Royal Enfield has finally unveiled the much-awaited Meteor 350 on Friday. This is the first launch by the Chennai-based company after they launched the 650 twins a few years ago.
The Meteor 350 lineup starts at Rs 1.76 lakh for the Fireball variant, Rs 1.81 lakh for the Stellar variant, and Rs 1.90 lakh for the top-end Supernova variant. The Meteor gets a new chassis and a brand new 350 cc engine as well. This beast will replace the Thunderbird and Thunderbird X in the Indian market.
Roshun Povaiah, a freelance auto & tech consultant, managed a short ride on this new cruiser. He said, “Lovely seating position, seat comfort, ergonomics. hardly any vibrations (and useable mirrors, finally). Nice handlebar grips, easy on the hands. Feels incredibly stable (and much lighter than my Interceptor of course). Familiar engine note (muted Dug Dug), despite being an all-new engine.” He added that he loved the instrumentation, which is simple and easy to read. “It has fuel gauge, gear indicator and a clock!! Two of them in fact, if you include the one on the Tripper (navigation pod) that connects with RE’s app. (Hey RE, I want a Tripper as an accessory for my Interceptor!). I also dig the alloys and tubeless tyres. (Heck, I’m feeling short-changed now with the Interceptor 650),” stated an elated Povaiah.
With regards to what he did not like of the new Royal Enfield Meteor 350 he said, “Perhaps it’s because I’m used to the zippy nature of my Interceptor, but I feel the Meteor 350 is very laid back, needs more punch. More torque.”
Design and Ergonomics
The key design which stands out the most is the round headlight- with a circular LED DRL around it. The chunky fuel tank and the curved fenders are also quite the attention grabber. And let’s not forget the pod-shaped tail light which adds a neat touch to the overall, well-proportioned design.
The company has incorporated a new semi-digital instrument cluster along with a separate pod for a colour TFT display. Also known as the ‘Tripper screen,’ it displays turn-by-turn navigation via the data of Google maps. This can function only via the Royal Enfield app that too after pairing the phone to the system via Bluetooth. Although, the screen does not display any incoming messages or calls. This is because the company believes that it distracts the rider.
One thing that was made clear to us from the very beginning was the fact that Meteor 350 is built to cover long distances and hence the ergonomics reflect that as well. The footpegs are forward set, the handlebar is slightly pulled back while the seat is wide and well-cushioned, all atypical to that of a cruiser.
Meteor 350 Engine
The Meteor 350 is powered by a newly developed 349cc, fuel-injected, single-cylinder engine that produces 20.2hp at 6,100rpm and 27Nm at 4,000rpm. The Chennai-based company has also incorporated an oil circuit in the 2-valve head to aid cooling as the new engine is air-cooled. To quell the vibrations the engine has a balancer shaft as well.
Meteor 350 Chassis
This brand new motorcycle uses a double-downtube cradle frame and according to Royal Enfield, it is stiffer than the Thunderbird’s frame. There is a conventional 41mm telescopic fork with 130mm travel at the front. While the rear sports twin shock absorbers with 6-step preload adjustment. Let’s not forget the wheelbase which sits at 1,400mm, while the ground clearance is decent 170mm. The most notable improvement however is the Kerb weight which is 6kg lighter, at 191kg. The Meteor 350 has a 300mm disc at the front and 270mm disc at the rear.
Meteor 350 Variants and Customisation
The available variants of Meteor 350 are Fireball, Stellar, and Supernova. The top-spec Supernova boasts dual-tone colours, windscreen tan seats, and a pillion backrest. Additionally, if these variants are not up to your taste, Royal Enfield is offering a chance to customise the Meteor 350 as per preference. The Royal Enfield Make it Yours programme allows customers to choose from a plethora of customisation options. This customisation list includes 8 engine-guard designs, 6 seats, and different road-legal exhausts, 2 different windscreens, bar-end mirrors, multiple seat covers, bigger forged footpegs, and many colour options.
Meteor 350 Availability
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is available across all the Royal Enfield showrooms in the country and the bookings have already commenced.