First India ride review: RE Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650
We rode the Royal Enfield twins in the US and we loved them. But, because they were ridden in the US, we were in two minds, whether we’d like them for Indian road conditions or not and boy are we surprised!
Read our first US ride review here!
Let’s go inside out. It all starts with the new power plant, an air-oil cooled, 650cc parallel twin. Royal Enfield has designed the engine to deliver an easy but fun ride. The combination of the parallel twin, SOHC, air-oil-cooled engine that is mated to an all new 6-speed gearbox. The engine is vibration free, thanks to the crankshaft balancer and the 9.5:1 compression ratio.
The chassis! The twin cradle is common. Braking duties are done by Bybre which inspire confidence and make the fun of going to three digit speeds back and forth easy. The motorcycles get a pair an 18 inch wheels but still act as if they’ve 17 inch.
The differences being, the Interceptor 650 Twin is 2mm longer and 9mm taller than the GT650. The former is heavier by 4kg than the GT650.
How is it to ride?
Continental GT650: The 198kg motorcycle with the committed forward riding position felt easy in the city. Tackling through traffic of Goa was comfortable, thanks to the raised clip-on handlebars. The suspension was set on second stage and at low speed I felt small pushes from the seat over big bumps. The motorcycle felt stable at three digit speeds. It’s only when it is put through high speed corners, the tail started nodding, a bit.
However, the rear footpeg position, the clip-on handlebars, seating position, the engine sound, the shifts, the engine’s tempo and the roar from those upswept canisters gave a satisfactory experience.
Interceptor 650: What. A. Roadster! Special attention is given to the detailing. The motorcycle is stable and happy through corners. The suspension was set on medium and smooth road, rough tarmac on highway, big potholes at moderate speed in the city weren’t a problem. The Interceptor feels heavy when stationary, but light when you ride it. Maneuvering almost a 200 kg motorcycle had never been so easy. The were no false neutral and a Royal Enfield was never felt so confident.
Continental GT 650: The Continental GT 650 is definitely worth the look and time. The motorcycle is well built, well finished. Look at the motorcycle and you’d want to just hop on to it and ride. Ride the motorcycle and you’d not want to stop.
It wants to make motorcycles that were not only fun to ride for the existing motorcyclists but wants to make it more accessible to the new riders as well. Continenal GT 650 is that one motorcycle which plays the part of the middleman for both kinds very well.
Interceptor GT 650: The Interceptor 650 is an easy going motorcycle, it is built extremely well and is extraordinarily comfortable. The beauty of the Interceptor is in its simplicity. And it isn’t an easy job to keep things simple. The engine, the body, the ride, the package and the price is epic! It has made other players stop playing and get to work. Given the stunning price it has been launched at, it is going to be accessible to most of the motorcycling genres in India as it is perfectly packaged.