Monday, November 14, 2022

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 bares all

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650.
Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650: Essentially a cruiser.

 What do you see when you look at a motorcycle? More importantly, perhaps, what do you want to see? What adds to your appreciation of the motorcycle? 

Royal Enfield design chief Mark Wells helped unveil the new Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 last week in Milan, Italy. He gave the international press gathered to see the new motorcycle a lesson in how to appreciate the looks of the new motorcycle. 

He looked at the Super Meteor 650 on the stand at EICMA and began his description with the word "Essentially..." 

Essentially, it's a cruiser. Unapologetically a cruiser. 

"But it had to be a Royal Enfield. And so we also worked very hard to incorporate some really key Royal Enfield design cues," he said. 

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650.
Rising line of frame from back to front, wraps down and around.

He talked about the "rising line" of the frame from back to front. 

He pointed to "this design cue that goes all the way back to our Bullet, all the way back to the late 1940s, this shape of the frame that goes down and around the back of the tool box.

"This very strong hour glass figure," he said, moving has hands and arms around the tank as if describing the form of a human female.

"The proportion of the bike just works."

He pointed toward the screen on the wall, where there was a projection of early sketches by Adrian Sellers, group manager for industrial design, and his team.

Royal Enfield Super Metoer 65o.
Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 seems to reach forward.

"You can see it gives the sense of that dynamic, that sense of motion and movement forward, right from the start," he said.

I found these sketches arresting. Stripped of the distractions of color and chrome, the sketches in particular helped me appreciate the Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 my "mind's eye."

I'm no designer, no artist and no philosopher so I hope I'm not talking nonsense. Here's what I'm trying to say:

When I was a boy, I couldn't appreciate the look of motorcycles. The sound, speed and power of motorcycles were visceral, but I didn't know what to look at when I looked at a motorcycle.

Really, I was looking, but not seeing. Even today, confronted with some modern motorcycle's jumble of angles and intakes, I sometimes draw a blank. "What do people see in that?" I wonder.

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650.
Super Meteor 650 looks all the business from the front.

Mark gave me permission to reproduce here the Super Meteor 650 sketches. To me, they capture the real excitement of the new Royal Enfield Meteor 650.

"Very very proud of this sublime motorcycle," he wrote, on his Instagram account.

Yes. I see that.

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