It was only a matter of time before the new Royal Enfield 650cc platform was expanded on. The spy images you see here suggest that the company has done just that, with a long and low cruiser.
The immediate giveaway that this bike is not based on Royal Enfield’s upcoming new single-cylinder platform is that it has twin exhaust pipes, with one on either side of the bike. We don’t get a very clear view of the engine, but it’s enough to tell us that the cases on either side seem to be quite similar to the Royal Enfield 650 twins, although the test bike gets black cases instead of chrome. Another giveaway is how spread out the rider’s feet are, which suggests there’s something bigger hidden in there than a 350cc single. We can also just about make out the oil cooler mounted to the front of the frame – a feature that the soon-to-be-launched air-cooled Royal Enfield Meteor 350 doesn’t get.
While the engine is probably the same, minor modifications side, it looks like Royal Enfield is using a completely different frame for this bike. The metal tubing along the side is completely different and the twin rear shocks are mounted at more of an angle compared with the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650. Also visible is that this bike gets a USD fork up front, making it the first Royal Enfield to do so.
The whole bike appears to be long and low, and while we can’t be sure, it looks like the front wheel is bigger than the rear – a trick commonly used by big cruisers to create a strong stance. The Royal Enfield test rider can be seen sitting in a feet-forward position, which should help move the feet away from the hot engine cases – something you have to deal with on the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650.
This new Royal Enfield promises handsome lines, with alloy wheels and a fatter rear tyre than the 130-section unit on the 650 twins. There’s definitely inspiration taken from the Royal Enfield Concept KX shown at EICMA 2018. Unlike the KX, with its slim fuel tank, this bike’s bigger teardrop-shaped tank is reminiscent of some Harley-Davidsons, while the large rear fender brings the Indian Scout to mind. The test bike’s dual exhaust pipes are also slimmer and much closer to the bike than those on the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650. We also managed to get a tiny glimpse of the instrument gauges and it looks like this bike gets a large circular dial flanked by a smaller one on the right, just like we’ve seen on spy shots of the Royal Enfield Meteor.
The test bike spotted here seems like it’s quite some way down the development process, and while it doesn’t look production-ready, it also doesn’t seem too far from it. With this bike, Royal Enfield appears to be offering a more premium, cruising-oriented flavour of its 650cc platform. Theoretically, the bike will offer a similar riding experience to the likes of the recently launched BS6 Kawasaki Vulcan S, but will come at a far lower price. We’d expect to see this bike go on sale sometime next year, and it looks like we’ve got another exciting Royal Enfield product to look forward to.
Image credit: Karthick Jay