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.
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.