Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 test: Introduction, positioning and rivals
The Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 (47 HP, €7,247) shares a drive unit with the Interceptor and Continental GT, but it is a different motorcycle from those, since its chassis is different, in the same way as if Royal Enfield launched a hypothetical Himalayan 650 with This engine – to complement the recently presented Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 – would also be a different motorcycle.
What it does share with its asphalt sisters is the classic touch. The Indian brand’s models retain the flavor of 20th century British motorcycles, instead of delving into the segment neo retro How well it works for other brands. In fact, there aren’t many left cruiser of medium displacement among the competition that may be direct competition. The CF Moto CL-X Heritage (74 HP, 6,999), for example, inhabits the neo retro. Perhaps the Kawasaki Eliminator 500 (48 HP, nd) that is due to arrive in 2024 is a direct rival. Meanwhile, the Akashi firm offers the Kawasaki W 800 (48 HP, €10,850), perhaps more of a roadster, or the Kawasaki Vulcan 500 S (61 HP, €8,850), perhaps more custom, like the Honda CMX 500 Rebel (46.2 HP, €7,000). The Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer (65 HP, €10,799), yes, it is a cruiser twin-cylinder but with a larger displacement and price.
It is a real cruiserwell it is low and long, but not as much as you can expect. If you look closely, the fork is inverted and although the distance between the axles reaches 1.5 meters, its geometries are not those of the typical cruiser, which gives it a dynamic advantage, as you will see later.
Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 test: Technical characteristics and equipment of the Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650
The design of the motorcycle transitions between custom and cruiser. custombecause it contains chrome and the possibility of customization, only within the Royal Enfield catalogue, is very high. Cruiser, because the ergonomics and comfort allow for long runs. As we will see later, they do not necessarily have to be straight.
The finish of the motorcycle is very good. It contains contrasts that give it personality. The chassis welds are proudly displayed and boast a very solid industrial finish. There are covers painted in black, the pinecones have a spectacular polished aluminum finish, while the exhausts and mirrors are chrome. Custom grips or visible stitching on the seat add to the overall look. The good work of the motorcycle will do the rest.
The engine is the well-known 648 cc DOHC inline twin powered by electronic injection and cooled by air and oil. It delivers 47 HP at 7,250 rpm and offers a declared maximum torque of 52.3 Nm at 5,650 rpm. Royal Enfield declares a consumption of 4.4 l/100, which in reality will be closer to 5 l/100 in mixed use. With the 15.7 liters that fit in the fuel tank, the range will be around 300 kilometers, a very good figure between refuelings.
There are no engine maps here, nor traction control; But it’s not something you’ll miss this time. cruiser. That’s a compliment, considering that the Super Meteor has a declared dynamic appearance. The chassis, specifically designed for this model by Harris Performance, is a traditional steel tubular, the 1,500 mm wheelbase and the riding position, with a saddle 740 mm from the ground, meets the standards. long&low typical of a cruiser, including a few extra kilos, as it weighs 241 kg in running order.
But as you can read later, its behavior allows you to ride at the same pace as a motorcycle with more closed geometries. The reason is that the steering angle and caster are not as exaggerated as in the big ones. cruiser.
Added to this is a front axle made up of an inverted Showa fork with 43 mm diameter bars and 120 mm travel without regulation, but very well calibrated. The upper seatpost that joins them visually prints a solidity that is later matched in behavior. The rear damping is shorter, 80 mm of travel, for two rear shock absorbers with preload regulation.
Braking is entrusted to a single front disc, but 320 mm in diameter and with a double-piston caliper. At the back, the disc is 300 mm and the caliper repeats a double piston. The ABS is dual channel. The wheels are shod with CEAT tires in sizes 110/90-19 and 150/80-16.
The beautiful but simple pine cones give a hint of the equipment, which includes an analogue-digital dial in which an external needle indicates the speed, while a small internal LCD screen informs about the fuel level, odometer, time and gear engaged. If you have eyestrain problems, you won’t see it very clearly.
On the right there is another small sphere for the TBT (Turn-By-Turn) arrow navigator integrated with Google Maps and which you will have to connect with your mobile phone. The handlebar is made of tube, so you can make any aftermarket mobile phone holder firm.
How the Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 is doing
Approaching a motorcycle with 740 mm of seat-to-ground height is not intimidating, but it is surprising to find the footpegs advanced and raised. The really curious thing is the familiarity that is felt as soon as the first few meters are advanced. Before starting, from a standstill, you take care of the 241 kg that have to be moved, but once on the motorcycle it is very easy to row with your legs, helped or not by the engine, to move it on a sidewalk. Standing up, it is not so easy to move it, because the handlebars are wide and the posture is not natural if it is not on the motorcycle: once on it, the seat welcomes you and welcomes you with very good manners.
Once you get going, you have the feeling of having everything under control from the beginning. The mass centering is very good and allows you to drive at very low speeds without hardly having to correct the steering or put your feet on the ground. It doesn’t take long to get used to having your feet so far forward, to the point of feeling it naturally before the first traffic light.
It’s only when you step out onto open roads and into fast-moving traffic that you’re aware that you’re welcoming the wind with your arms and legs open. At speeds above 100 km/h, it makes you consider the need to incorporate some aerodynamic protection to the Super Meteor because, especially in winter, you will feel the inclement weather firsthand. But at the same time, when the temperature is good, it is a delicious sensation to drive the Super Meteor on national roads at a walking pace or even certainly vivace.
One of the most pleasant surprises about this bike is that, when approaching the first roundabouts or small radius curves, the bike enters the curve with firm footing and astonishing agility. Far from what was expected, the steering not only does not close, but also encourages confident entry into curves of all radius.
The tuning of the Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 chassis is outstanding. The footpegs are high enough that you have to aim for them to rub; and that is not the purpose of this motorcycle, especially when there are the Interceptor and the Continental GT in the Royal Enfield catalog.
In the city it is also more agile than expected. The mirrors are slightly above the rear-view mirrors of the cars and although the handlebars are wider than usual, once you are aware of its dimensions (and limitations), the Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 handles itself with ease. The engine’s ability to deliver thrust at low and medium rpm helps a lot, with a clutch that makes things easier. The engine has the capacity to stretch, but you don’t want to do it to take advantage of the good part of thrust, which more than by ear, you perceive in the rear, seat through, since there is no revolution counter, nor is there any need for it.
The behavior of the fork is very good, providing information and feeling, something unusual in a cruiser. The rear cushioning is somewhat drier due to the short travel, but it contributes to the good stability of the Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650. Braking requires the use of both brakes at the same time. Personally, it is not a problem for me, since I usually brake with both trains at the same time, but for those who are used to braking with only the right hand, it may seem insufficient depending on the conditions, since the kilos are there. A second braking disc would not be unreasonable.
There are many accessories to personalize the motorcycle and leave it to your liking. If you are thinking of enjoying the motorcycle as a duo, the passenger seat with optional backrest is essential, since the standard passenger seat has a backward fall that makes its use impossible, beyond occasional or emergency use.
The starting price (€7,247) is very attractive with the Astral paint (black, green or the blue you see in the photos). The two-tone Interstellar finish (gray and green) raises the price by €200, while the Celestial Tourer version (€7,747), also two-color (in blue), does contain (among other accessories), the windscreen screen and the seat with backrest that They are missing in the version we tested today.