Here it is, the all-new Royal Enfield Shotgun 650. In this special test, we head to Los Angeles, California, to review the bike in urban traffic and on amazing mountain roads... Photos: Royal Enfield

In December I flew to Downtown Los Angeles for the launch of the Royal Enfield Shotgun 650, the fourth 650 Twin model, joining the Continental GT, Interceptor and Super Meteor. It was an epic ride of mountain roads and urban fun. Here’s our Shotgun 650 test. 

Available from Q1 2024, the Shotgun 650 will be LAMS approved, like the other 650 Twins. It will arrive in Stencil White, Plasma Blue, Green Drill and Sheetmetal Grey with pricing TBA.

Available from Q1 2024, the Shotgun 650 will be LAMS approved, like the other 650 Twins. It will arrive in Stencil White, Plasma Blue, Green Drill and Sheetmetal Grey with pricing TBA.

I am in sunny Los Angeles, California, for the launch of the all-new Royal Enfield Shotgun 650. The last time I was here in the States was for the Interceptor and Continental GT 650 launch, way back in 2018, out of Santa Cruz. Those first Royal Enfield twin-cylinder engines and the 650s blew us all away, with both models going on the be global best sellers, and rightly so…


Check out our Shotgun 650 Launch Gallery & Tech Talk here...


Fast forward four years and Simon Harris attended the Super Meteor 650 launch, held in India, followed up by the Aussie launch, which yours truly went to on the Great Ocean Road. So, the next step for Royal Enfield? Was it going to be a scrambler? A bobber? An adventure 650? We really didn’t know. As it turns out, it’s a bobber, but after riding it, I rate it as far more than that – more like a nakedbike to be honest, thanks to its fantastic handling. The Shotgun blurs the cruiser lines…

It may be a cruiser, but the Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 handles more like a nakedbike, and a good one!

It may be a cruiser, but the Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 handles more like a nakedbike, and a good one!

Dubbed by RE as a blank canvas for the customiser, it’s powered by the same 650cc engine as the others. The internals are unchanged including the gearbox ratios, fuel injection system and ignition. The final gearing is even the same as the Super Meteor (thought the rolling size of the rear wheel would be larger, therefore longer gearing). The frame is also the same as the Super Meteor, but from that point, the rest of the parts that make up the Shotgun are unique to the model, including the all-metal bodywork (yes, the panels and even guards are steel, as demanded by the Indian market).



It features 18in front and 17in cast alloy wheels (120 F and 150 R), ByBre brakes (single front and rear rotors), SHOWA SFF forks that are non-adjustable, and revised re-tuned twin preload adjustable SHOWA shocks are also featured. It comes in a wide range of colours and there are loads of accessories available for those that want to add some individuality to their ride… But for the full info, check out the breakout below…



THE RIDE

Heading off from our starting point in Downtown Los Angeles, I immediately notice that the Shotgun has that similar low-speed balance and nimbleness as the Super Meteor, being quick initial steering, making it a gem in traffic and slow stuff.


“Really slow speed lane filtering is a breeze, and I can almost come to a complete stop before feeling the urge to place a foot down as we negotiate the busy peak-hour traffic”.


Really slow speed lane filtering is a breeze, and I can almost come to a complete stop before feeling the urge to place a foot down as we negotiate the busy peak-hour LA traffic. It’s a gem in town, the low seat height and C of G help greatly. Fuelling is smooth and the bike is vibe free.

Riding the Shotgun through Downtown LA.

Riding the Shotgun through Downtown LA. It was a cool experience on a cool bike. Yes, I was singing LA Woman…

We hit the motorway for a while, and lane filter at 50 to 60km/h for half an hour or more (I love the way the American drivers move for bikes, letting us through. I wish Aussie drivers would offer the same courtesy). As traffic frees up a little and we can cruise on 110km/h, the Shotgun 650 remains comfortable and the twin is not working hard at all…



Town and highway upright manoeuvrability is spot-on, yet as the pace increases, the quick initial turn remains but lean from upright to ‘pegs on the deck is very progressive and there is no sudden fall, nor is there any sign of stand-up over bumps or while braking mid-turn. It’s got a beautiful, sweet chassis and geometry. Very stable, too, no high -speed weave like on the Interceptor and Continental GT.

"I immediately notice that the Shotgun has that same low-speed balance and nimbleness as the other 650 Twins"...

“I immediately notice that the Shotgun has that same low-speed balance and nimbleness as the other 650 Twins”…

Suspension both ends is on the firm side for a cruiser. I’d say on the sportier side. I can’t believe I’m saying ‘sportier’ and ‘cruiser’ but the Shotgun does blur that line between sports naked and cruiser. I’d say it is up there with the best of the handling cruiser segment bikes, if not at the top of the pile.



The rear does not bottom out at all, despite my 95kg and hitting high-speed bumps, while the SHOWA forks are spring and valved just right for a balance between hard riding fun and comfort. Plenty of support when you want to have a crack, but lots of bump absorption when you want to chill out…

"The seating position, for me at 187cm, is very comfortable. Knee flex is close to a neat 90 degrees, the reach to the alloy handlebars is spot-on"...

Where better to launch a cool bike like the Shotgun than Los Angeles. We had a blast hooning around doing the shoots.

As we get into it chasing the lead rider from the Indian test ride team (they are all so bloody fast), a big surprise for me are the CEAT tyres. I forget they are on the bike as I throw the Shotgun at turns pretty much as hard as I can, through what is the best twisty road I have ever ridden on in my life. The CEAT hoops do not budge, and I’m braking hard to the apex at times. It’s dry, so I can say they are really good in the dry…

Reaching a limit with the speed we can get through the Angeles Crest Highway over the San Gabriel Mountains, ground clearance is the limiting factor, as expected. But that is the price for leg room and comfort. I’m touching the footpegs down regularly, but this is a chassis that will allow for quick cornering and minimal lean angle. We are having a go, and I would not want to push the Shotgun much further over anyway. It certainly has plenty of clearance in cruiser terms…

Chasing Paul from BRNZ through the Canyons.

Chasing Paul from BRNZ and our Indian lead rider through the Canyons.

The brakes are good for a single-disc front set-up. I always feel the 650 Twins range could do with a second front rotor, however, one is sufficient. The rear brake is oversized and very powerful, appealing to the Indian market, which generally still favours rear brake over front among the masses, anyway There is plenty of good feel and modulation at the front lever and the ABS works well.



Up the back, the rear is a tad sensitive and overpowering at first. I tend to burn up a lot of rear brake when cornering, so my bike’s rear brake improves as the day goes on. Around town, the rear brake is fantastic and helps control the bike. It’s a very unintimidating braking package that will be great for new riders along with the experienced among us.

The Shotgun 650 handles well enough to give those after some cornering thrills, and more experienced riders, enough of a buzz between cruising and commuting.

The Shotgun 650 handles well enough to give those after some cornering thrills, and more experienced riders, enough of a buzz between cruising and commuting.

The seating position, for me at 187cm, is very comfortable. Knee flex is close to a neat 90 degrees, the reach to the alloy handlebars is spot-on, the controls fall to hand well and the levers include span adjustability, the switchgear is all easy to use.

DigiAnalog dash, Tripper navigation.

DigiAnalog dash, Tripper navigation. Easy to read at a glance, even when under bright sunlight, and easy to navigate.

The dash easy to read and to navigate and the mirrors (my bike has accessory billet ‘bar-end mirrors) are well positioned. I do snag my shins on the footpegs a few times when stopping and starting in traffic, until I get used to where they are.

The seat is well shaped and looks cool, it was comfortable for the first 45m to one hour, but from that point it did get a little uncomfortable for me personally. There is no room to move around on the seat, which is strange at first, but I get used to it. The Shotgun is a solo machine, but there is an accessory pillion seat that doubles as a luggage rack, which is a cool idea.

Cruising is no issue; the Shotgun 650 will sit on 110km/h all day long with ample on tap to overtake.

Cruising is no issue; the Shotgun 650 will sit on 110km/h all day long with ample on tap to overtake.

Engine performance? You don’t feel the brisk acceleration and torque like you do on a Continental GT or Interceptor. Like is the case with the Super Meteor, additional weight does become noticeable here. The Shotgun weighs in at a substantial 240kg wet, and we are in high altitude at times, so there are points where I’m holding it at WOT and it won’t pull sixth gear. Lower down on the flat ground, I manage to wind it out to an indicated 160km/h, allegedly, the same top speed as the other 650 Twins.


“Lower down on the flat ground, I manage to wind it out to an indicated 160km/h, allegedly, the same top speed as the other 650 Twins”…


Cruising is no issue; the Shotgun 650 will sit on 110km/h all day long with ample on tap to overtake. Around town, there is plenty of go off the lights and the 40km/h to 80km/h range is fun and the Shotgun seems to have acceleration on tap anywhere in any gear between those speeds, and it sounds pretty good too at the lower speeds, but as soon as some wind noise comes in the exhaust and intake are drowned out. A more open set of pipes would be on my list!

"In fact, I reckon it out-handles my own Interceptor 650 to be honest"...

“In fact, I reckon it out-handles my own Interceptor 650 to be honest”…

The clutch is light in action, but take-up is in the very last 5mm on my press unit, which is a bit tiring riding that friction point in the heavy LA traffic. The gearbox action/shift is silky smooth, both up and down, and the gear-lever is in a comfortable position for my size 12 boots. With a slipper clutch, clicking down the ‘box into turns means there is no rear wheel hop, and I found I can carry good entry speed on the Shotgun, for a cruiser!


“Overall, I’m highly impressed by the Royal Enfield Shotgun 650. To me, it feels the most refined of the 650 Twins yet”…


Overall, I’m highly impressed by the Royal Enfield Shotgun 650. To me, it feels the most refined of the 650 Twins yet. It is smooth, comfortable, has fabulous suspension and friendly confidence-inspiring geometry. The ergonomics work for me and should work for a wide range of shapes and sizes. I just know it turned a lot of heads in LA, and it put a smile on my face. In fact, I reckon it out-handles my own Interceptor 650 to be honest…

We will get a Shotgun 650 on test in the coming months and see how it fares on bumpy Aussie roads with a full two-week road test…


A CUSTOM COMEBACK?
Custom is making a comeback after the boom era of the early 2000s to mid 2010s withered away. We rode that wave, publishing hardcore custom performance magazine Rapid Bikes, the top custom bike mag globally for almost 15-years. Back then, we would never imagine a manufacturer embracing customising a motorcycle… We then founded Retrobike Magazine, still going today and more about the cafe racer and retro custom scene, which is finally starting to take off.



Seeing manufacturers like Royal Enfield embracing this scene is brilliant, and we witnessed it in Los Angeles at the launch of the Shotgun. It gives hope to the future of custom motorcycles, which have been slowly pushed away thanks to increased police attention, EPA laws and sadly these days fines for venturing outside of OEM… With LAMS approved bikes, and OEM accessories, that may soon change.

 

TECH TALK, ROYAL ENFIELD SHOTGUN 650

Aside from the engine, frame and swingarm, the Shotgun is all-new from the ground up. Stamped as a Bobber, it is far more than that, and highly customisable too should you choose to go down that road. There will be loads of genuine accessories available as well as merch and cool RE riding gear.


Built on Royal Enfield’s globally proven 650-Twin platform, the Shotgun 650 is a tribute to the culture of customisation and a new chapter in design for Royal Enfield with an exciting vision of the future…


Royal Enfield are doing numerous collaborations with custom bike builders globally, so expect to see some pretty wild machines out there and lots of aftermarket accessories too once the Shotgun gains popularity. There were some stunning examples on show at the launch party held at BikeShedMoto LA

Available from this quarter, the Shotgun 650 will be LAMS approved, like the other 650 Twins. It will arrive in Stencil White, Plasma Blue, Green Drill and Sheetmetal Grey with pricing TBA.

The Shotgun will be available in Australia in Q1 2024. If pricing of the Himalayan is anything to go buy, it should come in pretty sharply.

The Shotgun will be in Australia in Q1. If pricing of the Himalayan is anything to go buy, it should come in pretty sharply.

Sid Lal, Managing Director & CEO of Eicher Motors Ltd, “The Shotgun 650 is inspired by the work of our custom community and our years of work with them. It is a retro-futuristic interpretation of what a factory custom motorcycle with thoroughbred Royal Enfield DNA would look like. The Shotgun 650 is something absolutely new and different. It is super fun to ride with confidence inspiring ride ergonomics and handles well in downtown city streets, through twisties and powers through straight highways. The Shotgun 650 is our attempt to bring niche and newer categories”.


“The Shotgun 650 is our attempt to bring niche and newer categories”… Sid Lal


Built on Royal Enfield’s globally proven 650-Twin platform, the Shotgun 650 is a tribute to the culture of customisation and a new chapter in design for Royal Enfield with an exciting vision of the future. With its retro-futuristic design the Shotgun 650 pays homage to its precursor, the SG650 Concept – showcased at EICMA 2021- and celebrates creativity, acting as a blank canvas for customisation and personalisation for thousands of riders across the world.

“The SG650 Concept is the result of a challenge set to Royal Enfield’s Industrial Design Team by Mark Wells.”

B Govindarajan, CEO – Royal Enfield, “The Shotgun 650 is a very unique motorcycle within our portfolio, but at its heart is the same Royal Enfield pure motorcycling DNA. The 648cc parallel twin engine that powers this machine is a characterful and versatile platform that is capable of adapting to any kind of riding form and format. On the new mould-breaking Shotgun 650, this engine fuels an extremely engaging and joyful ride with power for real world usage, strong mid-ranges and with ample torque across the board. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed creating and riding the Shotgun 650, and are super happy to present this to the world of motorcycle expressionists”.


“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed creating and riding the Shotgun 650, and are super happy to present this to the world of motorcycle expressionists”… B Govindarajan


Royal Enfield say the Shotgun’s all new bodywork and stance is a blank canvas, defying traditional categorisation of motorcycling and taking on a personality of its rider. Its modular design enables it to switch between three modes—from single seater to double seater to luggage-carrying tourer, with ease. With the twist of a key, the pillion seat pops off, offering ultimate flexibility.

"We’ve thoroughly enjoyed creating and riding the Shotgun 650, and are super happy to present this to the world of motorcycle expressionists”.

“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed creating and riding the Shotgun 650, and are super happy to present this to the world of motorcycle expressionists”.

Mark Wells, Chief of Design, “The story of Royal Enfield is one of customisation. Our customers have been taking our motorcycles and personalising them for decades. Looking to that rich creative culture for inspiration, we unleashed our designers to ideate in that same spirit of unfettered imagination. The resulting design is both fresh and respectful of our heritage and a future vision of what a custom Royal Enfield could look like years down the road”.


“The resulting design is both fresh and respectful of our heritage and a future vision of what a custom Royal Enfield could look like years down the road”… Mark Wells


With the globally award-winning 650 Twin platform at its core, the Shotgun 650 is loaded with a double barrel of fun. It is ergonomically optimised, with mid-set foot position, a low 795mm seat height and an intuitive handlebar position that give the rider a commanding sense of presence and control, while the floating single seat is both retro and modern at the same time.



The Shotgun’s specially tuned suspension with 43mm Separate Function Big Piston SHOWA forks on the front, twin tube 5-step preload adjust RSU shocks at the back, 1465mm wheelbase and a low centre of gravity come together designed to make riding in traffic, on highways and down twisty back roads equally fun, without compromising on comfort. It features cast alloy 18in front and 17in rear wheels with tubeless tyres, combined with 320mm front and 300mm rear disc brakes and ABS.


18in front and 17in rear wheels with tubeless tyres, combined with 320mm front and 300mm rear disc brakes and ABS.


An LED headlight is featured. The Shotgun has a digi-analogue instrument cluster, which comes equipped with the Tripper navigation system and is designed to deliver all the information you need as you head out. The Shotgun 650 also comes with the newly launched Royal Enfield Wingman – a new, in-app feature that keeps you updated on the motorcycle’s live location, fuel and engine oil levels, service reminders and more, all with the touch of a button. It also features a USB charging port to keep your devices charged on the go.



Carrying through with the concept of customisation and personalisation, a diverse range of 31 Genuine Motorcycle Accessories will be available for the Shotgun 650. Designed to further highlight the aesthetic appeal of custom culture, ‘bar end mirrors, a sculpted solo seat and contrast-cut billet rims, to name a few, are available. Also, customisation is inseparable from lifestyle and so to compliment the spirit of the Shotgun 650 a range of apparel has been developed.

2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 Specifications

royalenfield.com.au

Price: TBC
Warranty: 3 year factory warranty & 3 year roadside assistance
Colours: Stencil White, Plasma Blue, Green Drill, Sheetmetal Grey
Claimed power: 35kW [47hp]@7250rpm
Claimed torque: 52Nm [38ft-lbs]@5650rpm
Weight: 240kg wet
Fuel capacity: 13.8L
Fuel Consumption Claimed: 22km/L
Fuel Consumption (measured): N/A


Engine: SOHC air and oil-cooled 648cc parallel twin four-stroke, eight-valve, 78mm x 67.8mm bore x stroke, 9.5:1 compression, 270º firing order crankshaft, Bosch EMS/EFI
Gearbox: Six-speed constant mesh Clutch: Wet multi-plate slipper clutch, cable actuation


Frame: Steel tubular spine frame
Rake: 25.3º Trail: 101.4mm
Suspension: 43mm Upside Down SHOWA BPSF forks, 120mm travel, non-adjustable, twin SHOWA Shocks, 90mm travel, preload adjustable.
Brakes: 320mm disc, twin piston floating caliper (f), ABS, two-piston, 300mm rotor, twin piston floating caliper (r) Wheels: Cast alloy. Tyres: 100/90 – 18 CEAT (f) 150/70 – 17 CEAT (r)


Dimensions:
Wheelbase: 1465mm
Seat height: 795mm
Ground clearance: 140mm
Overall width: 820mm
Overall Length: 2170mm
Overall height: 1105mm


Instruments & electronics: Dual clocks, tacho, speedo, dual trip, warning lights/fuel.
Electronics: Bosch Two-Channel ABS, Bosch EMS, USB point, LED headlight, LED taillight



2024 ROYAL ENFIELD SHOTGUN 650 REVIEW GALLERY


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