I could not stop liking the comfort and balance of my Himalayan. I may have made a mistake to opt for Interceptor 650 without a test ride. But I doubt if test riding may have helped me decide otherways. Interceptor 650 was launched with a lot effective subtle marketing that created a sense of deficiency- akin to missing something significant. One of the best strategy by the Company was to keep RE’s biggest market waiting for a year after launch in international markets.
Interceptor 650 is no ways an upgrade to Himalayan. It is an upgrade to a 500 cc or 350 cc versions from RE simply because of its riding style. When I booked the bike on Nov 14, the day the bike was launched in India, I fell for the buzz and the simplistic design it has. I felt it gelled with my personality. I was somehow assured about it being a major upgrade from existing bike models especially post the issues with Himalayan during its launch in March 2016.
Interceptor 650 is excellent in so many ways. Most of them are already listed by all riders across different forums. But it failed with its riding posture. I drove it to Kuthar, a place near Kasauli Himachal Pradesh. The roads were full of pot holes after recent rains. With my wife as pillion on sharp and narrow curves l, strained my shoulders. We both felt the jerks on our arms and back. This is unlike an Himalayan on such roads.
Further, I felt, despite having the windscreen installed, speeeding above 100 km/hr is not as easy as expected. If speeding above 100 km/hr is not so easy why spend on a 650 cc. The videos on Twins talk of building bikes with ‘usable’ power but maneuvering through Indian traffic conditions still does not demand a 650 cc twin cyclinder except for having some heads turn for a glance.
Interceptor 650 did not let me jump a few pavements on streets unlike an Himalayan. It is a bike for smooth roads with some curves unlike an Himalayan that is best everywhere when cruising at 80-90 km/hr.
So my decision to co-own both Interceptor 650 and Himalayan comes at a cost but with a learning that Himalayan is still the best from Royal Enfield till date.
Happy riding! Guys