RE Super Meteor 650 real-world review: Everyday cruiser

    It’s proven itself as a great highway machine, but how does RE’s finest fare through the rigours of the real world?

    Published on Mar 08, 2023 07:00:00 AM

    29,937 Views

    Our first taste of the Super Meteor 650 confirmed that Royal Enfield’s latest is also Royal Enfield’s finest; an excellent cruiser that works well even in the Indian environment. But with India being predominantly a one-bike garage sort of country, this bike needs to do more than just cruise well. So we’ve now been running it in Mumbai, the way the average owner is likely to: commuting on it every day and giving it a chance to let its hair down on the weekends.

    RE Super Meteor 650 real-world review: weight and usability

    Obviously, if you’re going to ride to work every day on a 241kg cruiser with a 1,500mm wheelbase, there’s going to be a bit of a learning curve. You only really feel the weight at low speeds, but here in Mumbai, most of what you do is low speeds. That being said, after a day or two under your belt, it just becomes part and parcel of life on the super meteor, and the heft doesn’t demand any effort or attention.

    What you can’t work around, though, is the sheer size of this thing. It’s close to 140mm longer than the interceptor, with a wheelbase that’s a whole 100mm longer. Steering lock is decent enough, but not quite as much as something like the Meteor 350. And where you feel all this the most, is when filtering through stationary traffic. Making the tight turns to forge a path and squeeze between larger vehicles definitely needs some forward planning. However, in some cases, it’s just plain impossible.

    Motor’s accessible grunt works wonders in the city.

    On the upside, when you reach a gap you can’t squeeze through and you’re stuck in traffic, you won’t have too much engine heat to contend with. The motor remains quite well-behaved, but Mumbai is still relatively cool at the moment, and we’ll reserve a final verdict on this for the peak of summer. In other aspects, too, the 648cc twin is well-suited to city life. A nice, torquey engine always makes riding in Mumbai a more pleasant affair, and not having to rev out the Super Meteor or constantly make gear shifts results in a nice easygoing ride, which I’ve come to greatly appreciate in the chaos of the city.

    RE Super Meteor 650 real-world review: ride and handling

    Mumbai’s terrible, broken roads do their bit to counter the peace and calm that the Super Meteor brings, but thankfully, the bike has a decent enough answer for them. The firm edge of the suspension set-up (particularly at the rear) is felt more here in the city than it was on Rajasthan’s highways, but it still never gets to the point of being harsh. The Hunter 350, for example, feels more punishing from the saddle. With the Super Meteor, you can carry speed over the smaller imperfections and trust the bike to sort itself out, and as long as you slow down enough for the bigger bumps and potholes, you’ll be fine there too. At no point will it feel particularly plush, but it’s definitely something you can live with on a day-to-day basis.

    Ride quality not harsh, provided you slow down enough.

    Part of the reason the suspension needs to be that firm is because the Super Meteor only has 135mm of ground clearance to work with. But the set-up does its job, and so far, we haven’t faced any instances of the bike scraping its belly, aside from one extremely nasty ramp-and-speed-breaker combo, rather ironically, at the RE service centre. If you have a route where you’re encountering such a thing frequently, RE will sell you an accessory bash plate for rs 3,450.

    RE Super Meteor 650 real-world review: comfort and fuel economy

    Part of our time was spent with the Celestial variant, whose touring seats we really like, especially over long distances. But here in the city, the celestial’s large front windscreen is a bit troublesome. There’s a lot of distortion in all the areas where it bends and kinks, which makes navigating tight spaces a little challenging, often forcing you to look around it. At higher speeds on more open roads, the windscreen works well up to about 100kph; beyond this, there is a very significant amount of buffeting, which makes holding high speeds prohibitive. Overall, you’re probably better off without it.

    Importantly, we’ve also been able to put the bike through our routine testing cycles for performance and fuel efficiency. Results are pretty much as you’d expect, considering this bike is a good deal heavier than the existing 650s in RE’s line-up. The sprint to 100kph is completed in a shade under 7 seconds, making it 0.7sec slower than the Continental GT – a gap that’s noticeable, but not significant. RE has shortened the gearing on the Super Meteor in an attempt to offset the slower acceleration due to added weight, but this (and the weight) has also had the effect of making it noticeably less fuel efficient than something like the Interceptor. At 22.4kpl in the city and 30.2kpl on the highway, the figures are still decent enough.

    RE Super Meteor 650 real-world review: verdict

    Overall, first impressions tell us that the Super Meteor comes across as a rather friendly and easy bike to live with, and one that can certainly fulfil the role of being the only bike in your garage. Even more so when you consider that you can kit it out with things like hard luggage, right from the factory. We’ll be running the bike as part of our long-term test fleet, and it will evolve over its time with us, receiving accessories. Keep an eye out for periodic reports about the bike (the first one is right around the corner).

    Also See:

    Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 video review

    Tech Specs

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