1.) Design / Legacy: This is not the first time Royal Enfield is using the Interceptor name. Royal Enfield had a 692cc V-twin powered Interceptor on sale in US and Canada in the 1960s. The company has brought the name back into its product portfolio and aims to use the legacy to its advantage. In terms of design, like all other Royal Enfield offerings, this one too has a retro appeal, but at the same time it draws inspiration from its predecessor. The round headlight, signature RE tank, spoke wheels and the RE logo on the tank have all give away its retro DNA.
2.) Engine: At the heart of the Interceptor 650 is a new 648cc parallel-twin motor that is good for 47bhp and 52Nm. At the official unveil of the new engine in UK, Royal Enfield said that they haven’t tried to pull out the maximum power output from the motor. The company wanted to ensure that the engine is quick, but not overly quick that it will scare riders away. The Chennai-based bike maker claims that the Interceptor can comfortably be ridden at speeds of 160km/h. To keep the secondary vibrations under control, the crank has been fitted at a 270-degree angle. Primary vibrations will be taken care of by the balancer shaft. The engine comes mated to a 6-speed transmission.
3.) Ergonomics: The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is based on an all-new steel-tubular double cradle frame. The Continental GT 650 will also be based on the same platform. The Interceptor is 2,122mm long, 1,165mm tall and 789mm wide. The high 174mm ground clearance should be good enough to tackle the rough roads we have here in India. The rider sits 804mm off the ground. The tall handlebar, flat seat and the centrally placed foot pegs should make for a comfortable riding posture.
4.) Suspension and brakes: Suspension duties are performed by a 41mm telescopic forks up front and twin shocks at the back. The front has a travel of 110mm while the back boasts of 88mm travel. The Interceptor has been fitted with a 320mm disc brake up front and a 240mm disc at the back. It will come equipped with a dual-channel ABS too.
5.) Launch and competition: Royal Enfield first showcased the Interceptor at EICMA 2017 and followed it up with the India debut at the Rider Mania last week. Expect the first batch of the Interceptor 650 to go on sale around April 2018. Interestingly, the company has decided to first put it on sale in the European market. That being said, the bike is expected to be launched in India next year as well. In fact, along with the Interceptor 650, Royal Enfield will also bring in the Continental GT 650 – which also shares the same cycle parts. The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 doesn’t quite have a direct competitor in the Indian market. Its closest rival is the Triumph Street Twin which too categorises as a premium offering. Expect the Interceptor 650 to be launched at around Rs 3-3.25 lakh.