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Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 long term review, second report

23rd May 2019 6:00 am

Our Interceptor has kept its promises, and it’s only just begun.

Egged on by the Interceptor’s simplistic appeal, I’d announced all of my ambitious plans with it the last time it was featured on this page. Then, a week passed by without a trace of activity and I began to worry. Thankfully – and to continue with my uncalled-for discourse on great motorcycles from the last time – coming up with a ruse to justify an unreasonably long absence from the office came to me rather naturally. The first such instance saw me cram a clean 2,700km in a matter of four riding days, with a three-day track event wedged in between.

SPRING SEASON: Simple, rugged suspension offers great all-round ride quality.

The Interceptor’s character makes you forget it’s a cut-price twin-cylinder motorcycle (perhaps the cheapest of its sort anywhere in the reasonable world), and its abilities turn even a string of tightly packed, long-distance riding days into an easy-going feature film. And because riding it is so comfortable, I found myself feeling rested and refreshed even on the go, stopping only for fuel or to take a photograph of the bike against something agreeable.

TYRE-D OF IT: Tyre removal, when a puncture strikes, is a nightmare.

Alright, so to call that ride ‘perfect’ would be inaccurate because I have discovered the Interceptor’s Achilles heel – the tyre configuration. Before you misinterpret that, let me assure you that the Pirelli rubber it runs is absolutely ample (although it holds a liberal view on small powerslides over concrete roads). The problem is regarding the ease of tyre removal in case of a puncture. At present, given the rim design, the only way to effectively remove the tyre is with the help of a pneumatic machine – which, as many of you would know, isn’t exactly commonplace in India. In the two instances I picked up (a total of five) punctures, I spent a few hours each time just to access the tube – and then another hour or so re-mounting the tyre. It’s frustrating, no doubt, but in a place with negligible assistance, it can mean deep trouble. Now Royal Enfield was kind enough to loan me a new set of tubes, but in the long run, it’s probably advisable to switch to alloys with suitable tubeless tyres; Royal Enfield is going to offer such a setup as an accessory fitment in the time to come, and as much as it takes away from the bike’s classical aesthetics, it’s worth all the trouble you’ll have saved.

I have bigger trouble at hand now, though. While I was daydreaming about yet another ride, Hormazd helped himself to the Interceptor’s keys (erm, along with the motorcycle); and if his enthusiastic weekend plans are anything to go by, I suppose my time with this lovely motorcycle is up. So long, then!

Also see:

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 long term review, first report

Fact File
Distance covered 5,725km
Price when new Rs 2.50 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Maintenance costs Rs 500 (punctures)
Faults None
Previous Report February 2019
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