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Author Topic: Glynn Kerr reviews the 650's  (Read 3612 times)

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Richard230

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on: February 05, 2018, 08:25:06 am
Glynn Kerr is a famous (he might say "infamous") and well-respected (except by Pierre Terblanche) vehicle designer who has assisted motorcycle manufacturers in their design of their bikes for the past 33 years.  He writes a monthly column in Motorcycle Consumer News and he reviewed the styling of the RE Interceptor and GT in their February 2018 issue. His article is quite long and his comments bounce around so much it is hard for me to summarize easily.  So I will just quote the last two paragraphs of his article, which follows this statement:  "...but instead of beating their chests, the UK development team should take the money and slip quietly out the back door"

    "Like many enthusiasts, I have been waiting a long time for the next generation of Royal Enfield motorcycles. This could have been a milestone product, while still ticking all the boxes.  Instead, the utter predictability of the design is a huge disappointment.
    If the Continental GT saw Enfield screaming into the 1960's, the Interceptor has catapulted them squarely into the 1970's.  That's probably enough for the Indian market, which will make huge allowances for a traditional domestic motorcycle. But to anyone with an understanding of the international motorcycle industry, it could have been so much more
."   :o
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 04:26:15 pm by Richard230 »
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hpwaco

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Reply #1 on: February 05, 2018, 09:17:24 am
Sort of agree.  After seeing the new Interceptor at the Dallas IMS, I kind of felt like it was a 70's UJM clone.


GSS

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Reply #2 on: February 05, 2018, 07:27:41 pm
Good points. Even the silver, black and orange color schemes on the Interceptors are identical to the Suzuki TU250 models sold in the US over the past few years.
2014 GT - Red...lowest VIN off the first boat!
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paulie

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Reply #3 on: February 06, 2018, 05:14:57 am
Well, I love 1970s motorcycles, so maybe irs perfect for me.


Guaire

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Reply #4 on: February 06, 2018, 08:18:51 am
Well, I love 1970s motorcycles, so maybe irs perfect for me.

Yep. I like them.
This Kerr fellow reminds of movie reviewers. A movie is like a motorcycle. It’s a team effort. It needs to be built. There is a specific plan of what to build. Did the director build it along the line, established by writer(s), producer(s) and financier(s), or not? Then along comes a reviewer after a screening, saying the picture was romantic and sad. That’s exactly what the team wanted to build, and he says, “wha, wha, whine.” Meanwhile the critic couldn’t write, produce or finance a film.
  The looks of the new 650s are there to make the connection to the big twins built in the 60s, that I rode in the 70’s. So far so good. The only questions left relate to build quality and reliable performance.
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Chuck D

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Reply #5 on: February 06, 2018, 09:36:20 am
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glynn_Kerr

A few years ago when these twins were still a rumor he published some beautiful designs (around the Indian V twin)  of his own in Motorcycle Consumer News. I wish I could dig 'em up. But any way, he's right. RE played it safe.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 09:51:17 am by Chuck D »
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hpwaco

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Reply #6 on: February 06, 2018, 10:08:02 am
The new 650's at the Dallas IMS just didn't say "buy me" the way the CGT did back in 2014.   But then I'm 76 and owned 62 and 01 Bonnevilles.  About time for me to consider something smaller and lighter, or maybe even a can am or scooter!


Rattlebattle

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Reply #7 on: February 06, 2018, 12:55:59 pm
I doubt that it really could have been so much more. Like what, exactly? Does he mean a premium product to compete with the T120 Bonneville 1200, or the R NineT BMW? Whilst these are ace bikes IMHO it’s a step too far to go to big capacity (by today’s standards) twins with ride by wire throttles and selectable maps. The CEO of RE has said that they’ll not build a bike bigger than 800cc; their business plan is to capture the mid size segment, retaining air cooling if possible. RE won’t win in a “me too” fight, not until it produces reliable and reasonable quality bikes. It is currently targeting the hipster/custom market. For that it has the right basic mix IMHO i.e. simple, proven engineering design and scope for owners to modify their bikes relatively easily.
To me the 650 has a similar sort of engine to the old Yamaha 650 twin of the seventies but looks a bit like the 750 Norton Commando with an engine that looks a bit like the Norton Jubilee/Navigator/Electra. I believe it will sell well for a brief period (maybe a couple of years) after which tastes will change again. The 500 CGT single has pretty much had its day in the U.K. as far as new sales are concerned. There are only so many buyers who want a 500cc single cafe racer. The Triumph 1200cc Bobber is apparently the biggest seller EVER that Hinckley Triumph has produced; this is set to continue with the new Bobber Black, which is getting brilliant reviews and is considered to be even better. Personally I’ll wait to see what early adopters think of the 650 twin and then see what new variants come out in season two.
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Richard230

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Reply #8 on: February 06, 2018, 04:13:26 pm
Glynn Kerr was apparently comparing the new Interceptor and GT with the originals.  He included a photo of the original RE Interceptor in his article.  However, it was not at all clear to me what he would have liked to see in the way of better styling, which is all that he was discussing. Like I said, I found the article kind of hard to follow. Of course, you do need to keep in mind that he is kind of like an artist comparing the work of another artist - in an industrial sort of way.  ;)
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Bilgemaster

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« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 08:34:00 pm by Bilgemaster »
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal in India.


GSS

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Reply #10 on: February 06, 2018, 09:26:20 pm
Good article.....also agree with hpwaco that these don’t have they same “buy me” appeal as the original GT or C5 release did.  Having seen the Interceptor, I will likely get one, but it’s styling.....is mostly a relief that they did not put in the square engine head that was in the early spy shots.
2014 GT - Red...lowest VIN off the first boat!
2010 C5 - Teal
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LexM

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Reply #11 on: February 07, 2018, 08:13:55 pm
Enfield’s comparative advantage is in selling connection to motorcycling’s past. It isn’t there to surprise, but to delight. Viewed against that backdrop, the Interceptor 650 fits both the aspirations of Enfield’s domestic market and the values of the hipster or nostalgic motorcyclists it seeks to connect with in overseas markets. If that’s “safe,” please—bring on more safety!
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Rattlebattle

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Reply #12 on: February 08, 2018, 06:02:13 am
I agree; the strategy works well enough for Triumph, although in their case it only applies to part of the range; they make class leader my bikes in other sectors too. Having read the article I’m not impressed; an Alan Cathcart he isn’t. Given the reputation RE has for ancient design updated to suit the modern day, who is likely to buy some radical design by RE? It just isn’t their ethos. I believe that the twins will sell well, but I’ll wait to see what the second series looks like.
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Chuck D

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Reply #13 on: February 08, 2018, 08:07:14 am
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Bilgemaster

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Reply #14 on: February 08, 2018, 02:37:00 pm
Found 'em.
http://www.coroflot.com/Glynnkerr/Royal-Enfield-Cannon

Now THAT'S what I'm talking about, but with comfy seating for two. And lose the slinky rear light nacelle and instead give me some robust and commodious luggagy and carrier options back there for real touring.



Of course you can already get something like this right now from the über-talented folks at Musket V-Twin.  If you want the back story on it, you might enjoy this episode of Jay Leno's Garage.

Incidentally, I for one vastly prefer that old school Royal Enfield logo shown on the tank above.  The newer curlicued one just kinda looks like something you might see on some 14 year old girl's Social Science notebook.  What say you?



« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 03:12:44 pm by Bilgemaster »
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal in India.