Words by Aninda Sardar
For all those who have read the story about Royal Enfield’s brand new 650cc parallel twin and are now waiting with bated breath to find out what motorcycle will get that engine, the answer is Interceptor. Yes, we guessed it. We rubbished our own guesses, thought up other names and did the entire jiggery-pokery around motorcycle christening until we learnt that Royal Enfield’s new motorcycle is going to be called the Interceptor.
Official confirmation of this nomenclature will only happen in tomorrow evening when Royal Enfield takes the wraps off its new bikes at the EICMA 2017. Yes, there will be two new motorcycles and that has been confirmed by the company’s teaser that’s been put out on YouTube. However word on the street is, and we have no reason to disbelieve this, that at least one of the two new motorcycles is going to be the Interceptor.
Unfortunately for us when Sirish romped his way through the UK Technology Centre all he saw were these covered examples. Nonetheless, a few details have emerged from all the brouhaha around RE over the past 24 hours. For starters, it is now certain (again, from that teaser) that the new machines will be powered by the brand new 650 parallel twin. We have also gleaned that mechanically these new motorcycles share nothing with Royal Enfield’s current portfolio.
The first Interceptor was launched by Royal Enfield in 1960. It used the 692cc twin from the Constellation and was in fact a modified version of the Constellation. The first real Interceptor came along in 1962 equipped with a 750cc parallel twin. During its 8-year production run the Interceptor saw three updates – Series 1, Series 1A and Series 2. A Series 3 was also in the pipeline but never saw the light of day as the old Enfield company declared bankruptcy. So, it will be interesting to see how Royal Enfield manages this particular legacy. The last time RE revived a legacy was when the company launched the Continental GT café racer in November 2013.