Climbing on board for the first time the bike felt really light and well balanced, but WHO put the foot rests there!!! Ouch, my leg!! yep, the non-retractable pegs are exactly where your calf muscle and shin bone are and don't you know it. This little glitch is quickly put to one side but not forgotten (you'll be given a painful reminder if you do forget).
The instrument panel is laid out clearly before you, speedo, fuel gauge and trip in the left clock and rev counter in the right-hand clock, everything very legible, the rear view is supplied by the same round mirrors you'll find on the classic 500, but this time with a lot less vibration. Firing the bike into life the first thing you notice is how creamy smooth and quiet the whole thing is, a little blip of the throttle and you can hear the note of the large twin silencers, not the prettiest but certainly not unattractive. Clutch in and knock it into first, wow!! again you hardly notice it go in. Now, this may be because I'm used to riding a 22-year-old Fireblade or more likely it could be the slipper clutch (whatever that means) every gear change takes the minimum of effort and is smooth and sure. Taking the Interceptor out of the town and into the country was a joy, travelling with the traffic in town the bike proved my first impressions, so light, so nimble so well balanced and behaved, hard to believe I'd only just jumped on it. Leaving the 40mph zone into the 60mph the bike made more than ample progress, hard to believe this thing only has 47 bhp, pulling out to overtake was done with confidence even when I hit a couple of cats eyes and caused the Enfield to have a bit of a wobble, it calmed down quick enough.
Pulling off the main route we went through some woodland on cooler damper roads, again nothing to worry about here as we swept through several lumpy bumpy bends the Enfield cornered with ease and confidence. Along the country lanes sat at 50mph the bike seemed to be in its element breaking into and accelerating out of bends was a joy, brakes at the front are supplied by a single 320mm disc at the rear it's a 240mm disc both offering ABS and doing a most impressive job. I decided to try the bike out on a tight twisty steep hill, again easy meat to this impeccably well behaved young thing.
The Interceptor is a beautiful machine to ride and great fun watching as it turns people's heads as it mumbles by. To be honest and frank, I couldn't really find fault with it, yes the footrests are a pain, in more ways than one and if you really want to pick fault, I wouldn't really want to spend several hours in the saddle (apparently there are some more comfortable aftermarket upgrades available) as I can imagine the standard one can get a bit uncomfortable.
I’m also the proud owner of a 2018 Classic 500, if the Interceptor had been around like it should have been when I bought my Classic, I may just have bought one, but then again….. You can't really compare the two though as one clearly has its front wheel in the late 50's early 60's and the other revelling in the misty memories of the early-mid ’70s.
Congratulations go to Royal Enfield for the Interceptor, a cracking bike with a low price tag and worth every penny, these bikes should be made compulsory for new riders.
Contact; D. W. MOTORCYCLES, Scarborough on 01723 366083 to book a test ride and for more information.
Thank you to Stuart Canvin for allowing us to use his review. Stuart is from my home town of Scarborough in the UK.