What is the
While the Himalayan 411 was greatly responsible for taking Royal Enfield to newer heights and global exposure. Riders in India and abroad appreciated the simplicity of the smaller displacement ADV. But it was the Interceptor that truly gave Royal Enfield the opportunity to present itself as a premium motorcycle maker. And this was thanks to the 650 twin engine.
The engine is a wet-sump, 648cc, air-cooled SOHC, 8v, parallel twin. Fuelling is via Bosch injection and engine management. The crankshaft has a 270° Crank, with a gear-driven balance shaft ahead of the crank. The slipper clutch drives a six-speed gearbox and chain final drive.
With 47 hp at 7,250 rpm and 52 Nm at 5,250, it is a potent engine that delivers a balanced performance at high speeds, cruising on highways or city riding. It also holds potential for future upgrades in power. The compression ratio and revs can be tweaked for higher performance in future models.
What made the Interceptor a game-changer?
You could not buy a good 650cc motorcycle at an incredibly low asking price of Rs 2.5 lakh (ex-showroom) back in 2018 or even today at about Rs 2.8 lakh (ex-showroom). Not only was the engine impressive but it was a good blend in its entirety.
The Interceptor and Continental were both far more refined than any Royal Enfield had been so far. The brakes were better, they had a slipper clutch which had been non-synonymous with Enfield motorcycles until then, and they could go past 160 km/h. Not to mention, the two look great. Plus, the time and effort that’s gone into building the 650 parallel-twin engine speaks through the brilliant-sounding exhaust.
The Interceptor went on to become so popular that it was the best-selling middleweight motorcycle in the UK in July 2020. In other international markets too, the Interceptor is getting good traction and is helping the brand achieve its global ambitions.
Royal Enfield’s origin story in 10 vintage photos: From 1901 to 1952
The creation of a legacy
The Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 have both had model-year updates and the third motorcycle with the same engine platform has been unveiled today. We’ll be riding the new Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 in the coming months but we’re already convinced that the engine in itself will not disappoint.
The Super Meteor 650 is just the beginning of the many other iterations of the 650cc engine that will follow throughout the next year. The story of the 650 twin is still being written as you read this.
While Royal Enfield has also had V-twins in its early years, it was the 350cc that stuck. It was a different time back then. Today, the motorcycle market in India is evolving and evolving fast. Buyers want more than just mileage per litre because buying a motorcycle now means buying an experience. To say the least, Royal Enfield is keeping up with this transition at home and internationally, whilst maintaining its rich legacy of classic motorcycles.