Recently, a British rider tried out the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 retro street motorcycle on England’s roads for an extended period of time. During his interaction with the motorcycle, he was full of praise for it. He even called it better than Triumph’s Bonneville T120 in many aspects. Here is what he actually meant when he compared the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 with the Triumph motorcycle.
As the rider clearly mentions in the video,
1. The Triumph Bonneville T120 is comfortable doing 50 Kph in 3rd gear while the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 happily chugs on in 6th gear at 50 Kph. The reviewer attributes this to the excellent tractibility the Royal Enfield’s 650cc engined offered. This can be due to two main reasons. 1. The engine designed for strong low end and mid range performance. 2. Gear ratios tweaked to suit lower city speeds.
2. The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is 90 % of the Triumph Bonneville/Street Twins at a much lower price tag. Taking the Indian market into reference, the Intercptor is nearly 3 times cheaper than the Street Twin range. For someone who wants 90 % of the Bonneville’s performance at just 30 % of the cost. the Interceptor simply nails it.
The motorcycle, along with its cafe racer styled – the Continental GT 650 – was launched late in 2018. The hugely competitive price tags of both motorcycles meant that the demand was high right from day one. Even today, the Interceptor and Continental GT 650 command over 3 months of waiting across most, if not all Royal Enfield dealerships across India. Both motorcycle share identical parts with only the styling and the fuel tank being significantly different.
Both motorcycles are powered by an identical 647cc, twin cylinder petrol engine with fuel injection and air-oil cooling. It makes 47 Bhp of peak power and 52 Nm of peak torque. This motor is paired to a six speed manual gearbox, again a first for a Royal Enfield. This gearbox even has a slip assist clutch. Suspension duties are handled by a telescopic front fork and twin gas charged shock absorbers.
Royal Enfield has plans of dropping the newly developed, 650cc engine into the likes of the Himalayan and the Classic. However, this will take at least a year to fructify. So, don’t expect a Himalayan 650 anytime before 2020. In the meantime, Royal Enfield also has a lot of work to do with ensuring good after sales service and dealer experience for buyers, who may stick with the brand for life.