Living with a Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
I had never experienced the joys of owning a Royal Enfield. And nor was I interested. I’ve always been the guy who would rather take in the Thrill of Riding instead of just ogling at the beauty of a machine and learning the nuances of servicing. I may have been very wrong though. Royal Enfield has been selling the ‘experience’ to over 60,000 enthusiasts, every month, for several years, until the deadly COVID-19 outbreak. And the Twins exploded on the motorcycling scene, especially because of the tremendous value for money proposition. You still don’t see many Twins on the road but that’s what makes them even more special. Wait. Royal Enfield and special? Yup; that’s what my long term Interceptor 650 has managed to make me say about a Royal Enfield! How did it manage to change my skeptical view?
Well, for starters, the Interceptor is properly fast. I’m a proud owner of a KTM but on any given day, the RE can give any KTM (not the 790 Duke maybe) a run for its money. Traffic light drag races have been tremendous fun and I even managed to surprise an RC 390 owner during a Lavasa ride out. The tractability is so good that you can ride it even in the sixth cog on dual carriageways without any effort. But that doesn’t mean the RE is only meant for lazy bums for it can be super fun for enthusiasts as well. And I can vouch for that after taking several long- trips to Mumbai, Nashik, Bengaluru, Goa and several other places. When it comes to build quality, the Interceptor 650 is exceptionally good. No rattling, no vibrations and absolutely zero delays when it comes to parts availability.
The Pirellis on our bike lasted for about 8000km before giving up. Of course, I have taken the bike off-roading too so we must not discount the wear and tear. Recently, RE even fitted it with a bunch of accessories including a weird-looking fairing and touring seat. The fairing makes a thudding noise but the seat is great and those who do go on long rides must opt for it. Having clocked over 10,000km on the odo I’m now a staunch believer in the virtues of Royal Enfield — the brand. Well, the Interceptor isn’t perfect for sure – the footpegs are awkwardly positioned, the cluster doesn’t feature a basic clock and the suspension is slightly dodgy but other than that, there’s nothing to complain about. Well, when RE lent us the bike, I literally had to fight the boys and pull rank in office to get a hold of the INT650’s keys. I couldn’t be gladder.