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Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Salt Racer sets new land-speed record

Piloted by Charlie Hallam, the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 ‘SABRE’ salt racer sets the class-record for a 650cc at 132.050 mph!

SABRE Royal Enfield 650 Interceptor Salt Racer

ROYAL ENFIELD may not always be the first name that springs to mind when you think of setting a land-speed record, but this Interceptor 650 piloted by first-time salt racer Charlie Hallam has smashed the previous record, and set the new record at 132.050mph!

This Salt Racer Interceptor 650 was built by Mid Life Cycles in Cremorne, Victoria (Australia) and named ‘SABRE’. It was originally built for the Royal Enfield ‘Busted Knuckles Build-Off’ in 2019. 

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Turning heads in the contest, the next step was the 30th annual Speed Week at the salt flats in 2020 - but unfortunately, Covid came around, and put an end to that dream. 

At least for a year, anyway. This year the Speed Week event returned to Lake Gairdner, South Australia, and was back for 2021 - despite being cut short by rain. 

Royal Enfield Sets Land Speed Record at 132.050 mph

Looking to beat the 4-year standing 119.961 mph record in the Class M-F for 650cc machines, Hallam and SABRE set out on their first-ever run - breaking the record on his first attempt with 121.782 mph. A 123.601 mph run concluded their first day, with the record set at an average of 122.691 mph - the SABRE was then impounded and locked away overnight to continue the next day.

Returning the next day, they set two further passes in the morning at 128.935 mph and 130.204 mph, and continued to one-up themselves by setting an afternoon run of 130.370 mph.

Finally, the last pass on day three saw an outrageous top speed of 133.779 mph for their last run. Taking in to account the average of all of their passes, the new record was set at 132.050 mph! An incoming storm closed the event from day three onwards, and no further runs could be recorded - including for the higher classes of 1000cc class machines. 

The Class M-F 650 is for un-streamlined 650cc machines and running on commercial unleaded fuel - making it an incredibly impressive achievement.

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 SABRE - Mid Life Cycles

HRA Geelong (Andrew Hallam) and Hallam Cycle Works (Charlie Hallam) were behind this Mid Life Cycles build, with the Interceptor 650 starting off as a stock model and being heavily modified to become the SABRE.

Here’s a video from Michael and the team at Mid Life Cycles, from Royal Enfield: 

As a quick run-through, changes include the frame being altered, a comprehensive engine uprating (new forged pistons, ported cylinder head, competition profile camshaft, standard balancing counterweight removed from the camshaft, updated throttle body and modified gearbox), with custom extended swingarm and top-shelf Öhlins suspension added.

An extensive list, but there’s plenty more done to it! This 650 twin engine seems to be getting around, with the same phrase said by all: it's a perfect base to build something great on.

Sources: Exhaustnotes, Hotcars