Jeff updates us on his Long Term Royal Enfield Interceptor INT 650, with some mileage under his belt and the run in complete. Well, he bought it, so he must love it! Words: Jeff Ware
I took delivery of my brand new zero km Interceptor INT 650 on March 1, a sunny Friday arvo full of smiles. It is the first ever brand new bike I’ve bought. I was so impressed with it when I rode it at the World Launch late 2018 that I decided to put my hard earned down straight away to get one… I financed the bike through Urban Motor Finance, which was super easy, then insured it through Shannons Insurance, adding it to my existing bike policies to get a discount.
I took the family down and made a day out of it, having lunch with Dave and Linda Holdforth from Sydney Dyno who had run the bike in for me prior to picking it up. I’d been sent some teaser images of my bike being uncrated and assembled, so I was extra pumped to get hold of the key.
While the bike was being assembled and readied for pick-up, I went and sorted my custom numberplate, IN650, in orange. I was stoked to get that one! I also gave Moto National Accessories a buzz to organise some Shell oils to keep the bike mint, then ordered a bunch of oil filters for future servicing. I got these from the Revelry Cycles online store.
Dyno Dave has run most of our long termers and project bikes in over the years, as well as done the majority of our tuning. As this was my own personal pride and joy, I only wanted the best for it so Dave was the natural choice for the run-in procedure. He is located just up the road from Surfside, so once the bike was pre-delivered, Dave grabbed it and did a four-hour run-in program for me.
Dave can apply his vast experience running engines in and by using the dyno brake and varying the load on the engine he can run the motor in over an intense four-hour ride that includes high load, no load, low and high rpm, all-gear runs, sustained high rpm, heat cycles, everything needed that would be difficult to do on the road in under around 1500km, and even then you would not be able to find the ideal conditions.
The results speak for themselves, 46.16hp@6950rpm rear wheel horsepower and 40.9ft-lbs@5150rpm, a smooth clutch and slick gearbox, quick acceleration and throttle response and the second oil change after the initial run-in one was super clean. Happy days…
The speedo only works if the front wheel is turning, so my bike was run in but still showed just the 13km from the Royal Enfield factory test.
I have to admit, riding home feeling pretty stoked in my Royal Enfield jacket and gloves (from the World launch), waving at Heather and the kids in the car at the traffic light stops as they followed was a fun experience and a memorable one, the entire family were excited about the new bike. When I got home, I called the lads to come over for shed beers and we all sunk many an amber refreshment that night celebrating the latest addition to the shed. A great Friday.
Since that time I’ve had plenty of great rides on the bike and made some improvements. The first thing I did was an alignment, as I could feel the bike was not straight. Using a simple laser chain aligner and my old fashioned string-lining way, which I swear by, I got the wheels in line.
The rear was out around 14mm from assembly. I also centered the handlebars as they were offset, as was the cross-bar, which was 1cm higher on one side than the other. I then improved the one area of the bike that lets it down, the gearlever mechanism.
The Continental GT has a direct gearlever due to rearset footpegs, while the Interceptor runs a linkage. The difference in shift between the models is night and day. The GT is perfect. The INT is less accurate. There was excessive play at the lever pivot point from new so I pulled it apart and shimmed it up, taking most of the play out. It was bone dry, so I greased it up, along with the rose joints. The improvement is huge but next I will machine brass bushing into the pivot point.
We then used the bike for our full road test by Kris, which you can read here, and again as we tested the Continental GT taking both bikes for side-by-side comparisons. I’ve also had countless Sunday morning rides, with one particularly fun regular being a big loop from the Central Coast to Wiseman’s Ferry, Arcadia, Berowra Waters, Old Road and home to the Coast.
I’ve also done plenty of tooling around my local beaches and esplanades, just taking in the experience of cruising on the bike, plus surprised more than a few punters through my local hills when I feel like a fang. It’s satisfying in a sick and weird way to carve up a sportsbike on this thing. Being an ex A grade racer helps (shh). I kind of love imagining the surprised look on the faces of some of the riders as a 650 Royal Enfield floats by, rider wearing a hipster open face lid and tan jeans. Classic…
The first oil change after the service was done by Surfside before I picked the bike up (after the Dyno run in). So as the bike hit 500km when the first service was due, I went over it with a torque wrench, checking all of the fasteners, plus did the basics like chain adjustment and lube, checked the oil level and tyre pressure, etc.
So far the bike has been a blast and I’m so glad I bought it. I ride it constantly and it’s one of those machines that I look at and feel proud to own.
At 1000km, I did a full service as per the owner’s manual, which I’ll run you through next month, as well as the way I opened up the standard pipes for a louder note. I also have a GT v INT article on the way as well as an ownership review video so stay tuned.