2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650. A motorcycle that has been updated with colors and minor changes to make sure it stays appealing was not really necessary. In the simplest format when it was launched with few colors to choose from, it already gained success and high demand from customers this update here is just making sure that everyone has something unique and fancier than everyone else who bought it earlier. That is one way to look at it. Secondly, we need a reason to ride it again, because we can never get enough of it. Thirdly, this was the first time we rode after it went from BS4 to BS6. What does it feel like, we find out!
When it comes to design, the headlamp is basic with single pilot lamps on each side. The illumination and spread of the headlights are impressive in pitch-black darkness too. A simple setup still does wonders! The tank is long and muscular enough with a chrome and red scheme called the Mark Two on our test made it look impressive. The rear tail-lamp is retro too along with the indicators. The wheels are spoken units and the forks are fully covered to give it the retro look. The side panel looks entirely new giving it a new identity. The rear fender is bare bones to make it look focused.
Grab handle is basic and does its job and the single-piece seats add to the retro look, but the new design of the motorcycles makes it refreshing. The twin exhaust also looks befitting to the 650cc series. The crankcase design helps it get a new look while preserving the old classic heritage. Overall, a motorcycle that has good proportions, and grabs attention, especially our test motorcycle.
The instrument cluster is basic with unseen fonts though and a digital layout below it showing a fuel gauge, trip meter, service indicators, and speedo meter houses all the telltale lights. The tachometer is seen here unlike some RE models.
The ergonomics are the same, being upright. The handlebar is wide but the stretch to reach it continues on factory settings. It can also be readjusted but not entirely. All this does make it comfortable enough for everyday use before muscle memory kicks in.
Footpegs are rear set which helps grab the tank rather well. Seat comfort for rider and pillion is above average as the seat is soft and smaller in size. It can be fixed with an after-market seat. Mumbai-Pune-Mumbai runs during our road test did result in derrière aching almost but only at the end of the day. Switchgear is the same as before. A tripper navigation option is still missing. Mirrors offer a good view of what is behind but could have been bigger for guys who are on the wider side.
Powering the motorcycle is a 648cc engine making 47 PS and 52 Nm of torque from a 2-valve, SOHC, air/oil-cooled engine. The motor is mated to a 6-speed smooth-shifting gearbox that operates with a fairly heavy clutch action. The refinement is now slightly higher than the original launch motorcycle. You can rev it all the way up and there are negligible vibrations on the handlebar, seats, and footpegs. Low and mid-range torque is where it excels and feels just right at 120 km/hr and after it too till the 160 km/hr mark. The cruising speed is around 100-120 km/hr. The way it does that, which is in a calm, smooth and effortless manner is what makes the mind go wow.
The top speed is 170 km/hr on the speedo. The soundtrack, be it intake or exhaust note does remind you of single cylinder thumper RE of the past but albeit with a lower decibel.A the same time exhaust note is as pure as it can get from a parallel-twin motor. Throttle response is precise and power delivery is linear as always. Fuelling is sorted throughout the rev range and makes it easy to ride in the city at low speeds. We got 25 km/l in the city and 32 km/l on the highway. Overall, this is the part to live for every day. The continuous power band, smooth and easy torque, and purring exhaust note heard while riding at a higher pace are what make this motorcycle pure and uncorrupted.
Dynamically, the front rake and trail could be sharper but it is still easy to chuck into a corner. Composure while cornering is great thanks to a long wheelbase and solid chassis setup. Suspension is stiffer and soft at the rear and should be adjusted for maximum fun as you can easily max out the motor. Front forks now stand at 41mm and the rear suspension is revised to be 6-step adjustable.
Ride quality is very good thanks to this beefier setup that helps it glide over potholes with authority. 100 section tire at the front is surprising and could have easily been bigger as it does feel skittish over roads that are not paved perfectly flat. 130 section at the rear seems ideal as it inspires enough confidence. 300mm disc at the front and 270mm at the back offer good lever bite and enough stopping power. High-speed stability is good too with a light or heavy rider with the right adjusted suspension. Maneuvering at low speed requires less effort, but at parking speeds, it can feel a bit heavy. Overall, an amazing 650cc motorcycle to ride as always in the retro space but it needs a bit more fine-tuning and tubeless alloy wheels of course.
2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Review, Verdict
2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 continues to be the same in most areas apart from the minor change to the engine and color options to choose from. There are certain improvements that should have been done till now since it’s been 3 years since launch. Alloy wheel options are probably coming but with as an all-new motorcycle. A Hunter 650 is on the cards as far as rumors go. RE doing things, royally is not something new. However, promising us journalists that alloy wheels are coming INT and GT 650 as promised is still unfulfilled. The 2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is here to impress at the first test ride and after our week with it, we continue to be impressed and also, fall in love with it, maybe.
2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Review, Road Test