2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 First Ride Review: As Good As It Gets - SUV VEHICLE

2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 First Ride Review: As Good As It Gets

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Summary

  • The Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 is a versatile cruiser with modern aesthetics that offers a unique riding experience at an affordable price.
  • With a potent 648cc parallel-twin engine, the Shotgun 650 delivers ample torque and mid-range performance suitable for city commuting or highway cruising.
  • The balanced ride and handling of the Shotgun 650 make it an agile cruiser for both beginners and seasoned riders.



Royal Enfield continues to add more products to its 650cc platform. It’s the sensible thing to do, since the Indian manufacturer’s 650cc motorcycles have been performing well all around the globe. Royal Enfield has made a mark on the global market because of these 650cc motorcycles, starting with the INT 650, the Continental GT 650, and more recently, the Super Meteor 650. The latest offering is inspired by the world of custom motorcycles, and it takes shape in the 2024 Shotgun 650.

The Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 is now available in the US at a starting price of $6,899, and it emerges as a paradox in the realm of modern motorcycling as it effortlessly blends tradition with innovation. The Shotgun 650 seems to defy straightforward categorization, not just by its appearance but by its spirit and form – it could be a roadster, a sportster or a cruiser. Call it what you want, but at its core, the Shotgun 650 is a compact custom-styled cruiser that features a modern modular design. You can adjust the seats, add bags, or customize components seamlessly. This flexibility is further enhanced by its four unique colorways, each drawing inspiration from the vibrant culture of customization. This allows both seasoned builders and beginners alike to find a canvas for self-expression. But how does the new Shotgun ride, and is it the right motorcycle for you? Well, let’s find out.


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

Horsepower
47 horsepower

Torque
38.5 pound-feet

MSRP
$6,899

Fuel Economy
52 miles per gallon (claimed)
Pros
  • Design
  • Wonderful Engine
  • Affordability
  • Great First Motorcycle or Project Bike
Cons
  • A Little On The Heavy Heavy

In order to provide you with an honest and unbiased review, the Shotgun 650 reviewed in this article was ridden on a daily basis throughout the course of daily life for a period of one week. For detailed insight into testing procedures and data collection, please review our methodology policy.


2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 First Impressions

When I first saw the Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 in the flesh, I was immediately drawn to its good looks. The Shotgun certainly demands attention. It looks like a big bike thanks to its long and low stance, sitting pretty on its wide 18-inch front and 17-inch rear tires with blacked-out alloys. The wheels are complemented by robust 320mm front and 300mm rear disc brakes, signaling that the Shotgun 650 is a motorcycle that is ready to handle whatever the road might throw its way. The design marries classic elements with a modern aesthetic, making the Shotgun 650 a head-turner.


While based on the same 650cc Twin platform as its siblings, the Shotgun 650 distinguishes itself as the crown jewel of this lineup – in the looks department at least. While the Super Meteor 650 and the other models are certainly no slouches when it comes to dressing up, the Shotgun 650 elevates the style quotient with its bold, vibrant colors and striking graphics that stretch from nose to tail. This Shotgun doesn’t just show up – it makes an entrance, turning heads and drawing gazes wherever it roams.

The headlight bezel at the front gets a sleek half-fairing which seems to find its rightful place on the Shotgun. Complementing the modern lines are LED lights set in classic, circular fixtures that nod respectfully to retro sensibilities. The Shotgun also has more compact dimensions than the Super Meteor 650, with a reduced length and wheelbase, as well as a tear-drop fuel tank that is half a gallon smaller than the Meteor’s 4.1-gallon fuel tank. This makes the Shogtun 650 the most athletic-looking cruiser of the Royal Enfield stable.


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Engine And Performance

Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 Engine
Jared Solomon / TopSpeed

The heart of the Shotgun 650 is the 648cc parallel-twin engine, identical to the powerhouse found on the other 650s. This engine is a testament to Royal Enfield’s engineering prowess, delivering a peak power of 47hp and a maximum torque of 38.5 lb-ft. Designed for real-world performance, this engine boasts a strong mid-range and ample torque across the rev range, ensuring the rider remains engaged at all times. This motor, nestled within the bike’s tubular steel frame, carries forward Royal Enfield’s ‘pure motorcycling’ DNA.


This engine allows the Shotgun to be a versatile machine. It’s a great city bike, and you can easily ride it all day long as a commuter. On the highway, it gets enough power for you to enjoy higher speeds, and if you want to ride with a little more attitude, you certainly can twist your wrist all the way and enjoy the torque on offer. However, the engine does rattle a little when you cross 70mph, and you can feel it on the footpegs and the handlebars. It’s still a refined unit though, and throttle response is always on point. While you can race off the line fairly quickly, it’s not the most exhilarating acceleration, but the fun quotient is fairly high.

Performance Specifications

Engine

Type:

Air-Oil Cooled, Parrallel-Twin

Displacement:

648cc

Bore x Stroke:

78 mm x 67.8 mm

Compression Ratio:

9.5 : 1

Transmission:

6-Speed

Final Drive:

Chain

Performance

Maximum Speed

115 MPH

Peak Horsepower:

47 HP

Maximum Torque:

38.5 LB-FT


Ride And Handling

Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 side profile 2
Jared Solomon / TopSpeed

When you ride the Shotgun 650, you will find that it’s the most agile 650cc cruiser in Royal Enfield’s lineup. The Shotgun offers a riding experience that epitomizes balance and ergonomics. The bike is thoughtfully designed with mid-set foot pegs, a low seat height of 31.2-inches, and intuitively placed handlebars that harmonize with the rider’s posture. Then you add in the wonderfully tuned Showa suspension and the low center of gravity, and you will feel incredibly confident when riding on twisty sections of road.


The torquey engine has a phenomenal mid-range spread, and it sits inside a beautiful and firm chassis. This translates into a ride that’s as fun as it is comfortable, whether navigating city streets, cruising highways, or exploring back roads. The single-seat layout is great, but you have the option of switching that out with a longer one if you have a pillion rider who regularly tags along on your weekend rides. The tires and brakes also work in unison to provide a steadfast grip and formidable control, ensuring safety and further enhancing your confidence. I found the ABS on the Shotgun to work the best out of all the other Royal Enfield’s I have ridden. When it comes to comfort and ergonomics, I am over 6 feet tall and weigh 250 lbs, yet, irrespective of the bike’s load, the ride was always pliant and smooth.

The Shotgun is certainly a great all-round handling motorcycle and probably one of the best motorbikes for beginners who like this style of motorcycle, and it’s also a fun motorcycle for seasoned riders who might not want a big, burly cruiser but are still looking to enjoy that lifestyle.


Frame:

Wheelbase:

57.6 inches

Rake/Trail:

25.3º / 3.99 inches

Seat Height:

31.2 inches

Suspension – Front/Rear:

USD Showa Big Piston Fork / Showa Twin Shock

Brakes – Front/Rear:

Single 320mm disc / Single 300mm disc,

Tires – Front/Rear:

100/90-18 M/C 56H / 150/70 R17 M/C 69H

Curb Weight:

529 LBS

Load Capacity:

943.5 LBS

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Technology And Equipment


Like all Royal Enfield motorcycles, the Shotgun 650 is a bare-bones machine with almost no electronics and posh features. There are some technological enhancements and equipment that give the bike a modern touch. Its instrument cluster melds digital and analog, providing essential information at a glance while incorporating the new Tripper Navigation system for seamless route planning. The Shotgun also features an advanced upside-down suspension setup, wide handlebars for relaxed ergonomics, and switchgear that are both intuitive and accessible. Practicality for modern times is further bolstered by a USB charging port for devices and LED headlamps for superior visibility, ensuring the Shotgun 650 feels young and hip.

Equipment

  • Digital / Analog Dial
  • Dual Channnel ABS
  • USB Charging Port
  • LED Lighting
  • Tripper Navigation with phone connectivity


2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 Vs Its Competitors

The Shotgun 650 is a unique cruiser, but it does face some stiff competition from the affordable Japanese cruisers. Honda has the Rebel 500, which is sharp, agile, and compact, and Kawasaki has the Vulcan S, which is the muscle of this segment. The Shotgun still stands out with its unique design and charismatic road presence.

How The Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 Compares To The Kawasaki Vulcan S

  • 2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 2024 Kawasaki Vulcan S
    Engine 648cc, parallel-twin 649 cc Parallel-twin
    Transmission Six-speed 6-Speed manual
    Horsepower 47 horsepower 61 HP
    Torque 38.5 pound-feet 46.3 LB-FT
    MSRP $6,899 $7,349


There is no doubt that Kawasaki as a brand might have some more recognition in the US market when compared to Royal Enfield. And, the Vulcan S also has a lot more up its sleeve to take on the Shotgun. Firstly, the engine is based on Kawasaki’s 650cc platform, and then the chassis and suspension are derived from its sports bike DNA. The parrellel-twin unit on the Vulcan S produces 14 more horsepower, and it gets more torque. It has the same standard equipment as well, and the price tag is higher, but only by $500. You might ask why then, would anybody choose the Shotgun 650? It’s not a simple answer, and it all comes down to brand preference. Both bikes are great, but if you want a refined cruiser with plenty of power and great handling, the Kawasaki is the clear winner.

How The Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 Compares To The Honda Rebel 500


  • 2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 2023 Honda Rebel 500
    Engine 648cc, parallel-twin 471 cc Parallel Twin
    Transmission Six-speed 6-Speed manual
    Horsepower 47 horsepower 45 HP
    Torque 38.5 pound-feet 31.9 LB-FT
    MSRP $6,899 $6,449

The Shotgun 650 and Rebel 500 comparison gets more interesting. The Honda Rebel has long been one of the best entry-level cruisers that is affordable and fun to ride. It’s cheaper by almost $400, but it does have a smaller engine. The Rebel makes 45 hp, and gets lower torque compared to the Shotgun. The Rebel is also much lighter and more compact, so it will feel like a much smaller motorcycle. It’s also a lot more cramped to ride for bigger riders. The Shotgun on the other hand feels big and also has ample torque for plenty of fun. The Rebel seems more suited for first-time riders and beginners, while the Shotgun will appeal to a much broader customer base.


Should You Buy The Royal Enfield Shotgun 650?

The Shotgun 650 represents more than just a motorcycle – it’s a statement of individuality and the custom bike world. It also balances Royal Enfield’s heritage with new design innovation. The Shotgun is in no way a game changer, but it continues to offer the fun and pure motorcycling joy that many people are content with. The riding experience is exhilarating and accessible and this is something that makes the bike enjoyable on soo many different levels. So, whether you’re drawn to its customizable aesthetics, impressed by its potent engine, or in search of a motorcycle that offers flexibility, the Shotgun 650 will always be a compelling choice. It’s got the heritage, versatility, performance, and ‘the freedom’ to express your individuality.

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