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Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Salt Racer breaks class land speed record at Speed Week

The Mid Life Cycles Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Salt Racer has smashed the class record at the annual Speed Week run at Lake Gairdner, South Australia.

Ridden by first-time salt racer Charlie Hallam, the Interceptor 650 Twin nicknamed SABRE broke the four-year-old class record on each of its runs, leaving the new mark at 132.050 MPH (212.514 km/h)

The Interceptor 650 was entered in Class M-F 650, for 650cc un-streamlined motorcycles running commercial unleaded fuel. The old record of 119.961MPH (193.059 km/h) was set at Lake Gairdner in 2016. Charlie Hallam broke the record on Day One of Speed Week (Monday 8 March 2021), with his first run at 121.782 MPH (195.989 km/h). He backed that up with a 123.601 MPH (198.917 km/h) pass, for a provisional record of 122.691 MPH (197.452 km/h).

On the morning of Day Two, Charlie and the Interceptor 650 ran 128.935 MPH (207.501 km/h) and 130.204 MPH (209.543 km/h) for a new provisional record of 129.570 MPH (208.523 km/h). The Geelong-based HRA team, headed by experienced salt racers Andrew and Kate Hallam, thought this was an extraordinary result for a 650cc single-cam, air-cooled Twin, but Charlie believed there was a little more to come.

That afternoon, the Interceptor ran 130.370 MPH (209.810 km/h) and was then impounded overnight until it could do a back-up run the next morning. This run, under increasingly stormy skies, saw a stunning 133.779 MPH (215.296 km/h) top speed, for a new record of 132.050 MPH (212.514 km/h).

For Mid Life Cycles, the trouble-free record passes by the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 reinforced the confidence the team has in the Royal Enfield 650 Twin engine package and traditional twin-loop steel frame that was carried over from the road bike to the racer, with minimal modifications allowed under the class rules.

For the DLRA, Speed Week 2021 was a triumph, run with precision and good humour by a dedicated band who kept their enthusiasm alive through all of 2020 and the state border snap lockdowns of recent months.

Even after a successful opening two days, this year’s event threw up further challenges with a storm sweeping across Lake Gairdner on Day Three (Wednesday), causing the eventual closure of Speed Week ahead of schedule as the lake surface proved unsafe for high-speed passes after subsequent heavy overnight rain.

The Mid Life Cycles Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Twin salt racer was developed for competition by HRA Geelong (Andrew Hallam) and Hallam Cycle Works (Charlie Hallam). The team modified a 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 frame, engine and ancillaries to meet the specifications for entry to Class M-F 650 – the Class Record currently standing at 119.961 MPH (193.059 km/h)

The engine has been developed as a test bed for performance parts and ancillaries that are available to Mid Life Cycles customers who want the ultimate road-going Royal Enfield 650cc Twin.

Cylinder Head: Significantly modified in the combustion chamber and ports. Valves taken out to maximum Ø of insert – inlet 1.5mm o/s head with standard exhaust. Valves are HRA Custom 6.5mm stems.
Camshaft: Ground from HRA Competition Profile 1286 Racing Camshaft Master. Has 106.25° inlet lobe centre and 103.5° exhaust lobe centre.
Throttle Body: Radiused thru to butterfly. Resulting butterfly remains at 34mm. Behind butterfly, choke sections have enlarged to 34mm. Inlet manifold has been matched/ported to suit.
Pistons: 11:1 forged pistons with standard swept volume of 648cc.
Conrods: Polished and shot peened.
Crankshaft balanced and standard balancing counterweight removed.
Gearbox extensively modified to reduce friction.
Fuel: 98 RON Fuel blended with other compounds for performance.

Ohlins Suspension
Modified and lightened alloy wheels
Pirelli Diablo Slicks front and rear
Custom swingarm lengthened by class-maximum 130mm
Custom-made front and rear sprockets, increasing gear ratio up to 40% from standard
Sabre was built during Royal Enfield’s “Busted Knuckles Build-Off” in 2019. A crowd favourite, Sabre was ready to take to the Salt Flats, but the dream was cut short to due to Covid-19. Royal Enfield is extremely proud of this result as it is a testament to the 650 Twin platform, and showcases the flexibility and capability of the Interceptor 650.