!

  2. For the kind of displacement,The bike should have got more power,Atleast 40 bhp.It would have turned the game on with RC 390.

  3. it was a badly put together bike…simple! there is only so much you can expect targeting the gullible lot. I still don’t understand RE and their products,seriously! May be they are beyond my understanding or……

  4. I would certainly disagree with all those trying to say bad things about Continental GT .
    It certainly is the best bike ever made by RE , its got unique history and wonderful bike from the past, kudos to the presents RE company that wanted to revive this iconic bike .
    Most RE fans are stereotyped and go for the classic older looking bullet type bikes that RE makes, that is just fine everybody has their likes and dislikes .
    RE continental GT is awesome becos all its parts are up to international standards. It may have some little spots where it needs touchups / tuning etc and that is exactly the biker in you comes in to get those tune those things on the bike after you roll it to your home.
    Regarding the power of 29bhp , on Indian roads and traffic conditions it is sufficient to overwhelm most bikes .
    If you like cafe racer type bikes then check out the cafe racer models at the Triumph showroom or Motoguzzi showrooms across India , these companies too make good cafe racer bikes and if you have the money then get it.
    However for most Indians the price of those bikes from Motoguzzi and Triumph is very high and there is a high possibility that you would head back to RE and book the Continental GT .
    Jai ho.

    • Lets not get into RE history which is nothing to brag about stop defending RE.

      GT was designed to grab the ongoing FAD of ‘cafe racer’ which is funny India never had that at the first place but still they tried and didn’t have decency of providing a sixth gear on bike they called racer, its not even excusable.

      There is nothing wrong in demanding more quality from RE, I am sorry GT’s fit and finish though improved is still not up to mark, the genes of thinking like a great bike manufacture still have not evolved in RE, so its just what it is a cheap-ass 500cc bike manufacturer.

      The old charms of iron cast engine have long gone.

      I own C5 and have no garbage emotional associations with RE, I still remember the Distributor telling me “sir only after these classic models that you educated types have started to come and buy bullets before it was for college dropouts and local political hillbilly followers who used to buy this.”.

      We all have expectations from RE and Himalayan which a new product is a good start hope they do it with a new bullet from ground up. I will again stand in line for that.

  5. The RE GT has a vibey engine, which makes it uncomfortable to maintain high cruising speeds. The Himalayan despite being a counter-balanced engine is not comfortable doing 100+ kmph speeds consistently. RE better do something to improve refinement of their engines.

    • Hehe quite close but you would have to appreciate those lugs you get on an incline of a unpaved road at 13kfeets with fully loaded luggage, it got excellent muscles but only for those moments 😉

  6. i’m neither a RE rider nor i like HD. I drive a ninja

    its foolish to compare a Cafe racer with a Crusier which is purchased only because its a Comfortable, Nice Sounding and Mainly because it an American HD (Status)

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