Although there are plenty of custom bikes that veer way off from their donor machines, not every rider wants something that extreme. Plus, if they want to make modifications themselves, they might not have the necessary skills to do so. Fortunately, some custom shops make things easier through DIY bolt-on kits. And if you’ve been thinking about tweaking your Royal Enfield Continental GT or Interceptor 650, Bad Winners has some kits for you.
The 2021 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 and INT650 already offer budget-friendly vintage style
|2021 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 and INT650|
|Engine||648cc air/oil-cooled parallel-twin|
|Transmission||Six-speed manual with slipper-assist clutch|
|Front suspension and travel||41mm forks; 4.3″|
|Rear suspension and travel||Preload-adjustable twin coil-over shocks with piggyback reservoirs; 3.5”|
|Curb weight (no fuel)||445 lbs|
If you like the look of a Triumph Bonneville or Thruxton, you’ll likely admire the 2021 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 and INT650, too. Introduced in 2019 as part of the Indian brand’s inroads to the US market, these two-cylinder bikes offer retro vibes for less money than any of Triumph’s models. Case in point, while the Triumph Street Twin offers more performance, features, and suspension travel, it also costs about 50% more.
But the Royal Enfield 650 twins aren’t just budget Triumphs; they can stand on their own merits. Compared to its earlier single-cylinder incarnation, the Continental GT 650 is a smooth, solid, and refined café racer. It’s also utterly unintimidating, with manageable power and fun, stable handling, MCN reports. And while its brakes say ‘ByBre,’ they are technically ABS-equipped Brembo units. Though admittedly, the GT 650’s suspension could use an upgrade.
As for the Royal Enfield INT650, aka the Interceptor 650, it won MCN’s 2019 and 2020 ‘Best Retro Bike’ Award. And the only reason it didn’t win in 2021 is that Royal Enfield released the Meteor 350. While it doesn’t have clip-on bars and rear-set footpegs like the Continental GT, that also makes the INT650 more comfortable on longer rides. And it has the same rake, trail, and chassis geometry. So, it’s just as fun and easy to ride as its café racer sibling.
France’s Bad Winners have kits to add extra performance—and looks—onto your Royal Enfield 650 twin
Although the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 and INT650 are appealing for their entry-level prices, as noted earlier, that does mean living with some less-sophisticated equipment. Apart from the suspension, MCN notes that the Interceptor’s stock seat is a bit too firm for long-distance touring.
However, there is another benefit to these retro bikes’ low prices and simple designs: they make excellent donor bikes for custom builds. Not only have shops all around the world been tinkering with these Royal Enfield 650 twins, but some have gotten commissions from the company itself. One of those shops was France’s Bad Winners, which built a one-off Interceptor 650 for Royal Enfield in 2019. And after much positive reception, Bad Winners decided to make replica kits for avid DIYers, MCN explains.
Bad Winners offers four kits for the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 and INT650, RideApart says. Some are more about style, while others focus on upgrading performance and handling. Here’s how the contents break down:
- Seat Kit
- Flat bench seat (synthetic or genuine leather) with new rear loop
- New rear fender and license-plate holder
- New taillight and LED turn signals
- Front Kit
- LED turn signals
- Koso Thunderbolt LED headlight with Bad Winners’ bracket and case
- Motogadget speedometer with Bad Winners’ bracket and case
- Renthal Streetbar handlebar with grips
- Motogadget switchgear and controls
- Renthal clutch lever
- Oberon Streetfighter bar-end mirror
- Performance Kit
- S&S slip-on or Spark exhaust
- S&S performance air filter
- Suspension Kit
- YSS Eco Line, YSS Nitro, or Bitubo WME02V2 rear shocks
- YSS fork spring upgrade kit
How much do these kits cost?
Bad Winners offers its Royal Enfield 650 kits individually or as part of a set. Depending on the options, the full set costs anywhere from $3840-$4055 based on current exchange rates. As for the individual kits, the starting prices break down like so:
- Seat Kit: $950
- Front Kit: $1755
- Performance Kit: $570
- Suspension Kit: $1085
It’s worth keeping in mind that not every state allows ECU retuning. But considering the upgrades Bad Winners offers, these prices are reasonable. And these kits might bring Royal Enfield’s twins even closer to Triumph’s Twins.
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