This new 650cc motorcycle will be the middle-weight cruiser in Royal Enfield’s lineup
We all know that Royal Enfield is developing a 650cc cruiser based on their potent 650cc parallel-twin platform. But we also know that it will get Meteor 350-inspired cruiser design language. It was unofficially called Super Meteor 650.
But Royal Enfield’s recent slip-up has revealed that the company is keen on resurrecting its bygone Thunderbird marque with this upcoming cruiser. Royal Enfield’s service page on their website mysteriously revealed the name Thunderbird X 650 in the list of all Royal Enfield bikes available to book a service schedule.
Royal Enfield was quick enough to rectify this and took it off its website. But the damage was done and the internet was blessed with screenshots of the same. This makes sense too because Meteor is actually the successor of Thunderbird. And if you ask us, Thunderbird name is cooler and has much more weight than Super Meteor. Remember the Ford Thunderbird? That was a cool car with a cool name.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 650cc Cruiser
Royal Enfield’s recent test mule has the 650cc parallel-twin engine with twin exhaust and is a cruiser motorcycle. Ring any bell? Yes, it might be the upcoming Thunderbird 650. We say Thunderbird 650 instead of Thunderbird X 650 as seen on Royal Enfield’s website. Because, the test mule has chrome exhausts and looking back at Thunderbird 350X and 500X, they had sporty persona with black exhaust. This could be Thunderbird 650 like Thunderbird 350 and 500 which had chrome exhaust.
The test mule looks production-ready and doesn’t get any camouflage too. This hints us that a launch may be closer than we’d have hoped. This test mule looks like the lower-spec variant as creature comforts like pillion backrest, windscreen, rear luggage rack and saddle stays are missing. All these were present on test mule spotted testing abroad. Royal Enfield is likely to offer these features in higher variants though just like it did with Meteor 350.
The source also claims that the exhaust note had more bass than Continental GT 650 and Interceptor 650. This might be due to a different exhaust system. It will borrow the same 648cc parallel-twin that does duties on Continental GT 650 and Interceptor 650. Royal Enfield may retain the same throttle map or introduce a new one for this cruiser to suit its laid-back personality.
Features & Launch
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 650 test mule was spotted donning a twin-pod instrument cluster. The main unit is larger and houses an analog speedometer and tachometer and a small LCD screen within it showing trip info, fuel level and other info. Beside it, we find the tripper screen for navigation. Other features spotted on the test mule include single disc brake at both ends, USD fork setup at front and twin shocks at the rear. We expect it to get dual-channel ABS as standard.
Coming to the launch, Royal Enfield has a lot on its platter right now. For starters, they have the Hunter 350 launch planned for August. Looking at the production-ready-looking test mule, we can’t help but predict that Royal Enfield might launch its middleweight cruiser by the end of this year. When launched, it might bear Super Meteor 650, Thunderbird 650 or Thunderbird X 650 name. Prices could be in the Rs 4 lakh range, making it the most affordable 650cc cruiser on offer.