Royal Enfield is one of the most iconic motorcycle brands to come out of England. It began its journey over a century ago and is now produced in a factory in South India. In the last few years, Royal Enfield has tried to bring modern technology into its bikes while maintaining the old-school aesthetic inspired by its iconic 70s bikes. In the current lineup there are some incredible motorcycles ranging from the Himalayas to the Meteor series , which offer its customers a great driving experience at affordable prices. One of these bikes is the INT650, one of the best motorcycles under $5000.
Called the Interceptor 650, a name the company was banned from using in the US due to trademark issues with Honda. The INT650 is inspired by the iconic Interceptor bike from the 1960s. While the bike may look quite normal on paper, it’s the riding experience that appeals to most people who ride it. One of the reasons for Royal Enfield’s success in India and around the world is its solid craftsmanship and ability to remain relevant in the present day while maintaining its classic look.
Classic looks with a touch of modern technology
The Royal Enfield INT650 has a classic look and weighs 440 pounds dry and is a standard for simplicity in modern motorcycles. While the cooling for its 648cc P-Twin engine is achieved by air and oil with an oil cooler placed between the double lowered tubes of the steel frame. The INT650 has a new six-speed transmission that drives the rear wheel via a chain, and dual gas reservoir shocks that are adjustable to support the flat bench seat that easily accommodates two people.
To maintain its traditional style, the INT650 has two analog gauges for speed and revs and a small LCD panel that gives riders an odometer, two trip meters and a gas gauge. The large fuel tank is well finished with a flip top cap and is made of metal to give that extra heavy touch to the bike. Royal Enfield also did a great job on the chrome elements of this bike, taking the look of the INT650 up a notch.
Standard 41mm non-adjustable forks are featured on the front wheels and disc brakes are offered on both wheels using Bosch ring-style dual-channel ABS. In addition to the Bosch dual-channel ABS, Royal Enfield has also packed a stainless steel brake line in the bike that goes a long way in improving brake feel at the lever.
One of the most notable features of the INT650 is the noise produced by two large mufflers that sweep from the center of the bike, producing a quiet, EPA-approved rumble that grows into a snarl at higher revs. Royal Enfield has given the INT650 a 270-degree crank that helps with the aural aspect, but some less restrictive pipes produce a more sonorous soundtrack under power.
Decent performance for a beginner’s bike
In terms of performance, the Royal Enfield INT650’s specs look rather timid on paper with its 648cc fuel-injected parallel-twin engine producing 44 horsepower and 38 lb-ft of peak torque. The engine doesn’t feel stressed and is quite easy to handle with its six-speed slipper clutch that does a great job of delivering power. The light feel on the clutch shows Royal Enfield’s work to provide rider comfort and make it easy for even beginners to ride.
More than 80 percent of the INT650’s torque is below 3000 rpm, making it a pleasure to drive at low speeds. However, the bike gives great response to every gear and picks up speed quite easily. With great comfort at low speeds, the real power of the INT650 comes on the highway. With a 0-60 time of 7 seconds, the INT650 isn’t incredibly fast, but it does a great job of maintaining cruising speeds of around 80 MPH, even for full-day rides.
You would have the feeling that the INT650 would be difficult to handle in corners and tight corners, but it surprisingly does this despite being a relatively bulky bike. The INT650 is a fun bike that really brings out its magic on the highways at cruising speeds. To put it simply, the INT650 does everything right for a modern cruiser motorcycle while retaining its old-fashioned aesthetic and styling. The INT650 has every romantic detail of an old-school bike minus all the problems associated with it. So you get a bike that doesn’t leak oil every week and whose electronic components don’t fail miles from home while you enjoy a smooth ride without worrying about performance specs or ergonomics.
Here’s what you need to know about the Royal Enfield Himalayan