Finally, we were at MMRT. Now, our Interceptor 650 runs adjustable YSS Suspension both front and back. But, we decided, to get a proper feel of the wheel and tyre combo, we ought to leave the suspension in the same setting as the road. In fact, we didn’t alter the tyre pressures for the track either, and ran the exact same cold tyre pressures as we do on the road. And immediately, barely into a few corners, the change to the smaller wheels and the grippier, lighter tyres began to show immense promise. We gave it two laps to get our bearings, and to get the tyres up to temperature before we started pushing the Protorq Extreme shod Interceptor 650. The first obvious benefit was at corner entry. The Protorqs offer so much grip and feel at the front that one can lean heavily onto the brake entering the corner. The turn-in is lighter as well. And, the linearity and predictability with which the Interceptor drops into corners with the Eurogrip Protorq Extremes, gives you both the confidence to lean more, and stay calm.
We did this a few times, built our confidence up, and soon enough, we found the Interceptor scraping its header pipes on the tarmac! Now, our Interceptor 650 has more cornering clearance than a stock INT on account of us running Continental GT650 footpegs. But, even so, the lean angles the Protorqs were helping the motorcycle achieve was fantastic.
Even mid-corner, the grip and feedback and the absolute reluctance on part of the tyres to move about, allowed us to get on the throttle early and a bit more aggressively than we had first thought possible. Even through the longer and bumpier corners, the motorcycle remained flat and plush and quite talkative throughout. Plus, with the Interceptor’s meaty and well-spread torque curve, corner exits were wonderfully easy and perky.
The only challenge we found was through the quick essess after corner number three. On the Interceptor, you keep the throttle pinned throughout the section. Make one upshift. And work the handlebar left-right-left to make it through. We found the our bike to squirm a bit through here. Nothing alarming, but not as steadfast as it proved through other sections of the track.