The much awaited 650 twins are finally coming to India by the end of 2018 which is going to be a feast for Royal Enfield fans and tourers in India.
Royal Enfield is a British origin motorcycle company with India as its major market. It has taken over the Indian motorcycle market like a storm in the recent years mainly because of the pricing. Royal Enfield is the only manufacturer offering 350cc and 500cc motorbikes in such low pricing. They are very good at performance too which has created such a large fanbase for RE in India.
Royal Enfield Interceptor was first launched sold in America in the 1960s. It lasted for quite a while in the market and was put to sleep a few years back. Now the newest Royal Enfield Interceptor and Continental GT with all new engine manufactured in India are going to be launched very soon and some lucky people had a chance to ride the 650 twins at California where the bike is already on sale. We have got a lot of information on the upcoming beasts, most of which are going to be exciting and groundbreaking.
Royal Enfield Interceptor Styling and Looks
You wonâ€™t notice any special if classics are not your liking. If you are into modern classics, and you most probably are as you are reading this can find it a simple stunner. Yes, it looks simple and stunning at the same time. The interceptor has no dashing design or flashy decals, it is minimal with a coloured petrol tank, round headlamps, classic handlebar and 18-inch spoked wheels on a double cradle chassis. It offers a laid-back riding position with flats seat, raised handlebars and front fitted footrests. The build quality is good and considering the price it can be rated great even. You canâ€™t pretend not to see the large parallel twin engine with dual exhaust running on both sides all in chrome finish which adds to the modern classic looks. More information on that shortly. But before that let us see what its sibling has got different.
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Royal Enfield Continental GT Styling and Looks
The 650 twins share almost the same body in terms of chassis, engine, suspension and brakes. All of the changes are with the looks and riding position. The Royal Enfield Continental GT is a cafÃ© racer which has a sportier classic look than its sibling. The riding triangle is completely different from Interceptor. The handlebars are clamp on and low fitted, seats more leaning forward, and the footrests are positioned back a bit which sets a more demanding riding position. The styling and paints too look very well and offer a different look to the Continental GT.
Royal Enfield Interceptor Engine and Performance
We are familiar with Royal Enfieldâ€™s build quality even at a much lower price. But does this beast deliver on the engine and performance? The 648cc 4v twin parallel cylinder engine is the newest marvel from Royal Enfield. It produces 47 bhp at 7100 RPM and a torque of 53 Nm at 5250 RPM which is good on paper. On the real, a small twist on the throttle pushes the 203 kg bike forwards with ease.
Twist it further and you get to taste all its torque in the low and mid-range. The modern engineâ€™s crank is a new 270degree firing crankshaft which also adds to the merit of the new RE 650 twins. Matted with this large beast is the 6-speed gearbox with slipper clutch meaning the weight on the clutch is much easier and the shifts are quicker. The gearbox is quick and responsive, never was a shift missed.
Talking about the engine, one important thing many are very eager about. Coz it is the engine that has been holding back the REs for years. How good they design their machine, build efficiently and powerful they are the refinement of the engine has stunted their growth to a noticeable extent. Prepare yourself for a surprise the curse of vibrations is gone now. The engine feels so refined for an RE and it is gonna make a huge bang when it launches in India. Acceleration is the traditional ride by wire and still offers a zero-lag pickup. The engine radiates a small little thud along with the handlebar which canâ€™t be claimed as vibrations, just the overwhelming power output that never is gonna annoy your riding.
Royal Enfield Interceptor Breaks, Suspension, and Handling
The tyres on the 18inch spoke rims are 100/90 in the front and 130/70 on the rear both Pirelli. Both wheels get breaks from Bybre with dual channel ABS. Gabriel has made the 41mm front telescopic and rear dual gas charge absorbers for the 650 Twins.
The suspension on the Interceptor is little stiff and comfortable on long rides. Cornering was fair thanks to Pirelli tyres and stiffer suspensions but there might be a different suspension setup for India keeping mind the not so good roads in our country. The only other difference with the Continental GT is the softer default rear suspension setup to favour the committed riding position. The seat though is positioned right feels narrow and should make difference in long rides.
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Royal Enfield Interceptor Expected Price
Royal Enfield has cut corners at some place. The design looks too barebone but it is absolutely okay for modern classics. Acceleration is done via ride my wire but responsiveness saves it from being a downside. The bare minimal speedometer, simpler switches absence of LED for headlamps are part of the cost-cutting. You will merely forgive all of these when you hear the pricing. The Royal Enfield Interceptor has landed in the US market very close to the Pegasus 500 price. Following that we expect the price in India to be lower than 3 lakhs which will give the competitors run for the money. The performance, build and ride quality are top notch this time and finally, Royal Enfield has nailed it if the pricing goes right am sure they are gonna be a hit in India.