2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 vs Honda Rebel 500: The $7,000 Cruiser Rivalry


  • 2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 Full
    2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650

    The Shotgun 650 is Royal Enfield’s second 650cc cruiser. It’s the production version of RE’s SG650 concept shown in 2021 and carries forward the funky bobber-inspired design. Its contemporary looks are easily its USP, followed by the tractable parallel-twin mill and likable set of features. 

    Engine
    648cc, parallel-twin

    Transmission
    Six-speed

    Torque
    38.5 pound-feet

    MSRP
    $6,899
    Pros
    • Funky design
    • Trusted 648cc powerhouse
    • Likable features
    Cons
    • 529-pound curb weight
    • Low claimed efficiency
  • A couple rides a pair of 2022 Honda Rebel 500s
    2023 Honda Rebel 500

    Expert Opinion: The Honda Rebel 500 is an agile cruiser squarely set in the mid-displacement range. Ample low-end torque and high-end performance make the Rebel 500 suitable for riders looking for a sporty standard as well as new riders looking for a confidence-building starter bike. Features such as all-LED lighting and LCD instrumentation combine with updated styling to make the Rebel 500 a modern ride with classic charm.

    Engine
    471 cc Parallel Twin

    Transmission
    6-Speed manual

    Torque
    31.9 LB-FT

    MSRP
    $6,449
    Pros
    • Proven 471cc engine
    • Simple yet stylish aesthetic
    Cons
    • Barely any features
    • No major updates since inception


Cruiser motorcycles enjoy an unmatched popularity in the United States of America. While much of the credit goes to Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycles, several non-American bikemakers are also swarming the segment in 2024. Particularly, in the metric segment between 500-650cc.



One of the biggest names in this space is the Honda Rebel 500. It more or less kickstarted the entry-level metric cruiser segment and remains a key player today, even without any drastic updates since its inception. After all, it has a likable stripped-back design, a punchy parallel twin, and the Honda reliability we all love.

This year, however, it’s under big threat by a variety of names. We’ve already told you about the 2025 CFMoto 450CL-C, and now, Royal Enfield has announced its Shotgun 650 here. So today, we’re focusing on just how the Shotgun compares against the Rebel 500. The goal? To find out whether the latter is still a worthy pick with the SG650 in the picture. Or whether it’s severely outgunned. Let’s find out.


In order to bring you the most up-to-date and accurate comparison possible, we’ve relied on information sourced straight from the manufacturers (Royal Enfield and Honda). For information regarding our ranking and grading procedures, please refer to our methodology policy.

Related
New CFMoto 450CL-C vs Honda Rebel 500: The 500cc Metric Cruiser Comparison

Spoiler alert: the CFMoto costs a whopping $1,100 less than the Rebel 500’s ABS version

Design And Technology

The Shotgun 650 serves as a funky sibling to the mature Super Meteor 650. As a result, you get a modernized aesthetic from head to toe. Up front, there’s a new X-shaped housing for the LED headlight, topped by bar-end mirrors and a short fender. The fuel tank is new too, with a peanut-type shape and funky graphics (depending on the colorway).


Our favorite bit, though, is the bobber-inspired tail end. It comprises a dangling single-piece saddle, joined by a wide fender and two pea-shooter exhausts. All the mechanicals are blacked out for a pinch of sportiness, and you won’t find any chrome treatment. It’s safe to call this a breath of fresh air in the 500-650cc cruiser space.

The side shot of a dirt bike.
Honda

On the flipside, the Rebel 500 is anything but fresh. It’s had more or less the same aesthetic since 2017. Yes, Honda threw in a quad-LED headlight in 2020, but everything else has been unchanged for a while now. Some of its key aspects include a swooping fuel tank, a small front fender, and a chopped rear fender. It’s a simple and likable design which we have no complaints about. Our issue, though, is with the ignorance and lack of updates from Honda.


The Shotgun 650 takes the cake in the livery department, too. It’s offered in four colors–Stencil White, Plasma Blue, Green Drill, and Sheetmetal Grey–while the Rebel comes in three options–Laurel Green, Pearl Black, and Pearl Smokey Grey. More options aside, RE’s liveries are much more intriguing than the simple options offered by Honda. So bonus points there.

Royal Enfield Shotgun
Royal Enfield

As for technology, the ball is again in the Shotgun’s court (yes, a Royal Enfield trumps a Honda in the feature department!). The RE comes armed with a semi-digital instrument cluster, complete with smartphone connectivity via a Tripper pod. This is topped by adjustable levers, a USB port, dual-channel ABS (as standard), and all-LED lights. In comparison, the Rebel simply has all-LED lights and a puny digital negative LCD.


Features

Royal Enfield Shotgun 650

Honda Rebel 500

All-LED lights

Yes

Yes

Instrument cluster

Dual-pod semi-digital

Negative LCD

Dual-channel ABS

Yes

No (available for extra price)

Smartphone connectivity

Yes

No

Traction control

No

No

USB port

Yes

No (only accessory)

Pillion seat

Yes

No (only accessory)

Engine Performance And Capability

Royal Enfield Shotgun5
Royal Enfield
 


The Shotgun 650 and Rebel 500 both employ parallel twin engines. They’re paired with six-speed transmissions, a slipper clutch, and a final chain drive. But aside from these similarities, the two bikemakers have taken different approaches elsewhere. This results in some sizable differences between the two.

Powertrain Comparison

Royal Enfield has equipped the Shotgun 650 with its 648cc, twin-cylinder engine from the Super Meteor 650. Whereas, the Rebel 500 comes with Honda’s 471cc, parallel-twin engine seen on the CBR500R and CB500R. This extra capacity helps the SG produce 1.5 horsepower and 6.5 pound-feet more than its rival. To make matters worse, RE’s power output kicks in earlier in the rev range for better tractability than the Rebel’s output.

2020 Honda Rebel 500 Press Shot (4)
Honda


However, it’s not a clean sweep. The Rebel might be low on power, but its engine is good for a claimed efficiency of 65.6 miles per gallon. This is a sizable 13 MPG up from what RE claims for its new cruiser. So even though the Rebel has a smaller three-gallon tank, its overall range should be 196 miles–some miles more than the RE’s 189-mile range from its 3.64-gallon unit.

Specification

Royal Enfield Shotgun 650

Honda Rebel 500

Engine

648cc, parallel-twin

471cc, twin-cylinder

Power

47 horsepower at 7,250 RPM

45.5 horsepower at 8,500 RPM

Torque

38.5 pound-feet at 5,650 RPM

32 pound-feet at 6,000 RPM

Compression ratio

9.5:1

10.7:1

Claimed fuel efficiency

~52 miles per gallon

65.6 miles per gallon

Transmission

Six-speed (chain-driven)

Six-speed (chain-driven)

Tank capacity

3.64 gallons

3 gallons


Ride And Handling

Royal Enfield Shotgun3
 Royal Enfield 
 

Like everywhere else, the Rebel 500 is a simple motorcycle in the underpinning context. It has a tubular trellis chassis, suspended on telescopic forks and dual shock absorbers. This is partnered by 16-inch alloy wheels, each with single disc brakes to slow you down.

On the flipside, the Shotgun is built around a steel double-cradle chassis. It relies on more modern Showa USD forks and dual shocks, attached to 18/17-inch wheels. Along with the forks, the SG has bigger disc brakes than the Rebel. Another pro is the 650’s 5.5-inch ground clearance–0.6 up from the Honda.


Related
Honda Rebel 1100: Every Model Year Compared

An anomaly in the segment that shows what it wants to “Rebel” against the tide

But the Rebel 500 strikes back hard in other aspects. It has an uber-low 27.1-inch saddle height–a whopping 3.9 inches lower than the SG. Another big punch is the 408-pound curb weight. This is 121 pounds down on the RE, which would not only affect overall performance but also the riding dynamics.

Specification

Royal Enfield Shotgun 650

Honda Rebel 500

Chassis

Double-cradle steel

Tubular steel

Front suspension

Showa USD forks

41 mm telescopic forks

Rear suspension

Dual shock absorbers

Dual shock absorbers

Wheels

18/17-inch alloys

16/16-inch alloys

Front brake

320 mm disc (double piston)

296 mm disc (two-piston caliper)

Rear brake

300 mm (double piston)

240 mm disc (single-piston caliper)

Weight

529 pounds

408 pounds

Saddle height

31.2 inches

27.1 inches

Ground clearance

5.5 inches

4.9 inches


Pricing And Availability

Finally, let’s talk pricing. Royal Enfield has priced the Shotgun 650 at a starting MSRP of $6,899. The price goes up to $7,099, depending on the color option you pick. Meanwhile, the 2024 Rebel 500 sells for $6,499 for the non-ABS version and $6,799 for the ABS version. So essentially the price difference is just $100 between the Rebel’s ABS version (we won’t recommend the non-ABS model) and the Shotgun 650.

For that 100 bucks, you’re getting a more modern, more powerful, and better-looking product. Yes, it’s not perfect (the weight is a big concern), but there’s no denying the Shotgun justifies the extra money impeccably. So are you ready to give the new Shotgun a chance? Or will you go for the old-but-trusted Rebel? Tell us in the comments.


Royal Enfield Shotgun 650

$6,899

Two-year warranty

Honda Rebel 500 ABS

$6,799

Two-year warranty



Source link

Leave a Comment

Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.

Powered By
100% Free SEO Tools - Tool Kits PRO