Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 7,000km Long-term Report: The Perfect Weekend Ride

  • Jul 16, 2023
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The Super Meteor 650 is leaving the ZigGarage, but not before leaving a last impression

After the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 long-termer left the ZigGarage, I was given the keys to its sibling, the Super Meteor 650. Now I am not a fan of the “chill” riding experience and the relaxed ergonomics that cruisers offer, but this presented an opportunity for me to understand this genre better and probably change my perception too. So, three months and 7,000km later, here’s what I liked and disliked about the Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650.

Dislikes 

Firm Suspension

A cruiser’s suspension is what I dislike the most about this genre. The design of the rolling chassis of any cruiser limits the suspension travel, especially at the rear, and the way you are seated, the jolts of any broken surface you encounter, are sent straight to your back. And the Super Meteor 650 is no different.

Thankfully, I have the Celestial variant, which comes with this thick touring seat that absorbs most bumps on the road. But that too only helps to a certain extent. Riding over broken roads requires you to understand how the Showa suspension on this bike works.

For me, it took two rides to Bombay and back, and once I got the hang of it, things were a bit better. And once I understood how quick its rebound is, my braking and even throttle inputs changed over bad roads. But even then, I wouldn’t prefer this bike’s suspension setting over anything except great highways.

Rotary-style Switchgear

Despite all that saddle time, something that is still irritating and I couldn't wrap my head around – these rotary style switches. The starter button is still fine, but this headlight switch is just irritating.

Everytime I want to overtake someone and use the pass switch, getting my thumb on the dial to do so is just not intuitive. And though a little embarrassing to admit, I did press the console button instead of the pass switch a couple of times.

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Spare Part Availability

So, a couple of months ago, the Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 was involved in a small mishap in a parking lot, and the bike tipped over causing it to break the brake lever. But it has been nearly two months since this lever broke, and we still can’t get it replaced. Hopefully, this is something that’ll change as RE starts stocking up parts for this bike.

Yeah, I now have gotten used to the “shorty” lever, but people with smaller hands in the team… they don’t really find this usable.

And if I had the same issue, this bike would be sitting idle for two months just because the brake lever broke in half. 

Likes:

Couch-like Comfort

After long hours of testing and shooting, heading back to my home in Bombay is taxing, but the Super Meteor 650…it made those trips so much more bearable.

For some context, I used to do these Pune-Bombay-Pune sprints on my previous long-termer – the Continental GT 650 and my 2015 KTM RC 200 before that. So yeah, the SM is definitely a welcome change. Seated on that comfy touring seat, with my legs stretched forward, tucked behind this windshield, It has always been a great ride back home after a tiring week.

Lovable Performance

Yeah, I know cruisers are meant for a “chill” ride but with the Super Meteor 650, somehow, I just can’t do it with this bike most of the time.

 

0-60kmph

3.15s

0-80kmph

4.90s

0-100kmph

7.37s

30-70kmph

4.34s

40-80kmph

5.45s

100kmph cruising? Easy. Cruising at 120kmph? No problem. Whenever I wanted I could sustain 60-70kmph too… and getting back to triple digits? I was there in no time!

If it was the interstellar variant, it would have been tiring with all the windblast, but with this bike, it is quite easy… or might I say, this is perhaps the “chill” kind of riding for this cruiser.

In this regard, this engine almost makes you forget that you are riding a cruiser, to the point where I was grinding the pegs through corners because I was carrying good speeds, and also  because the chassis complements this performance.

Feisty Brakes

Going hard on the throttle is also because of the way this 240+kg bike halts. Yes, the brakes are a bit sharp, plus how the rear brake and ABS calibration are tied together might scare you initially as going hard on the rear brake results in a lock-up momentarily. That has caught me off-guard on a few occasions but once you understand the way it works, and how it always…always gets the bike back on track, makes it somewhat a fun experience.

Crowd Magnet

Okay, this is not a loud bike, and the Celestial colour too, but boy, the amount of attention it gets. People aren’t used to seeing a cruiser of this proportions perhaps… especially a ROYAL ENFIELD. And the first question that almost everyone asked me about this motorcycle is the fuel efficiency. Which is around 29kmpl if I go gentle with my right wrist. Not bad for a 650cc heavyweight right?

Parting Thoughts

So, how was my journey with the flagship Royal Enfield cruiser? Did it change my perception about this genre? Definitely. I still am not a fan of how the suspension is, especially on broken roads, which has, on many occasions, held me from taking this bike to some great locations. 

But, for those chill Pune-Mumbai-Pune sprints, I would definitely want something like this after a tiring week. Unfortunately, the SM650 is going back, and before I could take it on a long ride. And the fact that I actually considered going on a long ride on a cruiser, has made me wonder how fun its bratty sibling – the Shotgun 650 will be.

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 Video Review

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650
Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650
Rs. 3.63 Lakh
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