Actually…more like 16 months on. The Interceptor, or as she is known “Lakshmibai, the Rani of Enfield” has gotten almost 15,000 miles put on her in a combination of trying to kill myself on out twisty mountain roads and commuting to my workplace 23 miles away from home. As the earlier reports have illustrated, Her Majesty has been hopped-up considerably: S&S pips, high performance cam, high compression pistons, and a airbox eliminator were added, making the bike a nightmare to keep running until we put a Power Commander V on her and got the folks at Speed Associates up in Farmington to dyno and tune the hell out of the fuel map. All bikes are way too lean, these day, for Euro emissions standards, and the Enfields are no different. Fortunately, mine is the last of the Euro4 bikes, so we had little issue enriching the fuel and squeezing almost 20% more power out of her. Here, at a mile up, she turns out 50hp at the wheel — so at sea level, that means she’s pushing 62-63hp and about 50 ft-lbs. of torque. (For comparison, the Honda CBR650R of that year was pulling 86hp and 43 ft-lbs. out of their mill. That’s not bad.) I had (once!) hit 125 mph on the speedometer, flat on the tank, slightly downhill, throttle all the way open, and juuuuuust slipping into the redline. (So figure 115ish with speedo creep.)

Fortunately, there’s a fair number of folks here in the area that love these 650s, so I have a fair amount of anecdotal data to pull from, in addition to my own. The bikes get about 60 mpg at our altitude and on our shitty “winter gas” with ethanol and only 91 octane; in the summer, 70ish without the ethanol. Most folks have had no issues with their bikes, but most also have much few miles than I do on mine. It does seem the need valve adjustments about every major checkup. You’re supposed to do it every 3000, but I’ve been doing the 6000 mile cycle every 5000 miles and the valves are usually just at the edge of spec or slightly out. If you do your own work, it’s pretty easy to do. If you don’t, it’s a bit of a hassle, if you put the mileage on your machine that I do.

Fit and finish on the bikes remains good. No rust or other defects to report, but I did drop my keys on the tank and the paint for the striping on the tank is thin; it had a couple of little paint chips, now. The stock tires (in the US) are the Pirelli Phantom Sportcomps — a tire that was awful on my Street Cup, but works exceedingly well on this bike. I’ve thought about changing out, but they are the cheapest option, so why bother? The frame and geometry on this bike is superlative. It doesn’t feel like 450 pounds. It turns — the favorite road for the motorcyclists here is tricky, with a lot of tight turns and sweepers. She sticks with the “higher end” sportbikes in the turns without issue, and I’ve yet to have her lose her footing. My friend’s GT doesn’t have the torque I do, now, but his bike is not slow; the gearing on these is good, although sixth could be taller. He also recently threw a TEC two-into-one pipe on (they sound fantastic, by the way…)

Issues I’ve had seem to be specific to the modifications done: She definitely has a bit of heat sinking going on in the summer and is more prone to detonation if you give her the gas too quickly in the high gears. This is really specific: it happens between 4200-5000rpm. If you ease through it, she’ll usually have no issues. If you drop to 4th and punch through it, then upshift to where you’re above that engine speed (so about 80mph), no issues. I’ve also had detonation in high wind — and I mean high! We’ve been having a hell of a wind season…I mean spring: both my friend and I had detonation in 35mph plus 50+ gusts while riding. The engines were warm, we were going uphill, and I suddenly started losing power while he was getting engine knock.

So, with a year and a bit behind me, I have to say the Enfield has managed to finally displace my old 2010 Thruxton as my favorite bike. The quality of the build is definitely not what we remember from the old Bullets, and the performance and design is top notch. The newer motorcycles, the Meteor and Classic look to be even high quality; I’m hoping to get a chance to ride the Classic sometime soon.