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Thread: Royal Enfield Interceptor 650... Thoughts?

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    Flirting With The Redline robardin's Avatar
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    Royal Enfield Interceptor 650... Thoughts?

    So... Since 2012 I've been riding, or more accurately barely riding at all the past 2-3 years, a Suzuki V-Strom 650 (the second generation one - I got one of the first ones sold in my area a week after seeing it at the NY Motorcycle Show in January 2012).

    It's a great bike for touring and a one-bike-to-do-everything commuter, but pretty it isn't, and after 8+ years I find myself looking at classic looking bikes like the Triumph Bonneville. If I'm not going to ride so often or so far - the last real road trip I took on the V-Strom was in 2016, to Cooperstown, NY - and all I'm doing are relatively short half-day or day trips, why not get something that looks good in my garage?

    And hey... I don't have to replace the V-Strom, I have room in my garage since selling my 2004 VN750 last year...

    So last year, I test rode a Bonneville T100 and T120, and they were loads of fun, but the T100 starting at $8000 and being a 5-speed kind of made me feel like I'd be taking a step back from my wee-strom. I couldn't justify the additional expenditure, so I took a pass.

    But recently, I came across the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650. Which I've found as a 2019 used bike with about 1800 miles on it for under $5000 and two of the four accessories I almost always add to my bikes: a luggage rack, and an aftermarket saddle (Corbin). Those are the expensive ones, too. All I'd want to add are a 12V/USB charger port and a short windscreen, which are relatively cheap ($100-150 total?) and easy to put on.

    I'm pretty tempted. Anybody have any positive or negative comments about this bike? I know it's far less powerful than my DL650, but I'm not planning to go touring on this one. I may not do the touring thing again for a while yet.

    ETA: as to the "barely been riding" angle, that's largely because I got a 2000 BMW Z3 convertible roadster in early 2016 and my wife, who would never ride two-up, loves being a passenger in it. So all my "leisure motorsport" time went from solo riding, to driving in that thing with her. Which is great and all, but I miss the feeling of being on two wheels.

    With the onset of COVID-19 in my area (NYC) I'm now avoiding mass transit, and my kids are now past the age of needing car rides, so non-family travel is again going to largely be on two wheels - but mostly local area riding.

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    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Lets just say, it's an enthusiast motorcycle
    for riders enthusiastic about working on their bike lots.

    Stock brakes suck, because they only have 2 pistons on the same side of the disc up front,
    putting ABS on marginal brakes gets you expensive marginal brakes.
    Ugly frame welds that on occasion have been known to fail,
    I bet the frame has rust out or inside it already.

    I hear it's a Great bike for traveling India.

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    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    For a classic style UJM have you looked at a Yamaha SR400,
    also fitted with less then great brakes but it is a much lighter motorcycle.
    Awesome commuter bike for 55mph america roads, less then perfect on super slabs.

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    Flirting With The Redline robardin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trials View Post

    Lets just say, it's an enthusiast motorcycle for riders enthusiastic about working on their bike lots.

    Stock brakes suck, because they only have 2 pistons on the same side of the disc up front, putting ABS on marginal brakes gets you expensive marginal brakes.

    Ugly frame welds that on occasion have been known to fail, I bet the frame has rust out or inside it already.

    I hear it's a Great bike for traveling India.
    Well reliability is one thing I'm a bit worried about, given the short amount of time the revived Royal Enfield brand has had in the US market. I know of the "original" classic bikes as being "needy" with the wrenching, was hoping the modern revival was more, well, modern. I mean, it does have ABS and an electric starter, even if it is air-cooled (which is also something concerning to me as a city commuter... Is this thing going to overheat in slow crawling traffic?).

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    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    History indicates they could learn a little bit about welding.

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    Flirting With The Redline robardin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trials View Post
    For a classic style UJM have you looked at a Yamaha SR400,
    also fitted with less then great brakes but it is a much lighter motorcycle.
    Awesome commuter bike for 55mph america roads, less then perfect on super slabs.
    Yah, less than great brakes and also air-cooled, and also an old bike (it's been out of production since 1999, right?)

    I did like the Triumph T120 I gave a test ride but can't justify dropping that kind of money on a second bike, and not sure I'd want to full on replace my DL650 just yet. For just $5K and likely a decent resale value (unless I'm wrong about that) to have this bike for a year or two as an around-town toolabout would be great for a change of pace, but yeah if I'm constantly having to adjust or tighten things, that's kind of a no-go area.

    For that matter, how are Triumphs in that regard? My Zook has been very easy, as had been my VN750, other than the times I had to do roadside repairs for things like a flat tire, or a bar end/hand guard vibrate off, or a mirror stem knocked loose by a truck that came too close (way too close).

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    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    SR400? They were still making them in 2019.
    I think for 2020 they are going with the classic Yamastripe too



    ... that's a motorcycle you can have a lot of fun with in traffic and on city streets.


    Well I guess on further investigation, cancel the Yamastripe unless you buy a 2016 model
    Last edited by Trials; 06-22-2020 at 03:15 PM.

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    Flirting With The Redline robardin's Avatar
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    ah, I was looking up the SR500 which hasn't been around for a while.

    So the SR400 is ... air-cooled, kick-started, with a single-cyclinder engine, rear drum and front single disc brakes with no ABS... Though it is fuel injected.

    Basically, in no wise would it be an option to replace my V-Strom but would be a fun tool-around-town type of bike with a retro vibe.

    Not so keen on the brakes, but a kick starter sounds like it could be crazy retro fun. I don't think I've kick-started a bike since my MSF BRC!

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    Flirting With The Redline robardin's Avatar
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    So you'd actually take the SR400 over the Interceptor 650? -- the only SR400 I can see near me are "new" ones from the dealer, final model year of 2018 that never sold I guess, for $5800, for an even-more-toy bike than my now rarely ridden V-Strom. I may as well just try to ride the V-Strom more in that case. (Not a bad thing, just had a moment of classic bike lust.)

  10. #10
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    For urban riding;
    Yep, I would SR400, I also expected it would be very easy for you to find nice lightly used ones.

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