Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 (2023) - Technical Review

 

Price: £6799 | Power: 47bhp | Weight: 241kg

 

A year ago, Royal Enfield unwrapped the SG650 concept bobber to demonstrate how its air-cooled parallel twin could find a home in a cruiser-style machine and now the same idea is to reach showrooms in the form of the Super Meteor 650.

Developed in the UK at the firm’s technical centre at Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire, under the eye of design chief Mark Wells, the Super Meteor continues to show the burgeoning confidence that Royal Enfield has as it explores a market where it faces few direct rivals. Wells said: “Our goal was to create a motorcycle that captures the very essence of British cruisers. The design language is influenced by styles of the 1950s, including our own motorcycles, but with a contemporary twist. The Super Meteor 650 is a carefree motorcycle for riding until you decide it’s time to stop, for crossing immense, immersive landscapes, for heading towards the horizon's vanishing point”

Siddhartha Lal, MD of RE’s parent company, Eicher Motors, adds: “Inspired by some great cruisers we’ve built through our history, and by actual riders, the Super Meteor is distinctly Royal Enfield and every bit a thoroughbred cruiser in form, factor and design. It is an absolutely stylish, refined and enjoyable motorcycle that is intended to make cruising pleasurable and accessible even for riders who never really considered cruisers before.” And Royal Enfield CEO, B Govindarajan, said: “Even at the start of the development journey of the 650 parallel twin platform we were clear about our intentions of designing and building a true-blue highway cruiser. It’s been a while in the making but we are very glad that it is finally here. The 650 twin engine has been at the heart of the resounding global success of the Interceptor and the Continental GT 650 and we are confident that this platform, in a new cruiser avatar, will create new audiences for Royal Enfield across the world.”

 

Pros & Cons
  • Cruiser styled but with a British twist, the Super Meteor has few direct rivals
  • Harris Performance-designed chassis bodes well
  • Kit level belies expected price, with USD forks, LED lights and sat-nav as standard
  • We’ll give a verdict once we’ve ridden it

 

Review – In Detail

Price
Engine & Performance
Handling & Suspension
Comfort & Economy
Equipment
Rivals
Specification

 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 price

How much is the Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650? from £6799 OTR. The company’s reputation for affordable bikes continues.

The Continental GT that shares the same 650 twin starts at £6239 while the Interceptor 650 is £6199, so that’s the ballpark that the Super Meteor is playing in – a couple of grand less than the most affordable of Triumph’s twin-cylinder ‘modern classic’ machines.

Enfield is offering two versions of the bike, the standard Super Meteor 650 and the Super Meteor 650 Tourer. The former comes in five colours – black, blue, green and two-tone grey/black and green/black – while the Tourer, with a screen, a deeper seat and pillion backrest, is offered in blue/white with gold pinstriping or red/white.

The Super Meteor 650 is available in five striking colourways: Astral Black, Astral Blue, Astral Green, Interstellar Grey and Interstellar Green. The Super Meteor 650 Tourer, which comes kitted with a touring windscreen, deluxe touring seat, pillion backrest, is available in two distinctive two-tone finishes: Celestial Red and Celestial Blue.

Astral: £6,799

Intersteller: £6,999

Celestial: £7,299

 

 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 Engine & Performance

The engine is the same oil/air-cooled, 648cc parallel twin used in the Continental GT 650 and Interceptor 650, making an A2-licence-friendly 47hp (34.6kW) at 7250rpm and 38.6lb-ft (52.3Nm) of torque at 5650rpm. It’s an old-school design, with a single overhead camshaft and prominent cooling fins, but far from being a criticism that’s a bonus for the Super Meteor. The performance is already at the limit for A2 class riders, so more complexity would provide no benefit, and the engine’s retro construction means it fits the bike’s look perfectly without needing to find space for a radiator.

It's not all old, though. Like every other major manufacturer, Royal Enfield needs to hit Euro 5 emissions limits that have already pushed many rivals out of the air-cooled arena. It achieves that target with modest performance goals and the use of electronic fuel injection. There are also four valves per cylinder despite the single overhead camshaft, and the engine drives through a six-speed transmission – something that’s actually surprisingly new tech for Royal Enfield, which was still using four-speed boxes well into the current century.

 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 Review Price Spec_106

 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 Handling, weight and suspension

The Super Meteor doesn’t try to be too clever with its chassis, which – like several of the firm’s current models – was developed by Harris Performance in the UK. Rather than carrying over the frame used for the Continental and Interceptor, the Super Meteor has a new design with a more low-slung look and weight distribution. There’s a central spine under the fuel tank, with two hoops at the back to provide upper mounts for the rear shocks and a substantial strut hanging down from the headstock to the front engine mount, splitting into dual cradle sections running under the engine.

The suspension includes 43mm USD forks with 120mm of travel and twin rear shocks, each with preload adjustment and 101mm of movement.

Unsurprisingly, it’s no flyweight, coming in at 241kg with its 15.7 litre fuel tank filled to 90% capacity.

 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 Review Price Spec_101

 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 Comfort & Economy

With a low, low 740mm seat height, the Super Meteor isn’t going to penalise the short-of-leg, but the extreme forward-mounted footpegs and controls are very much in the cruiser mould and won’t suite everyone’s taste. For long rides at modest speed, the layout should be comfy, though.

While the base model does have a pillion pad, it’s really aimed at one-up riding, and those planning to go longer distances or carry passengers will be looking at the Tourer model with a deeper, wider, full length seat, a pillion backrest and a screen.

On board, equipment levels aren’t extravagant but there’s the same part-analogue, part-digital display that current RE riders will be familiar with, combining a conventional speedo around the edge with an LCD centre section including a trip computer, fuel gauge, gear position and clock. On the right, a second pod features the Tripper turn-by-turn navigation system that’s also featured on other Enfield models.

Royal Enfield hasn’t made economy claims but with the same engine as the Interceptor and Continental GT, the Super Meteor is likely to achieve similar consumption figures to those bikes, which both manage well over 60mpg.

 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 Review Price Spec_107

 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 brakes

There’s nothing too exotic to be found here, with a single 320mm front disc and twin-piston floating caliper assisted by a large, 300mm rear disc, also with a two-pot caliper. As on most cruisers, the low-slung weight distribution means you’ll be using more rear brake than you might on a sportier bike. Dual channel ABS is standard.

 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 Review Price Spec_201

 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 Rivals

There aren’t many direct rivals to the Super Meteor in the affordable, middleweight cruiser market, but you might want to try one of these:

 

BSA Gold Star | Price: £6800

The reborn BSA brand is clearly targeting Royal Enfield, and while the Gold Star is more a direct rival to the Interceptor 650 it might also interest some Super Meteor customers.

Power/Torque: 45bhp/40.5lb-ft | Weight: 213kg

 

Kawasaki Vulcan S | Price: £7249

A more modern take on the cruiser idea, the Vulcan has substantially more power (although a 47hp A2 version is offered), but lacks the classic looks of the Super Meteor.

Power/Torque: 61bhp/46lb-ft | Weight: 229kg

 

Honda CMX500 Rebel | Price: £6299

The parallel twin Rebel 500 is smaller and lighter than the Enfield, but again lacks the classic looks.

Power/Torque: 45.6bhp/32lb-ft | Weight: 190kg

 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 Review Price Spec_203

 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 Technical Specification

New price

From £6,799

Capacity

648cc

Bore x Stroke

78mm x 67.8mm

Engine layout

Parallel twin

Engine details

4-stroke, SOHC, Air-Oil Cooled

Power

47bhp (34.6kW) @ 7250rpm

Torque

38.6lb-ft (52.3Nm) @ 5650rpm

Transmission

Six speed, chain final drive

Average fuel consumption

TBA

Tank size

15.7 litres

Max range to empty

TBA

Rider aids

ABS

Frame

Steel tubular spine frame

Front suspension

43mm Upside Down Telescopic Fork, 120mm travel

Front suspension adjustment

None

Rear suspension

Twin Shocks, 101mm travel

Rear suspension adjustment

Preload only

Front brake

Single 320mm disc, twin piston fl­oating caliper

Rear brake

Single 300mm disc, twin piston ­floating caliper

Front wheel / tyre

Cast alloy / 100/90-19 MC 57H

Rear wheel / tyre

Cast alloy / 150/80 B16 MC 71H

Dimensions (LxWxH)

2260mm x 890mm x 1155mm

Wheelbase

1500mm

Seat height

740mm

Weight

241kg (kerb)

Warranty

3 years

Website

www.royalenfield.co.uk

 

Looking for motorcycle insurance? Get a quote for this motorbike with Bennetts bike insurance

 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 Review Price Spec_204

 

What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars (three stars for bikes of 125cc or less), based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.