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RE Interceptor 650: My journey owning & maintaining the bike myself

Though this is not a perfect bike, but its one of the best to own and learn a lot about DIY stuff on maintaining a middle weight.

BHPian Nitnac recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

This a summary of me and a detail ownership experience of my Interceptor 650

Hello esteemed members,

Happy to be a member and after lot of delay finally was able to share my journey and introduce you to my “Summer Orange.”

My interests:

  • Motorcycles
  • Mechanical wrist watches
  • Cars
  • Travelling
  • Bicycle

Love and passion towards motorcycle began with a big bang, yes literally a big bang in a Mission Impossible movie when Tom Cruz zipped through a fire on Triumph speed triple. This was love at first site. That day I realized the trill and adrenaline rush while watching the move is when the craze on motorcycle began.

Image from google.

Every bike on the street that is in the year 2000’s, Suzuki Samori, RX100 and Pulsar owners are considered living legends, at least as per my dictionary.

Initial days:

During my school days, uncle used to own a red Suzuki samurai and each morning used to fill me up with passion. The sound and feel of the pull of the bike is what happiness feels like.
Days and years passed, and life moves on. I was able to sit on a bike and could touch the ground with my feet and its 2019 and my dad own a Hero Honda CD Dawn silver color. This till date is my favorite bike because it’s a retro and a reliable machine compared to two stroke Suzuki Samori and RX100.

My Dad's motorcycle and learning to ride:

In 2014 my dad had purchased a Honda CB Twister. Initially planned for Unicorn but my dad wanted a better FE, since Twister was 110cc and was newly launched a quick test drive and feedback from new owners, the decision was finalized. The bike was great, good pickup, FE, looks and easy on the pocket. Only issue was the gear shifts which even Honda ASS couldn’t do anything.

My first bike - Suzuki Gixxer 155:

In the year 2016 I started my career and was able to budget some amount for a brand-new bike. My ideal plan was to buy a KTM RC390, well as ideal plans doesn’t mean its goanna happen, right? and it’s hard to negotiate with parents. Hope everyone agrees on this.

Hell ya!, my ideal plan was to buy a KTM RC 390 was shot down and it fell from a 3 lakhs rupee to 90 thousand rupees and in February 2016, bought a Suzuki Gixxer silver color. But it’s okay, God has its own plans.

Sadly after 10 days, I met with an accident at a round-about, I applied the front brake suddenly when an auto-rickshaw appeared in front of me out of no-where; wasn’t major but learnt a hard way about breaking. The bike was restored back with an insurance claim. The accident made me think of the disastrous configuration of the breaks. At that time all the bikes front brake were disk brakes and rear were drum brakes. Why the hell would the govt. approve on this.

Let’s move on, the bike was as gem. Looks, handling, acceleration, gear shifts were great, only downside were the break. The bike is stress free till 80kmph. Done couple of long rides max round trip was 300ish kms in a day. This was mostly for office commute.

Aprilia SR150 for my dad:

My dad wanted to buy a moped and on 2018, purchased Aprilia SR 150, my dad loves this a lot as its nimble, awesome breaks, acceleration and reliable (Yes, you read it correctly “an Italian brand is reliable”), downside is the mileage and hard suspension.

Saw the big daddy Aprilia Tuono 1100 while checking out the SR 150.

Other bikes:

My uncle purchased RE Bullet, first time riding an RE. The build quality and FE was great, till 80kmph the ride was smooth and vibe free, yet it wasn't my type of bike. At 1.8lakhs OTR in 2017 this was worth it.

Riding my friends RE Himalayan. Suspension and looks was great, the engine was lousy to my liking but its best for a relaxed long trip.

Riding rental Harley Davidson Street 750 in Kochi for 120km. Sweet power and torque, head turner, can ride it all day in open roads or highways. Lots of heat.

Back to my Suzuki Gixxer and a kiss goodbye:

After 30,000 kms and 4yrs of ownership, in August 2021 sold my bike via Facebook marketplace as it was sitting idle during covid-19 period and no sign of work from office. Selling this was more of a learning curve for me and a tedious task than ever. My dad who prepared a written agreement with Aadhar card photocopies, but I made a mistake of handing over my original RC by blindly trusting the buyer as he promised me that he will do the transfer with in next two weeks. This proved to me a big mistake and haunted me till 2023

Each time I called the buyer of Suzuki Gixxer, he used to convince me with a reason that it will be done in a few weeks. He used to pick up my calls and I used to convey the importance of transferring the ownership yet there was no progress.

Parallelly:

I had short listed Hero Xpulse 1st gen because its new and OTR was just 1.2 ish lakhs and KTM 250 Adv looks stunning. As usual this was shot down by my beloved parents as there is no use due to work-from-home and if needed Aprilia SR 150 and Honda City car could fill in.
I was occupied with work, don’t know what to do. Yes, the itch to buy a new bike was always there as soon as I sold the bike, all this led me to this beautiful forum during covid lockdown time.

Finding Team-BHP:

It’s actually when I was casually googling for Ninja 1000 review (not sure why) and the google search suggest me to Kartik’s magnificent review. Since that day I was glued to Team-BHP. Every day a break was well spent reading reviews, travel logs and fill my days with passion and motivation to explore the world and yes motorcycle and cars.

There were lots of topics of my interests which led to be a blog on pre-worshipped purchases. This gave me lots of in-site on how to push the buyer on transferring the ownership of the bike.

One fine day with all the necessary details I have on the buyer, I visited the local police station. To my shock nobody was interested in registering a FIR nor taking any action. I guess a strong influence does move thing quicker but as I don’t have any, yet with my stubborn nature, after an hour, I managed to convince a police officer to at least call that guy (buyer) and threaten him. Finally, there was a traction, the buyer started taking things seriously and I kept putting pressure and within 3 weeks the RC transfer of the bike was done. Phew! Felt peaceful.

Sorry for the long wait, but this was really an important part of my life and wanted you all to know.

Journey to my 2nd motorcycle "RE Interceptor 650":

The itch for owning a bike kept growing and casual search for bike reviews and OTR price kept increasing. MotoGP and Ride 4 games on Steam PC did help me understand the dynamics of riding but owning a bike in real life is something games cant fulfill.

On January 2023 I got married and I definitely needed a bike for city and long rides with my wife, hehe.

But this time I am looking for a long term, reliable, easy on the pocket, performance and help me prepare for big bikes in the future.

Shortlisted bikes

  • KTM 250 or 390 Adv
  • Bajaj Dominor 400
  • RE Continental or Interceptor 650
  • Jawa Bobber (two seats to be added mod later) or jawa 42
  • Benelli 600 or Leoncino 500 (Pre-owned)
  • Harley Davidson 750 (Pre-owned)
  • Other old school 600 cc Honda bikes (pre-owned)

My requirement for the bike - minimum FE of 30kmpl on highway, performance oriented, usable in heavy traffic and daily office commute, reliable and low maintained cost.

The above bike list was just in my mind, days and weeks passed to analyze the cost to upkeep the bike. The real short list started when I started discussing with my dad about my plan. Discussion turned into debate, drifted towards purchasing a car and I just can’t win, FYI my dad is a car person.

Yes, being practical is necessary for a burden free life. With home loan already on my shoulder an additional financial burden is not healthy, but bike is happiness. So, I decided to listen to my mind and find a way, which is time-consuming.

First, I decided on the budget which I can pay without any loan, and which doesn’t empty my pockets, with that I won’t have to deal with additional EMI. Next comes the bike suitable for my budget of 2 lakhs. For this only option were 150-200 cc bikes and RE Hunter at least to my liking.

I was sold on RE Hunter, but the engine was boring at least for me. Does not sound good, heard that the suspension is stiff, and ECU issues. This felt too much of a compromise.

Few weeks has past, and I was unable to decide any. Only option I could see is the RE Interceptor 650. Yes, I need to stretch a lot as OTR was close to 4 lakhs.

My mind didn’t approve of this hence my dad suggested to check for a pre-owned bike. Dam! I forgot about this pre-owned market. A pre-owned RE interceptor 650 will save a lot of my money and fulfill my middle weight bike dream.

I stared off searching Continental 650 as its more attractive with the cafe style than Int 650, but the price listed were too high and only 20-30k less than OTR. As interceptor 650 was more practical, relaxed and has same engine and chassis as Conti 650, my focus shifted to Int 650.

I had then started looking for used Int 650 only so that i don't diviate my plans and also because spy shots with alloy wheels were floating around the web and there are lots of local service center, easy to maintain, FE and parts availability.

Final short listing for RE Int 650:

I have sort listed 4 owners ranging from 2.20 lakhs to 1.7 lakhs.

  • Option 1: 2.20 lakhs – 2019 Orange crush – 10,000kms on odo with AWE exhaust and ZANE backrest
  • Option 2: 2.20 lakhs – 2019 Baker express – 19,000kms on odo with RE helmet and additional tank (red flags)
  • Option 3: 2.20 lakhs – 2019 Grey – 19,000kms on odo with additional touring seat
  • Option 4: 2.00 lakhs – 2019 Baker express – 700kms on odo (red flags)

The red flag ones had signs of accidents, yet the owners didn’t want to accept that. Int/Cont 650 is a heavy one, as I wasn’t riding any bike for the past 3 years, in order to be a bit confident, I rode my friend’s RE Bullet 350 and then started test driving all 4 bikes listed above for close to 5 kms which involved narrow lanes and open roads where 80kms can be reached easily. The Int 650 engine was a gem and gear shifts are butter smooth, head turner and exhaust note were lovely.

For a tension free pre-owned experience, I followed the blog available here and all the pros and cons in this forum. Known cons where the soft front suspension, weight and intermittent electronics issues.

I want to follow my dad’s opinion to wait for the best deal and it took me nearly one month to finalize. Option 1 and 3 were tie breaker as I have to choose between money and kms on the odo.

Here she is My Summer Orange | Interceptor 650:

After lots of thinking and re-evaluating the options 1 is the winner. below is the summery of the options.

Option 1 – love the color, with AWE exhaust, visible rust, though ODO shows 10,000 kms there was a speed sensor issue which as per my understanding led to incorrect kms reading. Probably the actual kms could be 13,000kms as the owner doesn’t ride much and temporary lives in Pondicherry for MBA, but it’s still less kms then others, also the owner will be accepting the payment only after ownership transfer is initiated at RTA office.

Option 2 – well maintained, can be purchased without breaking a sweat but odo is 19k kms. Thought the owner offered 2.00 lakhs after negotiation additional 9K kms on odo is almost 2 years' worth of kms according to my riding, hence settled with option 1.

The ownership transfer was smoothly done and paid the seller the sum. On Feburary 2023 comes home my gorgeous “Summer Orange” and the bike is flaw less, no front-end wobble issue, YAY!! Done the Vahan pooja at Tarbund Hanuman, Hyderabad and off for a long city ride with my better half. On the same day my Team-BHP membership was approved, double YAY!

Few Niggles and fixes as mentioned below:

Speedo error: A quick YouTube search on the speedo error suggested that the speed sensor cable is at fault and the youtuber suggested to cut the wire and solder the wire with a proper thin gauge wire. When I cut the wire, I did notice that the gauge is too high for a small piece of sensor. So, I had purchased sensor cable and heat sleeves and soldered two ends one at sensor and another at the connect near headlight and it started working as expected.

Misaligned handlebar: Few kms went on and while riding the bike I felt that my left hand was further away than my right hand. To resolve the issue kept searching this forum and google and decided to check the rear wheel axle, after a DIY adjustment the issue was resolved.

Oil change and backrest: After riding the bike for nearly 700kms I noticed that, when I de-accelerate I felt lot of engine breaking and when I check the oil it was in black color, so, decided for a maintenance (engine oil and brake pads) and accessories change (didn’t like the ZANE back rest hence purchased a new one at local store) as it was necessary.

Cost of items as below:

1. Pillion back rest – Rs 1,100/-

2. RE Engine oil 10W 50 - Rs 2,380/- (shop owner over charged me of Rs 300/-, too late to realize this)

3. Rear brake pad (RE Classic) – Rs 190/-

With above items me and my buddy who own RE Bullet visited a known mechanic and he charged Rs 600/- for the maintenance and accessory fitting.

Continue reading BHPian NitNac's review for more insights and information.

 
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