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Old 17th August 2020, 20:22   #1
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Default Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Did you ever fancy a retro-styled bike in your garage but got turned off by the lack of power and highway manners?

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-1.jpg



Did you ever wish for a bike which could go to remote places without much fuss?

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-2.jpg



Did you ever want a bike which could cruise at triple digits all day long with no discomfort?

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Did you ever look at a proper highway-capable retro bike but turned away because it was too unaffordable?

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-3.jpg



How many times did you want a powerful bike which you could comfortably park in the city and attend to errands without bothering about it’s safety?

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-6.jpg



Did you ever wish for a bike with twin cylinder symphony but gave up due to a lack of affordable options in the market?

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-4.jpg

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How many times did you want a powerful bike that you could use in traffic jams without feeling the heat or weight or difficult ergonomics?

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-8.jpg



Did you ever want a premium and powerful bike which could be used fuss-free and carefree in all kinds of Indian weather conditions without batting an eyelid?

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-7.jpg



How many times did you wish for a Royal Enfield in your garage but got turned off by the poor reliability, the niggles, the vibes or the lack of adequate performance?

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-9.jpg



How many times did you wish there was a premium bike which wouldn’t be heavy on the pocket in terms of repair or maintenance?

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-10.jpg



Did you ever wish for a ‘sleeper’ big bike which could be scary fast if needed, yet society would probably pass off as just another bike on the road and not raise eyebrows?

'Just another Bullet' as seen by aam aadmi non-enthusiasts
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-2018royalenfieldinterceptor650twins.jpg



How many times did you wish for a bike which wasn’t too expensive yet would be able to keep up with the big boys on open roads?

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-img_5444.jpg


How many times did you wish for a bike which satisfied all of the above conditions and came with a mouth watering price tag that you could afford? Say below 3L?

I’d have to be out of my mind if I have to expect all of the above criteria to be met by one single bike. Right? Wrong! I did find such a bike - one single package densely packed with multiple weapons, to accomplish varied purposes of usage, and meet multiple levels of expectations. Whatever the situation, it has a weapon ready for me. Just like a Swiss army knife.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-61lbgtlkxgl._sl1036_.jpg


With that I introduce to you my two-wheeled Swiss army knife - the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650.

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0039.jpg

Last edited by KarthikK : 19th August 2020 at 18:19.
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Old 17th August 2020, 20:32   #2
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Default re: Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

I’ve detailed my observations and honest opinions from an owner’s perspective in the following posts. Some general details about my biking journey, etc are covered under my Ninja's ownership thread which can be looked up here:
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/super...ip-review.html (Living an evolved dream: My 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ownership review)

Without further ado, let’s jump right into the ownership review of the Interceptor 650. Feel free to hop across the different sections through this index section.

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-index.jpg


Pros and Cons in a nutshell


Why an Interceptor? What else did I consider?


Booking and Purchase experience at Sairam Autocraft, Mahadevapura (Bangalore)


7 Reasons an Interceptor 650 may not be the right bike for you


A Complete review of the Interceptor 650 including and not limited to:

- Styling and Design

- Build Quality, Paint Quality and Decals

- Engine Characteristics and Performance

- Dynamics and Safety

- Ergonomics and Rider Controls (Part-1)

- Rider Controls (Part-2)

- Electronics and Instrument Console


Accessories


Riding Gear


After Sales Service Experience and Problems Faced

Last edited by KarthikK : 19th August 2020 at 22:46.
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Old 17th August 2020, 20:36   #3
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Default re: Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Pros and Cons in a nutshell

Before we get into the main review content, I'll list out a brief summary of the positives and negatives of this bike .

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0122-2.jpg


What I Liked:
  • Great twin cylinder engine and gearbox with fantastic rideability and versatile characteristics for city and highway use alike. The 6 speed gearbox is a delight to work with, and the engine itself offers never-seen-before refinement and performance levels for a Royal Enfield. It is the perfect mix of retro styling with modern technology, contemporary performance and necessary safety features thrown in.
  • A++ quality Bybre brakes with fantastic stopping power, perhaps one of the few bikes in this price range to come with factory-fitted steel braided brake lines. Both the front and rear brakes have a nice feel and offer progressive, confidence inspiring braking experience in all conditions.
  • Minimalistic retro design with well sorted core fundamentals - great powertrain, solid build quality, decently kitted with all the essential features and very few niggles to worry about make it as much of a head decision as it is a heart decision. This bike is rugged, built to last, isn’t inherently complicated and will be easy to maintain for a long time.
  • Fantastic after sales support - Royal Enfield service network is widespread and present in every nook and corner of the country, even in places like Spiti! The service frequency is very long (once in 10,000km or 1 year), the cost of servicing is very reasonable and the spares are always available and inexpensive.
  • Perhaps the single biggest strength which cannot be overlooked is the Value-for-money or Paisa-Vasool factor for this price - the sheer amount of kit, an extra cylinder compared to the competition, the power and torque figures, the safety features and the lack of niggles make it the Numero Uno of this price segment. No hint of cost cutting anywhere for this kind of pricing.
  • One can access a wide plethora of customization options in the aftermarket accessories space to fix or enhance any particular aspect of the bike, be it electronics, exhausts, ergonomics, luggage carrying, safety guards or just plain visual mods or miscellaneous utilities. This is primarily due to the fact that this bike became so successful and popular both in India and the west, but the bike by itself is also inherently simple in nature and very mod-friendly.

What I didn't like:
  • The stock suspension setup is more tuned for comfort-oriented riding than towards enthusiast-oriented spirited riding. The front is too soft and the rear is a bit better, but while this bike is definitely a lot of fun to throw around at low or moderate speeds, this mismatched setup does ruin the outright enthusiast pleasure and the ride quality as you start to push harder into high speed territory.
  • The stock seat is very soft, narrow and compresses very easily. As a result, long distance touring or even commuting longer distances is quite painful on the stock seat, and seat upgrade is a no-brainer task. Fortunately RE themselves sell an OE ‘Touring Seat’ for the interceptor and the Continental GT, which is stiffer and works reasonably well.
  • Horrendous pillion ergonomics mean a second person is unwelcome on this bike for longer distances unless the pillion is really short or is a child. Due to the high set footpegs and a flat seat from front to back, the pillion has to literally squat like a frog due to a bad overall design. To add to these posture woes, the protruding oversized OE exhausts threaten to give burn bruises for the pillion every time while mounting, unmounting and even while riding! Keep those Burnol and Volini ointments handy if you want to do 2-up riding on this bike!
  • Fuel range is somewhat less and compromised due to the 13+ litre fuel tank capacity. This might be a hindrance for touring, if not a deal-breaker. Refuel stops have to be planned around the 200-225 km mark using a tripmeter. Why? Because the fuel gauge has a mind of its own and cannot be relied on to accurately estimate the amount of fuel left in the tank.
  • The OE headlamps don’t just look retro, they work in retro style as well. The high beam works like a low beam, the low beam works as a mudguard illuminator or puddle lamp. So basically there is no high beam, and therefore no highway visibility. If you want to exploit the powerful engine on the highways in the dark, you need to upgrade the headlamps to something better or risk crashing!
  • The instrument console has been kept basic and minimalistic, in complying with the retro theme this bike has been designed around. As a result, there are some glaring omissions (relative to this segment) such as no clock, no backlit switchgear, no gear indicator or MID with a range / distance-to-empty reading, all of which ideally should have been added, considering the fact that most of the buyers of this bike will deploy it on highways, and of course because some rivals already provide such features nowadays.

Last edited by KarthikK : 19th August 2020 at 22:13.
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Old 17th August 2020, 20:59   #4
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Default re: Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Why an Interceptor? What else did I consider?

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-purchase-decision.jpg


Rewind to November 2018. It had been around 2 years that I was using the Karizma (since 2016) for city errands and office commutes. I had to resurrect that bike almost entirely owing to different age-related niggles. Even thereafter, the service frequency was around 3 months or 2000 km. Around the time that the Ninja 1000 purchase happened, there was a thought in a corner of my mind that I will eventually need something to replace the everyday practicality of the Karizma with a stellar level of reliability - for my errands, for city commutes, for office commutes and maybe even venture out on my own for whatsoever reason. I changed my job earlier that year and my new office commute required a travel journey of around 50 km and 3 hours per day. I was initially using the Karizma for office commutes as well, but the maintenance for it was slowly getting quite high for a 1500km-per-month type of running rate (almost 1 service every month). This was something I wanted to retire the Karizma from, owing to the niggles popping up and the greed for something bigger, safer and better.

I was listing down what my requirements would look like and what bikes might fit the bill for this role.

A perfect urban bike for me would have the following virtues:
  • Be easy to ride in traffic and the city, whilst also be fun to ride on open roads and hold good speeds if I go on solo rides or with friends. It should also be able to go on rugged roads or to remote places without much fuss.
  • Pillion support was welcome but not a deal-breaker, because at the most our 2-up usage (on this bike) would be restricted to short urban commutes and errands. My better half was very supportive, had given me a completely free hand and didn’t want the pillion factor to influence this (urban bike) choice.
  • Have a strong low-end grunt to be able to pull effortlessly in any gear from low down in the rev range. This was a deal-breaker for me because of use in traffic commutes and my habit of hitting the hills every now and then.
  • Have a moderate to high ground clearance to be readily able to tackle bad roads and waterlogged roads, besides being well built and rugged in general. I shouldn’t need to back off entering some particular road or area due to this factor.
  • Dissipate minimal heat even over extended duration of traffic-ridden commutes. Outer ring road commutes sometimes take 2-3 hours one way on really bad days (Bangalore folks would understand what I’m referring to)
  • Have reasonably relaxed ergonomics for extended city commutes or highway rides alike. Upright or semi-upright posture was welcome preferably with low seating.
  • Have cheap service costs and maintenance costs, and reasonable replacement costs for body parts and repairs. In Bangalore traffic use, nicks and shunts are common and I should be able to replace bits and pieces without having to fret about the expensive cost or availability of spares. This factor was also another deal-breaker for me.
  • Be able to park anywhere carefree in crowded city parking lots, without worrying about someone sitting on it or vandalizing it in some way. This is unfortunately the fear that most riders have with their premium bikes. Something which would blend in and disappear with the crowd without standing out much was preferable.
  • The urban bike would also need to at least have basic safety net features such as dual channel ABS since I would venture out occasionally even on highway rides. Other safety gizmos were bonus and nice to have, but not mandatory.
  • Fit into a budget of a maximum of around 3.5L or so.

I had briefly put off this (urban bike) upgrade plan around the Ninja’s purchase time so as not to bite off more than I could chew financially. Around the November 2018 time frame, Royal Enfield had been steadily building up the hype around their new 650 Twins and I was casually looking at the proceedings, without any solid intention to buy. I watched the impressive launch event (Ridermania 2018) live on the online web stream and the industry-shocking price announcement. They led to me being super curious about these products and the prospect of getting one home to fit the urban (and perhaps even occasional solo highway) bike slot in the garage looked more and more realistic. The very next day during our lunch break, I attended the local unveiling of the 650 twins in a showroom near my office with a few colleagues in tow. There was no test ride available immediately, but the bike looked super impressive and the package was incredible VFM for the introductory price quoted. When I learnt about the 4 month waiting period and the low booking amount of INR 5000, I made a namesake booking anyway so as to not miss the (early delivery) bus, in the event that I liked the bike later. I always loved the ‘Orange Crush’ color trim and found it very elegant from a retro/classic bike styling point of view, so I marked that as the color preference on the booking.


Visiting the showroom to catch the first glimpse of the Interceptor 650 in Silver Spectre and making the subsequent booking.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-img_8395.jpg

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-img_8398.jpg


The test rides happened around a week or two after the bookings opened up. I took a long test ride of both the Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650. The cafe racer image of the GT isn't really my thing, more so when this bike’s role was supposed to be an urban (and probably part time touring) bike where ergonomics do matter. So it was always the Interceptor 650 out of the two which was in serious contention. And guess what - after the test ride I found the Interceptor 650 ticking all my initial requirements perfectly. It looked great, the power delivery and tuning were incredibly good, ergonomics were reasonably okay, there was no heat at all, RE’s service network was wide, service costs were going to be low, and it was a RE retro after all, so it would be easy to get lost in the crowd and avoid the ‘big bike’ problems in society by looking like ‘just another modern RE’.

What other options did I look at? Surprisingly, I didn’t really test ride or even look at anything else, because nothing else ticked all my boxes the way this one did! Everything else suffered from some problem or the other - the KTM 390 twins had pathetic low-end grunt and were perpetually prone to niggles (once bitten, twice shy after my RC 390 experience), the FZ 25 was too weak and plasticky to shell out a couple of lacs on, the R3 and Ninja 300 were too expensive and I didn’t want another Kawasaki in the house due to service costs on an urban bike. The only other option which came close to the interceptor’s level of all-rounder capabilities and VFM factor was the Dominar 400 back then. I preferred the Interceptor’s retro styling and the extra cylinder added more incentive with 14bhp more and class-leading refinement levels, so I gave the Dominar a pass.

With that done, over to the back burner for a few months until I heard from the RE folks again when the bikes started arriving. Fast forward to February 2019.

Last edited by KarthikK : 19th August 2020 at 18:36.
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Old 17th August 2020, 21:16   #5
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Default re: Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Booking and Purchase Experience at Sairam Autocraft, Mahadevapura

This is a very small showroom very close to my workplace, reachable in under half a kilometre by walk. In fact my colleagues and I would go for a post-lunch walk every afternoon passing by the stretch here. Naturally this also prompted the visit to this showroom itself, immediately after the launch announcement, because developments were so directly visible on a daily basis and I could just walk in and ask the status of anything whenever I wanted. The staff here were very prompt in their communication all the way from my first walk-in enquiry to the unveiling and subsequent test ride offering and clear explanation of the product, the accessories and the pricing. I’d particularly like to mention the stellar experience provided by one Mr. Sujay who always attended to everything with a smile on his face and never faltered in any aspect of the purchase experience from start to finish.

Initially like most people do, I too had a preference for a dealership close to home when there is an option of choosing in a widely spread out network brand such as RE. One part of me even enquired among 2-3 bigger names and dealerships near home and thought of shifting the booking there, because Sairam was almost 20 km away. However, after being satisfied with the entire experience I decided it could also be convenient if a vehicle dealership was near my workplace since it is always accessible everyday for any kind of followup. Time to let go of that whole mental block.

Sometime around the second week of February 2019, I got a call from the showroom that they were in the process of receiving orange crush interceptors for the first batch of bookings (remember, I had booked on the very next day of launch) and they informed me to be ready for the payment formalities in case I had any idea of finalizing the purchase and delivery among that batch of bikes. I went to check out the bike and did my own PDI inside their warehouse.

After clearing the PDI approval, I did check my HDFC account for a pre-approved two wheeler loan offer (called Zip-ride if I remember correctly) which had a nice scheme on my account (I do have a long standing relationship with them) where I didn’t have to even submit any documents for the loan. I just had to enter a few details on an online application form, and presto! The amount was disbursed to the dealership in a matter of seconds. This was perhaps one of the fastest ever financing processes done in my life for a vehicle!
Once that was done, I opted only for the mandatory 5-year term of third party insurance and paid that out. As a practice I don't spend on zero-dep or comprehensive insurance policies on any of my city beaters from almost a decade now and have saved enough from this to fund any untoward incident, god forbid! The balance downpayment was then paid out and the invoice generated. Registration happened the next day and the bike was ready for delivery on the following Sunday.


Final break-up of the on-road cost of the Interceptor 650 Orange crush
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-onroad.jpg


Bike kept under wraps for the delivery
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-img_9780.jpg


The only 'freebie' given by the showroom was this key-ring. The cons of buying a high-demand bike in the market means zilch discounts and freebies .
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-img_9835.jpg


The delivery experience was pretty well managed by Sairam. Like I mentioned before, this was a small showroom and there were only a handful of staff doing everything, but the volume of sales was also less, so they were able to give full attention to the customer(s). I took delivery in the evening at around 5 PM. All the basic accessories asked for by me were fitted and the bike was ready under wraps. They did a small unveiling of the covered bike, thereafter my better half and I collected the keys, went out for dinner and headed back home.

Yours truly, proudly beaming
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-img_9813.jpg


End of an era. The old must eventually make way for the new. The Karizma retires gracefully from the garage, with the Interceptor 650 comprehensively bettering it on all counts and beginning a new era
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-img_8463.jpg

Last edited by KarthikK : 19th August 2020 at 23:00.
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Old 17th August 2020, 21:29   #6
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Default re: Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Rather than listing the positives which can drive a purchase decision for prospects sitting on the fence, let me go in reverse this time and instead list out what negatives might drive prospective buyers away from this bike.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-img_1938.jpg


7 Reasons an Interceptor 650 may not be for you
  • You don’t want a heavy bike. The bike is almost 213 kg heavy and that is not exactly very manageable or preferable for many riders. Check out lighter options in the market.
  • You are a Royal Enfield fanatic and want that signature RE ‘Thump’ and not a twin cylinder rumble. This bike has a signature exhaust note which is both refined and raspy, but it won’t sound anything like a Royal Enfield single cylinder has been sounding all these years.
  • You prefer something with good pillion support. This bike isn’t good for pillions at all. They will either get cramps or burns or both, and you need some extensive modifications to prevent both of those problems. Get this bike only if you plan to use it solo on longer rides, and a pillion is fine only for occasional urban errands.
  • You want something more modern looking and don’t prefer the retro styling of the 70s or 80s. You’d be better off with a KTM Duke 390 or other such bikes in this segment.
  • You want something more frugal in terms of fuel efficiency. This bike guzzles 22-23 km per litre. If this is a factor that bothers you, just be warned.
  • You prefer a bike with a more high revving and hyper nature than just a torquey low-end and mid range. You should then look at a Duke/RC 390 or a Ninja 300 or something like that. This is more of a low-end and mid range bike, not a high revver.
  • You tour extensively and need more wind blast protection or proper upright ergonomics and a wider, supportive seat. You’d be better off with a proper adventure tourer in this case.
It is otherwise a fantastic all rounder in my opinion, and unless any of the previous requirements I mentioned are deal-breakers, one cannot go wrong with a 650 twin. Want to find out more? Read on, the review is just in its sunrise now

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-img_5440.jpg


Complete review of the Interceptor 650


Coming almost two years after its launch, obviously this is a terribly overdue piece of review and there have been other valuable threads listing down the reviews of this bike such as this one below and a few more ownership review threads.
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motor...-650-twin.html (Ridden: Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 & Continental GT 650 Twin)

Nonetheless, I decided to pen down my views on the bits and pieces of this bike in a detailed report. I’ve broken it down into seven sub-sections:

Styling and Design

Build Quality, Paint Quality and Decals

Engine Characteristics and Performance

Dynamics and Safety

Ergonomics and Rider Controls (Part-1)

Rider Controls (Part-2)

Electronics and Instrument Console


I'll start with ...

Styling and Design

Without needing to elaborate a lot on the design, this bike’s design is something which takes you several decades behind. The narrow and long single seat, lavish use of metal everywhere, the round headlamp, the simplistic design of the fuel tank and handlebar, the dual exhausts, the twin pod instrument console, the tasteful and liberal use of chrome and the solid weight emphasize the simplicity and retro nostalgia feeling this bike brings to the table. Start the bike up and the instant twin cylinder rumble which brings the bike to life, reminds you of a bygone era together with all the other retro elements of the design. Of course, the benchmark one (at least I) would associate such feelings to, is the Triumph Bonneville / Street twin which RE has probably tried to mimic in some ways, but the overall result has come out well (albeit with some flawed nitty gritties) and I’m happy the design is what it is.

The simplistic and retro design with a narrow tank and a single seat, accentuated with tasteful use of chrome
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0039.jpg

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0004.jpg


Twin-pod instrument console
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0037.jpg


Beefy chrome exhausts on either side
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0222.jpg


Generous use of chrome on mirrors
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0042.jpg


And on the entire exhaust-to-underbody section
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0006.jpg


The front features a traditional 7" headlamp with simple looking indicators. The stock headlamp was a halogen unit, which I have replaced with full-LED retrofit unit very soon after purchase (more details in the electronics and accessories sections)
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0185.jpg


Chrome accentuated indicators on all 4 units, similar units feature on the front and rear
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0273.jpg


The taillamp and indicator cluster also have been designed with the overall retro theme in mind
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0064.jpg


The rear profile looks muscular and elegant with the dual exhausts protruding, but I also feel they are protruding in width much more than required.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0223.jpg


Getting into the formal specifications of the bike’s dimensions:

Length: 2119 mm
Width: 857 mm
Height: 1120 mm
Wheelbase: 1398 mm
Ground clearance: 174 mm
Kerb weight: 213 kg
Seat height: 804 mm


I personally loved all the color schemes on this bike but the orange crush scheme tugged my heartstrings the most. Let me do a walkaround of the bike with some pictures from different angles and let the pictures talk for themselves.

Front look
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0060.jpg


Front look with centre stand
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0107.jpg


Front three quarters view
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0097.jpg

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0098.jpg


Front three quarters view with centre stand
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0109.jpg


Side profile
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0094.jpg


On the other side
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0099.jpg


Side profile with centre stand
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0108.jpg


Rear three quarters views
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0100.jpg

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0096.jpg


Rear three quarters view with centre stand on
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0111.jpg


Refer to this thread for differences between the Interceptor and Continental GT 650, which is this bike’s cafe racer twin. This thread also better captures some more of the bike’s stock styling and design in detail in stock form.
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motor...-650-twin.html (Ridden: Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 & Continental GT 650 Twin)

Last edited by KarthikK : 19th August 2020 at 21:50.
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Old 18th August 2020, 08:49   #7
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Default re: Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Build Quality, Paint Quality and Decals

The overall build quality is solid and the bike feels very well put together. The levers and footpegs all feel solidly built, with thick metal gauge and quality which feels like it will last the distance.


Solid build with a well put-together set of simple yet robust set of materials
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0106.jpg


Footpegs feel great and well built
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0091.jpg


As do the levers for the gearshifter and the rear brakes
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0140.jpg


The hand levers are made of a solid brushed aluminium material and they are very rugged, will not accumulate scratches over time either.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0144.jpg

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0147.jpg


The rear grab rail is built well but it could have been thicker and chunkier for a bike of this weight
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0067.jpg


I have been putting this bike through its paces, on the city roads and highways and countryside broken roads alike, and the Interceptor has stayed resolutely solid with no hint of rattles or loosening bits anywhere. That to me is a validation of sorts, that RE has indeed put in a lot of effort on this bike considering their (nigglesome) reputation all along.

There is a generous dose of chrome through the entire design and the chrome quality seems to be okay for now for most parts.

Chrome overdose but the quality is holding up well for now
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0267.jpg

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0149.jpg


Except this part - on the exhaust outlet edges which have a bit of chipping. Notice the circumference of the opening.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0344.jpg


The switchgear quality is average, and the fit and finish leaves one wishing for better workmanship on this front (observe minor panel gaps and sharp and crude edges). The buttons feel okay, but overall the whole thing could have been better built for sure.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0081.jpg


The paint quality is above average considering older Enfields, and it has stood the test of time so far. I have nothing to complain about the paint quality on the tank and the side panels.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0232.jpg


The mudguard on the front has a bit of shimmering glaze near the edges, which I am not sure what to attribute to. Either it is a fault at the paint shop, or it has happened over time and I have noticed it only recently. Look at the white-ish layer below the screw, outlining the black plastic portion.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0338.jpg


The rear mudguard has a black plastic region which has started to show age. I have to give it some plastic shine liquid treatment every now and then.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0069.jpg


The rear grab rail comes factory-painted in black colour, and there has been some chipping here which I am not particularly happy about. RE service offered to escalate the issue and replace it under warranty, I’ll probably update on this when I visit them for my next scheduled service.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0066.jpg


On the fit and finish part, some crude bits and weld joints stand exposed and stick out like a sore thumb.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0280.jpg


Decals

I have nothing to fault on the decals on this bike. The Royal Enfield branding appears in three places. First is this obvious place on the fuel tank. It looks different from the brand decal position on RE’s current bikes and feels premium. When the bike was still new in the market (mine was among the first few in Bangalore), some rider asked me at a traffic signal - “Sir is this an imported bullet? The logo looks so different”
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0079.jpg


The branding is engraved in 2 more places on the engine casing. One is here on the right side of the engine case
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0013.jpg


And another discreet one on the left
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0138.jpg


The Interceptor decal is on the side panels under the seat. This one feels well put together and doesn’t feel flimsy enough to peel off over time. I like the quality of this decal and its placement position too.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0028.jpg

Last edited by KarthikK : 19th August 2020 at 21:50.
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Default re: Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Engine Characteristics and Performance

One of the first things that I noticed and loved about this motor is how easy it is to learn, easy to adapt and ride, makes you feel at home, welcoming you right from the time you swing your leg over and fire up that twin cylinder symphony.

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0106.jpg


The engine specifications might reveal the monster within the gentleman’s warmth though.

Engine displacement: 648cc, Twin cylinder, fuel injected
Cooling: Air cooled with an oil cooling radiator
Max power: 47 bhp @ 7250 rpm
Max torque: 52.3 Nm @ 5150 rpm
Compression ratio: 9.5:1


Though this is a 650cc, it is running at a lower state of tune and at a substantially low compression ratio of 9.5:1, much lower than many of its rivals in this price or performance segment. Make no mistake on those numbers though, and what I said earlier is also true - it can be a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of transformation with a twist of the throttle, from a sweetly behaved gentleman to an evil monster leaving many bigger vehicles in the dust.

Air-cooled twin cylinder symphony
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0256.jpg


It can adapt to a wide variety of circumstances - you can go grocery shopping or attend to any errands, happily coping with your average traffic jams, you can do office commutes, you can take it off the beaten path, you can hit the open roads on weekends with your biker pals, or you can do some serious mile munching by yourself at lovely average speeds all day long. Royal Enfield has got it spot on with the way this engine and gearbox have been tuned to perfection.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0030.jpg


The idling settles in at around ~1200 rpm, and the low end torque is very strong right from idling rpm. The mid-range is brutal and can surprise a newcomer or an existing Enfield (non-650) rider. It makes around 80% of its peak torque at around 3000 rpm, so the bike is pretty much in the meat of the grunt all the while in day-to-day usage. The engine is not a very high revving motor though, and the redline is around 7500 rpm. Progress can be made very swiftly and the lovely gearbox mated to this engine allows all of this engine’s performance to be exploited effectively.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0074.jpg


Engine Refinement and NVH levels

This bike is a revelation by previous Royal Enfield standards. The refinement is incredibly good and there is no hint of harshness at any particular phase of the rev range. There is no hint of vibrations even on the footpegs or the handlebar as such. The mirrors do get mildly blurry at very high revs but I would forgive this.


Gearing

RE has got the gearing spot on with the 650 twins. The gearing is quite tall in the lower gears but there is so much torque lower down that one rarely needs to downshift or upshift constantly even in traffic or city speeds. 1st gear is good for almost 40-50 kmph before you even realize that you were still in 1st. Even in the worst traffic jams, 1st gear is all you need to potter around. If you were in 2nd or even 3rd, and take on speedbreakers or potholes and try to accelerate from standstill, heck that is possible easily too! Such is the torque delivery.

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0348.jpg


Highway cruising is easy and overtaking is a breeze no matter what gear you are in. The torque and power band are nicely distributed, and the midrange is adequate to take on even the fastest expressways and munch miles along with bikes 2x or 3x of its price and power. This machine won’t feel out of place with the big boys. Cruising at 100 kmph happens at 4000rpm in 6th gear. This engine is so refined and the gearing is so good that most of the times THIS happens on the highways - I would be accelerating or cruising in 5th gear at good speeds and due to a lack of a gear indicator on the instrument console, I won’t even realize that I am still NOT in the topmost gear. Sometime later I subconsciously upshift and realize “Wow! I was in 5th all along like an idiot and there WAS a 6th gear still left!”.


Exhaust note

The engine has a 270 degree firing order which gives it a characteristic bassy rumble that is neither too loud nor too silent. It does draw a few eyeballs in the city when it revs past other vehicles on the road. It sounds very nice and doesn’t sound coarse even at higher rpms. I prefer to be discreet and I’m not particularly a fan of aftermarket exhausts on my own vehicles, although I love to listen to different exhaust videos on youtube on full volume . This is not likely to change anytime soon, so the exhausts will remain stock.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0267.jpg


OE Emissions compliance engraved onto one side of the stock exhaust end-cans
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0010.jpg


There are other issues with the stock exhaust (risk of burns on the pillion’s heel and legs) but I’ll cover that a bit later in the ergonomics section.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0005.jpg


Engine heat

The heat from the engine is minimal and almost goes unnoticed despite the rather large displacement number which might make one think otherwise. The fact that this engine is running at a relaxed state of tune and low compression ratio, coupled with the air cooled design does say something about how heat won’t be an issue on this bike. It does get slightly warm but I have never felt any heat discomfort even in the worst of traffic jams.

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0204.jpg


Cooling

The 650 twins employ an air-cooled setup with an additional oil cooler to assist in the scheme of things. There is a small radiator to cool off the circulating oil and this is prominently visible right on the front of the bike.

Radiator to cool the oil down
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0218.jpg


Engine oil

The stock engine oil recommended and used by RE service is fully synthetic 10w50 grade. The engine oil capacity is 3.9 litres when fully dry, and when subsequently refilling in replacement cycles, the oil capacity is 3.1 litres.

Engine oil level with min and max markings
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0388.jpg


Gearbox

The gearbox is a delight to use and the shifts are slick and precise. I have never found any false neutral issues or any slotting issues as such in my 1.5 years with it. No clunky shifts either. It is very easy to find neutral. I’ve already explained about the gearing a little earlier, and will touch on the lever ergonomics a bit later.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0334.jpg


Clutch

The clutch is slightly on the heavier side for me but not by too much. I wouldn’t call it light though, but the bite is good and I have little to complain about. It does its duty well in helping with the precise shifts. Also worth mentioning is RE has added slipper clutch standard with the 650 twins, so there is a good safety net when downshifting.

Slipper clutch comes standard. Clutch is slightly on the heavier side but nothing uncomfortable as such even in traffic jams.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0326.jpg


Simple cable operated clutch
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0215.jpg

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0216.jpg


Fuel tank capacity and range

This is one of those areas where I feel RE could have improved a bit and given a bit more capacity for touring. The fuel tank capacity is listed at 13.7 litres when fully dry, and the low fuel indicator comes on in the instrument console when the current level hits 2.9 litres. In my experience, the fuel efficiency hovers around 22-23 kmpl in the city and around 28 on the highway journeys. Obviously I don’t wait to extract every drop of petrol remaining in the tank before I refuel, and the fuel gauge on the instrument console keeps fluctuating, so my alarm bells go off when the fuel gauge bars read 1/7. At this point around 10 litres go in. Hence this roughly translates to a tank range of 220 km in the city, and around 250 km on highways. While I wouldn’t call this bad as such, it could have been around 300+ with just a couple more litres stashed away.

Fuel tank could have been a bit bigger in capacity, me thinks!
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0235.jpg


Plan fuel stops using the tripmeter rather than relying on the fuel gauge totally - more on that later.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0366.jpg


Fuel efficiency

Fuel efficiency is nothing to write home about in a 650cc twin, but it does help to plan fuel stops better, considering the buggy fuel gauge. The Interceptor’s bigger displacement makes no disguises in this department and this bike does guzzle fuel. I have personally never got anything below 22 kmpl even in the worst of traffic jams though, and on highways it is around 28-29 kmpl for my style of riding it, so the variation doesn’t seem to be massive between city and highway use. Used in smooth flowing traffic on a daily basis, 23-24 kmpl isn’t uncommon.

Last edited by KarthikK : 19th August 2020 at 22:11.
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Default re: Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Dynamics and safety

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0111.jpg

RE has tried to maintain a good balance of handling and ride quality, and I peg this one as better suited for lower / moderate speeds and comfort-oriented cushy ride. While the bike is a delight to ride on most types of roads, it is not without its shortcomings in the dynamics department.

Both the front and the rear suspensions are by Gabriel. The front suspension is not adjustable, while the rear has preload adjustment. I find the front to be quite soft, and the rear to be soft even at its stiffest setting, and it also does bottom out sometimes.

41mm front forks up front, with 110mm travel
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0161.jpg


A closer look at the front forks
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0163.jpg


The front suspension is non-adjustable
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0170.jpg

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0171.jpg


I don't use any handlebar risers although I am tall, and I'm comfortable with the stock setup. If I did use risers, the extra spacing would be added here.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0169.jpg


Dual gas-charged shocks at the rear with 88mm travel
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0131.jpg


The yellow stoppers seen in the bottom were added as a fix (from factory) in the second lot of Interceptors delivered after the very first batch of customers complained about bottoming out frequently (for whom RE issued a silent recall and fixed this up). Mine got this from the factory though.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0133.jpg


Handling

The Interceptor handles gracefully for a bike of this weight (213 kg) and it stays quite composed at low speeds, say under 50-60 kmph. It is a very forgiving bike and rider-friendly to handle at lower speeds and moderate speeds, which most of us do. The bike is a delight to throw around corners and hill curves, steering it around feels light and nimble, the lean angle clearance is decent and the OE tyres also aid the grip levels to up the confidence factor while cornering.

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0132.jpg


Start pushing the bike a bit more and the suspension seems to change its character rather disappointingly. The rear starts to bottom out and lose composure on undulations, the front starts to nosedive on braking, and the composed ride of its own low-to-moderate-speed self makes way for some jittery dynamics as you start pushing into high speed territory. This is clearly a bike that handles great and is better enjoyed only at moderate speeds, and not something that would push you to challenge your limits as you up the game.


Ride quality

Overall, I’d have to say the ride quality is great at lower speeds and bad roads and the suspension feels plush. Start pushing the bike into triple digit speeds and undulations feel bouncy, it somewhat loses the composure it had when it was in the comfort range (say under 100-110 on straights and 60 in the hills) and gets unsettled. Sometimes, big or sudden consecutive bumps cause the rear to bottom out, this happens more so if there is a pillion behind. Up the preload factor and the bottoming out problem is somewhat resolved, and the bike feels much better and stiffer. I am a sucker for better handling over a cushioned ride and have set it at the stiffest setting. Even at its stiffest setting, I find the rear a bit soft and high speed rides get bouncy on undulations and rough patches. From a ride quality point of view, I’d settle for this though - I inevitably wanted a 'swiss army knife' which can serve me comfort as well as multi-task on different types of roads and usage patterns, so I don’t really mind if the bike isn’t a hardcore corner carver.

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0004.jpg


Braking

Braking is one more aspect which RE has paid close attention to, and developed incredibly well. Both the front and rear brakes feel very progressive and the bite is powerful enough to inspire confidence in being able to control the speed at any time. Even panic braking is dispatched with ease. The front does tend to nosedive on sharp braking, but that is more due to the front suspension than the brakes themselves, so I’ll let that pass here.

RE has equipped the bike with dual channel ABS supplied by Bosch.

At the front, braking duty is performed with a single 320mm disc and a Bybre 2-piston caliper setup
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0134.jpg


Another closer look
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0165.jpg


Front ABS sensor
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0136.jpg


Front brake fluid reservoir has 50 ml capacity
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0156.jpg


Steel braided brake lines are standard on the Interceptor 650.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0158.jpg


At the rear, a 240mm disc with a single piston caliper Bybre unit does duty. ABS sensor is also visible through the gap
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0120.jpg


Bybre (Brembo subsidiary) branding is boldly written both on the front and rear calipers, and steel braided lines are visible even on the rear brake setup
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0119.jpg


Rear brake fluid reservoir is housed just under the side panel and has 100ml capacity
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0153.jpg

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0154.jpg


Weight

This is a heavy bike inherently. At 213 kg, this isn’t something to be taken lightly. What I do appreciate is the fact that once you get on the move, it feels shockingly light and agile and masks it’s weight very well. The low seating and stance helps to keep the weight closer to the ground and the rider feels lesser of the weight. Stop and try to park the bike or take a U-turn and that is when the bike starts to show it’s weight. If you ever need to push the bike (god forbid), that day’s gym workout can be skipped. For my height and build the weight is manageable, but this weight can be a deal-breaker for some folks and if unsure, I suggest prospects should take a test ride and try it out for themselves.

This is a heavy bike but the seat height is short, which makes it manageable. Extra height definitely helps though
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0315.jpg


Turning radius

I read somewhere that the turning radius is 2.5m, although I am yet to find any validated listing of this number on any official RE material. It would suffice to say this bike has a very short turning radius in my experience, and city usage is very easy, U-turns are easy (from a turning radius point of view) and even during parking in tight spots, the turning radius is similar to some commuter segment bikes and shouldn’t be a worry point at all.

Turning radius isn't a concern on the Interceptor
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0285.jpg


Ground Clearance

The Interceptor 650 has a healthy 174mm ground clearance, quite adequate for even bad roads. Till date, I am yet to have any underbody scrapes or hits despite touring in remote areas with bad roads on some occasions. I didn’t add any underbody protection bash plate during purchase time (available as accessory) and after almost 1.5 years now, I don’t feel I missed anything by not adding it.

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0004-copy.jpg


Wheels and Tyres

RE has done a great job by providing nice and grippy tyres on the Interceptor to make use of the lovely torque and power this twin motor puts out. The factory fitted Pirelli Phantom Sports Comp tyres are very grippy in dry and wet conditions alike, very confidence inspiring when cornering and braking aggressively even in the hills and on slippery roads. Note that while the tyres themselves are tubeless, the bike is shod with spoke wheels as standard and hence the setup is a tube setup with these Pirellis.

Punctures on a tube setup this heavy can render the rider helpless and the best that Royal Enfield can do is offer the customer a complimentary RSA package for 3 years from the purchase date which covers flat tyre repairs as well. Great job, but that still doesn’t help with making the setup tubeless-friendly. Some owners have tried Outex tubeless conversion kit for the spoke wheels and have had hits or misses, so I’m not interested in going that route. For now, I will enjoy the bike hoping no puncture happens on my rides, touchwood!

The spoke wheel setup looks very elegant and goes with the retro theme of this bike
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0046.jpg

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0002.jpg


Although the tyres are tubeless, the spoke wheels require a tube setup
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0125.jpg


The tyre configuration is as follows:

Front tyre: 100/90 R18 56H, Pirelli Phantom Sports Comp
Rear tyre: 130/70 R18 63H, Pirelli Phantom Sports Comp

The branding is visible on the sidewall
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0047.jpg


The size on the front tyre
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0049.jpg


The rear is shod with 130/70 R18 size
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0112.jpg


As per the owner’s manual, the front tyre needs 32 psi of pressure and the rear needs to be at 36 or 39 psi depending on solo or 2-up use. I generally go with a 32-38 setup, which I am comfortable with from day 1.

Tread pattern on the front
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0351.jpg


Tread pattern on the rear
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0349.jpg


I will reference this picture once again - apologies, but this is just to show how the tyres look on the bike - the front and the rear look just about right - neither too skinny nor too bulky.
Click image for larger version

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At the time of writing this review, I have clocked around 10,000 km and the tyres still seem to have some life left. I am very happy with the OE setup which is already using these fantastic Pirellis, and I am inclined to stick to these in the future replacement cycles as well.

Last edited by KarthikK : 19th August 2020 at 21:49.
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Old 18th August 2020, 19:40   #10
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Default re: Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Ergonomics and Rider Controls (Part-1)

Because these two aspects are so closely intertwined on a bike, I've clubbed these aspects into a single section. I'll first go over the general ergonomics from my personal experience, followed by all the rider controls on this bike and my opinions on them.

By and large, the interceptor is a decent and comfortable bike to ride on. The bike itself isn't tall, the seating is low and the legs are somewhat rear-set so the posture is somewhat semi-sporty and semi-upright, with a commanding view of the road ahead. There is no wind blast protection whatsoever, and this effect is exaggerated if you are a tall rider. The ergonomics are sorted for long as well as short rides. Spirited riding? Sure, it can fit into that role also in short bursts.


Largely upright position with slightly rear set footpegs. Not adv-level upright. The posture might be more comparable to something like a Duke.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0304.jpg


Flatfooting on both sides of the bike is easy thanks to the low seat height. The rider in this case is 6'1" but it should be a cakewalk for even short riders
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0302.jpg


Notice the rear set footpegs. Also notice the relative height of the rider with respect to the front, which rules out any kind of windblast protection from the front. This is a complete 'wind-in-your-face' bike.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0294.jpg


RE offers an OE accessory visor like this (pic is not mine, just used for illustration) to mitigate windblast protection to some extent. I hate how it looks though, and it totally ruins the circular-headlight retro look of the front for me. For some weird reason this visor reminds me of a Rhinoceros horn . No thanks, I'll choose the windblast instead
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-royalenfieldinterceptor650flyscreenvisor6460.jpg


Height illustration with the rider standing up
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0311.jpg


Another angle to show how this bike's ergonomics are so friendly and confidence-inspiring for literally anyone (even beginners) to swing a leg over the seat and start riding it.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0315.jpg


Coming to the negatives - perhaps my only grouse would have been that the stock single seat dimensions could have been a tad bit wider to allow more comfort on longer rides. Over time, I guess my body has got used to it though, and I don't have cramps even over extended rides nowadays. Secondly, the stock seat is very very soft and will cause fatigue in no time, which is why from day 1 I use RE's own OE accessory touring seat which is a replacement for the stock seat which comes from the factory. This itself solved 80% of the problem for me.


The thin OE seat will start to tire the backside soon. This is the OE Touring seat replacement though, much better than the stock setup but it is still thin as can be seen from the side. My body has somehow got punished into getting used to it over time though.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0025.jpg


The OE touring seats are better but still the same narrow width as the original factory seats.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0222.jpg


The bike comes with heel protection for the rider at the rear end of the footpegs
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0050.jpg


There are these heat shield notches which prevent the rider's knees from accidentally scalding himself / herself with the engine heat while riding
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0177.jpg


RE's for-India-only feature - the famed Saree guard! I have removed this ugly grill recently and it doesn't exist anymore.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0099.jpg


This is largely a solo bike. The pillion ergonomics are horrendous and horrifyingly uncomfortable to say the least. If you ever want to take an average or above-average height pillion on long rides on this bike, please carry a tube of Iodex ointment and a tube of Burnol ointment along with you. Read on to find out why. I guess in this bike's case RE chose design over functionality and went with the single seat design to go with the overall looks, in spite of knowing the altered geometry of the pillion's posture. It isn't hard to spot why this is so flawed:

1. The seat itself is low to begin with.
2. The seat is flat from rider to pillion (which means the pillion's base seating position is same as the rider).
3. The footpegs are set at a higher position for the pillion than for the rider.


Three point summary of the ruined pillion seating geometry
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0266.jpg


The three points basically mean that the pillion is almost in a squatting position. Amplify this effect for every inch that the pillion is taller than say 5 feet (which would probably the tallest height for someone to be 'comfortable' on the stock position for a long duration). The bike is okay for short duration commutes within the city, upto say 15-20 km. Anything more will start to be troublesome for the pillion.

The icing on the pillion-ergonomic-issues cake - The exhausts on both sides protrude out (in width) by a fair bit, sufficient to interfere and cause burns on the legs of the pillion riders when climbing on or off the bike and accidentally touching the red hot exhaust pipes. My wife already got a few burns and is now very wary when getting on or off the bike.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0223.jpg


Wait - there's more. While riding and on the move, the exhausts are dangerously close to the pillion's heel. This can melt or burn the rubber or leather material of the pillion's footwear unknowingly. It is surprising that RE did not implement a simple heat protection notch above the exhaust when they covered so many other nitty gritties. There are aftermarket accessories available for this though.

Pillion footpeg heel rests dangerously close to the exhaust metal
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0006.jpg

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0012.jpg


The rear grab rail is below average for pillion support and the reach is also difficult due to the position and the thick padding of the seat somewhat 'hiding' the rails.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0067.jpg


Because we use the Ninja for roadtripping, our 2-up usage on the Interceptor is largely limited to errands inside the city and for weekend restaurant or mall visits, in cases where we know that car parking may be a hassle. For short distances such as these (< 30-40km in the day) it is manageable.


Rider Controls (Part-1)

Let's start with the bike's key. It looks very relic and cheap, and to be honest I don't like how it looks. This bike was their premium offering and they could have given these nitty gritties a bit more jazz
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-img_8997.jpg


The key slot is quite barebones and basic too. Nothing will look amiss even if swapped with a 100cc commuter bike's equivalent unit.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0034.jpg


The handlebar is wide, easy and nice to hold and features a brace in the centre, supposedly to suppress vibrations. The Continental GT 650 gets a clip-on handlebar in lieu of this setup. The mirrors blend in well with overall ergonomics and are satisfactory in reach and adjustment angles, at least for my riding position
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0179.jpg


The mirrors look good from the front and they increase the overall height almost by a foot above the handlebar!
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0107.jpg


The mirrors are of chrome material and circular in shape
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0083.jpg


The field of vision is quite average on the stock mirrors but suffices for general usage and touring as well. I would have preferred a wider field of vision, to minimize blind spots around the rear three quarters positions on both sides
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0353.jpg


Although I mainly stick to the stock OE chrome mirrors reviewed here, I do have a pair of RE Touring mirrors as well (OE Accessory) which have an advantage of being tilt-angle-adjustable and are anti-glare, which help against high beam users behind me in the night. I swap the OE chrome ones out with these if I am heading out on long trips with a lot of dark riding. It's a pity that these look out of place due to the black color (they are not available in chrome), or else I'd have left them on the bike permanently.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-19904541280x1000.jpg


An overall shot of the rider's point of view to summarize the ergonomics
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-img_8878.jpg


To be able to access the under-seat storage areas, the battery and the toolkit, one must look under the side panels below the seat on the right side to find this keyhole
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0396.jpg


This cavity can be accessed by removing the side panel after unlocking it. Pull the black knob which releases the entire single seat with a click.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0402.jpg


The single seat removed exposes the ECU case and battery /toolkit compartments
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0406.jpg


The toolkit is neatly fastened at the front of this cavity. Removing the toolkit exposes the battery compartment which can then be opened up to access the terminals or battery itself
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0399.jpg

Last edited by KarthikK : 19th August 2020 at 23:08.
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Old 18th August 2020, 21:27   #11
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Default re: Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Rider Controls continued... (Part-2)

The fuel filler cap on the teardrop shaped fuel tank
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0238.jpg


The notch opens up to reveal a keyhole, the bike's ignition key works here as well
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0239.jpg


The fuel tank cap doesn't just swivel up from a fixed hinge, the whole lid detaches from the cavity completely
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0243.jpg


The Interceptor features both a side stand as well as a centre stand, which is a blessing.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0103.jpg


The side stand is a good 3 inches high up from the ground. It leans over to a good enough angle and thus prevents accidental tip-overs on a loaded bike and uneven surfaces.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0104.jpg


The rider footpeg is a bit compact (I would have preferred slightly more real estate here) but serves the purpose and accommodates larger feet sizes as well, albeit grudgingly
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0139.jpg


The toe shifter is very nice to use, is built well and is very precise in shift feels
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0140.jpg


That's a size 47 boot fitting quite snugly on the gear lever
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0332.jpg


Works well on upshifts as well
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0334.jpg


Switching over to the other side, here is a symmetrical looking footpeg and rear brake lever (looks very similar to the gear shift lever)
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0014.jpg


This lever is also easy to use and is sufficiently angled below to prevent accidentally riding the rear brake subconsciously
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0013.jpg


The lever is easy to grip and use even with wet boots.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0336.jpg


The left side of the switchgear controls feature the usual buttons for the horn, turn indicators and high-low beam selector. A hazard light option is sorely missed on this bike and should have been added from the factory!
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0040.jpg


The pass switch is of a different color and exists at the usual location
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0082.jpg


The clutch lever is non-adjustable but is easy and nice to use. It won't pose any issues to riders
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0145.jpg


Clutch lever reach is satisfactory
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0328.jpg


Moving over to the right side, the switchgear there features the usual engine kill switch and ignition button. Surprised to find a headlight button there vis-a-vis a stock Interceptor? You're not wrong - I swapped the OE switchgear to a BS3 set to be able to switch off the headlamps because I use the bike in traffic with frequent on-off cycles and the headlamp always on was very annoying. The replacement headlamp unit anyway features a DRL which is always on. (more on this later)
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0247.jpg


The front brake lever is symmetrical to the clutch lever
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0146.jpg


Needless to say, even the brake lever is non-adjustable
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0323.jpg


It is similar in reach to the clutch lever and 2-finger operation is easy
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0331.jpg


Other nitty gritty controls - Here is the rear swingarm spool screw slot, to support spool slider type paddock stands.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0121.jpg

Last edited by KarthikK : 19th August 2020 at 20:16.
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Old 18th August 2020, 22:03   #12
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Default re: Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Electronics and Instrument Console


The battery and fusebox can be accessed from this under-seat cavity as explained earlier

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0408.jpg


The stock horn setup is quite loud as with most modern Enfields, and this is thanks to the dual horn setup on either side of the oil cooler radiator
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0076.jpg

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0077.jpg


As explained earlier, the BS3 switchgear helps to switch off the headlamps when not in use. The handlebar switchgear is not backlit on either side, and this is another glaring omission by RE which ought to have been provided.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0039.jpg


I have discarded the pathetic stock headlamps almost around the purchase time itself, so I will be reviewing the headlamp I currently use, in lieu of the OE unit. The headlamp unit I use now is a 7" retrofit Maddog HR70 unit with inbuilt DRLs, indicators and low and high beams. The high beam is low beam + high beam.

Whether the headlamps are off or on, these bracket-shaped DRLs are always on
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0181.jpg


They look like this at night
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0370.jpg


The DRLs sync up and turn orange if the indicators are activated, and flash along with the indicators
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0186.jpg

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0190.jpg


On the low beam setting, 3 of the 5 LED units fire up
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0183.jpg


At night it looks like this on low beam when viewed head-on
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0373.jpg


Oh wow! Look at that wide parabola shaped beam which totally transformed the front visibility from the factory-supplied candle lights That dead end is around 100-120m away, yet lit up well and the height cutoff is fantastic as well
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-img_9007.jpg


Hit the high beam switch and the remaining 2 LEDs also fire up
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0184.jpg


High beam when viewed head-on
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0374.jpg


Night visibility with high beam is A+ for a retrofit without any aux lights needed for now. And this is how I can now tour safely and confidently at unearthly hours
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-img_9008.jpg


The taillight unit is also powered by a simple halogen bulb and always stays on regardless of the headlamp operation
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0192.jpg


A closer look at the illumination pattern of the taillight
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0191.jpg


It is sufficiently bright in the dark and easy to spot from a distance
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0385.jpg


The brake light makes it a lot brighter obviously
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0384.jpg


There is no separate number plate light as such in the rear. The same taillight unit features a transparent cutout on the bottom for the taillight's halogen bulb to illuminate the number plate as well.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0360.jpg


All the indicators are regular halogen bulbs and not LEDs
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0198.jpg


The indicators are quite effective even in the night
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0377.jpg


On the front, the DRLs also aid the indicators with some more orange firepower
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0379.jpg



Instrument Console

The Interceptor 650 is a very basic and simple bike and doesn't feature any of the contemporary instrument cluster options with on riding data, etc. RE has just provided the necessary gauges such as speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge and tripmeters and ended at that. Because this bike does feature an ECU and some diagnostics, there are a bunch of errors also that the bike can detect and throw up. These fault lights have been integrated into one of the two twin-pod dials. RE has however gone overboard in keeping things basic, by skimping on some things which ought to have been provided on this bike - a clock and a gear indicator for example.


Self-explanatory layout of the twin-pod instrument console - an analog speedo on the left, an analog tacho on the right (which also houses some fault indicators), and a tiny LED display which houses the fuel gauge and the odo and tripmeters.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0037.jpg


Closeup of the speedometer dial. The readability is clear and simple.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0035.jpg


In the night, it has a light blue backlight
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0366.jpg


Closeup of the tachometer dial
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0036.jpg


View at night
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0367.jpg


When the ignition is on, the display lights up. The button in the centre can be used to toggle between the odo and Tripmeters A and B. Long-pressing the button resets the currently selected tripmeter. And that is all there is to control in the instrument console of this bike! Lol!
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0038.jpg


Night time view is elegant, functional and simple to read.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0376.jpg


An observation on the eccentric fuel gauge: The fuel gauge features 7 bars. Generally the fuel gauge is okay when you start off on a full tank and keep riding the bike continuously for 200+km at a stretch, the drops are logical and not much is amiss then. If you however stop anywhere and restart ignition it will show confused readings at times, especially after you drop below 60-70% of the tank capacity. It may have been showing 4/7 bars before you stop for chai, 2/7 after you get back from your chai break, and 5/7 when you reach your destination 40 km later! This is why I said earlier that while touring or even otherwise, I generally keep a tab on the tripmeter to plan my fuel stops, and in the city I generally hit the nearest bunk when the bars drop to 1/7. Generally when it shows 1/7 bars there is still around 4 litres of fuel in the tank and this is a reasonably safe way to go refuel in the next 20-30 km after it comes down to the single bar reading.

Over my 1.5 years of daily usage, generally this is the pattern I see in the fuel gauge bars:

Tripmeter distance: 0 km (reset immediately after refueling)
Fuel gauge: 7/7 bars

Tripmeter distance: 50 km
Fuel gauge: 6/7 bars or sometimes 5/7 bars directly (I rarely see the 6th bar stay on - it fluctuates between 5th and 7th bar)

Tripmeter distance: 100 km
Fuel gauge: 4/7 bars or 5/7 or even 3/7 bars sometimes! depends on its mood, and then it goes back up to 5/7 if you park the bike for a while (even on centre stand)

Tripmeter distance: 150 km
Fuel gauge: 3/7 bars

Tripmeter distance: 200-230 km (depending on city or highways)
Fuel gauge: 2/7 bars or sometimes 3/7 bars

Tripmeter distance: 220-250 km
Fuel gauge: 1/7 bars (starts blinking), sometimes jumps from 3/7 to 1/7 too!

At this point if I tank up, it takes in around ~10-11 litres of petrol, which means the single bar is hit at around the 3-3.5 litres mark.


My workaround for the clock issue (more details in the accessories section): I got an analog screw-on type, battery-operated clock which latches onto the handlebar and solves the timekeeping issue for me with the jugaad arrangement
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-42c143aad7d24233a582901242fb7c50.jpg

Last edited by KarthikK : 19th August 2020 at 22:20.
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Old 18th August 2020, 22:56   #13
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Default re: Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Accessories

For this bike, I already had a fair idea of what minimal set of things I needed to better enjoy my experiences with it, going by my ninja ownership experience. I just needed to improvise a bit on some inherent weaknesses / lacking features, and a few things to use it for daily office commuting and occasional solo touring in all kinds of weather. Some of the accessories I needed for touring, etc were already procured during my Ninja accessories’ purchase, and they would obviously be useful even here, swapping when needed.

I decided to keep my accessories list strictly functional, minimal and no-nonsense, barring a few cosmetic indulgences which were inexpensive. Here is the list of accessories procured for the Interceptor 650:

Compact engine crash guard: I went for the smallest one since I’m not a fan of huge crash guards jutting out and ruining the visual aspect. They did have a black variation but the chrome version matches well with this overall scheme of things

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-crash_guard.jpg


After fitting on the bike
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0071.jpg


Integrates well without jutting out from the bike
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0097.jpg


Touring seat: The original seat which came with the bike was pathetic and very soft. It started to cause fatigue within a few kilometres of usage even during the pre-purchase test ride. I wouldn’t have been able to do even my office commutes on the stock seat, forget touring. Fortunately, RE themselves sell a thicker and firmer OE accessory seat as a retrofit, called ‘Touring Seat’. I went for it straight out of the showroom and have been reasonably happy with the added support this provides over long distances. Some owners also fit the continental GT’s (dual) touring seat on the interceptor which looks somewhat different but offers similar levels of support.

Single piece touring seat from RE's OE accessory stable
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-touring_seat.jpg


Looks similar to the factory supplied seat but is stiffer and feels more premium. Apologies for referencing these images again (I remember I used them elsewhere in this thread for showing ergonomics)
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0022.jpg

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0025.jpg


'Touring' badging to denote that this is an accessory and not standard equipment
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0023.jpg


Handlebar Brace pad: This one is more of a visual enhancement and as a bonus is supposed to prevent the chrome brace bar from accumulating scratches over time. It is made of some Rexine type of material and is supposed to be weatherproof. I’m not happy with the way it has started chipping in some places in just a year and a half. Fortunately it is quite cheap at 600 INR, is easily available and can be replaced easily at any RE dealership. That is still no excuse for the poor quality though.

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-bracepad.jpg


The brace pad in action on my bike
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0032.jpg


Quality issues with peel-off after 1.5 years of usage. Not done, RE!
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0341.jpg


RAM mount handlebar clamp: I already had the RAM mount X-clamp (from my Ninja) for mounting my navigation phone, so I just needed a tether point for the phone mount. I went for the simple handlebar clamp which seems to be the only option for the Interceptor.


RAM mount handlebar clamp
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0174.jpg


RAM mount in action with a navigation phone in place
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0230.jpg


Rider's vision will be able to clearly read the display, but note the phone setup is exposed to windblast and the environmental elements in this position. I use a separate IP68 rated splash resistant phone to tolerate usage in rains though.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0259.jpg


Concealed under the brace pad is a single slot fast-charging USB port for the navigation phone.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0246.jpg


Bike cover: This is a Royal Enfield original accessory. It is incredibly lightweight and inexpensive, and offers good waterproofing. I have been using it to park the bike in a sheltered but partially exposed portico at home and I love how quick and easy it is to put on and remove. The only grouse I have with it is, there are no tethering clips so while the elastic ends are slowly deteriorating with age (as expected), when there is a strong gust of wind, portions of the cover get displaced or the cover sometimes even completely flies away like a parachute!

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-bike_cover.jpg


Handlebar mounted analog clock and outside temperature gauge: The instrument console lacks a digital clock on this bike, and I am someone who likes to keep track of time and would like a ready reading all the time when out touring. With full gauntlet gloves, looking at the wrist watch was out of question, and the tiny time reading on a corner of the phone screen (when mounted on RAM) was not very legible. I sourced this set as an inexpensive ‘jugaad’ accessory from Amazon. I wanted only the clock but the temperature gauge also came with the set, so I took it anyway. They are chrome dials sound the size of a wrist watch dial, powered by coin batteries (batteries last a year on these) and glow in the dark. They use silicone pads on the inside and allen key bolts of size 3 to latch onto the handlebar.

'Jugaad' clock mounted on the handlebar because RE didn't provide me one!
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-42c143aad7d24233a582901242fb7c50.jpg


Analog Temperature gauge showing outside temperature
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0169.jpg


Handlebar grip puppies: I am a big fan of this product since it cushions the palms, enhances comfort over long journeys and since I have large palms and long fingers, it helps to make the handlebar feel chunkier and nicer to hold. Needless to say, I use it on all my bikes. They have endured a lot of abuse in all kinds of weather and have lasted the distance.

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0041.jpg


Paint protection film: Some parts of this bike are inexpensive anyway, so it would have been a case of penny-wise, pound-foolish to spend 5-6k on paint protection film (on the entire bike) out of paranoia when the same parts are available off the shelf for cheaper. I just went for protection on the painted fuel tank area and the side panel under the seat.

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0233.jpg


Maddog HR70 7” LED headlights retrofit in lieu of stock headlamps: The stock halogen headlamps don’t just look retro - they work like Edison era filament bulbs too. They were pathetic with a capital P for all kinds of usage - city as well as highways. RE could have as well used these headlamps to light up candlelight dinner tables in their RE Cafes instead of installing these on a touring bike with ~50bhp! After getting used to the Ninja’s kick-ass stock LED headlamps, this (light upgrade) was a no brainer on the cards since it was a basic safety issue. I went for Maddog’s retrofit LED headlamps with built-in DRLs in the stock 7” size. They have 2 variants - 70w and 60w. I went for the 70w option with 5200 lumens because - let there be light!

Specifications of the product:

LED Type: Osram CURAMOS LEDS 2nd gen
IP Rating: IP-68 - Dust / Waterproof
Material: PolyCarbonate+Aluminum
Warranty: 18 months replacement warranty
Color Temp: 6700K / ULTRA White
Watt & Volt:- DC 12V & 70 Watts
Current: High beam 4 Amps Low beam 3 Amps
Lifespan: Upto 50000 hours
Lumens: Low Beam- 4500 High Beam- 5200
Beam Distance: Low beam 65Mts Flood High beam 100Mts Spot
Optics Type: Flood And Spot


It was a direct plug and play fit, and there is a night and day difference in the headlamps and the visibility levels after dusk. Because this bike is used in traffic everyday and with frequent ignition on-off cycles, I was fed up with the headlamp always remaining on. As mentioned earlier in the electronics section, I swapped the switchgear to a BS3 unit where the headlamp can be turned off if need be, but the DRLs are always on no matter what the setting. I am very happy with the performance of these lights, they are more than sufficient for city use and highway use even at triple digit speeds. I would gladly recommend them to fellow RE owners if they are looking for reliable 7” headlamp swap options without going the aux lights route.

BS3 switchgear to shut off the headlamp when not needed. The stock setup was annoying in stop-go traffic!
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0039.jpg


The maddog headlights (I've already reviewed the effectiveness in the electronics section)
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0185.jpg


Sena 20S Evo helmet clamp kit: I already had a Sena 20S Evo communications system for the Ninja, and if touring on this one, all I needed was a helmet clamp kit for this one’s helmet, consisting of the adapter, speakers and mic. The same control unit could clamp onto this helmet and work the same way.

Sena 20S Evo helmet clamp kit on this helmet allows sharing of the same control unit across all my helmets
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0320.jpg


Viaterra Raptor v2 tailbag: My need for a tailbag was multi-fold:
  • Freedom from backpacks forever! - it should be able to replace the usual laptop backpack and relieve my back and shoulders from the heavy weight during my longish commutes (almost 4 hours per day sometimes).
  • It should have an easy mechanism to attach to and detach from the bike, and be able to carry around like a regular bag to/from home and destination(s).
  • It should be able to carry all my office stuff - 15” laptop, lunch bag, laptop and phone chargers, and all the other miscellaneous things I would need for office visits, plus have enough space for picking up anything else to bring on the way back home sometimes (last minute grocery or pharmacy visits, etc)
  • It should be able to operate in all kinds of weather (some kind of rain protection would be welcome)
  • When the bike is used solo, I do mostly daytrips and short overnighters on this (only with friends) rarely. The bag had to be able to hold my camera equipment and probably a day of luggage at least. Expandable capacity was welcome.
I came across this excellent product when I was visiting Orion motors for my riding gear purchase, and decided to pick it up for my multi-purpose usage and I must say I have enjoyed the ownership with this bag and put it through its paces for office commutes and trips alike, even in some really harsh weather. It meets all my needs, is built well, has multiple pockets, has inbuilt bungee cord hooks, comes with a snap-on rain cover and even has expandable storage space for those extended weekend rides or on days when I haul along multiple camera devices. I was too lazy to shoot pictures of the bag's usage so I flicked these from the web, to illustrate what I wanted to convey.

The general look is tough and neat, and features reflective strips for visibility. Multiple compartments help to categorically separate the luggage.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-viaterraraptorv2motorcycletailbagofficebag11000x1000.png


Inbuilt bungee cord hooks which can be concealed when not in use. There is also a long strap to carry it similar to a duffel bag
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-viaterraraptorv2motorcycletailbagofficebag41000x1000.png


The hooks attach to the frame near the pillion footpegs
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0251.jpg


Space for a 15" laptop, office stationery, lunch bag and much much more on weekdays. On weekends, empty out the bag and stuff camera and trip luggage and ride out!
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-viaterraraptorv2motorcycletailbagofficebag71000x1000.png


It also came with a rain cover which secures with an elastic lining, and the rain cover has reflective strips as well, useful for night time visibility on the road
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-viaterraraptorv2motorcycletailbagofficebag91000x1000.png


Out on a trip, this is how the tailbag neatly integrates with the bike and leaves enough space for the biker to sit comfortably
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0286.jpg


So how much did all the accessories work out to finally? Here's a breakup of the expense sheet
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-accessories.jpg

Last edited by KarthikK : 19th August 2020 at 22:19.
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Old 18th August 2020, 23:08   #14
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Default re: Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Riding gear

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0108.jpg


When I set out buying this bike, I wanted a different set of riding gear for two reasons - one is because I have an ocd towards associating every bike with its own set of riding gear to match it with (a separate ‘Avatar’ as I call it), I wasn’t keen on using Ninja’s riding gear on this bike - it would look awkward as well. Second reason is that I wanted to use the Interceptor for office commutes, etc so I wanted a lightweight mesh jacket that could do dual purpose (city / highways) and rough, carefree usage. I later ended up getting highway worthy stuff to complete the ‘retro’ set fully, so I have a complete end to end ‘Avatar’ now to go with the retro styling of the Interceptor

Jacket: Rynox Urban mesh jacket. Comes with removable warm and wet lining layers. Quite comfortable even in the city and on hot days. For heavy rains, I anyway pull on a decathlon rain cheater on top of this. This jacket seems to cause chafing in the elbow area on day long rides after say 350-400 km.

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Pants: Rynox AirTex - Comes with a rain cheater layer to wear during rains over the pants. Average comfort, good ventilation. Very snug fit, in fact too snug for my liking. They are okay for short rides and during day-long rides I start to develop chafing in the knee and shin areas with the knee armour pocket rubbing and almost bruising my skin there. This is an issue I have with most of the budget brands. Next time around I will definitely replace with something better both for these pants and the jacket.

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-rynoxairtexpants31000x1000.jpg


Gloves: Rynox Inferno - full gauntlet gloves which are very comfortable and well ventilated for day long use. I use these for my highway rides and find them very comfortable. It is even possible to operate the touchscreen with gloves on, handy to make quick navigation changes, etc while out in gear.

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-rynox_inferno.jpg


Alpinestars Spartan - short city gloves which scream comfort and quality from the word go. I use these for all my city riding and they are very comfortable and breathable.

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-alpinestarsspartanglovesblack11000x1000.png


Boots: Forma Adventure - Used for highway rides on the Interceptor. They are very tough in build and exude quality. They were available in black and brown but I chose Brown to go well with the retro theme of this bike and the rest of my gear. I’ve put them through some rigorous tests in monsoon slush trails, etc and they work very well. They are a bit stiff to start off with and I did take some time to get used to shifting gears with these, but they have broken in well and are very comfortable to wear 24x7.

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-formaadventurebootsbrown11000x1000.jpg


Helmet: AGV K3 SV - in plain black gloss mono-colour pattern. Somehow I preferred a plain bald black helmet in glossy texture to go with the rest of the gear for this. I swapped the plain visor and use a dark smoke tinted visor for the daytime. For unearthly hours, I carry the clear visor in the tailbag and swap it out if needed.

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-agvk3svglossblackp399017652_image.jpg


Let’s take a look at the costs table for riding gear for the Interceptor.
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-riding-gear.jpg


Adding up the accessories and the riding gear, this is how much was spent totally on the bike apart from the bike's on-road cost itself
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-totals.jpg

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 21st August 2020 at 10:27. Reason: As requested
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Old 18th August 2020, 23:12   #15
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Default re: Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

After sales service experience

To be fair to the product, Royal Enfield definitely deserves a pat on the back for the way they have designed and implemented this product. Despite having so many fears about RE’s quality and niggle history over the decades, I have been proved wrong with this bike! It has had no niggles at all throughout my almost 1.5 years and 12,000 km of ownership and usage, and I have used the product well in all kinds of conditions - office commutes, urban errands, 2-up rides to restaurants, solo rides, tours with friends, good roads, bad roads, no roads, et al.

Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0410.jpg


I have got all my services done with HSR services, Lalbagh road (Sudhama nagar to be specific), and I have had no complaints till date regarding either the service quality or the expenses. Work has mostly been restricted to the things needed to be done as per schedule.

The service frequency is as follows:

1st service: 500 km or 45 days
2nd service: 5000 km or 12 months from date of purchase for inspection service / 10,000 km or 12 months from date of purchase for actual service tasks
Thereafter, service is required once in every 10,000 km.

Since the 5000 km services are mostly inspection-related items, most owners tend to just service the bikes at 10,000 km as required for oil and filter changes.

There are 4 free services given (labour is free) from the date of purchase, which basically works till the 30,000 km or 36 months (3 years) service.

The standard warranty bundled with the bike is for 36 months, and they also have a free 24x7 RSA for 3 years, bundled with the purchase price of the bike.

I have so far had two services in the past 1.5 years and on my way for the third service in a couple of months. Touchwood, I have not had to visit the service centre extra number of times for any problem whatsoever.

I accelerated the oil change and got it proactively replaced at the 5000th km service (second service) and also got the clutch cable prematurely replaced, because I used to do a lot of traffic jam ridden commuting almost to the tune of 1500 km per month and that does take a toll on the clutch cable, I had started feeling the cable ageing. Obviously the spare parts in the RE stable are pretty cheap and services have hardly cost much compared to the fun factor this bike has brought in. The average service cost is around 2500 bucks and this is once in 10,000 km. That is very, very economical. Well done RE!

Service costs so far in summary (10,000 km and 1.5 years)
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-service_costs.jpg


Problems I have faced

So far, I have not faced any major problems as such with the bike. It has been performing incredibly well through everything thrown its way. I have only one minor grouse to share through my ownership experience so far. It is with the rear disc brake. Obviously it works fine and does what it is supposed to do, but for the past 6 months or so there has been an annoying screeching sound which only surfaces under light and gradual braking (not under heavy and liberal use of the rear brake), which just refuses to go away no matter what I do. I have tried the Muc-off brake cleaner spray, the problem goes away but returns a few days later. I have complained to the RE service folks and even discussed it on the Interceptor owners’ group with other customers at the same dealership. This seems to be a very common problem on most interceptors, and because this isn’t affecting functionality, people seem to be putting up with it silently and letting it stay. The service folks offered to dismantle and clean and put back everything during the next service and if that doesn’t work, they offered to escalate it and try for a replacement of the rear disc under warranty. I’ll report on that once my next annual service happens, which is due in October.

The saga of the screeching rear brake!
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0120.jpg


Credits

Thanks to BHPians and fellow bikers CrAzY dRiVeR and rbp for their inputs and insights on various aspects leading to this purchase. I simply cannot leave out mentioning that CrAzY dRiVeR's stellar 650 twins review (Ridden: Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 & Continental GT 650 Twin)was quite helpful in giving insights into some nitty gritties of this bike immediately around the launch time. We did visit some showrooms together to check out the 650 twins around the launch time but I wasn't able to join him for that review. Special thanks to deepfreak15 for helping out with all the rider shots and some 'masala' pictures in this review, as I like to call them, and ebmrajesh who also was one of the co-directors in the review photoshoot

deepfreak15's Ducati Multistrada 950 alongside my Interceptor at the location - a case of David vs Goliath?
Swiss Army Knife on two-wheels : My 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650-dsc_0027.jpg


Last but not the least, thanks to the Team-BHP community and to you the reader for taking the time out to read through the compilation.

Until my next update, I bid adieu

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 20th August 2020 at 08:51.
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