The third of the successful 650 twins has been launched in colourful style and celebration in western India. Say G'day to the Super Meteor 650... Photography: Tom Fossati and Matthew Hayman

“Fancy a trip to India for a Royal Enfield launch, mate?” Typical Jeff, casually understating what is obviously a big thing. After hearing not even half the stories of recent launches for the Indian mega-manufacturer, I was champing at the bit as I fumbled “yes please!”.

We sent Simon off to India for the world launch of the all-new Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650!

We sent Simon off to India for the world launch of the all-new Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650!


Check out our Hunter 350 launch report here…


As details came through and I understood the bike to be a new midweight street cruiser with the 650cc twin at its core, I started getting excited. I had ridden Jeff’s Interceptor 650 a couple of times and it is a simple but more importantly simply lovely bike to ride.

We got flown out to India without even knowing what the bike looked like! Completely blind is the best was to approach an all-new machine...

We got flown out to India without even knowing what the bike looked like! Completely blind is the best was to approach an all-new machine…

That motor is pretty sweet I thought, however, the new Super Meteor 650 was going to be a surprise for the world! We had a small peak at the bike during RE’s ECIMA 2022 presentation, but they hadn’t actually told anyone what the bike was when the invite came through, just that it was a 650 and it was a cruiser. I thought I’d let the bike be a little surprise for me when I land in India so I can form opinions based directly off what’s in front of me.



It’s not easy to see Delhi from the air until the plane punctures the heavy duvet of smog covering it. Once in, the hustle and bustle of the city is palpable to several senses – it’s a metropolis teeming with people and vehicles. I met up with a few of the press crew that had already arrived for a beer and chat before a very late night supper then an exhausted yet sleepless night.



Next morning, a crew of assorted and bedraggled bike press headed back to airport for a 90 minute flight to Jaisalmer, where the launch was to begin. Jaisalmer is a fort town and former residential palace of the Bahti Rajput royal family, located in Rajasthan in the dry western part of the country. We arrived by bus at the hotel to be greeted by musicians, a shower of fresh rose petals and a brigade of 650 Super Meteors in the carpark. “So this is what it looks like in person…”

The first time journos from around the globe out a peak at the all-new Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650...

The first time journos from around the globe got a peak at the all-new Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650…

The rows of gleaming bikes revealed several options for seat, handlebars, screen and colours. A quick walkaround reveals some impressive changes over other RE 650 models. The forks slap the face as they are chunky Showa USD fork units that look very solid and are new to the model line-up.



The rear brakes are an upgrade over the Interceptor and Continental. A choice most likely based on the weight – when I heard 240kg, I wondered where on earth they had put it because it does not look that heavy. The switch blocks are nice little aluminium castings, with many feature castings around the headlight and handlebars that present a look and feel of being long-lasting and well made.



The tank is nicely shaped and has that typical teardrop style that makes it so easy to adapt to the cruiser and bobber styles. While some of the differences between the different trims on hand are not significant, the overall aesthetics of the bike changed noticeably from. Span adjustment is available at both levers, which is a nice touch for shorter fingered riders. The gear change allows for heel as well as toe shifting.

Typical of Royal Enfield, the Super Meteor 650 has plenty of different trims to suit a wide range of aesthetic preferences.

Typical of Royal Enfield, the Super Meteor 650 has plenty of different trims to suit a wide range of aesthetic preferences.

Despite the mass, swing a leg over the Super Meteor and lift her up, I swear, a large chunk of the weight seems to vanish. The seat height will be comfy for most too, further disguising weight, with a nice feel under the bum, ‘bars and feet plantation.

Royal Enfield have always hit the nail on the head when it comes to paint quality, the Super Meteor is no different.

Royal Enfield have always hit the nail on the head when it comes to paint quality, the Super Meteor is no different.

The paint is well applied and the chrome thick and lustrous – this is a premium model for Royal Enfield, although perhaps too large and too expensive for big sales in the local Indian market, it is set to further cement the brand in many overseas markets.


RatedR Parts

You can envisage Royal Enfield becoming a much longer-term brand commitment for riders as its model range will help traverse newcomers to a broadening scope of riding lifestyle options without having to change manufacturer.


“As you probably know, Royal Enfield is not strictly about spec sheets, rider aids and engine performance numbers… The rider experience comes first along with a remarkable heritage.”


Much needed beer drinking at the hotel oasis was interrupted by a stylish tech session, featuring a number of Royal Enfield’s top brass to give us an overview of the company, the Super Meteor 650 and the R&D behind it. Turns out that RE has major high-tech facilities for design and development in Spain, the UK (including Harris Performance for chassis development) and in India.



As you probably know, Royal Enfield is not strictly about spec sheets, rider aids and engine performance numbers. In fact, those things are perhaps toward the bottom of the list – the rider experience comes first along with a remarkable heritage.

There are few brands that have such a sense of national pride with their brand that match Royal Enfield, it's part of the reason they're such a big brand worldwide.

There are few companies that have such a sense of national pride with a brand that match Royal Enfield, it’s part of the reason they’re such a big hitter worldwide.

There is an excitement that you can feel in the company personnel when they talk about the company that is backed by huge national pride and the many, many smiles and waves we were getting from young and old, male and female alike – it’s quite amazing. During the session, we learnt about the 120 plus years of company history and how it has released many notable models over many decades, with the Super Meteor 650 the next leaf in Royal Enfield’s long and illustrious story.



Next day, the first ride is first gear only into and out from the main thoroughfare of the 900 year old Jaisalmer fort to take photos – an idea courtesy of Phil from Just Bikes that entailed desperately trying to dodge people and animals and carts and other bikes over the slippery cobblestones. It is certainly a spectacular place for pictures that also gave a glimpse into the colourful nature of India and what riding here may be like.

Escaping the hustle and bustle of a medieval city, Simon got a chance to check out the Super Meteor's touring capabilities in desolate wonderland.

Escaping the hustle and bustle of a medieval city, Simon got a chance to check out the Super Meteor’s touring capabilities in desolate wonderland.

Later in the hot afternoon sun we headed out as a group to sample the bikes proper and visit some of the sights that are hidden amongst the sand and rock. The ride out is progressive and quite sedate, so we could all get a hang for the bikes.



The engine feels as nice as we were all anticipating, with a decent burble mixed with smooth, hearty torque. There have been no real changes to the 648cc parallel twin air/oil cooled powerplant as its current specification ticks the boxes for a confluence of relaxedness, accessible torque, and a nice surge as the revs pickup.

"There have been no real changes to the 648cc parallel twin air/oil cooled powerplant as its current specification ticks the boxes for a confluence of relaxedness, accessible torque, and a nice surge as the revs pickup."

“There have been no real changes to the 648cc parallel twin air/oil cooled powerplant as its current specification ticks the boxes for a confluence of relaxedness, accessible torque, and a nice surge as the revs pickup.”

The cable operated clutch and 6-speed gearbox are light in operation, with minimal effort required to shift between ratios. Old fashioned throttle blipping as you shift down the ’box is a definite pleasantry. The whole bike is very forgiving of my more ham-fisted braking and manoeuvring speed humps in the toll plazas as we circumvented the boom gates with naughty school kid type glee.

The rideability and comfort boxes have a definite tick on them...

The rideability and comfort boxes have a definite tick on them. Old-school shifting and plenty of clutch feel!

A lengthy photo break is taken at another fort under restoration. We took to the one nearby kink in the road for the chance to take a few action pictures. Up, down then back again and again. The winter desert heat and the waiting began to take its toll ,soon the bikes were being redlined and spending more time on dirt than tarmac as delirium began taking hold.



Eventually, we got away and headed back to the hotel in the chill of darkness. As we rode, increasingly vigilant to the idea of a variety of animals also using the roads, there became a little time to reflect on the ride so far.


“The Super Meteor handles with a neutral feel, it’s nicely poised and well balanced when on the gas or brakes.”


The Super Meteor handles with a neutral feel, it’s nicely poised and well balanced when on the gas or brakes. Little effort is required to turn the motorcycle either, courtesy of the wide handlebars and relatively short wheelbase. The front suspension feels perhaps a little harsh in rougher sections, although in general it felt quite planted. It is, however, a fresh bike so a bit of running-in may be required in various areas.



The seat is roomy and quite comfortable over the five-hour stint on the screened tourer version I’m on. The Super Meteor is certainly not fatiguing to ride in the conditions. The roads we were traversing are B-roads as such and I was pleasantly surprised to find them actually okay.

Little effort is required to turn the motorcycle either, courtesy of the wide handlebar and relatively short wheelbase.

Little effort is required to turn the motorcycle either, courtesy of the wide handlebars and relatively short wheelbase.

The following day presented the major ride, which was to be about 300km eastward jaunt toward Khimsar. This was broken into several groups travelling at slightly different times. The roads here are quite different to previous in that they were mostly major dual carriageways that were smooth and offered tons of visibility ahead.

What a spectacular experience to be able to ride through a city like Jaisalmer, especially on a brand that has such a large amount of national pride...

What a spectacular experience to be able to ride through a city like Jaisalmer, especially on a brand that has such a large amount of national pride…

With little regard for road rules apart from collision avoidance it became time to see what the Super Meteor can do. I see a tad under 170 on the screened bike and perhaps 165 top speed for the naked in either fifth or sixth gear – not as fast as many, but it feels responsive, willing, good, sweet and nice.


GS Adv

We plan three stops on this journey, with each section becoming more frenetic than the previous. This ended culminating in absolutely flat-out sections of tomfoolery for miles on end with cows and goats being the major elements of surprise.



The bike is comfortable at highway speeds, the suspension starts making more sense as higher speeds are reached. The USD and twin shock rear suspension seems quite capable of easily absorbing the Indian roads, seemingly without getting out of shape. I feel that the touring screen produces an element of wallow on a few of the not so frequent highway sweepers. As testament to the solidity of the chassis and the reassurance it imbued, we ended up launching the bike off the rather ramp like “speed breakers” and getting actual air at times.

Here, on the highway, the Super Meteor 650 shined and is more than capable of long distance 140km/h touring, no sweat.

Here, on the highway, the Super Meteor 650 shined and is more than capable of long distance 140km/h touring.

It is easy to become comfortable, enamoured and confident with the Super Meteor, soon everyone started to really have fun. As the high-speed stints increased in velocity, frequency and duration, the wind pressure against the soles of my boots is becoming tiring to fight against. Although a minor complaint, this could be alleviated by bringing the footpegs a little bit closer and the gear lever closer also or made adjustable, just so that people with shorter legs can be more comfortable.



I am buzzed if not sparkling, as most looked to be, at the end of the ride. As we eventually collected in the new hotel grounds, it is a treasured moment to see collective smiles and nods of approval and enjoyment from all around the globe for this lovely Indian motorcycle. Exactly as Royal Enfield planned.

"It was a treasured moment to see collective smiles and nods of approval and enjoyment from all around the globe for this lovely Indian motorcycle."

“It was a treasured moment to see collective smiles and nods of approval and enjoyment from all around the globe for this lovely Indian motorcycle.”

The embodiment for motorcycling in the eyes of Royal Enfield is a deeply intertwined connection between the art and joy of motorcycle riding with solid engineering combined with a simplicity of technique and execution that makes riding easy, affordable and enjoyable.



The Super Meteor 650 delivers the promise of controllable two-wheeled fun and thrills in a foot forward, easy-riding stance and tourable cruiser that offers gusto without intimidation. The heritage of the brand, its roots, style and the absolute backing that it has from people at all levels of the organisation is truly something to behold.


“The Super Meteor 650 delivers the promise of controllable two-wheeled fun and thrills in a foot forward, easy-riding stance and tourable cruiser that offers gusto without intimidation.”


I have to say that after conversations with several RE reps, including MD and CEO Sid Lal, that the spirit and effort that is being invested into Royal Enfield motorcycle manufacturing and design is genuinely heart-warming. Royal Enfield and India captured my heart, what a country, manufacturer and bike.

"Royal Enfield and India definitely captured my heart – what a country, manufacturer and bike."

“Royal Enfield and India definitely captured my heart – what a country, manufacturer and bike.”

Huge thanks to Royal Enfield and to Jeff for this opportunity and for the tireless support and patience of Tom, Matty and Ridhi, also for the company and friendship of all other participants during the launch.


Aprilia Q1


Tech Talk, 2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650

The Super Meteor 650 continues Royal Enfield’s heritage of building cruisers. It is centred around the award-winning 648cc twin platform that’s been rigorously tested and, since 2018, enjoyed worldwide acclaim within the multi-award-winning Interceptor INT 650 and Continental GT 650.  

Royal Enfield unveiled the new Super Meteor 650 at ECIMA 2023. Check out the latest creation from the historic brand...

Royal Enfield unveiled the new Super Meteor 650 at ECIMA 2023. Check out the latest creation from the historic brand…

The Super Meteor 650 is powered by the same first modern Royal Enfield 650 twin engine that is seen in the Continental/Interceptor 650. Created in the 2018, the platform is a single overhead cam, 8 valve, air/oil-cooled, 648cc parallel twin, producing 47bhp and 52Nm. The engine has a strong low and mid-range performance, retaining the Royal Enfield character of accessible torque through the rev range.



Also shared with the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, is the six speed gearbox, especially developed for Royal Enfield. The gearbox is augmented by it’s ‘slip/assist’ clutch, that facilitates easy riding in traffic with a light feel, and prevents wheel-hop when downshifting gears –  this was actually aa first for Royal Enfield back in 2018.



Created at the UK Technology Centre in conjunction with Harris Performance, the frame and swingarm are entirely new and meet the design brief of a motorcycle with a low centre of gravity for high-speed stability and easy manoeuvrability. Fabricated in steel with optimised forgings, investment castings, pressings and extrusions, the chassis incorporates a new cylinder head mount for additional stiffness. 

The new model is centred around the award-winning 648cc twin platform that’s been rigorously tested and, since 2018, enjoyed worldwide acclaim within the multi-award-winning Interceptor INT 650 and Continental GT 650.

Fabricated in steel with optimised forgings, investment castings, pressings and extrusions, the chassis incorporates a new cylinder head mount for additional stiffness. 

Royal Enfield’s first USD forks, with 120mm of travel, premium rear shocks with 5-step preload and 101mm travel, complement the new frame, ensuring the Super Meteor is both stable and rewarding to ride on the open road, yet does not suffer from heavy or wallowing steering through the curves.



The Super Meteor 650 has the dimensions of a cruiser, with a low stance and a narrow-waisted seat, which allows a comfortable stand over. The riding position is one of the key differentiators of any cruiser and the Super Meteor nails this with its feet-forward foot controls and raised wide handlebars. A large tank gives extended range and wide tubeless tyres on 16in rear and 19in front alloy rims provide dependability and peace of mind at highway speeds. 



The instrument cluster combines the classic feel of an analogue speedometer with the functionality of an LCD display for essentials such as revs, gear indicator, fuel gauge, clock and trip meter. Adjustable clutch and brake levers offer a smooth operation along, while ergonomically designed barrel profile grips integrate the Royal Enfield logo.

"A quintessential cruiser, Royal Enfield say the Super Meteor 650 combines uncluttered controls and instrumentation with relaxed rider ergonomics."

The Super Meteor’s paint finish is excellent while its distinctive tank badges, inspired by historic Royal Enfield designs, are faceted in chrome and accented with two colours of tinted infill

There is Royal Enfield’s celebrated TBT (Turn-By-Turn) navigation pod, known as the Royal Enfield Tripper. A first on any Indian-made motorcycle when introduced on the Meteor 350, this highly-focused tool, developed in collaboration with Google, links to the rider’s smartphone via Bluetooth. A discreet USB socket is located beneath the left side panel. Further attention-grabbing features on include a LED headlamp, a first for Royal Enfield, which is carefully designed to deliver old-school charm but provide all the benefits of LED technology.



Finally, the Super Meteor’s paint finish is excellent while its distinctive tank badges, inspired by historic Royal Enfield designs, are faceted in chrome and accented with two colours of tinted infill that results in a gorgeous, jewel-like finish.


The Super Meteor 650 is coming to Australia in five colours: Green, Celestial Red, Astral Black, Astral Blue, Celestial Blue. Order yours now – details here…


NG Brakes

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 Specifications

royalenfield.com.au

Price: Astral – $11,990 Ride Away Single-Tone Paint Scheme Interstellar – $12,190 Ride Away Dual-Tone Paint Scheme Celestial – $12,540 Ride Away Dual-Tone Paint Scheme + Touring Screen + Touring Seat & Backrest
Warranty: 3 year factory warranty & 3 year roadside assistance
Colours: Interstellar Green, Celestial Red, Astral Black, Astral Blue, Celestial Blue
Claimed power: 35kW [47hp]@7250rpm
Claimed torque: 52Nm [38ft-lbs]@5650rpm
Weight: 241kg wet
Fuel capacity: 15.7L
Fuel Consumption Claimed: N/A
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: N/A Trail: N/A
Suspension: 43mm Upside Down Telescopic Fork, Twin Shocks, 101mm travel, preload adjustable.
Brakes: 320mm disc, twin piston floating caliper (f), ABS, two-piston, 300mm rotor, twin piston floating caliper (r) Tyres: 100/90 – 19 M/C 57H (f) 150/80 B16 M/C 71H (r)


Dimensions:
Wheelbase: 1500mm
Seat height: 740mm
Ground clearance: 135mm
Overall width: 890mm
Overall Length: 2260mm
Overall height: 740mm


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



2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 World Launch Gallery


Link

Harley

Suzuki 2024

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