facebook
AD

2023 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Alloy Wheels: Road Test Review

Authors Image

Suvil Susvirkar

5,115 Views

Introduction

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Right Front Three Quarter

The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 has finally received a much-awaited update in the form of alloy wheels – something that was long pending. During the same upgrade, Royal Enfield bestowed this neo-retro middleweight model with tasteful colours that further enhanced the visual appeal of the motorcycle, along with new features to improve the ownership experience. Here, we bring our detailed road test review of the 2023 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650.

Styling and Quality

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Left Front Three Quarter

The styling majorly remains unaltered, and the 2023 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 carries forward a familiar, retro design that was first introduced nearly half a decade ago. Thus, the front fascia retains a round shape for the headlight, the instrument cluster is a twin-pod semi-digital unit, and the fuel tank continues to use the tear-drop design.

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Left Side Multifunction Switchgear

But there are some tweaks to add a pinch of modern appeal to this neo-retro middleweight motorcycle. The headlight, for example, is an LED unit and it now boasts a Royal Enfield badge in the centre. Then, the switchgear is rotary style – units that are seen in several existing Royal Enfield motorcycles, including the Super Meteor 650. Notably, the Interceptor 650 misses out on the brushed aluminium finish for the switchgear surrounds and the black units on this motorcycle don’t look as premium as the ones on Royal Enfield’s cruiser motorcycle.

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Right Side View

Another major upgrade comes with the addition of alloy wheels that receive tubeless tyres. But these are limited to select colour options – Barcelona Blue (pictured) and Black Ray. These colours also get a blacked-out look, and thus receive a black finish to the engine covers, exhaust canisters, headlight mount, and rear fender. We received the Barcelona Blue paint theme for this review – and the blue base paint, along with bright orange and yellow graphics look very appealing. However, buyers looking for a proper retro look can opt for the Mark 2 chrome theme.

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Head Light

The build quality remains similar to the BS6 unit, and there’s very little to complain about. The paint quality feels premium, while the blacked-out components look well-finished. The addition of the Royal Enfield logo in the headlight does take attention to detail a notch higher. However, the only thing I would like to change is the switchgear housing that could have been borrowed directly from the Super Meteor 650.

Ergonomics and Comfort

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Left Side View

One of the reasons that make the Interceptor 650 more likeable than the rest of the middleweight motorcycles from Royal Enfield is its ergonomics. With a tall-set handlebar and relatively neutral-set footpegs, the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 offers upright ergonomics. The position of the handlebar also makes it relatively easy to stand on the footpegs to offer some solace to your glute muscles after long hours on the saddle – something that is nearly impossible on the Continental GT 650 and Super Meteor 650.

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Rear Suspension

The ride quality feels comfortable for most of the ride, and it’s only the sharp bumps that can be bothersome. The telescopic front forks and preload-adjustable twin rear shocks perform well in masking the worrying road surfaces, and this comes from a person who is recovering from an injured lower back. Then, the refinement levels are promising, and the vibrations are only evident in the higher revs. This will leave you with a tingling sensation, especially on the highways.Moreover, there are some aspects that need to be improved.

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Head Light

The seat, for example, isn’t the plushest that I have experienced in the near past, while the lack of a windscreen makes windblasts evident from 100kmph onwards. These only get worse as the speedometer needle climbs higher. There is a way to fix these issues, and they are part of the Genuine Motorcycle Accessories or GMA on Royal Enfield’s website. But that’s an additional cost over and above the on-road price of this motorcycle – nearly Rs. 4 lakh (on-road, Mumbai, for alloy wheel variants).

Performance and Handling

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Left Front Three Quarter

The 648cc, parallel-twin, air/oil-cooled engine on the Royal Enfield 650 range is an absolute jewel. It packs loads of torque, and it feels effortless to ride this motorcycle. In fact, 100kmph on the speedometer is achieved at as low as 4,000rpm, while 120kmph comes another 1,000rpm later, at 5,000 rotations per minute – leaving you with sufficient revs for quick overtakes. The peak power and torque output figures are rated at 47bhp at 7,150rpm and 52Nm at 5,250rpm, respectively. You need to ensure that the engine keeps above 2,500rpm to avoid any knocking sounds, and the momentum only starts to fade post 6,000rpm. The assist and slipper clutch mechanism makes life easy, while the six-speed gearbox feels slick.

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Engine From Left

The handling, on the other hand, isn’t this motorcycle’s strongest suit – and the Continental GT 650 outshines in this department. This is mostly due to the soft setting of the rear suspension. However, a few clicks on the rear preload can change things to a commendable extent. At this point, however, you would be trading some of the comfort levels.

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Left Rear Three Quarter

The seat height of 804mm makes it easily accessible to a wide range of riders, and at 5’10” tall, I could effortlessly sit on it with my feet flat on the ground. The turning radius is short as well, which makes filtering through bumper-to-bumper traffic a brisk job. Although the kerb weight of nearly 213kg does make parking tasks a bit difficult, it isn’t impossible. One eventually gets used to moving this motorcycle around or putting it on the centre stand.

Features and Technology

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Head Light

This particular part is where most of the buyers would be disappointed. Unlike the Super Meteor 650, the console on the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 misses out on a gear position indicator and a digital clock – and this can make things a bit bothersome onboard the motorcycle. There is no distance to empty readout or an average fuel economy indicator either. It also misses the Tripper navigation system, which does not help the case.

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Instrument Cluster

However, the twin-pod instrument cluster packs an analogue speedometer and tachometer, while the odometer and trip meters are available on the digital display. Then, the LED headlight is average at best. The dual-channel ABS and a conveniently located USB charger do come to the rescue, but that’s about it.

Fuel Efficiency

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Left Side View

The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 returned a fuel economy of 23kmpl, which gives it a range of a little over 300km per full tank.

Conclusion

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Right Front Three Quarter

The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is the cheapest ticket to enter the multi-cylinder, middleweight segment in India. It looks stylish, especially in the blacked-out theme, while the engine is really enjoyable. All of this is backed by Royal Enfield’s comprehensive dealer network and service-on-wheels facility, which gives it extra points.

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Front View

Sure, you may not have bragging rights among other middleweights, but people have lived without those for years. What is difficult to stay with is the headlight performance, which needs to improve for keeping up with the potential of the parallel-twin engine. Save for that, there aren’t many reasons to stop you from buying the 2023 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, especially the alloy wheel variant.

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi

Gallery

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Rear View Mirror
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Right Side View
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Handle Bar
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Radiator
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Rear Disc Brake Caliper
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Pillion Footrest
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Left Side Multifunction Switchgear
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Silencer/Muffler
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Multifunction Switchgear Right
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Pillion Footrest

Related Road Test Reviews

Compare Bikes

  • Royal Enfield
  • other brands
Royal Enfield Hunter 350
Royal Enfield Hunter 350
₹ 1,49,900Onwards
Avg. Ex-Showroom price
Show price in my city
Royal Enfield Classic 350
Royal Enfield Classic 350
₹ 1,93,080Onwards
Avg. Ex-Showroom price
Show price in my city
Royal Enfield Continental GT 650
Royal Enfield Continental GT 650
₹ 3,18,418Onwards
Avg. Ex-Showroom price
Show price in my city
AD

Featured Bikes

  • Popular
  • Upcoming
TVS Raider 125
TVS Raider 125
₹ 97,054Onwards
Avg. Ex-Showroom price
Show price in my city
Royal Enfield Hunter 350
Royal Enfield Hunter 350
₹ 1,49,900Onwards
Avg. Ex-Showroom price
Show price in my city
Hero Xtreme 125R
Hero Xtreme 125R
₹ 96,799Onwards
Avg. Ex-Showroom price
Show price in my city
Hero Xoom 160
LAUNCHING SOON
Apr 2024
Hero Xoom 160

₹ 1,10,000

Onwards
25th Apr 2024Expected Launch
Ampere Nxg - The Nex Big Thing
LAUNCHING SOON
Apr 2024
Ampere Nxg - The Nex Big Thing

₹ 1,30,000

Onwards
Apr 2024 (Tentative)Expected Launch
Bajaj Pulsar NS400
LAUNCHING SOON
May 2024
Bajaj Pulsar NS400

₹ 2,00,000

Onwards
3rd May 2024Expected Launch
AD