The Royal Enfield Meteor is a nameplate that has been under speculation for a while now. However, the latest spy images of the upcoming motorcycle have now confirmed that Royal Enfield's all-new motorcycle will be called the Meteor 350. The new motorcycle is likely to replace the Thunderbird 350 in the company's line-up, while the Thunderbird 500 will be discontinued in India. The undisguised images come from Kutch, Gujarat where the bike was spotted supposedly during a TVC shoot. The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 will be based on the new J1D platform developed by the company and was scheduled to be launched towards the end of April this year, but could see a delay due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Royal Enfield Meteor traces its name back to a motorcycle that was sold in the RE line-up during the 1950s. The company is known for reviving its nameplates of the past and that seems to be the case with the new Meteor as well. At the outset, the bike in the images borrows a lot from the Thunderbird X range including the blacked out engine and exhaust as well as the alloy wheels. The tear drop fuel tank has been tweaked in design and is finished in a bright yellow shade. Expect to see similar bright paint schemes on the production model. Previous spy shots have also revealed toggle switches and a semi-digital instrument console on the motorcycle.
In terms of power, the spied motorcycle gets a 350 badge that suggests the 349 cc single-cylinder motor from the Classic 350 is likely to power the Meteor as well. The said engine now comes with fuel-injection and has been updated to BS6 emission regulations. The motor belts out 19.8 bhp and 28 Nm of peak torque, while paired with a 5-speed gearbox. Expect to see identical specifications on the new motorcycle when it arrives later in the year. Other cycle parts will include telescopic front forks and dual shock absorbers at the rear. Braking performance will come from disc brakes at either end with dual-channel ABS as standard. The bike will be based on a new double cradle frame.
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is likely to be the new global nameplate for the motorcycle. The Thunderbird name is owned by Triumph in several markets, and this is a good opportunity for the brand to establish the motorcycle differently. The Rumbler nameplate used in Australia and New Zealand for the Thunderbird could be discontinued as well. Prices for the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 are expected in the vicinity of ₹ 1.60-1.70 lakh (ex-showroom). The bike will take on the Benelli Imperiale 400 and the Jawa Forty Two in the segment in India. We expect more details to unfold as we get closer to the launch, scheduled in few weeks for now.Spy Images Source: Mad Biker on YouTube