If you’re on the lookout for a neo-retro motorcycle that can be bought brand new, there isn’t a better time to shop than now. Almost every major manufacturer is releasing some sort of retro-styled motorcycle that appeals to the nostalgic rider. From entry-level machines like the Yamaha XSR155 to heavyweights like the MV Agusta Superveloce. With the abundance of options in the market today, finding the right neo-retro motorcycle to start with can be a bit difficult. We do think, however, that one option stands out among the rest. If you’re fresh in the market for a classic-style ride that can be purchased brand new today, you might want to get your hands on the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650—here’s why.
Neo-retro motorcycles come in many flavors, and appeal to different appetites in the market. Some are more neo than retro and sport very modern equipment and features. Others lie on the more retro side of the spectrum and appeal to the rider in search of not just a classic design, but a classic experience. This is where the Interceptor 650 comes in, as it is dressed in one of the most iconic looks you can get from a classic-style machine: the single round halogen headlight, the smooth teardrop-shaped fuel tank, a chrome handlebar, round side mirrors, a double cradle frame, 18-inch wire spoked wheels, and cooling fins on the engine. In a world of robotic motorcycles, the Interceptor 650 sits in the market with a more back-to-basics approach—a timeless design on a brand new machine.
The Interceptor 650 is also quite the performer. While 47 hp and 52 Nm of torque may not sound like much for a motorcycle in the 650cc class, very usable power is made from as low as 2500 rpm making the motorcycle feel like it has more power than the numbers show. The bike also sports an air-cooled and low compression engine which, combined with the 270-degree firing order, provides the rider with a very grunty powerband, sound, and feel to add to the classic motorcycle experience. Lastly, the interceptor 650 rolls off the dealership with a chassis designed by Harris Performance, a British-based motorcycle racing parts manufacturer and designer, which means that carving out corners will be nothing short of enjoyable on this beautiful, classic machine.
If you’re into modifying and customizing the look of your motorcycle, the Interceptor 650 might just be the perfect blank canvas for you. Enthusiasts all over the world have customized the Interceptor 650 to different styles suited to the owner’s preferences—off-road scrambler modifications, bobber-style cruisers, upright cafe racers, brat style racers, and so much more. The aftermarket support for the Interceptor is endless, and local support is something that can be easily had with accessory support from dealerships, online channels, and fellow Royal Enfield enthusiasts. Accessorizing and modifying the Interceptor 650 is perhaps one of the more enjoyable aspects of owning this bike, and certainly adds a personal touch to those who value turning a motorcycle into a motorcycle that’s yours.
Apart from how the motorcycle looks, the body style of the Interceptor 650 also adds quite greatly to the flexibility of this platform in what sort of riding it was built to do. Its engine displacement allows it to traverse the highways for leisure or for commutes. The upward sweeping handlebars and relaxed footpeg position of the Interceptor make it a very comfortable motorcycle to take on long trips or city commutes, and multiple accessories will allow you to strap on luggage to the rear for when you need to haul around a few items. The overall design makes the Interceptor 650 a very flexible platform for all kinds of rides: weekend breakfast rides, city commutes, provincial tours, and even light off-roading on gravel roads.
The last and perhaps most important reason an Interceptor 650 is the perfect classic-style motorcycle to start with is the price. Starting at just P368,000, the Interceptor 650 is without a doubt one of the most affordable motorcycles you can get in the neo-retro 650cc segment—priced far lower than the Yamaha XSR700 and the Honda CB650R. For the cost, the Interceptor 650 is a lot of bang-for-buck and should be the motorcycle to get for riders with a more classic-oriented aesthetic preference.