Royal Enfield could revive the Meteor nameplate for a range-topping bobber or another Interceptor 650 variant but there are other possibilities too
Royal Enfield manufactured the Super Meteor in Britain and exported it to the United States between 1952 and 1962 before getting replaced by the old Interceptor 750. Back then, the Super Meteor used a 692 cc air-cooled overhead valve parallel-twin engine with four-speed transmission and chain final drive. Its predecessor, the post World War 2 500 cc Meteor, was retailed in the US in 1950 as well.
But why do I bring this up here? RE’s parental group, Eicher Motors, has applied for European trademark rights to the Royal Enfield Meteor name and it intends to use it on ‘motorcycles and parts and fittings therefore’ along with its clothing line. The application directed in late February 2019 was published on April 3.
Eicher Motors has to wait up till July 3 before getting the approval to give other companies the chance to object in case if the name causes any sort of violation to their products. Going by the tradition, the legendary Meteor, Super Meteor and Constellation were powered by parallel twin engines.
Along the same routes, Royal Enfield might try to evoke nostalgia, just as it often does, by reviving the Meteor moniker on a third product in the latest 650 cc range. Ever since going on sale in November 2018, the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 duo have defied odds and mastered more than 1,000 units in recent months.
More importantly, the 650 Twins have helped Royal Enfield to step out of its comfort zone of selling 350 and 500 cc motorcycles and allowed the Indian brand to compete against premium bikes from Harley-Davidson, Triumph and Kawasaki. The revival of the Meteor could enable the Chennai-based company to introduce a more advanced version of the Interceptor 650 with increased electronic driving aids.
Otherwise, it could be badged as the production version of the Concept KX bobber that paid tribute to the original 1,140 cc KX introduced eight decades ago when it was unveiled at the 2018 EICMA show in Milan. The concept boasted an 838 cc V-Twin co-developed with Polaris Industries under a special project.
It could sit at the top-of-the-range and rival the Triumph Bonneville Bobber borrowing motor from the 650 range. It is worth noting that RE received patent rights to the Meteor name in India in 2002 itself. Whether it is a high-end upscale bobber or a more watered down Interceptor 650 giving access to more enthusiasts or not is up for anybody’s discussion currently. What would you like it to be?