The route back to the North was full of back lanes and village roads. Perfect for a proper ride quality test. Like with everything else, the Interceptor dealt with the bad roads and potholes no problem. On the highway, I sustained 120 km/h with ease, any higher and the wind blast got a tad uncomfortable.
Speaking of uncomfortable, the only complaint or two I had was that the wide and more centrally placed pegs on the Interceptor saw my jeans get trapped a few times, but then I got used to it. Also, the tapering seat meant a guy of my size and dimensions felt a little under-supported; maybe, the cushioning could have been a little more substantial.
Yep, seat cushioning that’s how low I had to go to find any gripes with these bikes by the time my full day’s ride was over. They’re that good. However, the best was yet come, for that night the price was to be announced and when the announcement came, it blew everyone’s mind. When Sid Lal, the rock ‘n’ roll CEO & MD up at Eicher, took to the mic and said the bikes start at Rs 2.5 lakh for the Interceptor and Rs 2.65 lakh for the Conti GT (both ex-India), the assembled media lost their collective mind. Talk about value for money! Two capable bikes that can do so much, are perfect for India, and priced at just about 50 per cent of the competition?
India’s biking scenario has just been flipped on the head. The only pity is that the Royal Enfield fanboys who said “character” is everything, may have to get accustomed to a burble rather than a thump and a lack of distinct oil residue marks in their garages. However, they’ll still be able to hang prayer flags across the mirrors and the 174 mm of ground clearance on both bikes is plenty to allow said fanboys to make the annual pilgrimage to Ladakh.
So, it’s not all bad news and while these Twins are nothing like anything Royal Enfield have done in the recent past, they are great motorcycles with their own unique style. The fanboys will come around.