Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 vs Interceptor 650: Sibling Revelry
- The Super Meteor 650 goes up against its sibling - Interceptor 650
- Both motorcycles get the same engine
- Design is significantly different
Royal Enfield has one goal, well, actually two! The first is to establish dominance in the middleweight segment globally and the second is to renew interest in the cruiser segment in India as well as across the world. And the Super Meteor 650 is a step in that direction. As it happens to be, the Interceptor 650 is right now the closest rival to the Super Meteor 650. If you are in the market for a parallel-twin modern classic, which one should you take home? We try and simplify it for you!
Design and Features
(If you are looking for an affordable quintessential cruiser, look no further than the Super Meteor 650)
The Super Meteor is a reminder of what relaxed, unhurried and joyful riding is. Beautiful design, immaculate proportions and friendly vibe is what the Super Meteor characterises. It is after all, a quintessential cruiser and it sure does look the part. Especially, on this ‘Celestial’ trim, with the lovely cream and red colour combination. The quality and finish are excellent, easily the best on a Royal Enfield till date. Just looking at it gives you a sense of calm, making you want to exhale and take on that open road.
(The Interceptor 650 is the poster boy for modern classic motorcycles)
The Interceptor, on the other hand, has a classic, yet a naughty, playful vibe to it. An easy-going roadster, which can be deceptively quick, yet paint a pretty picture, in the Ventura Blue. It is the poster boy for modern classic motorcycles, with its minimalist design.
(The SM650 is the first motorcycle from Royal Enfield to get a full LED headlight)
The Super Meteor 650 is the most loaded motorcycle to come out of RE’s factory! LED lighting, upside down fork, Tripper Navigation and alloy wheels are exclusive to the Super Meteor. There’s lots going for the new 650 on the block!
(USD fork on a Royal Enfield motorcycle is a first too, on the Super Meteor 650)
Plus, the instrument console shows more information than the twin-pod on the Interceptor 650. Do note that the windscreen and the backrest is only offered on the top-spec celestial trim. On the Astral and the Interstellar trim, it is optional.
(The seat on the SM650 is comfy and will keep your backside happy on long rides)
The Super Meteor 650 is definitely the comfier of the two. The seating position is nice, comfortable and it has a typical laid-back, cruiser-style riding position and it makes more sense if you plan to ride two-up, with a pillion rider and go on frequent long-distance rides.
(If you plan to ride two-up frequently, then the Super Meteor 650 makes more sense)
The backrest here definitely helps. But if you are a solo rider and your primary aim is daily commuting and short weekend rides, then the Interceptor 650 makes more sense for you.
(The Interceptor 650 looks beautiful on the move)
Cruisin’ and Vibin’
When it comes to performance and dynamics, both motorcycles offer different flavour. The interceptor is just 202 kg kerb weight while the Super Meteor 650 weighs significantly more at 241 kg. therefore, it makes a difference in terms of handling and of course, the Super Meteor 650, the rear suspension is very, very stiff. So your pillion rider will feel discomfort while going over broken roads and undulations.
(The Interceptor 650 is a better handling machine than the SM650)
The Interceptor 650 in comparison, offers a much plusher ride and you will be in much more comfort, while going over bad surfaces.
(Pillion riders won't be comfy on the rear seat of the Interceptor)
But, if you do want to ride with a pillion on the Interceptor, they are going to find themselves almost squatting on the rear seat, because the rear footpegs are placed higher up than usual, thanks to the upswept exhausts, so it is an awkward position to sit in.
(More ground clearance on the Interceptor 650 means less chances of it scraping on a speed breaker)
Now, the one area where the Interceptor has a significant advantage over its newer sibling is the ground clearance. At 174 mm, it is significantly higher than the Super Meteor’s 135 mm, which is prone to scraping its belly over large speed breakers.
Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
Parallel-Twin, SOHC, Air-Oil Cooled
Parallel-Twin, SOHC, Air-Oil Cooled
46.4 bhp @ 7,250 rpm
47 bhp @ 7,150 rpm
52.3 Nm @ 5,650 rpm
52 Nm @ 5,250 rpm
Steel Tubular Spine Frame
Tubular Steel Frame / Bolted Trussing
43mm USD Fork, 120 mm travel
41 mm fork 110 mm travel
Twin shocks | 101 mm travel | Pre-load adjustable
Twin Shocks 88 mm travel
320 mm disc (ABS)
320 mm disc (ABS)
300 mm disc (ABS)
240 mm disc (ABS)
(The engine on both motorcycles is the same, and behave in a similar manner too, more or less)
The engine on both motorcycles is the same, with near similar outputs. In typical RE manner, there is enough shove from the motor at low revs to reward the twist of the throttle with brisk acceleration that goes all the way to triple digit speeds. The gearbox on both motorcycles is slick and offers precise shifts and braking feels adequate.
(The balance on the Super Meteor 650 is solid, when cornering)
In terms of handling, the Interceptor 650, owing to its construction, feels more agile and nimble while hustling through traffic although the balance on the Super Meteor 650 is much better because of the longer wheelbase and the nice heft that the motorcycle has to it.
(Performance on both motorcycles is likeable. Both engines are decently refined too)
Pricing and verdict
The Super Meteor 650 is priced from Rs. 3.49 lakh to Rs. 3.79 lakh. While the Interceptor 650 is priced from Rs. 2.89 lakh to Rs. 3.15 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). And both motorcycles offer good performance, along with great pose value. It was never an apples to apples comparison to begin with but the fact remains that the closest rival to Super Meteor 650 is in fact the Interceptor 650 and that shows the dominance that Royal Enfield has in the midsize segment.
(The Super Meteor 650 offers more pose value, if that's what you are looking for)
It all boils down to personal choice. It isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ situation when it comes to motorcycles and you need to find a motorcycles that fits your purpose. Having said that, both motorcycles are solid purchases in their own right and there are few options, at least in the segment, which come close.
Over the last few years, the once-celebrated cruiser segment has been stagnant, with little movement. But Royal Enfield hopes to change that with the Super Meteor. The very look and feel of a cruiser immediately sends you into zen mode, where you take a step back from worrying about what is and what could have been. The humble cruiser is here to stay, at least that’s what RE feels and us too.
Photography: Apoorv Choudhary