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Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 Real-world Test: Surprisingly Impressive

Royal Enfield’s newest cruiser is elevating the brand’s image and yet is still quite Royal Enfield at heart

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Royal Enfield ushered in a new era of accessible large-displacement cruising with the Super Meteor 650 earlier this year. We were treated to lovely arrow straight roads of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan where the bike was purring away in full glory. However, how often are you going to stumble on such roads? Lingering questions regarding its daily usability remained to be answered. Hence, we set forth finding answers to the ten most important questions surrounding the Super Meteor 650’s real-world capabilities. 

Question 1: Is The Ground Clearance Enough?

If your primary intention is to ride solo, the 135mm of ground clearance shouldn’t cause you much discomfort. With my 95kg frame on board the Interstellar trim of the Super Meteor 650, it didn’t scrape its belly even once over the oddest of speed humps. 

Question 2: Is The Ride Jarring?

Not jarring but it is definitely firm. Just so that the cruiser doesn’t scratch its lovely chrome exhausts on every bad pothole, Royal Enfield has kept the suspension tune on the firmer side, especially with the twin rear shocks. It is a flatter, more neutral and predictable ride than what we’ve experienced on the Interceptor 650 or even the Meteor 350. The suspension works really well between speeds of 40-80kmph as sharp obstacles like rumble strips at slower speeds do tend to cause irritation, which dies out when you’re in the aforementioned speed zone. You do get tossed off the seat over larger bumps but even that is done in a controlled manner.

Question 3: Any Ergonomic Issues?

On the lower trims, Royal Enfield has equipped the Super Meteor 650 with a split seat setup. The shape of the rider’s seat is the cause of major discomfort when factoring in a long ride. The soft foam and scooped seat pan makes the rider sink in and that starts hurting your tail and pelvic bones (especially if you are on the larger side). 

Arun states that the Touring seat found on the top-spec Celestial trim helps mitigate this pain much better. So, once we get that trim for our long-term, one of the boys should let you know whether that is the seat to go for or not.

Besides that though, the bars are nice and wide, making sure your upper body always remains relaxed. Cruiser enthusiasts will like the feet-forward riding stance. And might I suggest, you don’t really require the wider foot pegs, they would just rob you of the nice lever feel. In fact, with the Super Meteor, you should either start using the heel shifter or chop it off as it might become a bit of a nuisance otherwise.

Question 4: Is It Comfortable For Pillion Riders?

The pillion seat on the Astral and Interstellar trims is laughably small. Sloped backwards, it doesn’t give your partner much confidence. It also heightens their fear when you try to zip forwards and they have nothing physically stable to hold on to except the rider. The grab handle cum backrest is available as stock on the Celestial trim and can be purchased from the accessories catalogue for Rs 5000 (Rs 3,950 for the mount and Rs 1,050 for the foam pad). Without it, it is a no for the pillion on the base two trims.

Question 5: Does It Feel Heavy?

Most of you might have looked at the spec sheet and immediately gotten worried about the 241kg kerb weight. But as a wise man once said, “You ride the bike, not the spec sheet.” So, yes. It is heavy. It does mean that you will have to have some muscle to lift it off the side stand or push it around in the parking lot. 

But propping it up on the main stand, there’s a trick. Actually, it is basic physics. Apply weight on fulcrum and the bike is propped up.

Even executing U-turns doesn’t require the rider overextending their arms much and the low saddle height helps matters.

But a word of caution, which I shouldn’t be saying because it is obvious but I am still going to, as this has this cruiser stance, please wear riding denims or pants as well as ankle length boots. This is a wide engine and you will inadvertently graze the crankcase, in which case you don’t want to end up with some serious burns.

Question 6: How Is It On Commutes?

For a motorcycle of its size, it does a great job. You have to plan overtakes in advance as it cannot be wrestled into tight spots easily. It zips away neatly and is quite a nice bike to commute on. You barely need to work the gearbox much and you can spend the entire commute in third or fourth easily.

Question 7: Does It Feel Slower Than The Other 650s?


Super Meteor 650

Interceptor 650










30-70kmph in 3rd gear



40-80kmph in 4th gear



Barely. In the run to 100kmph, it is just 0.38 seconds slower than the BS6 Interceptor. Even in-gear roll-on acceleration figures are on par.

Question 8: So, Fuel Efficiency Is The Same?

Fuel Efficiency

Super Meteor 650

Interceptor 650







Yes, and no. The Super Meteor was just as fuel efficient as the Interceptor in the city but out on the highway, it performed quite a bit poorly. That’s down to the extra heft it is hauling and you sort of become an air dam, creating a lot of drag, putting more strain on the engine. 

The large windshield, which is stock on the Celestial trim and is part of the accessories catalogue, is supposed to reduce the drag effect and also help reduce the wind noise on your highway stints. Plus, it looks quite cool too. However, much like few other things, we shall check out the pros and cons of the windshield once we get the Celestial trim for a proper long term test.

Question 9: Is It Fun In The Twisties?

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting the SM to be quite as delightful when riding up Lavasa. The torquey engine keeps you hooked, changing direction doesn’t take that much of an effort, allowing you to dodge stray potholes or cattle with slight bar inputs and the grip levels on offer are good enough. What really instils great confidence is just how stable the whole bike feels. It never broke a sweat when leaned over. Thank the  looooong 1500mm wheelbase for it.

Braking is also solid. This 241 kilo machine stops way better than the Interceptor and thanks to the USD fork, there’s not much front-end wishy-washy feeling here to contend with and the tyres are much better. 

However, ABS calibration needs a little improvement, especially with the rear brake. There are small brake slides that cause some form of nervousness before the system intervenes. 

Question 10: Does It Feel Premium?

In terms of build quality, it has to be the best bike that has rolled out of the Oragadam plant. The paint finish on the tank, the lovely brushed aluminium bits, powder coating on the chassis and even the dark finish on the crankcase is just beautiful. This level of attention to detail puts this bike nearly on the same pedestal as the Triumph Bonnevilles.

And speaking of which, the Super Meteor’s LED headlight does a smashing job of lighting up the road at night. The spread was good enough and so was the intensity. We would have liked to adjust the throw angle as the current setup was a bit too close for our liking and forced us to use the focus-light type high beam on a number of occasions.

Smashing Job, Royal Enfield

Royal Enfield’s Super Meteor 650 genuinely surprised me, much like the 650 twins did in 2018. The versatility of the parallel-twin motor is evident and with the Super Meteor, Royal Enfield is taking things on to another level. It has taken up the void left behind by the Harley-Davidson Street 750 perfectly and does that without burning as big a hole in your bank account.

But ultimately, it is still a Royal Enfield. And there’s still one thing that ended up triggering my OCD. And just to make sure it isn’t a one-off, we got similar shots of a few more Super Meteor 650s from our fellow media friends.

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 Video Review

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650
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