What a bike is the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650?
There were two motorcycles from the new course Royal Enfield that intrigued me about all of them. Of the first, the Himalayan, I talked to you last month (see my video here). The second is this: the Interceptor 650.
Vintage style from the sixties inglesina, with a nice twin-cylinder air / oil engine studied in detail to be faithful to the original Interceptor of the period, human performance and attractive price are the first elements we notice.
But let's take a quick step back: before Royal Enfield became a fully-fledged Indian company, in England he built excellent motorcycles as well as armaments for his majesty. Hence the motto “made like a weapon, fast as a bullet”. And think that it is the oldest motorcycle brand as the foundation is even of the 1890.
In 1962 the latest model produced in England was called the Interceptor. Obviously it was a twin-cylinder front-speed in full English school and to know what it looked like you just have to look at its heir today.. Its beauty, however, was not enough to save the company from the unstoppable Japanese tsunami. Fortunately, the production of the Bullet had already been moved to India in Chinnai. And from there another life began for Royal Enfield, which unfortunately closed its doors at home.
Modern-day Royal Enfield is no longer even the one that licensed the Bullet for the local market without changing a bolt., it is becoming a global company with models that also affect our market, like this Interceptor.
- Motore: parallel twin 648 cc, 4T, air / oil
- Cambio: 6 marches
- Potenza: 34,6 kW (47 CV) a 7250 rpm
- Couple: 52 Nm a 5250 rpm
- Weight: 202 kg dry
- Tank: 13,7 litri
- Altezza sella: 804 mm
- Wheels: 18 – 18
- Approval: Euro 4
- Prezzo: 6.300 Euro
- Maintenance intervals: 10.000 km
- Average consumption detected: 27 km / l
How is this Interceptor made?
The engine is the most classic you can have today in compliance with Euro regulations 4. Fifty horses and fifty Newton meters: it's not just classic in look, but also in substance, it is air cooled / oil and is combined with a six-speed gearbox.
The chassis obviously includes a very classic double cradle frame on which a fork from 41 mm in diameter with 101 mm of travel and a pair of Paioli gas shock absorbers adjustable in preload and with (just) 80 mm di escursione. The brake compartment with disc of 320 mm in front and 240 mm on the back signed ByBre, therefore the cheapest brand of Brembo. By law there is ABS. The wheels are both 18″ with tires 100/90 and 130/70. The original equipment includes the Pirelli Phantom Sportcomp. Both the pedal and handlebar levers appear rather poor and are not adjustable. Clutch and gas have cable control.
In front of the handlebar stands the elegant double analogue instrument with a small digital display that indicates total kilometers, partial and fuel level.
In general the general finishes look good and satisfy eye and touch. They are not at the same level as the best segment competitors such as Triumph or Moto Guzzi or Kawa W800, but neither is the price. Some welds denounce a little’ cheap but the painting is good and there is very little plastic.
Some official accessories are mounted on the test model: fairing, central stand, sump guard, bellows, paramotor, adjustable black rearview mirrors.
How you ride the Interceptor?
The driving position is comfortable and natural thanks to the nice wide handlebar, equipped with crossbar, straight and above all high. This allows for an erect torso despite the small size of the Interceptor. The saddle is alone 804 mm above the ground, therefore on average the feet rest well on the ground. Equally, on average, the knees are quite bent and come to touch the cylinders because there is good ground clearance and therefore the footboards are quite high. For those approaching six feet I think it can be uncomfortable. The saddle, very pleasing to the eye and to the touch, it is not very padded and it takes a few hours of driving to notice it. In case of short trips… well it's perfect.
As you drive?
At the start you can see how the single-plate clutch with cable control detaches rather high, but never mind, it is clearly better than that of the Himalayan. It is then soft and friendly, also because the gearbox works very well, it is precise and fits perfectly even without the aid of the clutch.
I like the classic riding position with the saddle low but not too low and the wide handlebars. The height and width lead to standing quite erect, you take in more air, but in the end, if I don't want to get some air, I choose another type of motorcycle or vehicle…
The delivery of the twin Royal Enfield is pretty smooth; the push is hard to come by 2000 turns and rises steadily up to 7500 when the limiter intervenes. Certainly does not tear the arms but amuses the right on country roads. The regime of use therefore is always between 3 e i 5000 giri. There is no need to squeeze the Interceptor twin because it has the right amount of torque and the recovery is always good even with a long ratio and those undervoltage revs that I love to hear in these air / oil..
The sound coming from the exhausts is pleasant, so generous in size that you want to change them. The braking seemed very good to me, more than adequate for general performance and even the ABS intervention is never too invasive.
The wheelbase of 1400 mm and the wheels of 18″ make it less quick to change direction than the wide handlebars and light to the ground would hope, but just take a while’ measures, drive it a lot of… buttocks and less than arms, maybe adjust the preload of the rear shock absorbers to find the right compromise between agility and stability. In fact, on the fast it goes away which is a pleasure, just like the beautiful double cradle of the seventies. The suspensions, however, do not filter very well: well on the smooth, but when there is disconnected they make themselves felt, especially behind.
Excellent original equipment tires: I would be curious to see it with something more sculpted to try it with more ease on some dirt road, but removing these Pirelli Phantoms is a shame, they are perfect.
Finally, consumption is excellent, in my laps they were closer to 30 km per liter that ai 25! I conclude with a final note: maintenance intervals are set every 10.000 km which is not bad at all.
What I like?
- Balanced and authentic classic aesthetics
- Pleasant engine to see and to drive
- Driving pleasure at all speeds
- Very interesting quality / price ratio
What I do not like?
- Sella little padded
- Suspensions, later species, little filtering
- Non-adjustable and economical looking levers
Who I recommend the Royal Enfield Interceptor to?
For those looking for the right bike to make a good impression but don't want to faint or have an old gate without brakes. In short, for those looking for a motorcycle that retains not only the style but also the classic soul, that is as close as possible to the motorcycles of the late sixties but with some tricks of our times such as injection and ABS. For those who want a bike that can be enjoyed every day of the year, not just parked.