Interceptor 650 test drive: A royal bike from Enfield

Interceptor 650 test drive: A royal bike from Enfield
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The Royal Enfield tagline 'Made like a gun, goes like a bullet' aptly describes its Interceptor 650, which, even detractors of Enfield won’t have any qualms in agreeing. The bike that can be best described in one word – royal - has already found a place in the hearts of bike lovers across the world.

There is no doubt that Interceptor is the best bike that has come out of the Enfield stable. Every feature that gives the right amount of confidence to the rider has been incorporated in an impressive way. We can definitely say it is one of the best bikes in the 250 to 750 cc (middle weight) segment. The price tag ranges from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 2.85 lakh ex-showroom.

Design

Interceptor has one of the best riding positions among the middle weight segment bikes, thus supporting long and relaxing cruises. Wide handlebars and low foot pegs also aid long cruises. It can comfortably accommodate a pillion rider.

Interceptor 650 test drive: A royal bike from Enfield

The bike is a modern classic roadster that derives inspiration from the 60's Royal Enfield Interceptor. Except ravishing red, all other models proudly wear the new Royal Enfield logo. The vehicle is available in six colours. Compared to older models, Interceptor 650 sports identical upswept twin tailpipes.

The specially designed handlebar offers an upright riding posture. Build quality for the most part is quite good. The retro-looking instrument console features with a fuel indicator, RPM meter and speedo meter. Though it doesn't have LED lights, the headlamps are good enough for night-time riding. The company claims that the Interceptor is a modern classic that reminds one of the simple, old school bikes. The company could consider providing ultramodern meter consoles similar to international brands in updated models of the bike. But these small shortcomings will vanish once you ride the bike.

Interceptor 650 test drive: A royal bike from Enfield

Performance

In performance, Interceptor 650 can rival any international brand. It is unfair to compare Interceptor with other Enfield bikes. Interceptor has an impressive engine, while other factors that make it the best include balancing, slipper clutch, braking, road grip and handling. On the highway, Interceptor can challenge any Indian bike. The result of 10 years' research, the engine that powers Interceptor is a single overhead cam 648 cc air-cooled parallel twin unit. Developed in England, the engine produces 47 bhp of peak power at 7,250 rpm and 54 Nm of peak torque at 5,250 rpm. The exhaust note of Interceptor reminds one of middle weight bikes with its 270-degree firing order. The lovely twin-cylinder thrum will surely floor bike enthusiasts for sure. But it's a far cry from the characteristic slow thump of the single engine. However, the lovely burbling sound is good enough to be a head turner in traffic.

Interceptor 650 test drive: A royal bike from Enfield

The engine provides impressive throttle response. From low speeds it can pick up pace in a matter of seconds; 0-100 will take only six seconds. On the highway, it can easily cruise at 140 kmph without any vibrations; it feels composed and unstressed at all speeds. Brakes too have enough bite. On open roads, it is easy to reach 170 kmph. You can ride the bike at 140 kmph all day without any hassles. On busy roads too, Interceptor won't disappoint. Though it weighs 200 kg, people who are not tall enough too can handle the bike easily. On city roads, the larger engine does give off a fair amount of heat but compared to other Enfield bikes it is nothing much.

The front suspension has 41 mm forks with 110 mm of travel, while the rear suspension is twin coil-over shocks with 88mm travel, offering a comfortable ride over any surface. The Pirelli Sportcomp tyres - 100/90 in the front and 130/70 in the back - provide good grip, giving the rider great confidence to handle twisties and turns.

Interceptor 650 test drive: A royal bike from Enfield

A 320 mm single floating disc on the front wheel and a 240 mm on the rear wheel do the braking duty, which are further assisted by a dual-channel ABS system. The 174 mm ground clearance helps the bike tackle all kinds of terrains.

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is one of the best middle weight bikes currently made in India. Besides, it has the company's best engine. On the pricing front, the bike has no competitors. In twin-cylinder segment, Interceptor is undoubtedly the best bike in India. Breaking with the past, the company has brought out special extra fittings for the bike which can be bought online from the Royal Enfield website. The company claims that the bike has already got 15,000 bookings in India. With Enfield going global with its bikes, the fans are on a high. It is expected that the company will provide servicing facilities on par with global brands too.

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