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Review: 2020 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 review, test ride

Vishal Venugopal
·3-min read

Last year, I spent a whole lot of time with the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650. And what a glorious time it was! The Interceptor ticked every box to what I would look for in a motorcycle. After the transition to comply with BS6, some of the motorcycles we've ridden have lost a little bit of the oomph we once remembered them for. And so, I was eager to find out what the updated Interceptor 650 was like. 

BS6 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650: Engine and performance

The 648cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin is undoubtedly the crowning glory of the Interceptor. You can potter around at low revs and the Interceptor will be more than happy to do so. But, whack the throttle open and the revs happily climb past 4,000rpm, all the way to 7,000rpm – propelling you forward rather quickly. It's this low-key Jekyll and Hide like vibe that makes the Interceptor such a joy to ride. 

This was a trait we witnessed with the older Interceptor 650 and I'm glad to report that it hasn't lost any of that with this update. In fact, the update has resulted in a slightly smoother sounding engine and better fuel efficiency. 

648cc parallel-twin is the crown jewel of the Interceptor 650's package.

BS6 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650: Ride and handling

Everything else about the Interceptor remains the same – components like the suspension and brakes have been left untouched – and understandably so. You can see from our performance tests that the braking figures of the Interceptor are some of the best we've recorded at the price point. 

The ride quality remains the same as well. The rear suspension is a bit on the softer side and, in its stock setting, tends to bottom out over deeper potholes. This is probably the only notable downside to the Interceptor's package. Over a long day on the saddle, you will find yourself yearning for a little more support from both, the suspension and the narrow seat. Having said that, the rear shock absorbers can be adjusted for pre-load and you can tweak it to reduce the brunt of the impact. 

Braking performance is impressive and one of the best in the segment.

Should you buy the BS6 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650?

The Royal Enfield Interceptor is one of the manufacturer’s finest motorcycles. This is a motorcycle that you will love when you're on it and miss dearly when you're off it. Fortunately, it retains every bit of its character and performance, even after the updates it has undergone to comply with stricter emission standards. This has come at an additional cost of about Rs 9,000, which isn't trivial, but that is the cost of progress.

Also see:

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 long term review, second report

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 long term review, final report

14,000km on a Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 - with Mods | Long Term Review video