A right Royal scrambler: Prototype off-road version of Enfield Interceptor spotted
Published: 11 October 2023Updated: 11 October 2023
- Royal Enfield 650 scrambler spy shot
A scrambler variant of Royal Enfield’s big-selling Interceptor 650 retro bike looks to be nearing completion with spy shots showing this prototype undergoing testing.
The brand has gone through a dynamic renaissance in the last decade and, since setting up a UK Technology Centre in 2017 under former Triumph product manager Simon Warburton, has launched a steady stream of new models.
The first of their affordable 650 twin range arrived back in 2018 in the form of the Interceptor roadster and Continental GT café racer. These were then joined earlier this year by the Super Meteor 650 cruiser, which was first revealed at the 2022 Eicma trade show in Milan.
It now looks as if the family will grow once more, with these spy shots indicating that a scrambler-style version of the platform could be coming soon. Its seemingly imminent arrival is further evidenced by its near-production ready state, with finished bodywork (minus paint and badging), handlebars, suspension, wheels, and brakes.
Accordingly, its engine looks to be the same 648cc 47bhp twin, now in the latest black finish, although there is a new two-into-one exhaust in place of the Interceptor’s two-into-two design. The twin-loop, twin shock frame and fuel tank also appear identical to the Interceptor.
In most other respects, however, the scrambler is new. An off-road-style, 19in, black anodised, wire front wheel with semi-knobbly tyre replaces the Interceptor’s 18in road front hoop.
Beefy upside down, dirt-style front forks (potentially adapted from the Super Meteor’s pre-existing set-up) are fitted in place of the Interceptor’s 41mm conventional, non-adjustable suspension units.
There are also longer rear shocks and what looks like a 17in rear wheel wearing a higher profile knobbly and big-diameter rear brake disc.
There’s also a new seat, sidepanels (which now include a traditional scrambler-style, oval race number plate), mudguards and higher, wider, trail style braced handlebars.
MCN approached Royal Enfield about the images, but they declined to comment. Judging by the finish on this machine though, we may well see the finished thing at major bike shows by the end of 2023 ready to go on sale in 2024.
Royal Enfield’s new 650 scrambler in detail
- Identical twin: The engine is clearly the same as that in the Interceptor and Continental GT in being a 648cc parallel twin. Although there’s a new exhaust, we expect it to produce the same 47bhp, with potential for a slight change of tune.
- Savvy chassis: The twin-loop, twin-shock frame is identical to the existing 650s but there is new, longer, inverted front fork along with longer-travel shocks at the rear for that off-road, ‘scrambler’ stance.
- Bigger is better: The front wheel looks to be a 19in, off-road style wire hoop fitted with a scrambler-style semi-knobbly tyre and bigger front disc than on the roadsters.
- Scrambler style: Although the fuel tank appears unchanged from the Interceptor, the prototype does have new sidepanels complete with race plate style oval.
- High fashion: The prototype has traditional high,wide, cross-braced handlebars to give a more upright riding position.