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Is the Royal Enfield becoming the new XS? S&S offer performance parts already.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by arcticXS, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. arcticXS

    arcticXS XS650 Junkie

    The RE 650 has been getting pretty positive reviews, even if the performance numbers are not much better than an XS. But the aftermarket has responded pretty quickly to the RE.
    S&S are now offering hi-comp pistons, big bore kits, Power Commanders, exhausts and camshafts for the RE. That is pretty amazing IMHO.
  2. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Hmmm..... Why not just buy a bike that has all the power you want right out of the box? Rhetorical question, I know. I am all over changing the exhaust cans. They're huge and all I can see. I saw one with Cone Engineering muffs on it and it looked perfect.

    Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the 270 degree crank. I thoroughly dislike the rephased XS650. I've ridden the Super Tenere and while it's a wonderful machine, I strongly prefer the triple in the Triumph Explorer. I had a Moto Guzzi and I believe I prefer the 90 degree engine to the 270 degree parallel twin although I think the performance is similar. I love the 360 degree XS650! I'm going to stick with it, at least until a ride on the RE changes my mind.
    MaxPete, madmax-im and Jack like this.
  3. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    I really like the look and sound of the new Enfields, I’ve read about some concerns over build quality and finish. But they ARE building to a price point, much the way our Yamahas were back then.
    As for modern retro bikes, I took a Triumph Street Twin for a ride back when they first came out and I was really impressed. They are beginning to show up used and for a considerable savings for a good low miles example.
    New bikes are better in every measure but one, an almost complete lack of owner involvement. I missed being able to work on my bikes, that’s what drove me back to the classics.
    RC4MAN, perki48, Gator xs2 and 7 others like this.
  4. Rasputin

    Rasputin XS650 Addict

    I say go test one, you will be impressed. Does what it says on the tin, nothing startling but very pleasant. If you look hard enough you can see it’s made to a price, but having said that it’s not cheap looking.
    £5700ish in the UK with 3yr warranty and roadside breakdown cover, can’t go wrong.
    Why haven’t I bought one? I have no room left.
  5. Aye, the RE's. I've never considered buying a motor vehicle right off the showroom floor but these are very intriguing. Upgrades? A set of Norton style peashooters and ride untill it needs an engine overhaul........lol, wishful thinking.....

    I'll add that valve adjustment looks the same as our beloveds.
    peanut, Mailman and MaxPete like this.
  6. madmax-im

    madmax-im Yamaha...Go your own way... XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I really like the Interceptor 650...3 yr warranty and being brand new there's little to fiddle with..kind of the opposite for you all..but it would be perfectly fine for me... I have heard the suspension can use some upgrades but it was built to a price point...it still looks like a quality build...
    peanut, Mailman and nj1639 like this.
  7. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I have been watching YouTube videos of long-term tests of the RE Interceptor and it sure sounds as though Royal Enfield has built a durable machine that mimics the XS650 in terms of performance and "fun factor". The things I like about it are the fuel injection and the ABS - both highly worthwhile features in my view. The Royal Enfield owner should have no grief with carbs and he/she will be safer in wet weather.

    As for durability, one of the reasons why modern cars and bikes are so durable, aside from modern metallurgy and better control of manufacturing tolerances, is precisely because of the closed loop EFI and ignition systems that are used to control the engines. Every single engine cycle is monitored second-by-second to ensure perfect mixture control and ignition timing. Have you looked at spark plug life lately - that is why they now last so long and it is also why hardly anyone ever does a valve job on a modern engine.

    Back in the pre-EFI days, most experts believed that the economic life of a car was about ten years or 100,000 miles. While some cars would go further, there were usually significant repairs involved (at least a set of valve lifters here and there). But for today's vehicles, 100,000 miles (160,000 km) is nothing and there are literally millions of cars out there that have 200,000+ miles and have never been torn down or suffered any measurable degradation in performance. The bodies often corrode away before the powertrain begins to fail. The average age of cars on North American roads is more than 11 years - and that is the average.

    As for bikes, my 2007 Honda ST1300 (EFI / ABS / on-board galley and restrooms, etc.) has 82,000 km on it (around 50,000 miles) and yet, it runs absolutely as it did when I bought it 4 years ago and it ran then, I am told, as it did when new. Aside from oil and coolant changes, I haven't done anything to it except change the plugs and check the valve clearances (all were in-spec). The ST Owners.com forum has all kinds of those bikes with 200-300,000 miles on them and still running well. In fact, I just looked and could find no instances on that forum of anyone re-building an ST1300 engine. There are a couple of earlier ST1100 engine jobs, but those were caused by failed timing belts and resulting engine damage (the 1300 has timing chains) or poor mixture control (the 1100 had carbs) which led to overheating or valve damage.

    Certainly, liquid cooling helps on bike durability too - but modern oils and metallurgy can mitigate temperature control problems on even an air-cooled engine as well.

    Anyhow - if RE really has "done the math", the 650 Interceptor models should be very durable machines indeed. There sure aren't too many air-cooled engines around these days that can meet rigorous Euro and US-EPA standards for exhaust emissions and so the fact that the Royal Enfield Interceptor does comply certainly suggests that RE got it right and that can only help engine durability (including spark plugs and valve / piston life).

    I would guess that the big exhaust cans are needed meet the pass-by noise specs (air-cooled engines have a lot of stuff flapping around making noise) - but hey - who doesn't like big cans....;)

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
    FLEA, MrBultaco, peanut and 7 others like this.
  8. jay760

    jay760 XS650 Junkie

    I really y like the look of the new 650s, the only problem I have with the look of the bike is they've tried to make it look like the old ones in a triumph like manner but got the casings on the wrong side with the large clutch cover on the right
    peanut and MaxPete like this.
  9. motormike

    motormike XS650 Junkie XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I'm pull'n the trigger on a Interceptor next spring. Red and black. Won't do nut'n to it. The GT.. nice... but I prefer the riders position on the Interceptor. RE has one the drawn board.. another twin... " Meteor "... same unit but done in .. " old school "... lower straight pipes... less bling... and reportedly.. cheaper. Problem is... it's a year.. 2 years.. from hitting our local show room floor.. I ask'd the dealer, he just got his IMS packet, No mention of the Meteor.
  10. arcticXS

    arcticXS XS650 Junkie

    I guess I am most impressed with how light it is, and the fact that a well established aftermarket company like S&S go ahead with a lot of performance parts for it. As far as I know, they only dealt with HD and Indian V-twins before, so it is a rather significant change for them to offer hop up parts for an Indian made bike.
    FLEA, peanut, madmax-im and 2 others like this.
  11. arcticXS

    arcticXS XS650 Junkie

    Regarding the metallurgy bit, Nikasil or similar coated cylinders definitely make a huge difference, I guess both to cooling and wear resistance. Early 90s aircooled Ducatis,while still carburetted, all had Nikasil coated alloy cylinders, and also no head gasket, just spigots on the heads that fit into recesses in the top of the barrels. And small O-rings to take care of oil bore interfaces. These Ducatis commonly run well over 100 000 km without any issues with cylinders, pistons andrings. And that is running with a 9000 or 9500 rpm redline. Amazing stuff, Nikasil.
    Bewarethemoon and MaxPete like this.
  12. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I test drove the RE 650 and it is very nice, but much more "civilized" than our 650, quieter and smoother. I would need to change the pipes, too quiet, lol. But, that, along with the air filter change, looks to be a very expensive proposition. Add to that the possible need for that Power Commander to tune it and things get even more expensive. Makes me miss being able to buy a handful of carb jets and have at it, lol.
    MrBultaco, 59Tebo, MaxPete and 2 others like this.
  13. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty XS650 Guru Top Contributor


    I guess I could concede to your argument, but it looks mostly like they copied themselves.
    MaxPete, madmax-im, nj1639 and 2 others like this.
  14. nhsteve

    nhsteve XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    My biggest hangup with them so far is that there doesn't seem to be a dealer closer to me than a 5 hour drive!
    MaxPete likes this.
  15. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    That will change if the product is successful. The price alone will help a great deal.
    MaxPete likes this.
  16. jay760

    jay760 XS650 Junkie

    royal-enfield-interceptor-650-twin-640.jpg 70RoyalEnfield-Interceptor-R.jpg
    Looks like they tried copying the engine but put it in a mirror
    MrBultaco, MaxPete and jetmechmarty like this.
  17. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    MaxPete likes this.
  18. motormike

    motormike XS650 Junkie XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Royal Meteor .jpg Screen shot from a online vid about the new RE Meteor.. I swear the muff's came off a 500 one lung Bullet. As for being from " India ".. I have a 500 Bullet... FI, kick and electric start.... same basic design for 80 years ?...
    I would not have purchased one before 2009.. they were pretty much the same old tired Brit.... but then.. deep pockets got the factory upgraded… new machines.. manufacturing tools and they made a leap into the 21st century. It starts.. runs, doesn't leak.... Have you noticed.... the Himalaya …. great bike.. a buddy got one.. first year..nearly 10,000 miles ..." Itchy Boots " on Utube…daily reports.... did from India to her home in Holland.. now.. at tip of S/America.. headed to Fairbanks... how often do you see a used Himmy for sale on eBay..? Our local RE dealer offers the S and S exhaust.. does sound great...
    madmax-im likes this.
  19. madmax-im

    madmax-im Yamaha...Go your own way... XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    RE has been in business 100 yrs..you don't survive that long without doing something right...I would have no qualms personally in buying one.
  20. 59Tebo

    59Tebo 59Tebo Top Contributor

    Engine parts, exhaust parts... how long before somebody comes out with a hard-tail? King & Queen seat? Springer forks? Ape hangers? If they could do it to the likes of Triumph, Norton, and BSA, and our beloved Xs, why not the Royal Enfield? :umm:
    Jim and MaxPete like this.

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