Posts Tagged ‘interceptor’

z1

Recently I got to attend the Royal Enfield “Pick Your Play” demo day for the Washington DC metro area, held at Summit Point Raceway. I got to test ride both the brand-new Continental GT and Interceptor 650’s. The new bikes are parallel twins and Royal Enfield’s entry into the mid-class motorcycle competition.

I have to say WOW, nice job Royal Enfield!   I don’t think these motorcycles are going to be competing for race wins any time soon but for a daily urban computer these are winners and a lot of fun!

DSC02465Before I go into details on my rides and thoughts on these new motorcycles, I want to give the Royal Enfield crew some praise. This is an 8-city tour, wish I could attend another, of the US and the Royal Enfield’s crews presentation of the event was very nice! Bikes on display, food trucks and music already to go and well executed. They also took the time to recognize the Royal Enfield owners who showed up, not something you see at events like this. Well done guys!

As for the motorcycles they are essentially the same bike with some feature and cosmetic changes. Same engine, same frame, etc. yet they felt completely different. Some of that “feeling” goes to the ergonomics of each motorcycle. The GT with the café racer style clip-on handlebars and the Interceptor with it upright “classic” positioning really gives each its own personality.

The Interceptor 650 felt a lot like the old Honda CB750 which is a huge compliment. Itz7 had a solid feel from 0 to about 75 MPH. I did not go faster as that was the most I was willing to push on an unfamiliar motorcycle on an unfamiliar track. It did feel like it wanted to go faster. In the tight turns of the track the upright position did make me feel that the lean angle was higher than it really was.

Speaking of lean angle, the café racer Continental GT and it’s hugging the tank body position really, really wanted me to put it over tight in the turns. I never drug the pegs but, if I could get a few more laps in I know I would have. Again, for motorcycles that are mostly the same, they have attitudes and personalities all their own.

Royal Enfield has a couple of winners on their hands, if they can get the word out. One idea to get the American motorcycle culture to notice these new motorcycles might be sponsoring a “spec” race series, maybe in conjunction with MotoAmerica. Could be a cheaper way for more folks to get into the racing scene (well that’s my two cents anyway).

Ride On!