Ever since they hit the market in 2018, the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and the slightly sportier Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 were both offered in a wide range of color options, but all had polished aluminum engine housings and an identically silver-colored stainless steel exhaust system. Additionally, the bikes have always been provided with vintage wire spoke wheels complete with inner tubes.
Since the very beginning, many owners and potential customers have been hoping for tubeless tires and alloy wheels for the two bikes. This is especially true among those looking for the sportier, more agile handling lighter alloy wheels and tubeless tires brings to the table. With that, the time has come for Royal Enfield to bestow some much-needed updates to the 650 Twins. In particular, the bikes now have new cast aluminum wheels with a slim 7-spoke design. The traditional narrow tire sizes—100/90-18 up front and 130/70-18 at the back—remain unchanged even though the bike is now running a tubeless setup.
Apart from the new alloy wheels and tubeless tires, the Continental GT and Interceptor 650 continue to share the same technical foundation as before. The brakes are the same as in earlier incarnations, with ABS-equipped front and rear disc brakes. The chassis, which consists of a front telescopic fork, a steel swing arm, and a tubular steel frame, was left unaltered by Royal Enfield. Unfortunately, hopes of a more performance-oriented suspension setup consisting of inverted forks like those of the Super Meteor are laid to rest, for now.
However, the new 2023 model year adds a few contemporary features to the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Royal Enfield Continental GT 650. For instance, the motorcycles now have considerably more upscale, neo-retro styling thanks to the new LED lighting. Moreover, there is a new USB port for added on-the-go convenience, and the seat cushion has been improved for comfort. The bike's cockpit has been updated with new handlebar switches, as well.
Another thing worth noting is Royal Enfield’s shift in styling preference, especially in terms of color. The 2023 iteration of the 650 Twins features much less chrome and silver, and has an emphasis on sleeker, blacked-out styling. On both the Interceptor and Continental GT 650, the whole engine, including its cooling fins, the two-in-two exhaust system, and the wheels, are painted black.
On the performance side of the equation, nothing really changes. Indeed, the air-oil-cooled, parallel-twin engine with a 270-degree crank pin offset continues to offer adequate performance and retro charm for the two models. With a displacement of 648cc, it outputs a maximum of 48 horsepower at 7,150 rpm, and 36.4 lb-ft of torque at 5,150 rpm.