Ton of Fun

Story by Alan Cathcart// Photos by Jason Critchell & Chippy Wood
August 29 2023

Many new components, a willing engine and attention to detail makes the new Super Meteor 650 a pleasure to ride.

Royal Enfield has launched the first spinoff models in its best-selling range of 650 twins it debuted in 2018, when it started building its first twin-cylinder motorcycles to be made in India. Powered by the same air/oil-cooled, eight-valve 648 cc parallel-twin engine with a 270-degree crankshaft and central chain-driven SOHC equipping the Interceptor and Continental GT, these have now been joined by the range-topping Super Meteor 650 duo, one a standard Cruiser model and the other a Tourer variant, unveiled at last November’s EICMA show.

Riding both new variants in Rajasthan, India’s largest, emptiest state pushed right up against the Pakistani border with kilometres of open desert roads — think Arizona, with a curry for supper — confirmed their appeal. The Bosch ECU-equipped fuel-injected engine produces a claimed 46 hp at 7,250 rpm, while peak torque of 38 lb-ft is delivered at 5,650 rpm — 400 revs higher than on the older 650 twins. But RE’s chief engineer Paolo Brovedani states there are no mechanical changes to the engine in the new models, only that the Super Meteor’s airbox and exhausts are all-new, which coupled with revised mapping for the ECU delivers a cruiser-friendly wider spread of torque, with 80 per cent of that peak grunt already available at just 2,500 rpm.

Some Firsts for Royal Enfield

The unchanged six-speed transmission with overdrive top gear features a slip/assist clutch, but now with a heel-and-toe shifter as standard on both Super Meteor variants.

This well-proven engine is carried as a fully stressed component in an all-new steel spine frame jointly developed by Royal Enfield’s U.K. Technology Centre and RE subsidiary Harris Performance, and incorporates a new cylinder head mount for additional stiffness.

Showa is now the suspension supplier for Royal Enfield’s twins, and the Super Meteor comes with an upside-down fork for the first time on any RE model, a non-adjustable 43 mm Big Piston item offering 120 mm of wheel travel. At the rear, the extruded steel swingarm carries twin Showa shocks, with five-step preload adjustment and 101 mm of travel.

The bumpy Indian highways really tested the Super Meteor’s Showa suspension, with the settings for the raked-out non-adjustable forks ensuring that even with the bike’s extra weight they didn’t bottom out under heavy downhill braking but kept on damping out road shock from the uneven surface. The rear suspension was even better, with the super compliant Showa twin shocks’ well-chosen damping delivering a good ride over broken everyday road surfaces.

Adequate Braking

There’s a 19-inch forged aluminum front wheel and 16-inch rear, shod…


Copyright ©2002-2024 Motorcycle Mojo | Privacy Policy | Built by Gooder Marketing