This new 648cc parallel twin engine is lovely. And it is mated to an equally well-engineered gearbox. The engine is smooth, easy revving, brimming with mid-range torque, and though it doesn't rev like a sports bike, the turn of speed is still handsome. Think KTM 390. Okay, it's slower than the KTM, yes, but not by much. Also, the gearshift, is crisp, consistent, and near effortless; something that we don't see on most modern classics. The power delivery is linear too. No jerks, no surprises, just a friendly build-up of torque. In fact, the 650 twin goes about its business with such ease that chances are, every time you look down at the speedo, you'd be going much faster than you thought. Moreover, the fuelling is consistent which makes riding in the city a breeze. The relatively light clutch and throttle action help in this regard too.
Handling wise, the GT certainly feels more alert and willing than the Interceptor. The turn-in is more confident; it doesn't weave as much as the latter, and it's more game for quick direction changes. The GT doesn't just look sporty, it delivers on its design brief quite well.
Braking is strong too. Good bite, good feel, and enough power to bring it down from three digit speeds with ease. Interestingly, when it comes to stock suspension settings, the GT rides better as well. It might feel slightly firmer at slower speeds, but over the bumpy and insulating stuff, it feels a lot more pliant.