Continental GT 535 Discontinued – will spawn two new, bigger motorcycles…
When we test rode the very ‘fun’ cafe racer from Royal Enfield back in 2013, we were very impressed with what it had on offer. However, as we mentioned in our review, it was impractical for daily usage. Sales never took a flight and it was a very tepid seller all along.
Continental GT 535 was discontinued from domestic sales towards the end of last year. During its last times, it was barely managing double digits and in November 2017 it could oust only 3 units, in all! However, Royal Enfield continued to export the motorcycle to some international markets where there was some demand. But now, according to a report at Drivemag, Continental GT has been discontinued globally.
There could be some unsold last traces in some dealerships but RE won’t be shipping any new units of the 535cc cafe racer. This also means that the rebored version of the 500cc single cylinder engine of the Classic 500 and other motorcycles has also been shown the door. Owing to an impressive pull, we expected RE to plonk it on other motorcycles as well, but they had other plans.
So, Continental GT 535 lived for about 4 odd years and it is a very small lifespan for a motorcycle which was promoted with a lot of fanfare back in 2013, before its introduction.
However, RE is not ditching the product all together and instead, as you all know, they are making two different branded products out of the same platform – a (yet again) cafe racer and a retro classic! Called as Continental GT 650 and Interceptor 650, the reincarnations of the 535 will bear a bigger twin cylinder engine and a lot more belly-power.
I believe the problem was not with power and cafe racers may not really find a very high market audience in India, probably ever (accolades to RE for trying though), but how will a more powerful, costlier version rake in volumes? International markets are the target, it appears! The relaxed Interceptor looks fine for India and may bring in some business to this platform!