Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Review 2021
The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is one of the best-selling motorcycles in the UK, and the sales are not showing any sign of dropping any time soon. It is the most value-for-money motorcycle in the classic retro segment right now. But it takes much more than classic looks to be one of the most popular motorcycles in the market.
The 648cc Oil-Air-Cooled parallel-twin engine produces 47 hp (34.9 kW) @7150 rpm and 52.3 Nm @5150 rpm. The engine provides loads of low-end grunt, as around 80% of the torque is produced below 2500 rpm. The mid-range is strong, and the top-end also does not let down. The engine is responsive to every little twist of the throttle. Ex-Triumph engineers designed it, and it is evident in the engine's refinement even at higher RPMs. The exhaust note is impressive even with the stock exhaust, owing to the 270° firing order.
Design and Ergonomics:
Royal Enfield nailed the classic old-school British roadster looks of the Interceptor. With its polished aluminium finish, the engine grabs all the attention as the centrepiece of the motorcycle. The twin dials at the front provide the Speed, RPM, Odometer, Fuel, and Trip A&B. The 'Monza' fuel-cap, spoke wheels. Twin exhausts add to the overall character of the motorcycle reminiscent of the original Interceptor from the '60s. Paired with some beautiful paint schemes and the occasional dash of chrome, the Interceptor is guaranteed to turn a lot of heads as it roars down the road.
The seating position is quite relaxed and upright. You would not feel tired even after prolonged riding. The seat height is an accessible 805 mm, so shorter riders should not have any problem. You will be able to accommodate a pillion on the flat diamond-quilted seats if need be. There are not many storage spaces in the motorcycle, but the frame allows plenty of tie-down points to carry some luggage for that weekend trip.
Performance and Handling:
The Interceptor is quick and nimble. It weighs 217 kg in running order, so not a light motorcycle by any means, but the chassis developed by Harris Performance (which was acquired by Royal Enfield) does a wonderful job of hiding the weight once it gets up to speed. There is enough punch throughout the entire power band, and the Interceptor never leaves you yearning for more power. It handles motorway speeds with absolute ease, even if you have a pillion on board. The 6-speed gearbox is slick and shifts neatly. The Interceptor returns a fuel efficiency of about 52 mpg, so the 13.7-litre tank should provide a range of about 190 miles.
There is dual-channel ABS and a wet multi-plate slipper clutch, but that's about all the rider aids you will get. The Pirelli tyres provide a remarkable grip even on wet surfaces, and the Bybre (A Brembo subsidiary) 320 mm front and 240 mm rear brakes inspire confidence to push harder. The suspension may be a bit on the softer side, but the overall ride quality is very good.
Warranty and Servicing:
Royal Enfield provides three years unlimited mileage manufacturer-backed warranty with roadside assistance. Since it was launched back in 2018, it has only received minor upgrades to comply with stricter emission norms. The long-term owners swear by the reliability of the motorcycle. The service and maintenance costs are relatively low, characteristic for Royal Enfields, and spare parts are cheap and easy to come by. The aftermarket support for the Interceptor is also worth mentioning.
The price ranges from £ 6039 to £ 6539 depending on the colour scheme you choose. The manufacturer provides several accessories to personalize your motorcycle, which you can equip when you buy and will cost extra.
The Interceptor might not have any electronic rider-aids and uses some cheap-looking parts as part of the cost-cutting. Still, the build quality is comparable to competitors such as Triumph Street Twin and Kawasaki W800. After all, keep in mind that both the mentioned motorcycles command a premium of around £ 2000 over that of Interceptor. Being A2 license compliant, it appeals to both new riders and returning riders alike. The Interceptor is a jack of all trades and played a pivotal role in getting Royal Enfield back on the radar.