Riding the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 at the Riders Club 2021 One Ride

Recently we had the chance to try out the popular Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 at the annual One Ride with the Riders Club of Europe!

Royal Enfield Riders Club cookout One Ride 2021

Arriving at Hartgate Motorcycles in Mitcham early on Sunday morning, we were met with friendly greetings and coffee - perfect fuel for what would be an exceptional day of riding with Royal Enfield, one that was promised to be full of new experiences. 

I was travelling south of the capital for two (or three) reasons; enjoy a top ride with the Royal Enfield Riders Club of Europe, hear a talk from the enamoured Ben Bowers, and (I suppose mainly) try out the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 that I’d heard oh so much about. 

This year the oldest manufacturer in continuous production is keen to push their Riders Club initiative, getting owners together to enjoy their machines on regular ride-outs, events and more - those who purchase a new motorcycle are given a year of membership to welcome them in. There's plenty to get stuck in to, particularly stuff like Flat Track tasters...

Set as an annual ride to 'leave every place better', the One Ride is a collection of ride outs across the country and beyond, with the purpose of supporting the charity partners they have brought together over time - in this case, we were encouraged to consider the message of CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), centring around mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

A message worthy of attention, and one that many cite as the very reason they ride motorcycles - that freeing & emotive experience that you can seemingly only find atop two wheels. The pertinent point here is to share the ride with others and have a good, honest chat.

Jumping on the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Awaiting me for the ride that day was a box-fresh Interceptor 650 - which coincidentally in 2021 ‘Downtown Drag’ colourway with cyan accent perfectly matched my AGV K6 Minimal lid. Instant thoughts were that this was a brilliant choice of ride for the day. With a fairly comfy 805mm twin seat and 217kg weight, the analogue feeling was retro-esque, matched with a lovely exhaust note and easy-riding nature.

It was all Enfield machines with us. A mix of Meteor 350, Continental GT, Himalayan and other custom delights all ‘Built Like a Gun’.

The Interceptor was supremely easy to get on with, and as we set off south out of London the collective growl of air-cooled twins through twin exhausts was a feast for the eyes and ears.

Ride out with some Riders Club of Europe members

Stopping first for a quick coffee in Westerham, we continue on towards a fantastic cookout in the woods with Fire & Wild. The forest is somewhere in the middle of Uckfield, Halland & Lewes - and what a location. Simply breathtaking, and some of the Riders Club members couldn’t believe their eyes - and what’s on offer from being part of the club.

Enjoying some local fire-cooked food - that was incredible - Ben Bowers leads a powerful chat championing the message of the 2021 One Ride & CALM, focusing on the importance of being there for one another, and having the vulnerability to open up to your mates, or be the one there to listen and/or initiate some deep chats.

The wooded forest served as a stunning backdrop for some of the custom builds with us that day. One of the custom Malle Rally Royale builds, a pair of Expedition Special machines, some owner-built variations. It underlines the top foundation and framework these Enfield’s provide for plenty of custom builds, with or without the official accessories. A great sign if so many custom builders choose these as the starting point. 

We’ve covered plenty of custom Enfields on Visordown for you to drool over.

At the time of riding, London was practically barren of fuel. Countless forecourts closed with ‘no fuel’ scrawled on A4 taped to cones, queues stretching for miles - and some of us running close to empty. All worked out in the end, though. 

Interceptor 650 thoughts

As for the Interceptor 650 I was on, since it was so box-fresh it seemed to be still very much in a self-induced run-in period. It did all of the basics well, but I think it needed a bit more scrubbing in before the bike was up to full efficiency. Certainly full of character, spending a bit of time on flowing roads, towns and city streets and a dabbling off-road, I can only say it did it all.

Factor in the £6,200~ price of the one I was riding, and you can see why they’ve sold so many over the 3-year production run.

I think I’ll have to try one out for a prolonged period of time before I can give any real reflections on the ride… perhaps I’m pitching for one to customise. If you’re reading this Royal Enfield, I was quite literally deliberating with myself on parts I’d throw on the Interceptor 650 as we rode back to Hartgate. Just saying.

More to the point, a top ride out with Royal Enfield & the Riders Club guys and girls. Incredible food, top company and a fantastic experience that those in the club will no doubt enjoy a lot more often going into 2022.

Check out more about the Interceptor 650, Riders Club of Europe, and CALM & One Ride on the Royal Enfield site.

Watch: Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (2021) review

Royal Enfield Meteor 350 Review 2021 | Visordown.com