17" wheels conversion on my Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

I always liked my road bikes to have 17" rims just because of the pain involved to source the tyres of my liking for any other sizes. I did expect some handling advantages too due to the smaller rims and upsized and rounded tyres.

BHPian man_of_steel recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Have been stealing some time in between my work for the Interceptor. As I mentioned before, the bike seriously has some weight issues which is very much visible with the stock setup on the handling and braking sides. My KTM MC upgrade was a huge success and took care of the braking side of things. Now the brake provides good initial bite and is progressive as well. So the weight is now felt way less while braking. Now, in my previous post, I have mentioned that I upgraded the fork oil and installed preload adjusters as well. I left it as it is and went looking for a solution for the death wobble. Mistake, as I didn't unlock the potential of the setup I now had.

I decided to spend some time and adjust the front and rear rider sag (suspension sag with the rider) in pursuit of a sporty and planted feel. I measured the Sag with the preload adjuster wound out all the way out (This should be pretty close to the OE measurement) and the bike was having a 39mm rider sag! That is a lot of sag even for a road setup. This along with soft springs and 2W fork oil explains why the stock bike handled like a pig. So I set out and dialed in the preload step by step and reduced it to around 28mm of rider sag. I went from 6 rings visible to only 1 ring visible during the journey from 39 to 28mm rider sag. The rear too was set up similarly below 30mm sag and I am now at the 4th step from the softest. This did make a huge impact on the handling of the bike. The bike was now stable in the corners, turned in much willingly into the corners and held the lean and line beautifully. This did make the bike stiff but is not bone jarring and everyday usability is not compromised. Infact, a friend who was looking to buy an Interceptor took my bike for a test ride and found the front end a bit too stiff for his liking initially. He rode a stock INT650 the next day as a part of his bike hunt and just couldn't comprehend the overall feel of the stock bike in corners and then was all praises for the setup of my bike. Even after all this, the horrible death wobble above 80 kmph persisted.

Now to the next money-well-spent mod I have done so far. I always liked my road bikes to have 17" rims just because of the pain involved to source the tyres of my liking for any other sizes. I did expect some handling advantages too due to the smaller rims and upsized and rounded tyres. My plan was to use 110/70-17 and 150/60-17 Apollo Alpha H1s on the 650. And I was particular that I didn't want to spend too much time to try and center another bike's alloys to the INT650's forks. And IMO, aligning the disc of another bike's alloy to the stock caliper of Interceptor will not center the tyre to the fork. So the only option was to use the stock hub and go for a different 17" rim and spokes. Ultimately, I want excel aluminum rims on the bike, but I decided to run a trial with locally available cheap rims. So I procured 2 17" Himalayan rims and made some custom spokes to match the stock hub and new rims. After a bit of struggling voila! 17" conversion was done. Bought a set of Alpha H1s and plonked it on the new rims and she was ready to go.


After conversion

The front end dips a bit because of the lower profile tyre so I slid down the fork by around 15mm to compensate for this a bit.

The front mudguard was having a gap after the conversion. It looked okay but I removed the front fork brace and mudguard and bolted it from below the stock mount. Worked like a charm!

I will note down my feedback in bullet points.

  • The dreaded death wobble is 100% cured. The bike is now rock solid (in CAPS AND BOLD) even at triple digit speeds
  • Stability at highway speeds has increased. Earlier the bike felt nervous at speeds above 80
  • Flickability has increased many fold. Much eager to turn into corners now
  • Holds the line beautifully once leaned in
  • At slow speeds, earlier the bike had a tendency to not turn in and then suddenly used to fall into the corner. Now it handles slow speeds in a controlled and neutral manner
  • ABS is working perfectly
  • Ground Clearance is acceptable, haven't grounded out even once in city speed bumps even with pillion

In short. Feels like an entirely different and lighter bike!


  • Acceleration has taken a hit. Expected due to the increased contact patch and probably higher weight of the steel Himalayan rims. The stock excel Aluminum rims of the 650 is just top class and weighs very less
  • Speedo error at almost 14% or so from the phone GPS reading
  • Need wider rim for rear. Atleast 4.00 or 4.25 inch wide, the 150 section Apollo is rounded off too much. Might go for excel aluminum rims

Why I need wider rims.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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