How living with my first Royal Enfield for the last 4 years has been
I’ve clocked 33,000 km on my Interceptor 650 which I think is a decent figure to cover in this period considering the lockdowns in between.
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4 years and 33,000 km
4 years ago today I took delivery of my Interceptor 650 with the least expectations on reliability and breakdowns which I was willing to endure as I made up my mind for my first Royal Enfield ownership, yet here we are today after 4 years and 33,000 kms the Interceptor 650 is ageing like a fine wine.
I guess 33,000 kms in 4 years is decent mileage considering the lockdowns in between. Almost all my riding was within 150kms from where I live and largely from weekend morning rides, one-day rides, daily school drops and occasional commutes to the office. My weekend rides mostly involve riding alone or with 2-4 other riding buddies on B-roads and exploring mild off-road paths along lakes, abandoned quarries, backwaters and forests.
Couple of things I believe in my Interceptor’s upkeep
- Avoid fiddling the stock electricals with accessories & lighting, hence my bike runs on completely stock electricals as well as intake and exhaust. But that’s just me being a first-time RE owner and yes I’ve seen multiple time RE owners going all out with aftermarket electricals & parts and doing just fine.
- Replace engine oil sooner-in my case I replace engine oil every 6000~7000kms, these two are a bit of advice I’ve gathered from experienced mechanics in authorized service centers and local garages.
- That’s not all, access to a good authorized service center. In my case it’s the RE OMR Company service center in Kottivakkam and access to a good local garage, Kick Start Garage in Thoraipakkam, has helped me in my overall positive ownership experience.
That said my Interceptor 650 wasn’t 100% trouble-free, the speedometer went berserk due to loose connections within the first few days of ownership, petrol leakage due to poor quality petrol filler cap is a common issue in 650 twins, and exposed wiring means electricals malfunction during the first few minutes after every water wash. Once in 2 months may be the ABS or Engine check light randomly appear and goes off after a few minutes while riding with no signs of any malfunction.
Over the last 4 years, I’ve unknowingly learnt to adapt with the infamous fiddling foot pegs and stock seat, all thanks to the less demanding rides that I do. The 17-inch wheels conversion, which is now 12,000 kms old remains to be the only mechanical mod on the bike and has transformed the way I can leverage the Interceptor’s weight, height and handling.
Living with the Interceptor for the last 4 years as my first RE has been overall a pleasant experience. Apart from the bike being fairly reliable there has been continuous aftersales support from RE. I still receive calls from the RE OMR company service center for service reminders, service offers and insurance renewals.
So over the last 4 years/33,000kms, my personal connection with the Interceptor 650 has never been 100%. There is always a sense of discomfort in low-speed handling, comfort, high-speed stability, cornering, weight etc. maybe I can address most of the issues with suitable modifications like handlebar raisers, custom seat, suspension kits etc. but I don’t want to do it because I’m afraid I might spoil the looks of the bike or maybe I’m just a cheapskate. That said, none of these never really made me even think if going for another bike or stopped me from religiously doing my weekend rides. I guess the versatility of the Interceptor to take multiple roles is something which connects me with my Silver Blitz 650.
I applied 3M PPF 4 years ago when I got the Interceptor new. In the last 4 years I’ve placed and carried a variety of objects on the tank like my magnetic tank bag which stays on during all my weekend rides, carrying a fully loaded grocery bag was my usual exercise since I don’t have a scooter for the job, carry my toddler every day to playschool with her anklets & shoes going all over the tank.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the recent picture of the previous PPF, it had all kinds of scratches everywhere and honestly, I really didn’t care what I placed on my PPF’d tank. Since the PPF was almost 4 years old and had scratches all over it I went back to CarSpark OMR last week and got it replaced. Got Garware PPF on the tank, paid Rs 400 for removal of old PPF & Rs 4500 for new PPF application. PPF removal process took one full day since they had to be careful not to damage the paint.
- Simple & reliable build.
- That gem of an engine.
- Endless list of aftermarket parts & accessories.
- Wide service network & aftersales support.
- Long service interval of 1 year/10,000 kms maintenance.
- No alloy wheels/tubeless spoke wheels from RE.
- Even the company service center isn’t always satisfactory.
- Simple air-cooled engine hates prolonged stop-go traffic.
- Weak electricals flashing random check lights.
- Not a perfect motorcycle out of the box.
How the usual weekend rides look like.
Exploring beaten paths along B-roads.
In PPF I trust! Should take care of the tank for the next 4 years.
With my buddy’s Street Twin.
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