My experience upgrading from an RE Machismo 500 to an Interceptor 650:

The stock rear view mirrors are better than the ones on my Machismo 500, but that's a low bar. And as a result they are not adequate.

BHPian bsenroy recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I have not thought this out. I am writing on an impulse, so lets see where it takes me

My parents never let me do anything remotely adventurous. It is not that they were strict, but rather paranoid. They were scared to let me ride a bicycle. but once I reached class 8, and had to go for tuitions, etc, My dad begrudgingly bought me a BSA Trailblazer. My first two wheeler, and oh what a ride!

The more they exercised a tight control over what I could or could not do, the more i could sense a quiet rebellion brewing up inside me. They couldnt do this forever, I thought. I will get out of the house sometime, I thought.

I was right.

I had always been a good student, which meant that after some great grades in Class 12, I was accepted to one of the best colleges in Delhi University. To their credit, parents put my education over their anxiety and decided to deposit me and the stars in my eyes to North Campus.

This is where I discovered motorcycles. Again, a friend taught me how to ride on his OG Bajaj Pulsar (this was 2002). We rode around in Delhi going to college fests, making money by winning quizzes and debates. over the Autumn of 2003 (September), I stayed back at the hostel while my friend travelled back home, leaving me with the motorcycle. What followed was a largely unplanned trip.

Delhi - Shimla - Peo - kaza - Manali - Dharamshala - Pathankot - Amritsar - Delhi.

It was freedom like I had never experienced before. over the 18 odd days of the ride, an idea was planted in my brain, germinated, grew tall and strong and took root. I needed to start working right after college and see if i can buy a motorcycle that i can travel on.

Thankfully there were no mobile phones back then, so i could call home from PCOs on the house landline and lie about being in the hostel. Sneaking around is such fun!

As soon as I started working, i bought myself a beat-down Kinetic Honda from Karol Bagh for my commuting. Turned out to be a ton of fun. Actually did a couple of trips to Jaipur on it to meet a girl I was trying to woo. trying, being the operative word.

Anyway, fast forward to the summer of 2008, I had saved up around 60 K (take home salary at the time was a smidge over 18k), and with the added infusion of a bank loan, i was able to purchase the Royal Enfield Machismo 500.

I had not been on a motorcycle for 4 years now, let alone a heavy one at that. So the ride from the showroom in West Delhi to my place in South Delhi was a much needed refresher.

I rode my Machismo 500, now christened Dope constantly till March 2020. And in between multiple niggles, one engine rebuild and an unfortunate incident involving the forever helpful Delhi Police towing my bike from an authorised parking lot outside my office and returning it sans the carburetor, we clocked in excess of 100000 kms. I couldnt drive a car, I still can't, so the bike is my only mode of transport.

Here are some snapshots from an assortment of rides.

In March 2020, Dope was already showing signs of age and years of rough use, and as we went into lockdown, he kind of stopped responding. Around June of that year, I took stock of his condition and it turned out that he would need a complete overhaul including a new engine build. But as I was working from home and road trip's were being done on my partner's car, I sort of let it slide.

Come 2022, that itch to ride, that many here are no doubt familiar with started to raise its head. The pandemic, particularly the second wave had been hard. I lot family members, friends, and the general apathy towards human life continues to weigh me down. The state of my mental health was also at an all-time low. I found myself daydreaming about the rides of the past and the ones that are yet to be explored. Both my partner and my therapist felt that getting back on the saddle could actually help me deal with loss and grief and the near constant anxiety that has plagued me in the last year or so.

While I was dealing with these issues, I was also seeing spy-shots of a cruiser based on the 650 twins platforms. This would be a good bike for me, I thought. I had gained considerable weight and as I fast approached 40, i thought a more laid back riding position would do me good.

About a month or so earlier, Royal Enfield broke the covers off what is now the Super Meteor 650, and it was immediately clear to me that given the considerable weight of the machine and the longer wheelbase, it might not be the right bike for me after all. so I went back to the one I had been considering all this while - the Interceptor 650, in the Mark II livery.

Apart from being heartachingly pretty, it also had the happy chrome continuance with my dearly departed black and chrome Machismo 500. So that was it then. One Friday afternoon, I took some time off work and, and filled in the paperwork on the morotcycle at Brite Autowheels in Kailash Colony, South Delhi. One week later, a day before my birthday, it was delivered.

I also indulged myself with two additional purchases:

  • LS2 STORM FF80 helmet
  • Royal Enfield OEM Khardungla riding jacket in Olive green

I live in Noida, conveniently adjacent to the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway, and by extension the Yamuna Expressway. So yesterday I took off and completed a 380 kms round trip to Mathura, and these were my takeaways:

  • Either I have been too many years off the saddle or the seats are not the best going around. And I did opt for the custom touring seat.
  • The stock handlebars are a bit of a reach and I might have to invest in a set of handlebar raisers.
  • The stock rear view mirrors are better than the ones on my Machismo 500, but that's a low bar. And as a result they are not adequate. Are the OEM RE touring mirrors any better?
  • So far I have been keeping the engine under 3.5k rpm, and even within the confines of the running-in protocols, i think i have enough power for my needs.
  • Braking too seemed adequate. But this opinion might change as i ride more and once I open up more after the first service.

Here are a few shots from yesterday's ride.

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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