Multiple modifications on my Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

In the future, I am also looking to upgrade the exhaust and install a leg guard.

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A few updates on the Interceptor 650. The bike has done about 2000 km since I took it home from rrsteer. Friends and I have been exploring Himachal quite thoroughly, and it is still a lovely piece of art. It's particularly fun in the mountains, the acceleration out of corners makes you giggle like a kid. The weight obviously is a problem in the twisties, but there's a kind of charm in trying to lean a pig through a hairpin.

No niggles with the bike at all, only the throttle got a bit sticky, didn't want to go back after you twisted it. Took it to a nearby RE SVC, they adjusted the return cable for 20 bucks. Reminds me of the first-gen KTM days.

The front suspension still sucks, I might put some heavier fork oil in there, but it's not leaking yet. The footpeg position sucks, even more, both rider and pillion, but I haven't found a solution for either so ignoring the problem for now. The headlight is still non-existent, but I don't want to put in a white-ish LED, and I don't think an aftermarket bulb will make all that of a difference. The Pirellis are still bringing shame to their legendary name, but I'll ride them until they die.

1. Fender delete and Zana backrest:

I hated the black plastic rear fender on the bike, made the bike look ugly in my opinion. I first tried to take it off non-destructively, by disconnecting the taillight and rear indicators and removing the wire that threads through the fender for some reason. The taillight is easy to disconnect, but the 2 indicator connectors are the stuff of my nightmares. They are the same type of idiocy I wrestled with during my failed Pulsar restoration. I tried disconnecting one for about a minute, and then immediately gave up.

To cut the fender off I tried a variety of different tools, but weirdly everything failed except a blade, which cut through it like butter. The bike looks much better now and have gone through some water crossings and slush too, I can confirm that it doesn't make any big difference in how much the rear seat gets splashed over. With a bigger 140 or 150 section tire, it'll look even better.

After finding out that the rear seat is a certifiable torture device, I took a Zana backrest off a friend and put it on the bike to make the pillion's life slightly less miserable. However, it looked just too damn ugly, an unbearable eyesore. So after just one day, it came off and the stock grab rail went back in. I guess I'll just not take a passenger ever.


+5 BHP

-5000 BHP

2. BMC air filter:

Because this seemed like the easiest "upgrade" on the bike, I spent the 6000 or so bucks and got the BMC filter with the stage 2 kit from Bikenbiker. First, they forgot to send the stage 2 kit but were nice enough to expedite its shipping when I told them, so I didn't have to wait another week for it. It's just 3 little pieces of flimsy metal anyways.

My friend decided to try the other route, and he cut off the stock snorkel on his Interceptor, without changing the filter. After having ridden both bikes back to back a number of times, I can say the following:

  • The BMC air filter makes the bike sound slightly louder under hard acceleration. It's not exactly an induction "roar" as it is a polite induction cough. Cutting the stock snorkel has almost the same effect, 80% of the sound at 0% of the cost. The sound is definitely different from the stock setup, but nothing special.
  • There's no real effect on the way the bike behaves, acceleration or top speed. If there is an effect, it's hard to say if it's real or psychological. Sometimes I do feel that my bike is a bit more tractable at low RPMs, but impossible to quantify. There are no negative effects either.

So the lesson here is that if someone's looking to change their filter, I don't think they need to bother. Just cut the stock snorkel out with a blade, and you're good to do. Stock air filters are dirt cheap, no real reason to spend the 5500 bucks here, UNLESS you are planning other upgrades too, like exhaust, ECU stuff.

3. Sell me your old junk

Speaking of exhaust, I found a used AEW 102 on OLX, but it got sold off immediately after I found it Keeping with the used theme of the bike I don't want a shiny new exhaust, and I do want a slip-on at the minimum. Like I'd feared, the stock exhaust is a pain to live with, just a few days ago I had one nanosecond of skin contact, and it hurt like hell for hours afterwards. This is the only reason why I want to change it, I quite like the way the stock exhaust sounds, but it's just a monumentally stupid design.

I ideally want to buy a TEC Stinger, for the weight reduction bro, but I don't know if I'll be able to source it, especially considering TEC is based out of the UK, who have decided to lock themselves in their cold and damp island with Brexit. AEW 102 slip-on is my second choice because it looks like stock, isn't too loud, and hides the joint between the pipe and the can. If anyone's upgrading from their Stinger or 102, please sell it to me!

I am also looking for a used RE leg guard, the type shown in the photo below. I want one because I know for sure I'm going to get into trouble sometime soon, taking the bike up some hill and into a pond and over some rocks. It is fun, and I don't want to be scared of dropping the bike. Again, I would prefer a scratched up oldie rather than a shiny chromed beauty. If anyone has one lying around, I'm your boi.

4. The Trips:

Since I've bought the Interceptor, I've barely ridden the Xpulse. I had expected and feared this. Riding the Xpulse is like homework, it's training and sweat and hard work. Riding the Inty is like Counter-Strike with your friends, it's fun and exciting and addictive.

Speaking of friends, thank god for moto buddies! I was a solo riding guy for a very long time, but it's just so much more interesting to go with a small group. My Interceptor friend and his wife usually accompany me on the Himachal exploration trips, and it's a blast. Below are a few photos from our trips around Bharkra Dam, and Jot (near Dalhousie).

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