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ENFIELD INTERCEPTOR 650 (2018-on) Review

Published: 01 October 2018

Updated: 24 October 2019

A whole heap of fun without heaps of cash

The Royal Enfield Interceptor has a 648cc engine size

A whole heap of fun without heaps of cash

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

As an overall package, the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 impresses. The engine is lively without being intimidating, the handling is fun without being patronising, and the finish is good without breaking the bank.

When you take into account the price, it really is a suspension overhaul away from being a five-star bike. I’ve saved the best bit till last too: the average age of an Enfield owner in India is 27. If they can repeat that trick over here, we could be looking at the bike that saves the sport.

It's w

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

The Royal Enfield test riders say their brief for this bike was to make it fun and they’ve succeeded. Because it doesn’t make huge amounts of power, you can rev the nuts off it and spend the whole day stretching your throttle cables without feeling like you’ve had the stuffing knocked out of you.

When a corner approaches, the Bybre brakes scrub off speed well with a decent bite and good modulation – hell even the budget Pirellis do a great job of sticking to the road. Riding along you start wondering where they’ve saved the money, then you come across some challenging corners and it all becomes painfully apparent.

The 2018 Interceptor 650 and its exhaust and back tyre.

When you really start to push on, the budget suspension starts to struggle. The Interceptor is very soft, at the request of the Indian market, and can wallow on fast, sweeping roads. When you do hit a bump, it’s under damped so it blows straight through the first part of the suspension and pops back with a jolt.

 

Mid-corner bumps really upset the bike but, to give credit to the chassis, it all comes back together moments later.

 

When you consider the price, you can forgive the bike a few faults – there are more expensive bikes with naff suspension too – but it’s still disappointing. In truth, a suspension swap wouldn’t be the hardest job in the world nor the most expensive, and Enfield did hint that posher suspension options might find their way into the catalogue in the near future, but for now it does mar the finish on an otherwise great bike.

Engine 4 out of 5

The Interceptor is fitted with Enfield’s brand new, air-cooled 650 parallel twin, also used in the Royal Enfield Continental GT. It doesn’t make huge amounts of power or torque, but that’s not really the point and it has ‘enough’.

Down low there’s a reasonable amount of torque with most of it arriving before 2500rpm, so you can chug it out of corners but you can rev it too without it ever feeling like it’s going to bite. The throttle is lovely a smooth too, plus it’s A2 compliant.

The 2018 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 engine.

The Interceptor's power

Holding on to gears brings you a bit more power while also rewarding you with a fantastic exhaust note. It sounds like it’s straight out of the ‘60s, which is a miracle in a Euro4 strangled world – there are even some S&S cans coming for noisy types.

The new six-speed gearbox (an Enfield first!) is slick and if you keep feeding it gears it will clamber all the way to the magic ton.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

For the brief 150 miles we rode the bike on the launch in September 2018, nothing broke. In all seriousness Enfield doesn’t have the best rep for reliability but that’s something they want to change.

All the new bikes that come off the line will have gone through a 1007-point-check, which Enfield said took over six hours to complete. If that’s not enough, every new bike came with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty, so there was peace of mind when purchasing an Interceptor, too.

Speaking personally – we wouldn’t have any concerns about buying one and it falling apart on the ride home.

Insurance, running costs & value 5 out of 5

Royal Enfield are known for the budget bikes and the Interceptor continues that crusade, starting at just £5500 for the standard 'Orange Crush' model, rising to £5990 for the 'Glitter Dust' option.

A brand new 650cc twin bike with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty for under £6000. Sounds like a bargain to us.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Despite its budget price there’s some decent kit. Brakes are from Brembo subsidiary ByBre and they’re paired with Bosch’s two-channel ABS. Pirelli provide the tyres (although 18” sizes don’t leave many aftermarket options).

The Interceptor's 2018 clocks.

The retro clocks are nice too and they’ve even got a fuel gauge, although they’re not as feature rich as the ones on the Royal Enfield Himalayan, which is a bit of a shame. The fit and finish of the rest of the bike isn’t bad either – the only thing that really lets it down is the budget suspension.

Royal Enfield Interceptor collector and dealer, Jeremy Pendergast, has been riding Royal Enfields since the '90s. Watch the video above to hear Jeremy talk about the golden age of the Interceptor and how he celebrates the bike's greatest following on the American West Coast.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2018
Year discontinued -
New price £5,500
Used price £4,800 to £6,000
Warranty term -
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £91
Annual service cost £200
Performance
Max power 46 bhp
Max torque 38 ft-lb
Top speed 105 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption -
Tank range -
Specification
Engine size 648cc
Engine type Air-cooled 4v parallel twin
Frame type Steel twin spar
Fuel capacity 13.7 litres
Seat height 806mm
Bike weight 202kg
Front suspension Non-adjustable 41mm RWU forks, 110mm travel
Rear suspension Preload adjustable twin shocks, 88mm travel
Front brake Single 320mm disc, dual piston caliper
Rear brake 240mm disc, dual piston caliper
Front tyre size 100/90 – 18
Rear tyre size 130/70 – 18

History & Versions

Model history

The Interceptor 650 was launched in 2017, which was debuted at EICMA, Milan by Royal Enfield CEO Siddhartha Lal and President, Rudratej Singh. Powered by an air-oil cooled parallel 650 twin, the 2017 Interceptor came with 7" headlight, twin clock front and quilted twin seat. The narrow tank is stamped with a classic badge and topped with a Monza-style fuel cap. A dual cradle frame with a rear loop makes up the core, by way of a nod to the original Interceptor.

Other versions

There is also a Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 new for 2018, which is very similar to the Interceptor 650.

Owners' Reviews

2 owners have reviewed their ENFIELD INTERCEPTOR 650 (2018-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your ENFIELD INTERCEPTOR 650 (2018-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4.5 out of 5
4 out of 5

Not to be underestimated.

10 June 2019 by Mick Goodyer

I have fitted bar risers, a screen and a seat from a GT to make the bike right for me, otherwise everything is good. I have started using the Interceptor more than the BM 12 GS.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Handling is fine especially two up. We can easily cover 150 miles without a break. Brakes are good with plenty of feel.
Engine
5 out of 5
Smoooooooth for a twin and enough power to keep in front of traffic.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Only covered 1400 miles but in all weathers and so far the finish is really good.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Although the book says service and oil/filter change every 3000, I have been told that the oil/filter change can be at 6000. A service only takes a couple of hours at the main dealers at a cost of £120 to £180
Equipment
4 out of 5
Good tyres which grip well both wet and dry. Basic equipment but non the worse for it.
Buying experience

Bought from Eddys Moto of Shipley. Brilliant. Very friendly and helpful with good after sales. At £5500 on the road whats not to like??

5 out of 5

Found your happy place

04 May 2019 by Stephen

This bike is very friendly, relaxed and cheerful: it just makes you smile. I use it for commuting a mix of rural and urban roads and it is comfortable and smooth, but, if you do need to overtake, a quick twist and it’s whooshing and purring past whatever that was. At weekends it asks to be taken out for a swoosh around a few bends but it is not a bike that makes you ride fast, so your wife probably doesn’t mind that.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
I am 6ft3 and find the riding position very comfortable. Cruising at 60mph is very relaxed, I have not been on motorways much to comment on 70mph but did not feel any vibrations on the brief bits of motorway I have done so far.
Engine
5 out of 5
Smooth as anything with lovely, fairly linear torque delivery so you can be lazy on gear selection at anything over 30mph and it’ll just work. If you really twist on you’ll find some vibration but that’ll just mean you’re in a silly gear or far beyond the speed limit and it really isn’t that kind of bike; you’ll just be grinning long before you get near the speed limit.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
This is a review after only two weeks and 500 miles so nothing whatsoever to report. Purrs into life as expected every morning and gets me to work!
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
Clean and simple so you can enjoy some pure riding zen. My favourite feature of the bike is that smile it puts on your face when you ride it, which came as standard.
Buying experience

£5500 OTR new from dealer.

Photo Gallery

  • The Royal Enfield Interceptor has a 648cc engine size
  • The Interceptor is fitted with Enfield's brand new, air-cooled 650 parallel twin
  • The Royal Enfield Interceptor was made for fun and in our eyes, they've succeeded
  • The Royal Enfield Interceptor's slim tank with a capacity of 13.7
  • The Royal Enfield Interceptor's budget suspension starts to struggle
  • The Royal Enfield Interceptor is very soft and can wallow on fast, sweeping roads
  • The Royal Enfield Interceptor's top speed is 105mph
  • The 2018 Royal Enfield Interceptor has Bybre brakes
  • When you consider the price, you can forgive the Royal Enfield Interceptor's faults
  • The retro clocks on the 2018 Interceptor are nice and they've even got a fuel gauge
  • We first rode the Royal Enfield Interceptor for 150 miles at the launch in September 2018
  • The 2018 Interceptor 650 and its exhaust and back tyre.
  • The 2018 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 engine.
  • The Royal Enfield Interceptor 2018 headlight
  • As an overall package the 2018 Royal Enfield Interceptor is great
  • Front view of the 2018 Royal Enfield Interceptor
  • Top view of the 2018 Royal Enfield Interceptor
  • Royal Enfield Interceptor Malle Mile custom
  • OEM Interceptor
  • OEM Interceptor custom riding dynamically
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