2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 Review – Second Ride

Cait Maher
by Cait Maher

A mid-size cruiser with a steadfast engine and elevated technology upgrades

Photos by Royal Enfield

Taking a giant leap into creating a motorcycle platform with customization in mind, the Shotgun 650 is, at its heart, the quintessential mid-sized cruiser, wrapped in sleek and simple bobber style cladding, and adorned with the latest technology upgrades.

Standing squarely in the present, the Shotgun 650 takes the time tested Royal Enfield 650 twin-cylinder engine and provides it with the sleek shape and style of a completely modern cruiser. While standard bikes are the lifeblood of this brand, the cruiser-esque Shotgun 650 stands out in the lineup as a breath of fresh air to the retro-styled Royal Enfields of the previous decades. Bold color choices, the addition of a digi-analog dash, and a chassis that is planted solidly on two wide tires, ensures a well balanced and smooth-as-silk ride with options – all while keeping the price well below competing offerings from other brands.

2024 Royal Enfield Shotgun 650

Shotgun 650 is at its heart the quintessential mid-sized cruiser, wrapped in sleek and simple bobber style cladding, and adorned with the latest technology upgrades.

Reviewer's Score: 81%




















  • Balanced weight/size/power ratio
  • Clean lines and attractive style
  • Engine is smooth as butter


  • Rear brake is alarmingly strong
  • Seating position isn’t comfortable for long
  • Suspension could use more adjustability

The 650 Twin is the same engine found in both the Continental GT650 and the Interceptor 650 – two models that have been staples of Royal Enfield’s lineup since the mid-1960’s. Previously, I felt that Royal Enfield’s of the not-so-distant past were either under powered or overweight. The Shotgun 650 is a near perfect balance of power and size, the result of which lends to stability in both high-speed application on highways as well as slower speeds in the twisties or around town. Throughout the time on the highways during our test, I was easily able to jet forward to bob around a car, and didn’t run out of throttle when the traffic cleared and we could open them up a bit. Power delivery is consistent and predictable, and I found myself using the engine braking to set up my turns while in the canyons. Easing off the throttle provided gradual deceleration and was a further testament to the smoothness of the motor, and even accelerating through mismatched speeds/gears, the bike spun through without complaint or strain. The six speed gearbox is smooth, if short in the lower gears, and confidently clicks up and down easily with a tap of your toe. The clutch pull is smooth and moderately easy, the non-adjustable levers are slightly wide and flat in the middle, and are easily held to the bar at a stop.

If you think some parts of this motorcycle are starting to look familiar, you’re not wrong. The Shotgun 650 borrows the frame and suspension from the Super Meteor 650, launched last fall. This includes the 43mm Showa Big-Piston inverted fork followed up by twin tube, five-step preload adjustable Showa shocks in the rear. Braking power is delivered through 320mm rotors up front and 300mm in the rear, paired with twin-piston calipers supplied by Brembo’s Indian subsidiary ByBre. While the front is an easy predictable pull with gradual stopping power, the rear brake has a comically tough bite that jerks the bike upright and the rider forward over the handlebars with even the slightest touch on the foot pedal. I tried a few times to feel out whether the rear brake needed an ever lighter touch, and in the end almost completely abandoned using it on anything that wasn’t first or second gear, and on city stop-and-go streets.

Contrary to the GT’s rearset footpegs, and the INT’s slightly cramped mid-controls, the updated ergonomics on the Shotgun have your feet planted just right on either side of the engine case, giving you a very neutral seating position. Being a smaller rider, I did feel like the formed bobber single seat was a little over exaggerated in its shape, with the result being a less than comfortable ride over longer distances. Shifting back into the seat to try to find the sweet spot in the padding took me a little too far from the bars. The seat height itself is measured at 31.3 inches, and while that’s not considerably low, the combination of the well-worn weight and wide, tubeless 18-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels make it easier to maneuver in a tight space and hoist off the kickstand. The weight is a solid 529 pounds wet, about 15 pounds heavier than both the GT650 and INT650.

LED headlights are another notable upgrade to the platform, the lamp surrounded by a stylish cowl painted in the same color scheme as the tanks and side panels, lending an air of the retro-futuristic vibe the brand is aiming for with the style choices present. The wide classic tank, side panels and rear fender do lend an excellent canvas to the rider itching to let their personality shine through custom paint. A full range of accessories are available for further customization, the usual suspects included, like bar end mirrors, engine guards and fancy-stitched single bobber seats. The Shotgun comes standard with a removable luggage rack and an accompanying pillion seat that is attached and removed via a twist of the key, a smart choice for those who plan to use the bike for more than just short solo excursions.

Elevated technological touches, like the proprietary Tripper module, come standard on the Shotgun 650. The small round display to the right of the speedo links to the Royal Enfield App, and through it you can display basic navigation, although since it links via bluetooth, it has the tendency to run your phone battery down abnormally fast. When not paired with the application, it displays the time. A USB port is accessible with the twist of your key, protected behind the left side panel and a snug weatherproof cap. The digi-analogue dash does come with some much welcomed upgrades: the cluster includes a digital screen with odometer, gear indicator, clock and fuel gauge, all framed by the speedometer. A claimed range of roughly 200 miles per tank felt accurate, as our route through the twisty Santa Monica mountains was just over 100 miles, and the gauge showed half-full at the conclusion of the day.

The Continental GT650 new colorways: Apex Grey and Slipstream Blue

All of the updated 650 lineup for the 2024 model year are sporting the blacked out engine and pipes, where the previous years’ resplendent chrome coatings had been a fan favorite. Personally, I enjoy the look of the blacked-out engine, giving an understated look to the bikes, while showing off the paint and silhouette that sets each model apart. The 2024 Continental GT650 will be available in two new colorways paired with the darkened engine: Apex Grey and Slipstream Blue. The INT650 will have the additions of Barcelona Blue and Black Ray paired with the blacked-out engine, as well as new paint colors available for the original chrome clad setup: Cali Green and Black Pearl.

Suggested MSRP tucks the Shotgun 650 neatly into the Royal Enfield lineup, at $6,899, which is just $100 under the MSRP of the Super Meteor 650 (at $6,999) and a few hundred above both the Continental GT650 ($6,349) and Interceptor 650 ($6,149). All of the 2024 models are currently for sale at dealerships across the country. You can find the Shotgun 650 offered in four colorways, Stencil White, Plasma Blue, Green Drill and Sheet Metal Grey.

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Cait Maher
Cait Maher

Cait is a motorcycle enthusiast first and foremost, often spending weeks at a time crisscrossing the country on her Moto Guzzi V7. She got her start in the industry running a women’s moto gear market that travelled the country, and has been able to see the women’s moto community grow from the inside out over the last 10 years. She is typically found on pavement but has been eagerly diving outside her riding comfort zone for the sake of a good story, previously riding her TW200 through two Biltwell 100 races and one very well intentioned LAB2V. While not glued to her motorcycle, Cait lives a secret life as a hairdresser and quilter.

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2 of 9 comments
  • Scott W H McKay Scott W H McKay on Apr 01, 2024

    100 miles is not enough to formulate an educated opinion.

    I'm not saying she's wrong, just that a longer test would create more credibility.

  • Dle Dle on Apr 01, 2024

    Ugh, just 46 horsepower?