2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 (launch ride)

A motorcycle inspired by the ethos of by custom for custom is the fourth in Royal Enfield’s 650 twins range, with the Shotgun delivering character-laden street appeal, with a stripped-down roadster vibe.

Unveiled in the US late last year, on the back of the SG650 Concept that was showcased at EICMA in 2021, the Shotgun 650 has just made its local debut, and joins the Interceptor, Continental GT and Super Meteor in Royal Enfield’s ranks.

Melbourne and the Yarra Valley provided the perfect backdrop for the Australia and New Zealand model launch, with international Royal Enfield dignitaries on hand, including designer Adrian Sellers.

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As we were introduced to the new bike, one’s limited attention span immediately began to drift and ponder the customisation options that we would undertake should the new Shotgun 650 find a home in the bike shed.

2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650
2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650

There are 31 accessories available for the new model, including seats, mirrors, and engine guards, but as we conjured a custom build in the daydream we’d become submerged in, the presentation concluded, and it was time to hit the road.

We headed out of Southbank to Melbourne’s central CBD to get our first taste of the Shotgun, which feels familiar given all its carryover components. The powerplant and gearbox remain the same as its siblings, as does the ignition and fuel injection system.

The 648cc parallel twin produces a modest but extremely useable 34.5kW of grunt and 52.3Nm of torque. The steel frame carries over from the Super Meteor 650 too, but that’s where the similarities end, and the Shotgun starts to show its uniqueness.

Through Melbourne traffic, it’s well mannered and nimble enough for effective and hassle-free lane filtering. There’s no overheating of the rider’s legs and as annoying as the city hustle can be, the Shotgun is a pleasant place from which to navigate the urban jungle.

2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650
2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650

Post a few photo ops, we then headed for some scenic country roads to test the mettle of the bike’s cruiser capabilities. The freeway held no barriers for the Shotgun, with the bike behaving sensibly and smoothly, even at speed.

Out on the open road, we got the chance to become more familiar with the speedo and switch blocks/housings, which are all standard issue across Royal Enfield’s bikes; meaning they’re easy to use and navigate. Tripper navigation is also included.

We couldn’t help but wonder why they haven’t incorporated the setup that features on the new Himalayan 450. It’s speedo, with smartphone integration, is a real game changer and it’s a bit of a lost opportunity to not have it part of the Shotgun’s standard equipment.

That aside, we soon found ourselves piloting the new Royal Enfield through more rural settings. As we started to push a little more enthusiastically through some corners and change directions, two things stood out, the front end and the seating position.

2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650
2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650

The ergonomics of the Shotgun have you in a reasonably aggressive riding position, reaching forward into an almost roadster fashion. It’s not very cruiser-like, but it does mean the bike is very compliant when cornering. We will say, we’re a fan of the setup.

With the foot pegs directly under your hips forming a 90-degree seating position from the waist down, on the single saddle, it is comfortable, but you will have to make some adjustments to improve back brake pressure. It’s quite easy to apply too much.

The front end of the Shotgun is also well setup, with the Shotgun tipping to the stopping point of the foot pegs easily and predictably. A Showa 43mm diameter fork handle the duties and does a great job.

Having put in some miles, or kilometres if you prefer, we soon arrived at Hubert’s Estate for lunch. It was a great opportunity to mull over our initial thoughts, and take in the appeal of the Shotgun 650 against a beautiful back drop.

2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650
2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650

The retro inspired styling has been well executed and is fused with modern touches, including an LED headlamp in a gorgeous custom, neo-modern nacelle. With some extra pre-load added to stiffen the rear a little, it was back on the road we went.

The change worked a treat, with the improvement in ride immediately noticeable as we pushed through a nice twisty section of backroads. The 320mm single disc front brake is adequate for cruising and city duties, but a twin disc setup wouldn’t go astray.

At the rear is a 300mm single disc. As we headed back to suburbia, we were again impressed with how the Shotgun handled these conditions, and can see what a good commuter the bike will make.

A learner bike, our biggest conundrum from the whole test was just where the bike sits in the market. Part cruiser, roadster, semi-naked and café racer (especially if you customise it that way), it’s very versatile, without feeling like its trying to be everything to everyone.

2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650
2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650

Either way, it handles particularly well and brings another dimension to the Royal Enfield 650 range. Versatile and ready to be customised the Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 is priced from $11,590 ride away.

It’s backed by a 3-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and is available in four colours, including Stencil White, Plasma Blue, Green Drill, and Sheet Metal Grey. To find out more, you can visit the Royal Enfield website, or talk to your local dealership.

Our test bikes were provided by Royal Enfield as part of the Australia and New Zealand media launch. Pictures courtesy of Tom Fossati and Matty Hayman.

Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin is the ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, a contributor at Bike Review and panel judge for Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.


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