The two new retro-styled bikes were showcased at the ongoing EICMA Motor Show in Milan. With the unveil, the company has resurrected the Interceptor model name, which has been part of Royal Enfield’s heritage. The iconic Interceptor was a popular model back in the 1960-70s and the 2018 Royal Enfield Interceptor INT 650 takes inspiration from the original model.
The 650 Interceptor has a more upright riding position, like a roadster which makes it more relaxed to ride. The old-school tear-drop shaped fuel tank, quilted seat and wide handle bar stay true to the roadster-style design and offer comfortable ergonomics.
Strapped on to the new steel-tube cradle chassis is a new 648cc SOHC, 8 valve, air-cooled parallel-twin which produces 47 PS and 52 Nm of torque. The twin comes mated to a six speed gearbox which powers the rear wheel using a chain drive. This is also the first Royal Enfield equipped with a slipper clutch which will improve the clutch feel and will even out hard down-shifts without upsetting the bike.
The Interceptor INT 650 runs on 18-inch Pirelli tyres in front and rear, along with front and rear disc brakes with ABS. For everyday usability the bike gets 174mm ground clearance and a seat height of 804 mm. The upswept exhaust and rear-set footrests give the motorcycle plenty of lean angle and appeal.
Along with the Interceptor INT 650, the Indian motorcycle maker also also pulled the wraps off the Continental GT 650. Back in the Sixties the GT was one of the first factory-produced cafe racers and like the Interceptor, the bike has been part of the company’s rich heritage. The 2018 Continental GT 650 retains its pure cafe racer character and adds to it modern engineering and design improvements.
It shares its engine, chassis and running parts with the Interceptor INT 650, but offers completely different ergonomics and style. The GT has a more committed riding position like an authentic cafe racer and has a a more sculpted fuel tank with 12.5-litre capacity, a single seat and clip on bars to complete the retro look. Like the Interceptor INT 650, the Continental GT 650 sports disc brakes front and the rear with ABS.
Speaking about the two bikes Siddhartha Lal, CEO, Royal Enfield said, “Royal Enfield aims to lead and expand the mid-weight (250-750cc) motorcycle segment globally. The Royal Enfield Interceptor INT 650 and Continental GT 650 will help grow this segment. While for our large customer base in India, the new 650 twins will be a compelling upgrade, we believe it will attract customers from other developing markets in South East Asia and Latin America to graduate to the middle weight segment. In addition, the 650 twins will offer a very evocative option to customers in mature motorcycle markets such as Europe, Australia and North America. For us, this marks the beginning of a new chapter at Royal Enfield”
Our wait to ride the bike in India, seems to be a bit far away. The Royal Enfield Interceptor INT 650 and Continental GT 650 will first be available in international markets, and only post that will they be brought to our shores.