Royal Enfield unveiled its modernistic motorcycle the Interceptor INT 650 at the EICMA Motor Show, Milan, Italy on November 7, 2017. And it went straight from the expo podium to the hearts of moto enthusiasts all around the world. The Interceptor INT 650 keeps in tune with the masculine classic vibe that Royal Enfield themselves have put forward over the years, in a mid-weight motorcycle. While visually beautiful with clean lines and clutter free design, it stays elegant and forward-looking as well. Royal Enfield unveiled Interceptor GT 650 in India during its annual rider mania in Panaji on Nov 19th.
The Interceptor 650 undeniably gives the most loved classic RE charm with its narrow ‘tear-drop’ fuel tank, quilted twin seat,7’’ headlight, twin clock front and distinguishing wide braced, high handlebars. The wide braced handlebars are expected to offer a very comfortable riding posture. This Retro Cruiser is built around the all-new, dedicated steel-tubular double cradle framed chassis that’s so nimble and precise, it was cited to be ‘framed like a picture’ by RE. The chassis has been developed from the ground up by the team at Royal Enfield’s UK Technology Centre, and Harris Performance.
The Interceptor 650 is engineered to handle diverse terrains and control speed with ease. It’s equipped with classic 18’’ front and rear Pirellis and Dual Disc ABS Brakes, which assures the vital safety guarantee to this motorcycle. The motorcycle is suspended by a 41mm front fork which has a 110mm travel and a pair of twin coil-over shocks at the rear with 88mm travel. With a Ground Clearance of 174 mm and seat height of 804mm, it gives out an upright and commanding riding position. It is expected to come with chrome and stainless steel silencer slip-ons, acrylic fly-screen, single and twin seat cowls and soft canvas panniers as styling accessories. The Interceptor INT 650 will be available three quirky and dynamic color palettes – Orange Crush, Ravishing Red and Silver Spectre and two distinct styles – Standard and Retro Custom. While the Standard range takes inspiration from the RE motorcycles of the 60’s, the Retro Custom range supposedly comes with a bolder version of graphics and colours.
This impressive roadster which is built for both city-riding and highway-cruising, is powered by the first modern Royal Enfield 650 twin engine which is a 4 stroke, 270 degree crank, single overhead cam, air-oil cooled, 648 cc parallel twin delivering 47 bhp of power at 7100 rpm and it churns out a peak torque of 52 Nm at 4000 rpm. The oil-cooler for the engine features a small radiator that is mounted on the double-cradle chassis. Similar to the previous engines from Royal Enfield, this too has a strong low and mid-range performance, making torque accessible throughout the rev range. The highly precise Bosch fuel injection system ensures accessible power is available from the instant the throttle is opened. The engine is coupled to a six speed gear box which comes with the new ‘slip/assist’ clutch to reduce the lever effort. This will provide easy-riding experience in traffic and prevent wheel-hop when downshifting gears. The Interceptor is built to easily cruise at speeds north of 150Kmph on European and American roads.
Interceptor weighs 202 kg (dry) with a fuel tank capacity if 13.70 liters. This motorcycle is undeniably part of an endeavor by Royal Enfield to lead and expand the mid weight (250 cc -750 cc) motorcycle segment. Globally, the Interceptor has been built to compete with the likes of Harley Davidson Street 750 and Triumph Street Twin. The same has been confirmed by Royal Enfield CEO Siddhartha Lal in the sidelines of EICMA 2017 as "While for our large customer base in India, the new 650 twins will be a compelling upgrade, we believe it will attract customers from other developing markets in South East Asia and Latin America to graduate to the middle weight segment".
The bikes will be first made available in the European market and then will be launched in other markets across the globe. The company claims that most markets will start receiving the motorcycle by April 2018. The With the RE game never old, and the new and impressive features they bring with the Interceptor, one can say they are most definitely on the right track to dominating the target market.
But in a highly price sensitive market like India, where how much ever exceptional a bike is, the selling price always plays a massive role in buying decision and market reach. This is where the Interceptor presents us with a fantastic and positively unsettling price range. The expected price of Interceptor is around 3 lakhs. It was predicted in various forums that if Royal Enfield was able to keep the pricing of the Interceptor below ₹ 4 lakh, then there are high chances of the bike becoming a best-seller. This aggressive pricing can really go a long way in ensuring the success of this motorcycle in Indian markets. Adding to this is Royal Enfield's decidedly bigger sales and also their service network, which makes maintenance as effortless as it can be. Also, let’s not forget the ardent fan base that RE have. It will also present itself as an enticing opportunity for all those who long for being in the RE brotherhood to join in finally as a proud owner of Interceptor 650. A combination of all these would definitely make any other competitor fall low in the extent of market reach that RE can have with this heritage inspired machinery that carry the Royal Enfield legacy, the Royal Enfield Interceptor INT 650.