Super Meteor vs Interceptor: Which Royal Enfield 650 cc Bike Should You Choose?

The Super Meteor doesn’t really have a direct competitor. Yes, there is a cruiser from Japan and a cruiser from Benelli, but they are quite expensive compared to the Super Meteor. So, one of the competitors to break out of the lineup is the Interceptor 650. People keep asking if they should upgrade from the Interceptor to the Super Meteor, or which motorcycle they should buy. So, here is a detailed comparison between the two motorcycles, but before that, here is a brief history.

A brief history:

I once rode a 2013 Royal Enfield Classic 350 with 15,000 km on it. After that I bought an Interceptor 650 and put it on about 10,000 km in a year. I have used the motorcycle for city commuting, highway driving and the occasional trip including a trip to Ladakh. The modifications you’ll notice are LED bulbs for the turn indicators and different handlebars. I used the original handlebars for thousands of kilometers and replaced them with taller and wider handlebars. The new handlebars provide more leverage in twists and turns and are more comfortable when touring. Now, let’s move on to the comparison.

Specification Comparison Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
engine 648.0 cubic centimeters 648.0 cubic centimeters
spread manual manual
mileage not applicable 25.35 km/mile
gasoline type gasoline not applicable

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 vs Interceptor 650: Design and Ergonomics

The Super Meteor 650 is a proper low-slung cruiser. It still has some vintage elements and a teardrop fuel tank. The handlebars are tall and wide and fall easily into the rider’s hands. The footpegs are set forward and it might take some time to get used to them if one is not a fan of riding cruisers.

The Super Meteor 650 has a proper cruiser stance, while the Interceptor is slightly sportier.

The Interceptor 650 is a roadster inspired by some British motorcycles. As Royal Enfield, it still retains retro elements. The riding position is slightly tilted toward the handlebars, with slightly rearward pegs.

You may notice that the Interceptor has slightly better mirrors and better visibility than the mirrors on the Super Meteor. This is mainly due to the longer stem of the mirror. Using the Touring Mirrors that the brand sells as genuine accessories might solve this problem.

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 vs Interceptor 650: Features

In terms of functions, the better configuration is Super Meteor 650. It gets LED headlights and taillights, and the instrument cluster is now borrowed from the new Royal Enfields, but it now has a black surround instead of chrome. Tripper Navigation system and adjustable joystick are also available. The Royal Enfield also offers a USB port, but it’s awkwardly located and a bit cumbersome to use.

In contrast, the Interceptor 650 uses halogen headlights and taillights, and the old-school instrument cluster with tachometer is basic, but some people still like to watch the needle chasing the redline.

Additionally, the Super Meteor comes with alloy wheels with tubeless tyres, while the Interceptor still comes with spoked wheels. Despite being on sale for four years, the 650 Twins don’t have alloy wheels even as accessories. Why re? ?

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 vs Interceptor 650: Build quality and hardware

The Royal Enfield has certainly taken a leap forward in terms of build quality. Compared to the Interceptor 650, the Super Meteor feels more like a better-made product. The paint quality, fit and finish, brushed aluminum on the switchgear and powder coating on the chassis make the motorcycle feel like a premium product.

Because of the way they're designed, these two motorcycles do have a road presence.

Because of the way they’re designed, these two motorcycles do have a road presence.

Then there’s the hardware, the Super Meteor 650 gets more advanced bits than the Interceptor. This is the first time Royal Enfield has used Showa’s 43mm USD fork on the front of the Super Meteor 650, while the Interceptor uses a 41mm telescopic fork. Both motorcycles have gas-filled dual shocks on the rear.

Both bikes feature a 320mm disc at the front, which provides plenty of stopping power but not much feedback. At the rear, the Super Meteor has a larger 300 mm disc, while the Interceptor has a 240 mm disc. The Super Meteor clearly has the advantage of superior braking hardware, and it shows. However, it also weighs significantly more than the Interceptor, so it needs that stopping power.

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 vs Interceptor 650: Ride Quality and Handling

The ride quality of both motorcycles is not perfect. The Super Meteor 650 felt stiff in the rear, while the Interceptor’s front felt light and sprung. Still, the Interceptor 650 is a bike that feels better in the corners because of its lighter weight and shorter wheelbase. That doesn’t mean Super Meteor doesn’t handle it well. In fact, you might be surprised at how well it sticks to its course. For those who care, the Super Meteor doesn’t scrape anywhere despite having a ground clearance of 135mm. Both motorcycles feel solid when you’re hitting triple-digit speeds on the highway.

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 vs Interceptor 650: Engine and Transmission

Both motorcycles use the same 648 cc air-oil cooled engine producing 47 bhp and 52 Nm of peak torque, which remains undoubtedly the highlight of the kit. However, Royal Enfield has adapted the Super Meteor’s engines to suit the characteristics of its cruisers. The electric motor produces higher power and torque across the rev range. Vibration levels are slightly higher on the Super Meteor, and the engine sound and throttle switch transitions aren’t as smooth as the Interceptor’s.

Compared to the Super Meteor, the Interceptor is not very well equipped functionally

Compared to the Super Meteor, the Interceptor is not very well equipped functionally

Having said that, if you don’t have a 650 Twin, these things won’t worry you as you probably won’t notice them. Torque is well distributed across the rev range, and all you need to do is twist the throttle to overtake. That’s where this engine shines, there’s always plenty of torque in reserve.

Both motorcycles use the same 6-speed gearbox, but the unit on the Interceptor feels smoother. That’s probably because the Super Meteor is equipped with heel and toe shifters. The clutches on both motorcycles are stiff, but you get used to them after a few days of riding. The Super Meteor’s exhaust note also sounds better compared to the Interceptor, especially on the BS6 version, which is more rounded than before.

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 vs. Interceptor 650: Travel and Rear Seat Comfort

When it comes to touring, the Super Meteor is the better motorcycle because it’s built for touring. The purpose of the riding triangle is for the comfort one can spend hours in the saddle. However, the stock seat may not be the top choice for some. Royal Enfield offers a booster seat to solve this problem. Then there’s the straight exhaust, which means it’s easier to fit the boot. The Interceptor’s swept-up exhaust limits the luggage options available for travel.

For the back seat, the Super Meteor again seems to be the better choice thanks to the exhaust design and larger seats. Having said that, lower versions of the Super Meteor didn’t come with a backrest, so when a rider decides to speed up or pass someone, the back seat might feel like it’s going to fall over. Again, this can be solved by choosing accessories sold by the manufacturer. The Interceptor’s exhaust design made sitting in the back seat uncomfortable with the knees up.

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 vs Interceptor 650: Prices

The interceptor currently starts at ¥289,000, while Super Meteor started at ¥349 thousand. Both prices are ex-showroom prices.So, there is a price difference ¥The starting price of the two motorcycles is between 60,000. The Interceptor is only available in a single trim, and prices vary depending on the color the user chooses. The Super Meteor 650 is available in three models – Astral, Interstellar and Celestial.price is ¥349,000, ¥364,000 and ¥379,000 respectively.

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 vs Interceptor 650: Who Should Buy What?

If you’re looking for a motorcycle for city use and the occasional long ride, the Interceptor should fit your needs well, and the money you save can be spent on accessories and mods to make the bike better for you. But if you’re going to be using your motorcycle for long trips on good roads and want a true blue cruiser, the Super Meteor is the motorcycle.

First published date: Feb 8, 2023 at 13:04pm CST

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