Thursday, November 11, 2021

Here's the Royal Enfield INT 650 you wanted all along

Customized Royal Enfield INT 650.
Baxter Cycle brought the 2022 Royal Enfield INT 650 closer to the 1969 Interceptor.

 It's accurate to say the sight stopped me in my tracks, even though I was cruising the Internet, not riding my Royal Enfield.

 Here was a 2022 Royal Enfield INT 650, lightly customized to better resemble an original Royal Enfield Interceptor of 1969.


"This is what you wanted in the first place!" I nearly yelled. (Except I don't yell at the Internet; not much anyway.)

There's no question that Royal Enfield builds the INT 650 twin to remind riders of the glory days. In fact, outside the U.S. (where the name has been taken by Honda) "Interceptor" is the name Royal Enfield uses for the INT 650.

The custom look-alike INT 650 is the work of Baxter Cycle, of Marne, Iowa, where it is for sale, very slightly used, with time remaining on its warranty.

1969 Royal Enfield Interceptor.
Baxter's Jeremy Pendergast owns this 1969 Royal Enfield Interceptor.

Baxter's general manager is Jeremy Pendergast, himself the proud owner of an original 1969 Royal Enfield Interceptor.

Jeremy and his 1969 Interceptor co-star in the Royal Enfield video "Interceptor INT 650 Story," comparing his 1969 bike to a new Royal Enfield INT 650.

Watch the YouTube video of Jeremy and his 1969 Interceptor as they take on another rider on a new INT 650 on the roads of coastal California. You'll have a hard time telling which bike is half a century old.

2022 Royal Enfield INT 650.
2022 Royal Enfield INT 650 already looked great. But...

The Royal Enfield INT 650 already looks a lot like the mighty Interceptor of my youth. Now Baxter Cycle has closed much of the visual gap that still remained.

2022 Royal Enfield INT 650 custom.
2022 Royal Enfield INT custom goes for the glimmer.

How did this happen? I asked Jeremy.

"Here's the story," he responded.  "A good customer and friend of ours (Jim Crist) saw the video of my '69 Interceptor and wanted something similar, but that could be used daily. The allure of electric start and fuel injection made him consider a new 650.

"However, he really wanted the look of the older one, so when the new '22s were released with their chrome/red Mark 2 livery, we knew it would be a perfect base to start with.

"We first removed the large plastic tank badges and replaced them with period-correct vinyl logo decals. We also installed polished stainless steel fenders from Hitchcock's to more closely emulate the chrome fenders of the '69 and '70 models. 

Close-up of custom 2022 INT 650 tank.
1969-'70 period-correct decals on 2022 INT 650 tank.

"Additionally, we chromed a few extra pieces to more closely match the originals (the front fender brace and rear grab bar). We then added some black anodized fork ears and smaller black turn signals, and installed a black tail lamp housing.

"We also ditched the stock 'Mickey Mouse' chrome mirrors to the optically superior and visually less obvious Royal Enfield Touring Mirrors. 

"To cap it off, we installed the much more comfortable Royal Enfield touring seat.  

Close-up of tail of custom 2022 INT 650.
Shiny fender and grab bar, black tailpiece and turn signals, touring seat.

"Overall, a very mild custom with a dramatic effect."

I'll say. See if you agree. Compare the photos of Jeremy's 1969 Interceptor to the look-alike INT 650 Baxter has for sale. And watch the video. It will light your fire.


  1. Always wonder where they find these roads with no traffic.

  2. Marne, Iowa (home of Baxter Cycle) is off US Route 71 south of Interstate 80. There is no traffic as it is all farmland and wilderness. I went to college in Storm Lake, straight north on 71. It is a beautiful area with fond memories of pheasant hunting and fishing. And now with an RE under you; you can blast along on those roads just like int he ads.


Follow royalenfields on Twitter