Royal Enfield

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Royal Enfield’s 650 Interceptor has been one among two 650cc twins that Indian buyers have been craving for, for quite some time now. In 2018, Royal Enfield finally launched the motorcycle in the market here, luring a lot of interested buyers to showroom floors. Let’s find out what makes it special.

Retro charm

When you look at the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 for the first time, it does impress you. The design is simple, classic and undeniably pretty, but it’s far from being unconventional. The honest-to-goodness design isn’t particularly modern, and it appears quite basic upon first glance, particularly with its circular headlight, huge tank, the big RE logos and lengthy flat seat. Royal Enfield Bikes have various colours available for customers, but the main colour theme changes are more to do with the fuel tank. There’s a black quarter panel beneath the seat, while some of the remaining details of the bike are shared with its twin sibling. Parts like the fuel tank, foot pegs, handlebar and seat can be changed, making it look like a Continental GT. Nestled in the double-cradle frame is a parallel twin, adding to the stance of the motorcycle. Much of what you see has been inspired by some of its old models and the overall rounded design theme stays. You’ll be able to notice all of it on the engine, polished cam covers, intake and throttle body covers and the gleaming cases beneath. Even the exhaust pipes are finished in chrome.

There’s no denying the fact it’s a beautifully proportioned bike, and those nicely styled indicators and brake lights are on-point. What further give it a classic look are those 18-inch spoked wheels that get wrapped by Pirelli rubber. Those huge dual exhausts can have you mistake it for being a bigger bike from afar. But because of their size, you might want to consider being more careful in traffic. The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 features metal protectors that help keep the hot engine away from you, particularly when you’ve got both feet on the ground.

You don’t get any LED lamps and full digital instrument cluster. Now while the bike does appeal old-school, practicality and comfort haven’t been compromised. There’s a compact digital readout integrated in the twin-pod instruments that display fuel, an odometer and two trip meters. If speed is not what you’re after, then all of these details serve the purpose. Wiring doesn’t jut out haphazardly, making the packaging quite good. Quality and finish will not leave you complaining. It is a bike that has been built well.

The most significant point that is worth a mention is the all-new engine. Once you’re seated, you find that the seat height is just fine. Being a big motorcycle, you’ll have to bear in mind its 202kg kerb weight. Dab on the engine start button, and the motor fires up, sounding like a Royal Enfield never heard of on a modern Royal Enfield Bikes product. Its 648cc, parallel-twin engine sounds raspy and deep; however, it is smooth and the motor responds quite promptly to throttle inputs.

What about ride and handling?

The suspension setup, brakes and chassis are all shared among both 650 twins. The bike features a 41mm fork and double gas charged shock-absorbers manufactured by Gabriel. Disc brake units include a 320mm unit up-front and 240mm unit at the rear, made by Bybre. The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 even features dual-channel ABS. The suspension remain compliant at low speeds, while ride quality, although a bit firm, is comfortable. Performance is brisk and what impresses most is the cornering clearance available, meaning the foot-pegs are safe and sound. Braking performance is decent and grip is great, especially at high speeds. The chassis matches the motor remarkably well, which we think, is typical of Royal Enfield Bikes. However, once you’re past 120kph, the motorcycle gets too light, but not frighteningly so.

Buy the BS6 model?

This is among the manufacturer’s best motorcycles till date, and it’s bound to have you craving to get on to it the moment you get off it. The updated motorcycle retains everything and makes it even better, in terms of performance and styling. It does cost that bit more than the BS4 model, but then, what you get is more motorcycle too. Also, grab the latest info on new bikes, only at autoX.

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