Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 cruises

CEO B. Govindarajan and Super Meteor 650.
Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 will come in two flavors, seven colors.

 UPDATE: The Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 will begin arriving in North America as early as summer 2023, Royal Enfield North America stated in a press release Nov. 9.

 Royal Enfield, born in Britain, best known today for the Brit-style motorcycles it makes in India, unveiled its promised Super Meteor 650-twin -- a cruiser -- Tuesday, in Milan, Italy. 

"I never really took myself for a cruiser guy," managing director Siddhartha Lal told journalists present. 

"I think this will make a cruiser rider out of me." 

Can the Super Meteor 650 make cruiser riders out of Royal Enfield customers? 

It can, Royal Enfield told the crowd at EICMA -- because the Super Meteor 650 is not just another cruiser. 

Siddhartha Lal said it is Royal Enfield's very own take on cruising itself.

"We have a different world view of how motorcycles should be... how we think about motorcycles is not typical... we ride ourselves, all of us... we understand the pain and the pleasure and the joy of motorcycling... And that's what informs us in making our motorcycles," Lal said.

"Royal Enfield has actually a rich history in cruisers as well. In Royal Enfield UK in the 1950s we were making cruisers. In modern day Indian Royal Enfield there was first the City Bike and after that was the Lightning," he said, as he stood in front of a photo of a 1997 Royal Enfield Lightning 535.

Siddhartha Lal with photo of 1997 Lightning.
Siddhartha Lal remembers Royal Enfield's Lightning 535.

"That's the one when I was 16 I was like Oh My God this is gorgeous," he said.

He traced Royal Enfield's cruiser history through the Thunderbird and today's Meteor 350 single-cylinder cruiser. The new (and highly successful) Meteor 350 demanded a Big Brother.

Mark Wells, Royal Enfield chief of design, talked about what they were trying to create:

"What is a cruiser? What does a cruiser mean? For us and I think for everyone who rides a cruiser it means getting on a bike and looking out to the horizon, looking out to the vanishing point, looking across a massive vista and thinking I want to ride there; I've not got a plan but over there looks great. I'm going to get on the bike and I'm just going to go.

"It's that sat-down and that feet-forward hands-up and relaxed riding position and just letting the world go past you, letting the scenery move through you, moving through the landscape... that's the very essence, the kind of architype of a cruiser."

"Just endlessly munch through the miles."

Mark Wells describes Super Meteor 650.
Mark Wells relates Super Meteor 650 design to past, future.

He introduced a video entitled "Cruising at its purest" that showed the Super Meteor 650 moving through lush scenery to relaxing music.

The Super Meteor 650, Wells said, is a natural outgrowth of the parallel-twin 650 platform; the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT came first, but in fact the 650 with its low-down torque was perhaps even better for a relaxed cruiser.

Otherwise, however, the Super Meteor is a clean sheet of paper design, he said. He pointed to a new main frame, new suspension geometry, tank, swinging arm, side panels, up-side-down forks and LED headlight. Here are the full Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 specifications:

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 specifications.
Official Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 specifications.

As Lal told the EICMA gathering, Royal Enfield made parallel-twin motorcycles in Britain in the 1950s. They weren't American style cruisers, but they certainly grew into attractive, powerful, and long-legged motorcycles in their day. (The original Royal Enfield Super Meteor, of 1956, was Royal Enfield's first 100-mph machine.)

The new Super Meteor 650 will be available "across Europe" in Spring, 2023, the press was told. Royal Enfield North America repeated the predicted Spring 2023 arrival date on its Instagram account @royalenfield_na

It's coming to America.

Here's the YouTube video of the unveiling.

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