Over the years, Royal Enfield has developed a reputation for producing motorcycles that have earth-shattering vibrations. Armed with a big single-cylinder, long-stroke motor of that size, it was but obvious that they would resonate madly. But when we rode the new 650 twins in America, we were pleasantly surprised.
The keyword here is 'twins’. Yes, Royal Enfield has progressed to a new twin-cylinder platform, which is in line with its British heritage even more. However, keeping in mind its past, most individuals (even a few in the office) were a bit sceptical about the matter at hand. So we decided to put an end to all the questions and conduct a test ourselves to check whether people should be worried or breathe a fresh sigh of vibe-free relief.
But before we delve into the matter, here are quite a few facts which already indicated that the engine was going to be anything but vibration prone. Royal Enfield was ditching the big single for two relatively small pistons. While there were more moving parts, the parallel-twin layout with a 270-degree crank angle setup is known to produce significantly lesser vibrations. It is the same engine architecture that Triumph has used with its engines for the Bonneville family and those machines aren't that buzzy to begin with. On top of that, Royal Enfield has also equipped this new 648cc motor with a counterbalancer shaft whose main objective is to reduce unwanted vibrations. And lastly, fuel injection helps in making the combustion process a whole lot smoother than a carburettor
After our first ride review, we were left with a lot of comments stating that it was impossible for Royal Enfield to make vibe-free motorcycles. So, the first thing that we did upon receiving the Interceptor 650 at our HQ in Pune was conduct a vibration test. A simple cup placed on the fuel tank would suffice to show whether there were vibrations or not. As we thumbed the starter, the engine came to life, but the cup didn't move. We revved it lightly, the cup stayed in its place. We revved it hard, hitting the limiter, but that cup barely moved millimetres from its original place. Stunned, right?
It speaks volumes about the growth and the painstaking dedication that Royal Enfield as a company has put into making the 650 twins right in the first attempt. They have faced massive backlash in the past with their singles but this had to be done right; no skimping on important bits and pieces. And the end result of that hard work is a bike (or rather a pair of bikes) that are unequivocally vibration free, no matter how hard you rev. Just a thought as we depart though, who will they call vibrators now? Not these 650s for sure.