Royal Enfield Shotgun launched

One of Royal Enfield’s slogans is “Built Like a Gun”… now the company is offering a Shotgun!

Shotgun 650 - Tom Fossati - Hi Res-125


The bar end mirrors, blacked-out engine, alloy headlight nacelle and solo seat really had me looking at the new Royal Enfield Shotgun and thinking this bike was actually very different to anything the company had produced in the past. Although a retro roadster at first glance, it had some bobber style, too. A machine difficult to categorise. I like that.


Unfortunately, some of the parts giving the bike that appeal are actually accessories, the mirrors in particular. But that said, the bike is built to be customised, it’s built to be changed, it’s built to be made into a bike for the individual. And in that sense, the new Shotgun is a very, very interesting bike.

It’s another 650 twin from Royal Enfield, joining the Super Meteor, Interceptor and Continental GT in the line-up, using the same engine but blacked out this time, and offering something that is not a cruiser, not a sportsbike, not a naked. This bike is almost a bobber when you remove that rear seat, but it’s not actually a bobber either.



Back in 2021, Royal Enfield showed off the SG650 concept bike at the EICMA show in Europe. That machine was the culmination of having a whole bunch of bike builders around the world building modified motorcycles from the twins they’d already produced, the Interceptor and the Continental GT. From there, Royal Enfield came up with a concept for something that was different, unusual, difficult to categorise, and that was where the SG650 fell into place. A few years later, we have the production bike that was born from the excitement generated from that concept machine.


The Shotgun is supplied as a dual-seat motorcycle, however the actual seat pad for the passenger is mounted onto a rack and that rack is bolted to the bike — they can both be unbolted very quickly and easily. In this guise, it kind of really gives the impression of being a bit of a bobber.

Shotgun 650 - Tom Fossati - Hi Res-050

Upfront there’s an 18-inch cast-aluminium wheel, Showa upside-down forks, a single disc brake and at the top of those forks is a headlight nacelle, unique to this model. Cast aluminium — the designers put a lot of time and effort into building this and making it integrate into the bike. It does look really quite nice, although I think a lot of owners will actually change it out to customise their machine.


Behind the instruments are fairly flat handlebars and a fuel tank that is typical British/Indian in style. Behind the tank you can see the twin loop chassis and twin rear shocks, the hot dog mufflers and a shorty rear mudguard. It is nice to see things like a centrestand and Monza-style fuel cap as standard, along with the black-finished engine and quality retro switchgear.

The whole package looks customised out of the showroom and is ready to be further customised by an owner.

Personally, I preferred the Stencil White model. I thought the combination of white, black and red paint made it look really nice, but the Green Drill and Plasma Blue are also nice colour schemes. The Sheet Metal Grey is a bit dull as far as I’m concerned; some from Royal Enfield were indicating that as the most affordable model, the Sheet Metal Grey is the one people will choose if they’re going to paint their bike.

Shotgun 650 - Tom Fossati - Hi Res-060


Royal Enfield’s 650cc parallel twin is a very easy engine to use, offering useable power and torque in a package that’s easy to get off the line but isn’t likely to scare anyone with little experience (the really inexperienced might find the lighter 350s better at building their confidence). The motor vibrates just enough to let you know it’s working without being intrusive or annoying.

The riding position is roadster. You sit up, you lean slightly forward to the conventional handlebars. The footpegs are mid-set. It’s very easy to throw around and ride through traffic. We rode them out of Melbourne heading for the hills, looking for some corners, and I soon discovered the cornering clearance is fairly compromised. I discovered this because I was revelling in its neutral handling, in the confidence it gave me to tip it hard into corners for the photographers and because it was fun to do so. It turns out the chassis might be shared with the Super Meteor cruiser, but the steering is steeper and sharper, the trail reduced to speed up the steering. A shorter wheelbase makes the bike feel quicker in its handling.

Shotgun 650 - Tom Fossati - Hi Res-104

It’s not, of course, a sportsbike and anyone looking for cornering clearance will be attracted to the Continental GT anyway, but I was a little surprised at how easy it was to get those pegs onto the deck. If it’s a problem, there are short hero blobs which can be removed.

The bike is very comfortable at urban and close to highway speeds. On the freeway you are sitting upright a little into the wind and in that sense it’s a typical naked and will become tiring over time. The seat comfort is OK, but it’s fairly thinly padded.

The steel twin loop chassis manages the not-insignificant 240-odd kilos of Shotgun well, aided by the Showa Big Piston upside-down forks and a pair of better-than-average twin shocks on the rear. A single front Brybe disc on such a heavy bike is disappointing but not terribly surprising from Royal Enfield — at least the rear brake is strong.



Like most Royal Enfield machines, there’s a little bit of tech in this bike, but not that much. There’s ABS of course, EFI, digital instruments, there is the Tripper Navigation that works with the Google app on your phone. Beyond that, there are LED headlights and a USB-C port to charge your phone, GoPro or GPS and not a whole lot more. And that’s part of the appeal of these Royal Enfield machines. They are relatively basic in their execution and a lot of people like that, because it does make the bikes simpler and cheaper.



Royal Enfield is offering some very nice little accessories for the Shotgun including different rider and passenger seats, a tinted urban fly screen, black-style two alloy wheels, LED fog lights, engine guards and a sump guard. You can also get LED indicators, wider footpegs, the bar-end mirrors that I really liked and some other bling bits.


The rest of the world has given up trying to build bikes like the Shotgun — the air-cooled machines which an enthusiast might buy these days are all 900cc or larger, except for those coming from Royal Enfield. The nearest thing to a direct competitor is the Kawasaki z650, a liquid-cooled retro bike, a great machine but not one I can see taking huge numbers of sales from the Shotgun.

Royal Enfield has almost single-handedly destroyed the idea that motorcyclists won’t buy mid-capacity simple, lightweight, inexpensive mid-range bikes. For many years, the industry was offering small-capacity machines aimed at learners and large-capacity machines aimed at experienced riders, and really struggled to sell anything in the middle. Then along comes Royal Enfield and makes a mockery of that, selling many, many motorcycles to people who want something a little bit different.

And so we have the Shotgun and it’s a bike that refuses to be categorised. Some people will call it a roadster, some may even call it a bobber. It’s certainly not a cruiser or a sportsbike and it’s not built to go touring. But it is built for riders to create something they want to own that is not too heavy, not too expensive. It’s fairly unique in its style and yet its retro style feels wholly familiar.

I can’t wait to see what will emerge from custom workshops that started out as Shotguns…



Royal Enfield Shotgun


Type: Parallel twin, 4 stroke, SOHC, air-oil cooled

Capacity: 648cc

Compression ratio: 9.5:1

Engine management: EFI


Claimed maximum power: 47hp (34.6kW) @ 7250rpm

Claimed maximum torque: 52.3Nm @ 5650rpm

Fuel consumption: N/A


Type: 6-Speed constant mesh

Final drive: Chain

Clutch: Wet multiplate


Chassis: Steel tubular spine frame

Front suspension: Showa separate function big piston fork, USD, 120mm travel

Rear suspension: Showa twin shock, 90mm travel

Front brakes: Single 320mm disc, twin-piston floating caliper, ABS

Rear brake: Single 300mm disc, twin-piston floating caliper, ABS

Tyres: F: 100/90-18 M/C 56H tubeless, R: 150/70 R17 M/C 69H tubeless


Rake: 25.3°

Trail: 101mm

Claimed wet weight: 240kg

Seat height: 795mm

Wheelbase: 1466mm

Fuel capacity: 13.8L


ABS, LED lighting, Tripper Navigator, combination digital/analogue instruments, USB-C charger, removable passenger seat/rack combination


Price: From $11,590 ride away

Colours: Sheet Metal Grey, various two-tone ($11,790) and Stencil Black ($11,990)

Test bike supplied by: Royal Enfield Australia


Warranty: 3 years unlimited kilometres + roadside assistance