Royal Enfield has finally launched the Meteor 350 in India with prices starting from Rs 1.76 lakh. Here’s everything you need to know about the new Meteor 350 and if it actually meets up to its expectations.
After what seemed like an eternity, Royal Enfield has finally launched the Meteor 350 in India with its price starting from Rs 1.76 lakh, ex-showroom. The Meteor 350 marks a new chapter for Royal Enfield as this is the first motorcycle to be underpinned by the new J-platform and a departure from the ageing UCE-platform. In theory, this should eliminate all the problems of the older Thunderbird and Classic range but retain everything we love about a Royal Enfield motorcycle. And it reality, it does. But before exploring the motorcycle further, here’s a quick look at the prices of the new Royal Enfield Meteor 350 in India.
|Variants||Price (Ex-showroom, Chennai)|
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 Variants
The Meteor 350 is available in three variants – the base Fireball, the mid-spec Stellar and the top-spec Supernova. We must admit that the nomenclature of these variants go well with the name of the motorcycle. Well, these variants are mainly aesthetic and visual differentiators more than anything else.
Starting with the Fireball variant, the base-spec Meteor 350 comes in a single-tone color finish for the tank in either gloss yellow or red. Meanwhile, the engine, exhaust, most other mechanical components and other body panels as well come finished in black. The wheels also get a body-colored rim tape.
Moving on to the mid-spec Stellar variant, it will be available in either metallic red, metallic blue or matte black colours. In the Stellar variant, all the body panels come painted in a single color and it additional also gets a pillion back rest, a 3D logo and chrome finish for the handlebars, fuel injector covers and exhaust.
Lastly, the Supernova variant gets a rather oddball dual-tone colour scheme of blue/black or brown/black. The Supernova variant carries forward the pillion backrest and chrome finish for the handlebars, fuel injector covers and exhaust from the Stellar variant. Additionally, it also gets premium dual-tone alloy wheels, a premium seat cover, chromed out indicators, and a windscreen as well.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 Engine
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is powered by a BS6-compliant 350cc 4-stroke single cylinder engine that produces 20.1hp and 27Nm of torque. The engine comes mated to a 5-speed gearbox. To put it into perspective, the power has only gone up by 1.1hp over the current BS6-compliant 346cc UCE engine while torque is actually 1Nm less. That frankly might be disappointing to many. The current-gen UCE motor uses ancient pushrod technology and it was hoped that the J platform’s modern SOHC architecture would certainly produce better numbers.
While that’s one side of the story, the Meteor 350 isn’t meant to be a performance motorcycle and most of our complains from the current-gen UCE motor were not about its power and torque figures. The big development is that the new engine is far more refined and no, it does not vibrate as the older UCE-engine, unless you push it very hard. The engine remains stress-free even at higher speed, but its comfort zone still lies between 90-100kph. The top-speed is about 122kph. Being a long stroke engine, it continues to be very torque-ey at low RPMs as well.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 Underpinnings
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 gets a 15-liter fuel tank where the old Thunderbird got a 20-liter fuel tank. The new Meteor 350 uses 41mm telescopic forks at the front while the rear gets 6-step adjustable twin springs. The motorcycle rides on 19-inch front wheels shod with 100/90 tire while the rear gets a 17-inch alloy wheel with a 140/70 tire. The ride quality is actually pretty nice for most parts. Only the larger potholes taken at higher speeds or the sharper bumps at slower speeds are felt on the motorcycle. The seat is also particularly comfortable, making for a smooth ride quality. For braking, there’s a 300mm disc up front while the rear gets a 270mm disc, with dual-channel ABS as standard.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 Features
The new Meteor 350 also features smartphone connectivity via Bluetooth, a first for any Royal Enfield motorcycle. The motorcycle comes with twin instrument pods. One of them is a traditional analog dial featuring your speedometer while the other pod is a little smaller and features a TFT colour display offering navigation details. The smaller unit will be called as a Tripper Navigation Unit. However, a distance-to-empty indicator and a fuel gauge are oddly missing on a motorcycle intended for touring. The Meteor 350 also features a circular halogen headlamp with LED DRLs, LED tail lamps, forward-set footpegs, lower seat height and raised handlebar.
To sum up everything, the new Meteor 350 is a quantum leap over the Thunderbird 350, the motorcycle it is replacing. Its actually very stress-free to ride, easy to handle and the new engine is a revelation. You can finally cruise at a comfortable speed without completely shaking your insides. It has also been very reasonably priced, right in the ball park of the recently launched Honda H’ness CB350. And that brings us to the question if its actually better than the Honda? Well, perhaps not. But that’s a discussion for another story. But for all Royal Enfield fans out there, this is finally the Royal Enfield motorcycle you all have been waiting for. Bookings are open at a token amount of around Rs 10,000. The Meteor 350 is available across all Royal Enfield showrooms in the country.