The first impression when we get onto the bike is it’s sheer weight. Moving it from the stand itself takes effort.
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For the past 11 years, the most powerful bike in my garage was the trusty Thunderbird Twinspark 350. This bike is easily one of the best touring motorcycles I’ve ever driven, and in over 50k kilometers and over travel to 9 states, this vehicle has climbed every hill and cruised over every highway on its way with zero issues.
A photo of the Thunderbird, running as if it was brand new even after 11 years and 50k kilometers of cruising
But like every other auto enthusiasts, the need for a bigger and more faster motorcycle will always be there. Yes, the Thunderbird with its excellent low end torque can climb any hill, and decently cruise at 60 – 70 all day long. But yet, power is everything.
With this started the long and arduest effort of finding a new motorcycle. The first motorcycle considered was a Classic 500, in Stealth Black color. Yes, it is not a great improvement over the 350, but I still believe it is the best colorway RE has produced in its entire UCE Classic production. But it was discontinued pretty soon and out of the race.
The second bike, was the Interceptor. While it does have a gem of an engine, the ergonomics really killed the deal for this bike, with its annoying footpeg placement. There was also the entire wobbling issue, which scared a newbie rider like me from considering this bike. It still would love to get an Interceptor or a GT650 in Chrome one day, but for my current use, both bikes were not the best.
Now, coming to the Super Meteor 650. The day bookings were opened, I instantly logged in to MiY and booked a Astral Black Super Meteor 650, with basic accessories like crash guard and sump guard. An estimate of 2 months was given for delivery, and honestly that was exceeded by at least 2 weeks. After what essentially felt like an eternity, I finally managed to get hold of my bike.
The first impression when we get onto the bike is it’s sheer weight. Moving it from the stand itself takes effort. Starting the bike leads to both exhausts providing a sweet sound, courtesy of the twin cylinder engine. It is slightly silent than my Thunderbird in lower speeds, but as the speed picks up, it becomes louder.
The bike when it first reached the dealership, pre PDI.
This bike, like every other, has pros and cons, and for me, the pros are good enough to totally negate the cons which this bike has
- The 650cc engine is extremely fast. The bike picks up speed quick, and there is just a negligible difference between this and the 650 Twins, despite this bike being heavier
- The stability on this bike is excellent. The fat rear tyres, and the suspension ensures that the bike is stable, and able to pick up higher speed even post triple digit speeds
- The seating for the rider is comfortable, and long rides can easily be done on it
- The gearbox is once again, smooth and especially for someone used to the crude – ish UCE 350, this is like a night and day difference
- The build quality on this bike is excellent. Compared to a UCE 350, with cheap plastics and constant rust issues, this bike is extremely well built. Well painted panels, metal parts mostly blacked out, the switchgear being absolutely premium just add up to a much better experience. Also the fact that the hardware on the bike, especially the suspension is mostly good (more on that in the cons section)
- The Weight. While Weight is a given for the Enfield, being its most infamous character, 240kg is too heavy for a motorcycle. The vehicle masks its weight well while riding, but pushing the bike is a total annoyance Trying to manuever the bike by pushing is a herculean task, especially while turning.
- Turning Radius on this bike is bad. It’s almost comparable to an SUV of sorts, where taking this bike to small lanes and by roads is extremely tough, due to its weight and small turning radius
- Lack of Accessories – This is more of a temporary issue, caused due to RE not delivering basic accessories like the Sump Guard and Crash Guard, which I believe are essential for any bike to be had during delivery itself
- Suspension – The suspension is well tuned for the highway, making it totally stable. But this is at the cost of slightly bumpy ride otherwise. Does not affect me much since roads I ride on are mostly good. Could be a dealbreaker for others though
The Super Meteor sitting along with the rest of its garagemates, the Thunderbird and what I believe is an MM540 Mahindra Jeep, which has been the default car of the garage now
The front view of the bike. This bike has the quintessential cruiser look from the front, with the LED lights, which are decent I would say. One critique of the front portion would be the lack of a dual pod instrument cluster like my Thunderbird. I think a Dual Pod Cluster, by putting a tachometer instead of the Tripper Navigation would have made the bike even better looking, and would be a homage to the first gen Thunderbird, the OG Royal Enfield Cruiser.
A couple of shots of the side profile of the bike. This is easily the most beautiful looking part of the bike. The black color with the blacked out engine together make a simple yet extremely good looking side profile of the motorcycle.
A view of the rear profile of the bike. It is simple and is almost exactly the same as the smaller Meteor 350, except for the Twin Exhausts. While it is decently looking, a bit of a differentiation from the smaller motorcycle could have been made imo.
The headlight is simple and functional, with LED lights standard, which is pretty new for RE. It is fine, but I have not ridden the bike out in extreme darkness to test out how good the headlights are. But when compared to the Thunderbird, these are better.
The simple instrument cluster a speedo, fuel indicator and a couple of other features. Also present is the Tripper, which I am yet to use. Updates on the Tripper navigation will be posted soon.
The front and rear tyres and brakes. This bike has CEAT tyres, with Bybre Brakes with dual – channel ABS. I have not driven a more powerful bike than this, so I cannot compare braking with otjher bikes. But even then, I find the brakes to be decent, they ensure that the bike stops pretty quickly. This bike is also the first with ABS in the entire garage, and only now I realize how ABS is extremely important and I could have saved myself from various accidents if I had any on my older bikes.
Only a couple of kilometers have been put into the bike so far, and more updates would be put as more kilometers are covered and if and when any changes are made to the bike.
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