The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is the all-new 350 cc motorcycle from Royal Enfield which will replace the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350. Built around an all-new 350 cc platform with a new engine, new chassis, new design and features, the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 will be a global product for Royal Enfield, to be offered on sale in overseas markets like Thailand, Europe and even North America. The RE Meteor 350 has been offered in three variants with prices starting at ₹ 1.75 lakh (Ex-showroom). Here's a look at everything you need to know about this new 350 cc Royal Enfield motorcycle.
Engine & Gearbox
The new Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is built around an all-new 350 cc platform. So, it gets a new engine, as well as new chassis. The Meteor 350 is the product of Royal Enfield's global team, with inputs from the UK Technology Centre team, and the engineering team at Royal Enfield's R&D centre in India. The new 349 cc single-cylinder air and oil cooled engine makes 20.2 bhp at 6,100 rpm and 27 Nm of peak torque at 4,000 rpm. Displacement has gone up from 346 cc to 349 cc, with an increase in bore from 70 mm to 72 mm, but stroke has been reduced from 90 mm to 85.8 mm.
Also Read: Royal Enfield Meteor 350 Review
More importantly though, for the first time for a Royal Enfield 350 cc single, the pushrod architecture has been done away with, and the new engine uses a single overhead camshaft, and employs a gear primary drive instead of chain. Royal Enfield says the new engine offers a wider torque spread, across the rev range, starting at around 2,400 rpm, all the way to over 4,500 rpm. The engine also uses a primary balancer shaft to reduce vibrations. The gearbox is still a five-speed unit, but the shifts are smoother, and the gearbox employs an overdrive 5th gear for effortless highway cruising.
Chassis & Cycle Parts
The chassis of the Meteor 350 is all-new, and it's a twin downtube frame, the first for a 350 cc Royal Enfield motorcycle. The dual cradle frame replaces the single downtube chassis that was used in the outgoing Thunderbird 350. According to Royal Enfield, the chassis has been tested over thousands of kilometres, over multiple geographies and different terrain. The result is a more stable and solid ride and overall dynamics package.
The new RE Meteor 350 is 6 kg lighter than the Thunderbird 350 it replaces, and tips the scales with 191 kg kerb weight. The weight saving is apparent from a straight 5 kg reduction in the fuel tank capacity, apart from use of more plastic body components. The wheelbase is 50 mm longer, at 1400 mm, and ground clearance is 35 mm more than the Thunderbird 350 at 170 mm. The Meteor 350 is also wider and longer than the Thunderbird, and it gets a 17-inch rear wheel, compared to the 18-inch rear wheel of the Thunderbird. The Meteor still gets a 19-inch front wheel, but both wheels are wider, and get tubeless tyres. Front suspension is a 41 mm telescopic fork with 130 mm of travel, and at the rear, the twin tube shocks gets 6-step preload adjustability. Braking duties are handled by dual-channel ABS, with a 300 mm front disc with a twin piston caliper and a 270 mm rear disc with a single piston caliper.
Design & Features
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 has a new design, with new body panels, a new fuel tank shape, and even the badges and decals are all-new. The silhouette though is typically Thunderbird. But there are more changes in the details; in fact every single component is brand new, starting from the mirrors, windshield, headlight, turn indicators, and the period-correct tapered handgrips, as well as the rotary switches. The clutch and brake levers are new as well, and are thicker in construction, going with the modern classic styling element.
The instrument console is all-new with an asymmetric twin-pod, with the larger dial housing the analogue speedometer, and a small LCD console giving read-outs for trip meters, odometer, clock, fuel gauge and even a gear position indicator. The smaller pod on the right also displays a bigger read-out for the clock, but it also doubles up as the display for the turn-by-turn navigation, accessed through the Royal Enfield Tripper app with Bluetooth connectivity. The overall design is all right, with typical retro-flavoured cruiser styling, although the rear fender and the tail section could have been slightly better designed.
Accessories & Customisation
Along with different colours and variants, Royal Enfield also offers a range of genuine homologated accessories including original exhaust slip-ons with different designs and sound, and the new Make it Yours customisation program, through which owners can customise their own bike through an online configurator, and which will then be finished accordingly at the factory. According to Royal Enfield, as many as 5,00,000 combinations are possible to make each motorcycle unique.
Variants, Pricing & Competition
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 will be offered in three variants, all with the same engine, and more or less same features, but with different accessories, the difference only being cosmetic, and in colours. The base Meteor 350 Fireball is priced at ₹ 1,75, 825 (Ex-showroom), the mid-spec Meteor 350 Stellar priced at ₹ 1,81,342 (Ex-showroom), and the top-spec Meteor 350 Supernova variant priced at ₹ 1,90,536 (Ex-showroom). At those prices, the new Meteor 350 will go head on against the Honda H'Ness CB 350, the Jawa and Jawa Forty-Two, as well as the Benelli Imperiale 400. Bookings for the new Royal Enfield Meteor 350 have already been announced and deliveries are expected to begin soon. For more details about how the new Meteor 350 is, read our review of the all-new Royal Enfield Meteor 350.