Cruiser’s 2019 Bike of The Year, The Royal Enfield INT650

This retro standard has performance, refinement, and a sweet price tag.

The easy on the eyes, easy to ride, and easy to own 2019 Royal Enfield INT650 is our Bike of the Year for 2019.
The easy on the eyes, easy to ride, and easy to own 2019 Royal Enfield INT650 is our Bike of the Year for 2019.Jeff Allen

With cruiser-style machines in somewhat short supply for the 2019 model year, we decided to open our eyes to the larger trends on the streets for our bike(s) of the year: retro standards. And in 2019, there were a couple of wallflowers that really caught our eye—Triumph’s retooled 2019 Street Twin and the 2019 Royal Enfield INT650.

Equally adept on the boulevards as it is blasting around on back roads, the sub-$6,000 INT650 is a bike for all riders.
Equally adept on the boulevards as it is blasting around on back roads, the sub-$6,000 INT650 is a bike for all riders.Jeff Allen

Triumph made some serious upgrades to its entry-level Bonnie last year, with more horsepower, better brakes, and fresh suspension being just some of the goodies piled onto what was already a package we loved the first time around, but Enfield’s 650cc parallel-twin platform was all-new, birthing two models for 2019—the INT650 and Continental GT 650, both imbued with classic styling, versatility, and performance and for under $6,000. We chose the INT650 for its relaxed ergos and universal appeal, tapping it not as 2019 Cruiser of the Year, but as our 2019 Bike of the Year because, well, it’s not really a cruiser, it’s a standard. And no, it won’t necessarily make your eyes pop at first sight, but because it’s a reliable, easy-to-ride, and an even easier-to-own motorcycle, it’ll appeal to all riders across all styles and boundaries, no matter their preconceptions. Let’s just say we were more than pleasantly surprised when we first rode it. As Editor Morgan Gales mentioned in his review, “This bike does everything pretty darn well, and we really think it has the potential to jump over to European and American markets. From what we have seen already…people want to ride these bikes!”

It also represents Royal Enfield’s big move on the US market, and we have a feeling there’s more good stuff to come from RE in 2020. In fact, we’re counting on 2020 to be a stellar year for new designs overall (looking at you, BMW R18!) with lots of radical new rigs to argue over for our next Bike of the Year.

Retro touches include a classic tank with knee cutouts and a couple of timeless badges.
Retro touches include a classic tank with knee cutouts and a couple of timeless badges.Jeff Allen
Easy ergos for tall or short riders, an appealing retro-flavored style, and solid build quality are just some of the things that make the INT650 greater than the sum of its parts.
Easy ergos for tall or short riders, an appealing retro-flavored style, and solid build quality are just some of the things that make the INT650 greater than the sum of its parts.Royal Enfield
Triumph’s revamped Street Twin for 2019 also got a good chunk of our attention for its overall improvements, but the Enfield’s fresh take on the category won out.
Triumph’s revamped Street Twin for 2019 also got a good chunk of our attention for its overall improvements, but the Enfield’s fresh take on the category won out.Triumph Motorcycles