The newly launched Interceptor 650 cc by Royal Enfield is no match to Himalayan 400 cc. I have covered some 31000 km on Himalayan and 100 km on Interceptor 650 cc. I own both the bikes.
By ‘no match’, I mean both the bikes are unique in their own ways. Any comparison may be akin to comparing apples to oranges. My reason to list the differences is only for existing owners of Himalayan who may be considering shifting to Interceptor 650 cc.
Windshield: The large front wheel of Himalayan coupled with the windshield, helps accelerate to 100 km/hr and yet the wind is not hitting hard on our chest.
I realized this difference when I felt wind hitting my body hard on accelerating to 80 km/hr on Interceptor. Interceptor’s optional mini windshield is less likely to offset the impact of wind.
Saddle bag: I had not purchased aluminium panniers, as advertised, for Himalayan bike. Instead, I purchased saddle bags. With the help of saddle stay, the saddle bag stayed well above the exhaust and also well above the foot rest for the pillion rider.
The two exhausts of Interceptor facing upwards leave very limited space to place saddle bags. This is a major limiting factor with Interceptor compared to Himalayan. So planning long rides with no bags is a pre-requisite with Interceptor.
Seat style: Himalayan has a curved seat with the seat for the pillion is 5-7 inches higher compared to the rider’s. This seating design may make Himalayan unfavorable to ride with a pillion but it offers a significant for a solo rider with his backpack resting comfortably on the pillion seat. This keeps the shoulders relaxed despite having a backpack. A must for long rides.
Riding position: Interceptor’s rider position while driving is 15-20 degree forward compared to Himalayan. This may lead to some strain in lower back for some. Himalayan’s riding position is almost 90 degrees to the thigh position.
Offroading: Interceptor 650 is not an offroader. Even when riding in a city traffic, the ease, for a Himalayan rider, to cross over the pavements on streets of India is no match to an Interceptor rider.
Considering some of above differences, I may put on hold my decision to part ways from Himalayan.