In late February, 2023, Royal Enfield pulled the covers off the refreshed 650 Twin model lineup. Consisting of the massively popular Continental GT and Interceptor 650, these two bikes have been largely responsible for propelling the once-obscure Indian brand into global stardom, and kickstarting the brand's rather aggressive expansion in the global market.
The 2023 model-year updates are indeed substantial, with the bikes now sporting alloy wheels. On top of that, styling revisions to the bikes give the two classic-inspired roadsters a sportier aesthetic, as Royal Enfield's design team has shifted its focus away from chrome accents, and more towards sleek, blacked-out elements. More specifically, the Interceptor 650 will be offered in Black Ray and Barcelona Blue paint schemes, as well as a dual-tone Black Pearl motif, and a solid Cali Green finish. Existing colorways – Mark 2, Sunset Strip, and Canyon Red – have also been carried over for the Interceptor 650.
As for the Continental GT 650, it'll be offered in two new blacked-out versions consisting of Slipstream Blue and Apex Gray. In a similar fashion, the Mr Clean, Dux Deluxe, British Racing Green and Rocker Red colorways from the previous generation Continental GT have been carried over to the 2023 model year. The only difference lies in blacked out engine casings and exhaust pipes, which, if I do say so myself, gives the existing colors a refreshed aesthetic.
Ever since the launch of the Royal Enfield 650 Twins in 2018, fans and enthusiasts have been clamoring for more performance-focused upgrades, in particular, alloy wheels with tubeless tires. Now, some five years after the bikes' debut, Royal Enfield has done just that. The alloy wheels are much lighter, and make use of tubeless tires, making for a much nimbler ride owing to decreased unsprung weight. It was hoped that the bikes would feature the same inverted fork as the Super Meteor for a more rigid front end, but alas, this wasn't meant to be, at least for now.
From a performance perspective, the 2023 Royal Enfield 650 Twins are adequate at best, but hey performance was never the name of the game when it came to these two machines. They're both powered by the same 648cc, air-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engines with a 270-degree crankshaft. The engine transfers 47 horsepower and 37 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheel via a chain-driven, six-speed manual transmission.
In their 2023 guise, the Interceptor and Continental GT 650 are now open for booking across all Royal Enfield dealers in India. In terms of pricing, the Interceptor 650 commands Rs 303,000, or approximately $3,667 USD. Meanwhile, the sportier and somewhat more aggressive Continental GT 650 commands a more premium price tag of Rs 319,000, which makes out to about $3,861 USD.