A Closer Look At The Upcoming RE 650cc Cruiser
- Jan 5, 2021
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The recent spy shot of the Royal Enfield 650cc cruiser (likely to be called the Royal Enfield Roadster 650) gave us quite a clear picture, literally and metaphorically, of what the upcoming motorcycle might pack. Here’s our detailed analysis:
Cruiser stance, laidback ergonomics:
The Royal Enfield 650cc cruiser has a distinct American cruiser-like styling. Design-wise, it sort of feels like a bigger brother of the Royal Enfield Meteor 350. There’s a little bit of Indian Scout inspiration, particularly around the rear fender area. The raked out front fork indicates the motorcycle might have a longer wheelbase than its retro sibling, the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650.
As far as the ergonomics are concerned, the riding posture is properly laidback thanks to the wide handlebars, low-slung seat and forward-set rider’s footpegs. We hope the tear-drop fuel tank has a larger capacity than the 13.5-litre unit in the Interceptor 650. This should enhance the bike’s touring range. Judging by how cleanly the pillion seat is mounted over the hidden subframe, we expect Royal Enfield to offer the motorcycle with a solo seat, bobber style.
A ‘smart’ cruiser, perhaps?
The twin-pod instrument cluster is asymmetrically shaped, just like the one in the Royal Enfield Meteor 350. And just like the Meteor, this motorcycle is likely to get a proper bluetooth-enabled smartphone instrument cluster. The smaller pod could house the unit for turn-by-turn navigation. The main pod is likely to show detailed information like gear position, realtime and average mileage, distance to empty, odometer and dual tripmeter readings. We also expect other useful bits like clock, service reminder, battery voltage indicator and other tell-tale lights. While we expected the bike to have a proper all-LED lighting system, the headlamp is sadly a halogen unit and the indicators are bulbs.
Slightly modern underpinnings:
The upcoming Royal Enfield 650cc cruiser will feature an inverted front fork, a first for a production-spec Royal Enfield. While adding an inverted front fork to a not-so-performance-centric model doesn’t make that much sense, it will definitely up the bike’s premium quotient. To go with the new fork, the Roadster also gets a new front disc brake with a two-piston axial caliper. The rear also uses a rather large disc brake, and the braking prowess will be enhanced by a standard dual-channel ABS.
In a typical cruiser fashion, the Royal Enfield Roadster 650 employs a larger front and a smaller rear wheel, presumably a 18-inch front and a 16-inch rear wheel setup. The tread pattern on the tyres appear to be different from the Pirelli Phantom Sportscomp. We hope these offer better overall grip than the retro Pirellis. Moreover, thanks to the alloy wheel setup, one will not have to worry about punctures all that much as the tyres will be tubeless units.
Tweaked frame but same old heart:
The Royal Enfield Roadster 650 uses a heavily modified version of the bolted-on cradle frame in the Interceptor. The rear portion of the frame, particularly the area below the rider’s seat, looks eerily similar to the one on the Meteor 350. The structure connecting the headstock and the seat (onto which the fuel tank is mounted) is also angled upwards to give it a proper cruiser stance.
Nestling inside the frame will be the same 648cc air-cooled parallel twin engine as found in the 650 twins. This motor churns out 47.6PS and 52Nm, and is linked to a 6-speed transmission with assist and slipper clutch. If we’re lucky, Royal Enfield might just tweak the gear ratios for a bit more bottom-end grunt to suit the cruiser’s character.
Expected pricing & launch details:
Going by the kind of features revealed by the test mules, the Royal Enfield 650cc cruiser will be a flagship product, placed above the 650 twins. It is likely to command a price tag of around Rs 3.5 lakh (ex-showroom), going head-to-head with the Kawasaki Vulcan S. The Royal Enfield 650cc cruiser will also work really well internationally, catering to those who want a highway-worthy cruiser that’s beginner friendly. Coming to the expected launch timeline in India, Royal Enfield might launch the bike here in mid-2021. So, what do you guys think about this cruiser? Let us know in the comments below.
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