10 Things Every Motorcycle Enthusiast Should Know About The 2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
Since the launch of the Interceptor 650 series in late 2018, retro motorcycle enthusiasts have been raving about the incredible quality of this set, which can be attributed to the superb powertrain, level of refinement and beautiful design of the motorbike. The $5,999 base price also made it one of the more affordable bikes of the lot, and all of those features carried over to the 2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650.
Available in 7 different color combinations, which accentuate the motorcycle’s retro appeal, the 2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is easily one of the best looking motorcycles your money can buy. The smooth parallel twin, smooth-shifting 6-speed gearbox, decent handling and road manners, and more are also retained in this 2022 iteration. Competing with the Kawasaki Z650RS and Triumph Street Twin Here are 10 things every motorcycle enthusiast should know about the 2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650.
ten Parallel-twin motor is smooth and refined
With no changes to the 2022 iteration of the 650 Interceptor, the 648cc oil-cooled, single-overhead-cam, parallel-twin engine remains unchanged. This engine is capable of producing 47 horsepower and 38 lb-ft of torque. There is electronic fuel injection and the engine has a compression ratio of 9.5:1.
Being an unconstrained parallel-twin long-stroke engine, the 2022 650 Interceptor is super smooth and refined at low revs. Torque distribution is wide and overtaking can be done by twisting the throttle. Mid-range performance is also decent. However, it’s not the best bike for exploring higher revs, as power drops above 7,500 rpm.
9 Vibrations are well controlled
Royal Enfield is a brand well known for its giddy vibes, which could be associated with its long-stroke low-tech engine and archaic chassis design. However, that is not the case with the 2022 650 Interceptor. The bike would impress riders with its softness and refinement, making it one of the best in the segment.
One of the main reasons for the lack of vibration is the 270° crankshaft angle of the parallel twin engine. Along with this, Royal Enfield has also fitted the bike with a counterweight shaft. Most parts like handlebars, footpegs, mirrors, etc. are also mounted on rubber.
8 Smooth shifting will impress riders
The 6-speed gearbox of the 2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is up there with the best of the lot and is something you would never expect from this brand as almost all of its previous bikes were pretty poor in this regard. The Classics and Bullets that are still on sale in many markets were fitted with a vague and imprecise 5-speed gearbox.
By comparison, the Interceptor 650’s 6-speed is way above. The gears drop very smoothly and there is nothing clunky that was present in some other Royal Enfield models. No false neutral could be found. Apart from that, a light clutch and a slip and assist system are also on board.
seven Build quality is better than you’d expect
With a base MSRP of $5,999, the 2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor is one of the cheapest parallel-twin motorcycles you can buy. With such a low price, many people would expect it to crash in a few years, mainly due to quality control and material selection.
However, this is far from the truth. While it has retro charms, the build quality isn’t 70s. All wires are routed cleanly and there are no exposed screws. The paint quality and panel gaps are superb and consistent. The chrome on the engine and exhaust also won’t fade over time.
6 Looks pretty cool
Part of the retro motorcycle segment, the 2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 retains its classic chair even after more than 4 years of continuous production. What further highlights the design are the funky color schemes and the abundance of chrome, which help the bike stand out.
The 2022 Interceptor 650 receives no major design updates and continues with the circular halogen headlight, chrome handlebars and mirrors, and reasonably wide 100 section tires up front. The 36-spoke alloy wheels, chrome engine and exhaust and masculine fuel tank also add to the appeal. The rear is relatively simplistic and looks cool and quirky.
5 Class-leading energy efficiency
With an estimated fuel tank capacity of 3.6 gallons, the 2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is one of the best in terms of tank range. The reason is the estimated 70 MPG gas mileage, which is superb for the segment. Even with a curb weight of 466 pounds, gas mileage is better than the Kawasaki Z650RS.
The unsolicited oil-cooled engine is quite well tuned, and that’s one of the reasons for the excellent gas mileage on offer. Other than that, the electronic fuel injection system ensures that only the exact amount of fuel needed for combustion is delivered. The engine is tuned to the leaner side to get more miles out of every gallon of fuel.
4 Riding the streets is very easy
The 2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 is a motorcycle that is very easy to ride on city streets. The handlebars are light enough and the engine power is not very jerky, and these two qualities make it very pleasant. The reasonably high curb weight is also no problem, as the rider will get used to it fairly quickly.
Another great thing about this bike is the reasonably soft suspension setup on offer. Although not the most advanced system, the 2022 Interceptor 650 is able to soak up all the bumps and potholes with no problem. The smooth exhaust note and comfortable ergonomics are further advantages.
3 Highway driving experience is decent
The 2022 Interceptor comes with the same 41mm non-adjustable fork up front and spring preload-adjustable piggyback reservoir shocks with 3.5″ of suspension travel in the rear. The proposed suspension setup with the Interceptor 650 ensures that the rider has a good time on the highway, and there’s not much to complain about.
The ride remains reasonably flat and composed, and there’s no pitching or bouncing at highway speeds. The motor could easily handle the speeds all day and vibration is minimal at those speeds. However, the engine loses its breath above 90 mph and wind resistance is also minimal.
2 The Interceptor 650 lacks many features
Being built at a price, the area where Royal Enfield has skimped is in the features department. The 2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 lacks many essential driver aids and other features, making it less impressive than some rivals in the segment. By comparison, the Kawasaki Z650RS is more feature-rich.
The 2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 gets dual channel ABS as standard. Along with that, the slipper and assist clutch, front and rear disc brakes, electronic fuel injection system, analog dials with a small digital display, LED taillight, and more. are standard. However, traction control, ride modes and many more that you normally see at this price are not offered.
1 Braking performance could have been better
Braking on the 2022 650 Interceptor is handled by the 320mm disc with ByBre twin-piston caliper up front and the 240mm disc with ByBre twin-piston caliper in the rear. Even though the hardware is pretty decent, that doesn’t translate to crisp, sure braking performance.
The front brakes are not very sharp and the sensations and feedback offered are not satisfactory. The brake feels a bit wooden too. However, there is a decent amount of braking progression for the front brakes. The rear brakes aren’t up to snuff, with mediocre bite and progression. Dual-channel ABS improves the situation a bit.
The Royal Enfield is not an expensive motorcycle brand. Period. And this goes for all its models, since its arrival on the American market in 2015.
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