One of the surprise hits on the sales floor recently has been Royal Enfield’s affordable and retro-riffic air/oil-cooled 650 twins, available in both Interceptor/INT650 (in the U.S.) “standard” flavor or the more sporty (but essentially mechanically identical) Continental GT café racer trim. (Full disclosure: Your author rides an INT650, among other bikes).
The bikes initially began hitting showrooms in 2019, and have gathered up accolades for both style and substance, thanks to their approachable fuel-injected 47hp 648cc parallel twin, Harris-designed steel-tube frame, 6-speed gearbox, decent handling and niceties like ABS, classic clocks with LCD info panel, and even a slipper clutch as standard.
The Conti GT version includes a humped-style seat, more rear-set pegs, different tank and clip-on bars while the INT650 has braced scrambler-type bars, a classic round teardrop tank and a flat seat. Both bikes feature twin chrome exhaust systems.
Now, they’re both back for 2022 in essentially unchanged form, save for some interesting new paint options and the addition of black rims on more models and fork gaiters as standard on all models. Gotta protect those sliders, yes?
Continental GT color options include a new crimson single-color Rocker Red scheme with some racing stripes, a slick British Racing Green option, duo-colored white/black Dux Deluxe and blue/black Ventura Storm options, and a shiny polished chrome tank Special called Mr. Clean.
For the Interceptor/INT650, the Orange Crush solid color and popular white/red Baker Express dual-tone offerings return while new colors consist of Canyon Red and Ventura Blue solid hues and two new dual-tone Custom options including the black/grey Downtown Drag, black/red Sunset Strip and a new updated version of the chrome variant, the Mark 2, which features some red center trim for the chome tank.
Prices for the Interceptor/INT650 start at $5,999USD for the Standard model, while the two-tone Custom versions go for $6,199 and the chrome-tank Special ringing in at $6,699. Conti GT variants start at $6,199 for the Standard, $6,499 for the Custom models and $6,999 for the shiny Special. The bikes all come with a three-year warranty.
On a personal note, I have an INT650 in Baker Express trim, with S&S cans and some other upgrades. I’ve owned Nortons, BSAs and a vintage CB450 (among many other bikes) and love the INT650 as it has that same vintage P-twin look and vibe without the vintage hassles (and with ABS, etc). A year later, no issues and many miles traveled. That said, here’s hoping a Scrambler version or some mechanical updates take place in the near future.
Get all the details at the Royal Enfield site.