Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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Ride On: 2020 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

IMAGINE a bike full of heart and soul, an underdog perhaps, that has the ability to surprise at every corner. Imagine a bike that can make an experienced rider grin and yet, still accommodate a learner rider. Imagine the 2020 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650.

It’s a simple, joyful motorbike that is so much more than it appears at first glance. A bike that forms the backbone of the Royal Enfield range, it features a character filled parallel 650 twin, and styling cues that draw on classic motorcycle design.

When we picked up our Orange Crush Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 from Sydney’s northern beaches, we weren’t quite prepared for how much fun it was going to be, nor did we expect the burble produced from the motor, especially on the downshift.

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That was our first hint that this bike’s charm was going to be so much more than we had imagined. Through the city, it’s a breeze to ride, with a punchy power plant and well balanced handling.

The nimble size of the Interceptor makes it easy to lane filter through traffic too, and all-in-all it made a great first impression. There were smiles of appreciation when we stopped for fuel and it cost us $10 to fill the tank too.

Perhaps the Interceptor’s most endearing quality though, is how it tackles the twisty stuff. Imagine a bike that brakes well, and is predictable, with no noticeable chassis wobble when you brake hard. That’s what the Royal Enfield delivers.

We’d describe it as confidence inspiring. It’s fun to ride, and with a kerb weight of just 202kg and ground clearance of 174mm, the Interceptor 650 had us looking for more corners to try and test the bike a little further.

Up front, there’s 41mm forks with 110mm of travel, while the rear sports twin coil over shocks that produce 88mm of travel. Braking is taken care of by a 320mm disc setup on the front and 240mm at the rear, with ABS all round.

As a package, this setup works brilliantly and rewards the rider with a braking and handling package that is a shed load of fun. A 4-stroke, single overhead cam, air cooled, parallel twin with 648cc sits at the heart of the Royal Enfield.

It provides 47bhp and 52Nm of torque, delivering good engine performance. It’s no super bike, but when combined with its excellent handling credentials, there’s no need for a larger motor.

Should you want to personalise your Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, there’s plenty of aftermarket accessories to beef up the power output as well, with an air cleaner and exhaust pipes among the popular choices to give it some extra get up and go.

The riding position is comfortable and upright, with easy reach to the handlebars. It’s also easy to get down over the bars when you hit the corners, and even on long rides we felt no discomfort.

The 2020 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is available in a wide range of colours, including Mark Three, Silver Spectre, Baker Express, Ravishing Red and our favourite, Glitter and Dust (along with Orange Crush of course).

It comes with a 3-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and roadside assist. Not only that, like all other models in the Royal Enfield range, it’s LAMS approved. We reckon it’s one of the best retro bikes on the market too.

Imagine if it could be yours for under 10 grand. Well it can. It’s just $9,790 ride away.

Our test bike was provided by Royal Enfield Australia. To find out more about the 2020 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, contact your local Royal Enfield dealer.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Riding experience
9
Style and comfort
8
Braking and handling
8.75
Technology and connectivity
7.5
Overall bike performance
8.75

SUMMARY

Pros - handling; punches above its weight as a complete package; LAMS approved; purchase price; great exhaust sound.
Cons - could do with those aftermarket accessories we mentioned as standard.
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin is a motoring enthusiast, with a passion for two and four wheels. It's pretty much a given there'll be at least two motorbikes in his garage and he needs no excuses to hit the open road. Andrew grew up reading magazines like Street Machine and Heavy Duty and has a love for all things performance.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Chris the Royal Enfield 650′ are definitely developing a cult like following with their ever-growing popularity – in fact Royal Enfield were the number 1 selling motorcycle in NZ last month for the 250cc – 1000cc category. Retro is very cool at the moment showing that there is still a huge boom for the cafe racer/retro bikes. The great thing about motorcycles is there is no such thing as a bad bike – just bikes that you like to ride more than others and that in itself is a matter of personal taste. So if you enjoy and love your bike, just keep doin what you are doin brother

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Ride On: 2020 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650<strong>Pros -</strong> handling; punches above its weight as a complete package; LAMS approved; purchase price; great exhaust sound.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> could do with those aftermarket accessories we mentioned as standard.