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2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Long Term Review: Introduction

12 May 2022, 08:30 AM Pratheek Kunder

Introduction

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Front View

I’m going to start this report with a confession. I was never a fan of Royal Enfield. I didn’t hate the brand. I just didn’t appreciate them selling Indians the same old heavy modern-retro motorcycles at a price tag where the profit margins are fat. But things changed when I rode with Siddharth Lal, MD of Royal Enfield, at the Himalayan media ride back in 2016. More than the ride, it was the conversation with him that made me track the brand quite a lot. The conversation about his vision for the brand made me feel something big was happening. A few years later, the new 650cc platform happened. I was in awe the moment I rode it. And then, the new Meteor 350 was launched – a bike that is built around the brand’s new J platform. I loved every bit of that motorcycle. 

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

  • Displacement648 cc
  • Mileage - Owner Reported24 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)47 bhp
  • Kerb Weight202 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 2,88,175

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Odometer

Now, 2022 was slated to be a year of travel for me. So, I was in the market for a motorcycle that would allow me to do decent speeds on the highway. And that’s why the 2022 KTM 390 Adventure was booked. I cancelled it after a few weeks, thinking I would have to adjust to that motorcycle. Then, I booked the motorcycle again for there was nothing else on the market, and that is when the prototype of the new Himalayan 450 was spotted. The 390 Adventure got cancelled again, sadly. I thought I could wait for 18 months for the new Himalayan, only to realise that’s going to be an extremely difficult affair. That same evening, I spotted the Interceptor in Mark 2 paint scheme below my gym. She looked outstanding. The next day, I went to the nearest Royal Enfield showroom and bought the 2022 Interceptor but in the Downtown Drag scheme, as my better half wasn’t too impressed with the chrome.  

The bike

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Front View

The 2022 Interceptor 650 is marginally improved and better than the launch model. The folks at Royal Enfield have managed to give it some updates that have refreshed the motorcycle and made it more relevant. The most obvious change has come in the form of new colour options. There are plenty of new ones. The one you see here is a matte scheme and is called the ‘Downtown Drag’. This one is the only matte paint scheme for the 2022 Interceptor 650. There is one chrome version as well, but it is also the most expensive model.

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Fuel Tank

Other updates have come in the form of a clearer headlight cover and a small LED there. I have ridden Vikrant’s INT, which is the launch model and it is clear that the 2022 model is more refined and the overall NVH has been improved too. The majority of the motorcycle brands tend to continuously develop a motorcycle and when it is ready for deployment, they usually don’t wait for a major model to be launched. They just do it whenever there’s a model-year update.

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 windscreen

I also added a few accessories before taking the delivery of the bike. I have installed a sump-guard, touring mirrors, long tinted windscreen, compact silver crash guard, and touring seats. I also got the brace pad installed which has a huge RE logo. These accessories cost me additional Rs 18,000 and luckily, all were available in the showroom. I paid another Rs 9,000 to get a five-year extended warranty and RSA. I felt this was steep pricing, but I have always believed in getting the maximum warranty possible. All these additions pushed the price more. So, I ended up paying Rs 3.76 lakh (on-road, Mumbai).  

The Plan

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Right Rear Three Quarter

The plan with my 2022 Interceptor is to commute to the office, thrice a week. So that’s about 140km of the ride each day. I plan to do this till monsoon, post that, I have touring intentions. In short, a lot of Mumbai to Mangalore rides because that way, I get to spend time with my parents and also ride on my favourite roads. Just for your information, the Yellapur to Kumta route is a proper riding stretch. It is in Karnataka, so you are bound to see a lot of greenery and wildlife if you are lucky.

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Right Side View

Now post the touring season, I might be tempted to start with some basic modifications on the motorcycle. Changing the exhaust is a big temptation, but will take a final call in the next few months. I love the way this matte paint scheme looks on the Interceptor, but I did see one aesthetic mod that made the motorcycle look so much cooler. If that decal is available in India, I’ll get it installed on the motorcycle.

Bike Stats

Odometer: 90kms

Fuel Efficiency: Yet to test

Price: Rs 3.56 lakh (on-road Mumbai)

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi  

Gallery

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