Spotted: Royal Enfield Scrambler 650 Goes For A Test Ride In Europe

11 months, 1 week ago - 1 August 2023, rideapart
Spotted: Royal Enfield Scrambler 650 Goes For A Test Ride In Europe
Could we see the production version of the newest member of the 650 Twins platform before the end of 2023?

In the motorcycle world, rumors of upcoming bike models tend to flow like water. Sometimes, they’re a trickle. Other times, they’re a flood. The best times, from our perspective, come in droplet form. Keep adding together individual clues about a given bike, and pretty soon, you have enough water to take a nice, big, refreshing drink. 

The Royal Enfield Scrambler 650 is a rumor that’s been around for a long time—and it’s not difficult to understand why. After the 650 Twins first had their global launch in 2018 and were introduced first in the North American market shortly thereafter in 2019, just about anyone with two brain cells to rub together wondered when Enfield would introduce other variants on the new platform. 

Speculation soon followed—but that and an ever-increasing amount of money in 2023 will get you a fancy coffee. Thankfully, tasty little bits of evidence started piling up soon after. In November 2022, what appeared to be an Enfield 650 Scrambler was spotted doing some public road testing near Chennai, India.  

Keep in mind, that sighting happened shortly before Royal Enfield formally introduced the all-new Super Meteor 650 at EICMA 2022 on November 8. While the Super Meteor 650 is a 650 Twin-powered cruiser, not a scrambler—the brand and platform innovations introduced on the Super Meteor 650 help to give context to what you’re about to see in this most recent batch of Enfield Scrambler 650 spy photos. 

The Super Meteor 650 brought some interesting advancements to the platform (and Royal Enfield) for the first time. A Showa upside-down front fork graced the front, along with some decidedly 21st century LED lighting. The 648cc parallel twin making a claimed 47 horsepower at 7,250 rpm and 52 newton-meters (or 38.3 pound-feet) of torque at 5,650 rpm remained the same as the heart of the previously introduced Continental GT 650 and INT650, but that was already a known quantity prior to its release.  

Looking at these spy shots of the Scrambler 650, we see both similarities and differences with regard to the Super Meteor 650. Up front, you’ll spot the same USD front fork and round LED headlight. Where the Super Meteor 650 gets a 19-inch alloy wheel up front and a 16-inch alloy wheel in the rear shod in Ceat street tires, this Scrambler 650 test mule gets a pair of spoked wheels wrapped in mild dual sport rubber (possibly also from Ceat; it’s difficult to say given the motion depicted in these photos). 

The taillight configuration on the Scrambler 650 test mule is decidedly different than what’s found on the Super Meteor 650, as well, but that’s probably to be expected. The Scrambler 650 appears to have a more open rear fender located at roughly the same height as the one found on the Super Meteor. However, since it’s not enclosed like the Super Meteor, the initial impression is that it’s placed higher up, tucking just under the pillion seat.  

The Super Meteor 650’s taillight and turn signals are visually separate from one another. The taillight, with its chrome bezel, sits higher on the rear fender than the small, round turn signals. Those sit toward the bottom of the rear fender, at either side of it—making sure that they’re seen when needed, but otherwise remaining fairly unobtrusive. 

Contrast that with the Scrambler 650 shown in these photos, and it’s clear that the Scrambler 650’s taillight cluster demands attention. It’s located much higher up above the rear fender. While the shapes of the taillight and turn signals remain round, they’re mounted inside a horizontal chrome piece, with the turn signals nestled inside little chrome bullet-shaped housings that will surely glint and glimmer with every available light source. It echoes the same straight-across line of center light and turn signals found at the front of the bike.

The seating position on the Scrambler 650, as you’d expect, is more upright and less relaxed than that of the Super Meteor 650. There’s a top case mounted on the back of this test mule, but it’s not clear whether it holds equipment for testing purposes or is an upcoming accessory for this upcoming bike model, also being tested at the same time.  

What will this 650cc Scrambler’s model name be? A May 2023 filing from the Indian Patent Office raises the possibility that it could be called the Royal Enfield Interceptor Bear. However, all we can say for certain at this point is that Enfield has filed for that patent—and just because any company files for a patent doesn’t tell you when, if, or how that company plans to use it. 

Two things we can say for certain are:  

Rumors of the Scrambler 650 predate the formal introduction of the Super Meteor 650, and
EICMA 2023 is coming up in November.  
The Super Meteor 650 was introduced at EICMA 2022. Will this year’s event be where Enfield debuts the Bear 650? Stay tuned for any and all Ursa Major and Ursa Minor announcements as they happen. 

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