My Royal Enfield Interceptor 650: Purchase & ownership review

By the time you are in the 6th gear & at 3,000 rpm, you are nearing 80 km/h. The twins do not hesitate to go all the way up to 7,000 rpm.

BHPian aargee recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

The Downtown Drag Grey – Here’s a quick summary of my experience with the Inty.

Since most internet reviews cover the points on price, old-school machine, ABS, twin-cylinder, FI, slipper clutch, spoke tube tires, suspensions, lack of electronics, etc., I’ll try my best being nonconformist from my point of view.

Upshifts

  • Widespread ASC, go to any corner of this nation & there’s an RE ASC.
  • Good (won’t say great) speed masking.
  • By the time you’re in the 6th gear & at 3K RPM, you’re nearing 80 Kmph (70 actually) & that’s just the beginning; the twins don’t hesitate to go all way up to 7K RPM under any condition.
  • Absence of fairing, plastics means, easy to work, if you want that impeccable touch with maintenance.
  • The windblast isn’t that bad as portrayed by many vloggers, it’s certainly manageable for seasoned riders up to the speed of 140 Kmph, of course with full riding gear of good quality only.
  • Bybre with ABS & steel braided lines on fat Inty is fantastic considering it’s a single disk at the front.
  • Max payload is 200 Kg compared to Versys 650’s 180 Kg; in reality, we really don’t need over 160 Kg including accessories for 2 up riders, but more is welcome.
  • Standard RSA offers 3 years warranty with 2 more years of an extended warranty covering puncture, free towing & medical emergency (whatever that means). Towing covers – Vehicle not starting, Accident & breakdown – across the nation.
  • The twin horns sound like a train’s, pauses everyone on the road when used prudently.
  • 47 Bhp & 52 Nm torque is sufficiently adequate considering this is India & Indian traffic standards.
  • Royal Enfield means, lots of aftermarket parts both from India & abroad & fully customizable without considering juggad.

Downshifts (what needs to be improved)

  • Although it doesn’t matter when riding, the very thought of removing the wheel to fix a puncture is a nightmare.
  • Rider ergonomics are not designed for high speed on this motorcycle; more here.
  • Pillion ergonomics have to be re-engineered for sure.
  • When cost-cutting is evident everywhere, why have 2 exhausts? Why not 2 into 1 to save some weight as well? Maybe to compromise exhaust note? (some relief may be here)
  • Absolutely flimsy seat! What’s stopping RE from making a hard foam seat? Rx100 used to get a hard foam seat 3 decades ago.
  • The twin horns sound like a train’s, I’m literally scared to honk unless there’s a real threat on the road. Could’ve mellowed down a bit.
  • Like Ryan says in FortNine, 47 Bhp, 52 Nm torque sounds competitive – in the 1960s.
  • Although 47 Bhp & 202 Kgs are portrayed on the brochure, it’s 46.8 Bhp & 213 Kg in reality that brings 235 Bhp per tonne to 219.7 Bhp per tonne.
  • A 15-liter tank would’ve done justice to 650cc, not sure how expensive & heavy could the bike become to accommodate 1.3 liters additional?

Neutral

  • Weight – Most 650s weigh around 200 Kg, unless we’re talking about Triumphs that weigh less. CBRs, Versys, Z650 all weigh around 200 Kg mark (even the CB500X weighs near to the same).
  • Halogen bulbs are a straight replacement with plenty of aftermarket LEDs (Thanks @man_of_steel).
  • Seat needs a replacement; plenty of seat lining shops.
  • Spoked wheels are a mess to maintain, when left unclean adds it’s share of horrible aesthetics.
  • Want to change color? Simply change the tank or even get painted with plenty of aftermarket options, it’s that simple & costs less.

Given a Chance, I Prefer Riding over Driving

That was the same reason I got my CBR 250R in 2011; just like Andy Dufresne & Red was wondering where their 30 & 10 years went, I was wondering how my 11 years went with my CBR.

And I was unsure if I had outgrown my CBR. As such CBR is still beautiful, strong, delivers what it needs to, absolutely fantastic, just like its sibling RX. But there were many strong signals coming that it cannot do certain things on the highway.

But then, what is that I need to do on the highway every day, every week, every month or every year? Hell, I’m not even riding much these days, do I even need a new motorcycle? Wisdom kicks in & says another shiny novelty lasts not more than a week, maximum of a month after that, it becomes another dead stock. But the mind always works in mysterious ways except being rational!

It was quite clear what to eliminate; but the biggest challenge remains – what to buy. Why? Because the bike lovers are a totally different breed, mostly polygamy never satisfied with one motorcycle!

Once the lockdown had been eased, my friend Vivek (non-TBhpian) & I planned a ride from Chennai to Shoolagiri McD just to have breakfast; as if Chennai didn’t have a McD or we don’t get breakfast at our home. Like I said, bikers are a different breed, we spend 4-5 hours riding to a place to have a cup of tea for 10 minutes, chitchat for half-hour & then ride back home! Atrocious creatures! The ride didn’t materialize as planned in the form of a dog jump that cracked STriple’s radiator that Vivek was riding. That ride from Chennai to a little over Vellore bestirred what CBR could not do what I’m demanding.

And then the usual drama of dilemma unveils in the saga of One Life in search of Triumph Tiger, Street Triple, Z900, Versys 650, KTM 390 & then quietly succumbed to CBR 250R! And in between all these Africa Twin, Bonneville, CB 650R show up promptly to remind they were also present as if I didn’t know.

So, about 2-3 months ago, my friend Vivek having his S Triple still at a workshop awaiting parts, said, give a try with Continental GT, you might like it!

How Friends Influence You

And then when you want to know anything about automobiles, where do you turn in? As a TBHpian, TeamBHP obviously. That is when man_of_steel‘s post caught my attention with his Ravishing Red. It was really ravishing! Very beautiful

And then PMs, numbers exchanged, spoke a little yet brief about RE. But I hate RE! I don’t like the dubu-dubu sound; with RE comes free vibration, unlike Hondas that are vibration-free. But I’ve seen this video & have asked – Is this a Royal Enfield?

Like one incident leads to another, one friend leads to another, jumps in the influencers – neil.jerico teaming up with deepfreak15. A strange combination of owner, non-owner & a race tracker, all 3 of them didn’t have to hammer, but smoothly let me sink in the dreading idea of owning a Royal Enfield.

Dreading as it is! The Royal Enfield!

Their motorcycles fetch more money than any others’ at junkyard; ASCs are pathetic. And then we have dedicated threads like Fixing oil leakage through the tappet door, pure thread only for Oil Leak discussion, Dedicated Thread for Troubleshooting Issues, how a new Thunderbird had oil sump damage, last but not the least, pathetic ASC stories & even bad Sales Experiences. As if these weren’t enough, the much bigger problems of Broken Chassis & Woes of Motorcycle Spending more Time in Workshop.

But then are you buying Bullet or Himalayan? I still feel so; that’s because just like vibrations & Royal Enfield are synonymous, whatever Royal Enfield makes is only Bullet! This is Interceptor boss! This is different; more cylinder means, more vibrations? I think I ought to say both cylinders cancel each other’s vibrations perhaps?

And thus, all factors & folks above coalesced successfully for a test ride.

Had an opportunity to pass by Classic Motors Mogappair in the days to follow & which irked me for an impromptu stop.

Continue reading aargee’s purchase & ownership review for BHPian comments, insights and more information.

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