The riding experience in India is quite different than in any other part of the world. In fact, the conditions in India for riding a motorcycle, such as the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, are the ultimate test for the abilities, chassis set-up, and durability of the motorcycle.
Hence, let’s take a closer look at how the first ride of the first modern twin-cylinder motorcycle developed by Royal Enfield went in India.
The Design Test
Even though it is claimed that the Indian 650s come with the same brakes, suspension, chassis, engine tune, and tires like the American ones, the conditions are quite different. Hence, the first test is the design of the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650.
India is a country where people love retro-looking motorcycles. Thus, the orange color of the motorcycle, as well as, the chunky badges on the fuel tank, attracted plenty of attention. Moreover, the quality of the Interceptor 650 is higher than on any other Royal Enfield.
This motorcycle comes with a proportionate, simple and clean design. Likewise, the retro approach is clearly visible in the basic tail lamp, the dispersion-style headlamp lens, and the round clocks. This bike offers a quality level and clean design for the price it comes with.
It also comes with no squeaks or rattles, only some nasty broken stretches along the way.
The Interceptor 650 Powertrain
The powertrain of this motorcycle gave the most lasting impression. It will probably be one of the favorite parts of many riders. It comes with a 648cc parallel twin-cylinder engine. Likewise, it immediately settles into an off-beat rumble with a quick press of the starter.
The deep and raspy note which comes from the dual pipes is very easy to fall in love with. The 270-degree crank parallel-twin powertrain provides the best power curve and usability. The engine churns out 47bhp and 52Nm of torque and reaches 100 miles-per-hour or 160kmph mark.
In fact, you can stick the bike in 6th gear at any speed above 50kph. Besides the fact that Interceptor 650 carries about 50 kilos more than a KTM 390 Duke, it is about 0.6s slower. Nevertheless, it can hit a top speed of 170kph. The realistic overall fuel efficiency of around 24-25kpl.
Additionally, there is a reasonably weighted clutch lever and precise shifts. The slip and assist clutch helps smooth out downshifts and the 6-speed gearbox. Thus, this motorcycle is a perfect vehicle for a drive in the city. The engine gives off a fair amount of heat at urban speeds.
However, there are black metal guards on the engine fins which protect the knees from untoward burns.
The Interceptor weighs just over 210kg with a full tank of fuel, a weight you feel that weight when you lift it off the stand. However, due to the wide handlebar and the commanding riding position, you will soon forget about the weight.
It’s important to note that you will notice that the seat is too soft and a sore backside appears in after about an hour on the road. When you are on the open road, you will probably notice that the ride quality feels a little firm. However, no crashes or thuds through potholes will occur.
The rear shocks feel quite soft and can bottom out when getting to two or more big successive bumps on the roads in India. Nevertheless, you are likely to notice this if you go over 100kph through sweeping corners.
If you are willing to invest in a set of aftermarket rear shock absorbers, you will likely enjoy improved dynamics and comfort. You will enjoy riding this motorcycle in the corners as there plenty of lean angle clearance and good grip from the Pirellis.
The Interceptor 650 provides a strong braking performance. The brake setup consists of a 320mm disc upfront and a 240mm disc at the rear. There is a smooth ABS intervention, which is offered as standard.
The price of the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is quite shocking and serves as the icing on top. It starts at 2.50 lakh and the Continental GT 650 at 2.65 lakh. The Interceptor costs around Rs 1.2 lakhs more than the Classic 500. The prices are not competitive at a completely new level.
In a nutshell, the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is a very lovely motorcycle which should prove its reliability in the upcoming period. It is suitable for roads in India and the design is everything you are looking for. Believe us when we say that Royal Enfield won’t be able to make enough of these motorcycles to meet the demand.