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Castrol Power1 Ultimate Synthetic Engine Oil for Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Review: Tested

18 March 2021, 05:45 PM Vikrant Singh

Introduction

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With 500km completed on our Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 running on Castrol Power1 Ultimate full synthetic engine oil, it was time to put the Interceptor through a battery of tests. Now, we had done the same tests on the same motorcycle with a 500km old stock engine oil. The idea here, of course, is to figure out if the new Castrol synthetic oil has made any difference to how the Interceptor runs and feels compared to the stock oil.

A Recap…

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Power1 Ultimate is Castrol’s brand of fully synthetic engine oils for two wheelers. It’s split into three - for scooters, for commuter motorcycles, and for sportsbikes. The Interceptor uses the third variety. 

The Power1 Ultimate is priced at Rs 744 per litre for the 10W50 the INT650 uses. And, given it uses 3.1 litres per oil change, that’s an expense of a couple of hundred rupees under Rs 2,500. So, not cheap, but not really expensive either.

And now let’s find out how it fared against the stock oil...

The Tests

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Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

  • Displacement648 cc
  • Mileage - Owner Reported23.5 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)47 bhp
  • Kerb Weight202 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 2,72,260

We carried out three tests on the Interceptor 650 with both the stock and Castrol’s synthetic engine oils. We tested the motorcycle’s fuel economy with the two oils on the same route, with the same rider, and during the same time of day.

We then measured the vibrations on the motorcycle at three touch points - seat, handlebar, and footpegs - during both cold start and warmed up conditions. We again did this for both the stock oil and Castrol’s Power1. 

Finally, we tested the engine noise levels in cold start conditions for both the stock and Power1. And we made some subjective observations as well based on our feel; after all you can’t get a better measuring instrument than a rider when it comes to motorcycles...

The Results

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First things first, the fuel efficiency results. The Interceptor returned a little over 28kmpl over the same near 85km route with Castrol in its crankcase compared to around 25kmpl it returned with the stock engine oil. We were clear we would keep the motorcycle between 3,000-4,000rpm and manage our gearshifts accordingly. This is not the first time however, that we have found a motorcycle returning better fuel efficiency when running on an aftermarket fully synthetic oil compared to stock engine oils. 

There was a clear reduction in vibration values as well when running on Power1, with the difference being pronounced in cold start conditions (read engine oil temperature at 30 degrees) than with the engine warmed up (80 degrees). We also found the drop in vibrations more in the footpeg and the handlebar than the seat. 

As far as engine noise goes, we found a drop of a decibel and half in cold start idling with Castrol compared to the stock oil. But more telling was the reduction in noise and the feeling of clunkiness with Power1 when shifting to first as soon as we started the motorcycle. 

Conclusion

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Castrol promises five benefits of using the Power1 Ultimate. Improved acceleration, excellent protection, smoother running, cooler running, and consistent performance. As far as feel goes, we found the Interceptor to go about its business with more promptness and refinement for sure. 

Our test results also showed smoother running, and with reduced engine noise and clunkiness, chances are it’s offering better protection to the engine parts as well by reducing both heat and friction. But, there’s no clear way to knowing that, obviously. At least for us. 

Furthermore, the Interceptor doesn’t run hot in any case. So we couldn’t tell the difference in terms of cooler running per se. But, we can tell you that on the demanding track outing we took it, not once did the Interceptor’s performance see any sort of dip. It ran pretty cool too. So, that’s consistent performance taken care of as well. 

Overall then, the improvements offered by Castrol’s fully synthetic engine oil are obvious - both in subjective and objective terms. But are the improvements big enough for one to pay more? Given that the Power1 isn’t shockingly more expensive, we’d say it’s a worthy upgrade to go for. It makes a difference for sure, and believing in technology just happens to give one more peace of mind. 

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi

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