Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 Test

Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 test: Royal Enfield, from dinosaur to Peacock

Royal Enfield, the world's oldest operating motorcycle brand, It began production in 1901. Its oldest model, the Bullet, has kept its name since 1931 and has hardly seen any significant changes since. 1948. During the 1950s and 1960s, Royal Enfield left an important mark in the American and European markets with its parallel twin-cylinder engines, presenting emblematic models such as the 700 cc Meteor, Supermeteor and Constellation.

Although these motorcycles sold well, they did not achieve adequate recognition, partly due to the occasional lack of reliability and quality of their components. At the time of the expansion of Japanese manufacturers in the late 60s and early 70s, the company did not achieve the necessary success to remain competitive in the American market, leading it to closure of its factories in England between 1967 and 1970.

The factory in India, known simply as Enfield at the time, continued to produce the Bullet virtually unchanged for decades, focusing on the local market. In 1999, the company regained the Royal Enfield name and in the early 2000s, with the arrival of young CEO Siddhartha Lal, began a process of reconstruction and evolution.

Since the addition of Siddhartha Lal, Royal Enfield has established a research center in England, attracting talent and professionals from direct competitors. In 2015, the acquisition of Harris Performance, a leading company specialized in the design and manufacture of premium chassis and components. These events have added value to the brand and have significantly improved the quality of its models.

Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 test: Engine and cycle part

The Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 uses the same engine that has given good results in the Continental GT, the Interceptor and the Super Meteor 650. It is a parallel twin cylinder engine of 648 cc with crankshaft set at 270º to give sensations similar to a V2. With 8 valves, double overhead camshaft, air and oil cooling, balance shaft to minimize vibrations and assisted anti-rebound clutch, it is an engine that offers smooth and predictable operation.

This engine features a power of 47 HP at 7,250 rpm and torque of 52 Nm at 5,650 rpm, with a distinctive feature: 80% of the torque is available at just 2,500 rpm. Although it does not climb revs particularly quickly, it stands out for providing very full thrust from the early stages, maintaining that force constantly throughout practically the entire power curve.

This makes us feel it very linear and very full. Personally I like this engine, it is very satisfactory and has an early response that facilitates recoveries, corner exits and overtaking.

The engine is very well married to a very smooth-acting 6-speed transmission. The gears always enter very easily and the grading is adequate to take advantage of the low and midrange. You don't have to work much on the clutch and the sixth gear is especially long to easily maintain cruising speeds.

The cycle part of the Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 is equally well resolved, very much in step with the performance of the engine, without over-engineering. The cornerstone in this section is the fantastic Harris Performance chassis (the incorporation of Harris Performance into Royal Enfield has been one of the keys to the good evolution of the brand in the last decade), which combines steel tubes and presents high quality welds. It is a rigid chassis that keeps the assembly plumb on the road.

The bars of the inverted forks are 43 mm, have a travel of 120 mm and come signed by Showa. Likewise, Showa are the two rear shock absorbers, which are adjustable in preload and have a travel of 90 mm. The fork is not adjustable and the setting is rather firm.

Not only because we are talking about a motorcycle 240kg of weight in running order, but I think also looking for poise in curves and in general it achieves it. Although on occasions when we find asphalt in poor condition, we may notice a certain rigidity.

The braking is sufficient but not wonderful and it is understandable since we are dealing with a motorcycle with a certain weight and oriented towards use that is far from sporty. He Front disc is 320 mm and rear disc is 300 mmboth bitten by pincers ByBre with two pistons and with Bosch ABS dual channel.

This Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 shares a chassis with the Super Meteor 650, but unlike the latter, the Shotgun mounts slightly smaller alloy wheels of 18” front and 17” rear (the Super Meteor has 19” and 16” respectively).

These wheel sizes, along with a somewhat shorter wheelbase, which remains at 1465mmthey make the motorcycle carry a little more weight on the front axle and, together with a generous turning radius, favor low-speed maneuvers and moving it comfortably when stopped.

Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 test: Ergonomics and aesthetics

Continuing with the inevitable comparison with its cousin the Super Meteor 650, it is worth mentioning that the Shotgun has the stirrups a little further back, it does not force a cruiser posture so much, but rather you feel rather leaned forward. Likewise, the handlebar is narrower and it has the cuffs a little further forward, so a very relaxed and natural ergonomic triangle is formed. It has adjustable handles, although they cannot move too much, but they are of good quality and are where they belong.

In general it is a motorcycle of accessible dimensions with the seat at 795 mm off the ground, almost any size is enough to feel comfortable. Furthermore, the central part, where the handlebars and tank are located, is narrow and this makes it easier to reach the ground and move the motorcycle when stopped.

Classic aesthetics with a certain air bobber comes well cohesive around a transformable seat that comes standard in three configurations: a version single-seater with floating seat, one removable grill that can be used as a luggage rack and that also serves as support for the passenger seat if we want a third two-seater option to bring a companion. It is an innovative design that adds a lot of versatility to the style of the bike and provides a touch of customization.

He engine comes totally lacquered in black like the entire exhaust line, very long and finished in a “pea-shooter” style, narrow and pointed that attract a lot of attention. The main headlight (which, like all the lighting, is LED) has a lot of presence and is formworked in a mask that anchors to the fork bars to give it a distinctive and classic touch. That mix of modern headlight and mask seems very attractive to me and it certainly gives the Shotgun 650 a personal style.

The rest of the equipment is spartan as befits a motorcycle with a timeless and simple style with an instrumentation of two spheres, one main and tilted to the left where we find the speedometer needle surrounding a small LCD that resolves the presentation of information basic information such as odometer, gear or clock. A second smaller dial, located on the right, offers the Tripper: the guidance system developed by Royal Enfield for Google Maps, which also comes standard on this Shotgun 650.

Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 Test: Sensations in Motion

When we approach this Shotgun 650 the first impression is of cAesthetic ohesion and timeless design. Personally, I think it is a nice bike and the unit we tested has a metallic gray color that I think looks fantastic with the black lacquered engine and exhaust. The paint, adhesive and plastic finishes are good. Everything that we can see looks good, as does the cable routing, which is careful and well managed.

Once running, the first thing that catches your attention is the 650 cc twin-cylinder engine that I personally like a lot because it is smooth, noble and is very well married to the gearbox. In such a way that with the highest gears we can maintain high speeds without asking too much of the mechanics since it is an engine that needs to be driven in low and medium ranges. Is the best regime to take advantage of its 50 Nm of torque, which also appears very early in the power curve, so shifting early and enjoying the recoveries is very natural and it is where the sound is most pleasant too.

The transmission-engine assembly is very nice, very sweet and the driving experience is very pleasant in this regard. The chassis is firm and reactive and the bike has remarkable poise as we link smooth curves. The bike in general gives a feeling of a big and poised bike thanks to two things: first, the rear tire, which is 150 and provides a lot of stability on a straight line, and second, a setting of the fork that is more on the hard side. The latter causes suffer a little on asphalt that is not in perfect conditionbut it also offers security and a noble tread.

Logically, it does not offer any aerodynamic protection, but when loaded a little forward we find ourselves penetrating the air a little with our shoulders and arms, rather than meeting it with our chest, which reduces fatigue in the abdominals and hip flexors, muscles that are beginning to cause problems for those of us who are already old or have spent our youth on the basketball courts. This position also makes us feel a lot of the information that the fork returns and together with the 18” front wheel it allows a certain agility that is not assumed in principle for this style of motorcycle.

I think it is a motorcycle for all uses, with a well-achieved aesthetic, mix of classic and modern, a motorcycle that is accessible for all those who are starting out or who do not want to complicate things And in general it looks very good. It is well parked on a small terrace, it will move easily in the ring roads of large cities and surely there will also be those who make it a good urban companionthanks to the grill and the agility of the front axle.

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