There are a few things that come into my head when I'm talking about the Royal Enfield Interceptor and at the top are exciting, fun and a great value for money. So as BS-VI becomes the new norm in town, we got our hands on the latest updated Interceptor 650 to see if those values still hold true to the motorcycle.
Design and Styling
So, in its transition to BS-VI, the Interceptor 650 has changed very little. To name all of them, there is an LED DRL that sits along with the headlight and that’s pretty much it. In terms of visuals, the new one carries no changes and that’s not a bad thing at all. We have always loved the design since the beginning that is proportionate and comes with a neatly built neo-classic appeal. And while looks are subjective, we really loved the Baker Express colour that we had. The motorcycle continues to have the same top-notch paint finish, along with the quality of the materials that comes with no compromises.
The cycle parts including the brakes, the suspension and the tyres remain the same as the BS-IV version. Which means you get telescopic forks at the front and dual springs at the rear which are set on a slightly softer side. This is probably the only notable downside as the setup, in its stock form, bottoms out in deep potholes. That being said, the motorcycle also has pre-load adjusters that can improve things considerably.
In terms of braking there are disc brakes at the front as well as the rear and the motorcycle comes with dual-channel ABS as well. The setup provides plenty of feedback and the ABS works like a charm with minimal intrusions. Now if we are talking about city riding then the aforementioned elements along with the Pirelli Phantom Sportcomp tyres masks its 648-cc 202-kg persona, making it a hoot to ride even in heavy traffic.
Comfort and Ergonomics
Now, the idea of a neo-retro motorcycle always ranked down below in my list of preferences. And that is exactly what the Interceptor 650 managed to change. With an upright riding posture and handlebars that are pulled closer to the rider, the motorcycle can definitely woo a typical Indian buyer, even the ones who thought all things orange is the way to go. However, if we are speaking of the ergonomics, we did wish that the seat was a bit broad and the foot-pegs were positioned a bit differently as it hits the shin whenever you are backing it up.
And now coming to its piece de resistance, the engine. The 649-cc engine in the Interceptor 650 now obeys to the stringent BS-VI emission norms and is greener than before. In its new avatar, the old thump has been reduced and there is a prominent wheeze that one can notice. Apart from this, with peak torque coming in at as low as 3,000rpm, the motorcycle comes with fun by the bucket load. This also means that the engine is relaxed and can do 45 to 50 kmph in sixth gear with ease.
So to sum it all up, it is easy to say that even after multiple price hikes since its launch, the Interceptor 650 continues to be the perfect case study for a value for money motorcycle. One can go on about how a 648cc parallel-twin is just delivering 47bhp, but then again it's not the figures on paper that matter, it's how each element of the motorcycle comes together to make up for an exciting and fun machine. You see the best bricks in the world don't necessarily make the best buildings. Every once in a while it's good to see a motorcycle with so much character, a motorcycle that goes from being something that you admire to something that you desire.