Bike India

Royal Enfield Intercepto­r 650

We tested the new BS6-compliant Royal Enfield Intercepto­r 650 to find out if there are any changes in the now more environmen­tfriendly award-winning motorcycle

- Story: Zal Cursetji Photograph­y: Apurva Ambep

The BS6 update hasn’t changed how good it feels

In 2018, the motorcycli­ng world was shaken up by royal enfield with their 650 twins. that beautiful moment had motorcycle manufactur­ing board rooms abuzz, trying their best to figure out a way to stand ground against the onslaught of the royal enfield intercepto­r 650 and its sibling, the continenta­l gt 650. however, a 650-cc, twin-cylinder, back-to-basics machine that ticked every box in the motorcycle mind, parked in one’s garage without the sale of one’s organs, is a ridiculous task to better. therefore, the intercepto­r 650 would continue to reign supreme. now, however, with current emission norms in force, the question is whether there are any noticeable changes in the Bs6-compliant version of this award-wining motorcycle.

as far as the visual consense is concerned the answer is nope, not in the slightest bit. there is no second catalytic converter that we see in most, if not all, Bs6-compliant modificati­ons. emission levels have been met here by engine mapping to what was already marketed as a Bs6-ready motor. there aren’t any new paint schemes or graphics to introduce the new engine compliance either, which could have been welcome, but, instead, the Bs6 royal enfield intercepto­r 650 looks exactly the same as the Bs4 version. you still have that round headlamp, albeit with a clear glass covering, the retro fuel-tank that flows well to a straight one-piece seat, and those huge twin silencers jutting out from either side. the indicators and tail-lamp continue to be the vintage-style units already seen as are the twin analogue dials that display speed, rpm, fuel level, and an odometer. simplicity.

where we did find a slight change was when in motion. the new Bs6 intercepto­r 650 does feel smoother, as expected, as the bike is indeed running leaner to comply with emission norms. though this isn’t a bad thing, we did feel a slight power loss in

the mid-range and top end. we found the Bs6 variant sticking toe-to-toe with its Bs4 predecesso­r initially, but seemed to mellow out well before its red-line. this was not the case with the Bs4 variant which continues a linear surge towards maximum revs. having said that, the minor power deficit isn’t noticeable to a new rider to the intercepto­r 650. we feel this because we spend time daily on the Bs4 version and, as such, have a better feel of the said change. however, this is by no means a red flag and it should be said that this leaner machine continues to remain true to siddhartha lal’s original request for a 100-mph (160-km/h) motorcycle and will do triple digits all day long without the slightest grumble.

other than that, the Bs6 royal enfield intercepto­r 650 is a motorcycle we already know, just a bit friendlier to the environmen­t now. it still is that retro-vintage style beaut with an upright street riding position, allowing comfort to be at the forefront on the highway as well as when riding on busy city streets. you still have great heat management from the 648-cc fuel-injected, parallel-twin that maintains its original power figures of 47 hp and 52 nm. then you have that six-speed gearbox which carries on its march in the “shockingly good” enclosure. Braking is handled by the same ByBre unit,

a 320-mm disc up front and a 240-mm one at the rear, which have proved to be very capable as have the Pirelli Phantom sportcomp rubber draped around the 18-inch rims.

so, is the Bs6-compliant royal enfield intercepto­r 650 still the king two years after being crowned? there has been stiff competitio­n with a few good launches last year as well, but how can one look past a good-looking and comfortabl­e 650-cc twin that performs well in crowded spaces, on the weekend blast, is now greener, too, and can be yours for rs 2.65 lakh (ex-showroom)? i can’t, hence, what can be said about the Bs6 royal enfield intercepto­r 650, other than ‘winner! winner! chicken dinner!’

The bike remains true to Siddhartha Lal’s original request for a 100-mph (160-km/h) motorcycle

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 ??  ?? ABOVE: That lovely twin feels smoother than before
ABOVE: That lovely twin feels smoother than before
 ??  ?? LEFT: That classic-styled headlamp now comes with a clear glass screen
LEFT: That classic-styled headlamp now comes with a clear glass screen
 ??  ?? RIGHT: Old school analogue console is easy to read even in direct sunlight
RIGHT: Old school analogue console is easy to read even in direct sunlight
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