I own a Suzuki GSX-1250FA sports/tourer and a Triumph Speed Triple RS sports roadster and both motorbikes are a blast to ride. Recently, I became interested in typical 1960s 'Classic Style' motorcycles and the Royal Enfield Interceptor Motorcycle is one I am considering. Its a bike that can be retro fitted with numerous accessories and a choice of optional tank paint schemes to make it your own.

I am in my 70s and t
he idea of taking it easy on country lanes to the next cafe, appeals to me - I do love a bacon roll, or two, with a mug of tea. Most times, when I get off my sports motorbike (at home) after a country blast, I think, "what a rush, time for a beer." Yep, perhaps a 1960s retro styled classic would make for a nice (occasional) change of pace with a throaty exhaust burbling behind me, as I ride along. The other day I sat on the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 at Saltire Motorcycles in Edinburgh and the motorbike is nicer in the flesh than its internet images.

I committed to a great deal of research on the Interceptor and the
Unofficial Royal Enfield Forum is well worth a visit. Another site worth a visit is Stuart Fillingham who owns and posts videos relating to his ownership of the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and the Royal Enfield Continental GT.

The Heritage
Heritage of the current 2021 Royal Enfield Interceptor stretches all the way back to 1960 and the bikes remain very similar in looks; both have air cooled parallel twin engines. The image below is the 1960 Royal Enfield Interceptor which had a 750cc Parallel twin engine. The picture was taken by Jamie Aaron -


The Orange Crush, shown above, is my final choice; the wheel rims match the original 1960 bike. I must admit, I like the 'old world' styling of the 1960 original with its slimmer tank and heavy mudguards; and it had a kickstarter - nice.

Mudguard Extensions
I notice from the Interceptor images below and on the Royal Enfield Website, that the 2021 model seems to have those horrible mudguard extensions removed. The rear mudguard extension which stuck out under the number plate was particularly horrible and the one on the rear of the front mudguard was no better - the bike is much more neater and aesthetically pleasing without them. However, as shown in one of the video reviews below, the front and rear mudguard extensions can easily be removed. Then, all that is required is a (very slightly) smaller rear number plate from Fancy Plates.

The Glory Days of British Motorbikes
The Interceptor harks back to the 1960s and to a certain extent has kept true to the 'classic' tradition of a 1960s motorcycle, albeit the kick starter which has been replaced by an electric start. Hopefully, one day the kick starter will make a comeback on 'classic' retro styled motorbikes.



Technical Data
The Technical Data includes a nice 805mm seat height and a wet weight of 217Kg. The performance from its 648cc air cooled twin cylinder engine delivers 34.9 kW (109 hp) at 7,150 rpm and 52.3 Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm. I am thinking that 648cc is enough for an easy ride through the countryside and to enjoy the burble of the exhaust note.

Some video reviews have wrongly stated the service interval is every 3,000 miles - this is incorrect. The service interval is every 6,000 miles or 12 Months, whatever comes first. The valve clearances or tappets required checked every 6,000 miles and adjusted if necessary. Royal Enfield recommend a pre-ride check 3,000 miles after a service but most owners do a pre-ride check before they go out on the bike.

If you wish to do your own servicing, Hitchcocks supply a
Service Kit for the bike and all you require to add to the kit is the 3.1litres of oil from a local supplier or purchase a 4 litre container of Silkolene Pro 4 10W-50 from Hitchcocks.




Check out the following video which covers top 5 complaints on the Interceptor and includes information on the 6,000 servicing intervals -


Cleaning & Polishing Engine Casing
Stuart Fillingham has produced videos on cleaning his Royal Enfield Interceptor motorbike -




I would like a very basic 'Classic' motorcycle without all the bells and whistles. I want to feel that the riding limits are decided by me and not governed by electronics. Of all the 'Classical Style' motorcycles that I have looked at, the Interceptor has maintained the original visual appeal coupled with a basic build. It is not perfect but a modern frame which offers better handling is not a bad thing. I like the upright handlebars and the long seat with the grab rail at the back. The stock exhaust sound is great and not too loud, so longer trips should be quite pleasant. See the video below.

The Interceptor is devoid of traction control and is a 'bare bones' motorcycle with no rider aids, other than ABS which in today's traffic is essential, especially on wet roads. It comes as standard with a side and centre stand which is great for getting the rear wheel up and oiling the chain.
Its a motorbike that I could service myself, perhaps not in the warranty period but certainly thereafter.

A video of the stock exhaust sound -


From some of the reviews, the stock rear suspension is more than adequate for the speeds I would be doing on the Interceptor but if necessary, I could change the stock rear suspension from the Interceptor parts section at Wemoto Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and purchase Rear YSS G-Series Twin Shocks (AG9368). Wemoto have other parts for the Interceptor, so their parts list is worth exploring.



Stuart Fillingham has produced videos on installing the above shocks -




Mirrors & Engine Protection Bars & Knee Pads

I think if I purchased the Interceptor, I would start with just a couple of accessories. I certainly would consider changing the stock mirrors for the Halcyon Stainless Mirrors (bar end) and install the twin compact engine guard rails from the Royal Enfield Accessories Page on their website. Another item worth considering is the Motone Knee Pads for the sides of the tank, as shown below.



I think a pair of Royal Enfield pannier rails and bags would prove ideal and save using a backpack -


Halcyon Stainless Bar End Mirrors Video -


Accessory Links & Bike Cover
Numerous accessories
are available from Royal Enfield Accessories Page and the Interceptor could be classed as a bargain, considering just how inexpensive it is, compared to other 'classic' motorcycles. For winter storage in my garage, I would purchases an Oxford Indoor Cover in black. Other colours tend to show up any oil marks which are almost unavoidable when putting on the cover, especially down at the chain. R&G also supply a list of Interceptor accessories.

Shoei & Bell Open Face Helmets & Halcyon Goggles
One item that I will definitely consider is a open face helmet and
Shoei J-O Helmets are probably the best ones on the market and they come with a flip down visor. There is also the Shoei RJ-Platinum-R style that has a top fitting small sun visor peak that can be removed to allow you to fit a standard 5-snap GT visor design to stay compatible with other aftermarket compatible visors and shields. Of course you can stay with the stock top sun visor peak and opt to wear goggles or ballistic lens sunglasses. Bell is another helmet manufacturer which provides a great range of open face helmets and is worth considering. Their Bell Custom 500 range as well as their Bell Scout Air range is worth checking. Halcyon probably make the best range of quality goggles and they can be purchased from Halcyon Classic Parts.

See the videos on Shoei and Bell helmets below -

A video on the Shoei J-O Helmets -



A video on the Shoei RJ-Platinum R Helmets -


A video on the Bell Scout Air Helmets -


A video on the Bell Custom 500 Helmets -



Scorpion Red Power Exhausts
Perhaps at a later date, a pair of stainless steel Scorpion Red Power Exhausts from Manhattan Bikes or MotoGB would improve the performance -




Interceptor vs Bonneville Video
Another motorcycle which I was considering is the Triumph T120 Bonneville and this 2019 comparison video vs the Royal Enfield Interceptor is illuminating and well worth watching to the end -



Video Reviews

A few 2019 videos on the Royal Enfield Interceptor but well worth watching -








Richard Lawrence
United Kingdom


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