Royal Enfield Interceptor 650: Hark to the past

THE Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is a retro modern motorcycle.

The Interceptor 650 is not big on horsepower and aggressive styling but offers a refreshingly simple and classic motorcycling experience.

But don't be fooled by its vintage look – this Enfield is a competent machine, perfect for everything from city commutes to carving up backroads.

The Interceptor 650's design is influenced by the cafe racers of the 1960s.

Chrome accents, a teardrop-shaped fuel tank, and twin peashooter exhaust ooze retro charm.

The instrument cluster blends a sleek digital speedo and tachometer with a basic LCD for fuel gauge and trip info.

It's a tasteful union of old and new that feels right at home on this bike.

While the Interceptor 650 won't win any track races, its 648cc air-cooled twin-cylinder engine still delivers a satisfying punch.

Power comes on smoothly, and the 47hp is enough for comfortable highway cruising, offering a relaxed and enjoyable experience.

The sweet spot for comfortable cruising falls in the 120kph-130kph range.

At this speed, the engine runs at a relaxed 4,200 rpm, offering little vibrations and minimal wind buffeting at an upright riding position.

While not a speed demon, the Interceptor 650 packs enough oomph punch for confident overtaking.

Thanks the engine's strong low to mid-range torque, you won't struggle to gain momentum.

The riding position is comfortable for shorter rides at around 200km but long rides could pose limitations.

The seat, although stylish, can become uncomfortable after a few hours.

Upgrading the seat or adding a backrest can significantly improve long-distance comfort.

Additionally, wind protection is minimal and installing a windscreen can significantly reduce wind fatigue, especially for tall riders like me.

During my ride around Janda Baik, Pahang, the Interceptor 650, courtesy of Royal Enfield Petaling Jaya, delivered plenty of positive vibes.

Its nimble handling and neutral steering make flicking through corners a blast.

Ground clearance is good, and I did not scrape pegs unless I was really pushing it.

The dual-channel ABS equipped brakes provide sufficient stopping power for everyday riding situations.

The front features a single 320mm disc with a two-piston floating calliper, while the rear utilises a 240mm disc with a single-piston calliper.

This combination delivers good braking, allowing you to bring the bike to a controlled stop without feeling overwhelmed.

The brakes are neither overly sensitive nor wooden, offering a good progressive stopping power.

This allows for modulated braking, essential for maintaining control during corner entries.

However, the standard brakes can feel soft and underdamped, especially under hard braking or aggressive riding.

Hence, upgrading to braided brake lines or higher-performance pads could improve stopping power and feel.

The 648cc engine's torquey nature shines on twisty roads with smooth power delivery allowing you to get on the power early just before exiting corners, propelling you out with a satisfying surge.


While top-end power might be limited, the mid-range grunt is perfect for powering through tight corners and maintaining momentum.

The stiffer suspension can feel harsh over bumpy surfaces encountered on some twisty roads in Janda Baik.

Thus, upgrading the shocks and forks with aftermarket options tuned for a bit more compliance can significantly improve the ride on such roads.

However, the suspension setup on the Interceptor 650 provides surprisingly good feedback.

I can feel the road surface through the handlebars, allowing for precise control and predictable handling.

The Interceptor 650's lightweight feel and easy manoeuvrability make it a fantastic city commuter.


The upright riding position offers great visibility, and the torquey engine provides enough grunt to zip through city streets.

The Interceptor 650 is not a powerhouse but a good option for new riders or those seeking a return to the simple joys of motorcycling.

At an attractive price point of RM34,900, the Interceptor 650 offers a unique blend of timeless design, comfortable ergonomics, and engaging performance, making it a compelling choice for riders who value experience over extravagance.

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
Engine: 647.95cc, inline twin cylinder, 4-stroke, SOHC
Maximum power: 47hp at 7,250rpm
Maximum torque: 52.3Nm at 5,150rpm
Transmission: Six-speed
Suspension: Front 41mm telescopic forks; rear twin gas charged shock-absorbers with adjustable preload
Brakes: Front 320mm disc, ABS; rear 240 mm disc, ABS
Fuel capacity: 13.7 litres
Wet weight: 218kg
Price: RM34,900 (without registration, road tax and insurance)
Autos Royal Enfield
CarSifu's Rating: 6.0