However, for a quick introduction of what the bike has to offer, here are five things you must know about it.
Prices for the Meteor 350 start at Rs 1.76 lakh
Will be available in three variants – Fireball, Stellar and Supernova
Features an all-new engine and chassis.
It’s not uncommon to get hold of some details and spy shots of a motorcycle before it makes its debut. However, in the case of the Royal Enfield Meteor 350, even little details, including the variants and equipment, have been revealed.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 design, styling and customisation options
At first glance, the new Meteor 350 looks quite similar to the now-defunct Thunderbird X (TBX), but in reality, everything has actually changed. Royal Enfield wanted to keep the design familiar and identifiable and that’s exactly what this bike is. When you really examine it, you’ll see that the Meteor no longer has that curved silhouette at the fuel tank, and in its place is a wide and impactful looking fuel tank.
The side quarter-panels have also been simplified with just one triangular unit, while the seat is now split into two units. Meanwhile, the rear mudguard is larger, which helps reduce the visible air gap between it and the wheel.
Moving on, Royal Enfield has paid considerable attention to the finer details, with the new rotary switchgear and neatly finished chrome mirrors. Over at the rear, the single round brake lamp gets a neat LED light surround, while the bulb-illuminated indicators run old-school circular optic lines.
The Meteor 350 gets a good helping of chrome all around, but the engine cases are black. Overall, the Meteor has a simple, yet pleasingly premium feel to it.
There are some more differences from variant to variant, and we’ll address those further below.
Royal Enfield is also offering a huge list of accessories, including eight different road-legal exhausts, eight engine-guard designs, six seats, multiple seat covers, two different windscreens and many colour options. RE says there are up to five lakh custom configurations possible, and that once you’ve paid for the bike, your motorcycle will be put together in the factory in no more than 48 hours.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 chassis and hardware
Another big change on the Meteor comes in the double-downtube frame that replaces the aged single-cradle unit. The seat height is now down by 10mm, to a welcoming 765mm, while the ground clearance has climbed to a fairly substantial 170mm. Now 26 degrees, Royal Enfield has sharpened the steering angle by one degree, but the wheelbase has increased by 50mm over the TBX. Dimensionally, it’s also slightly longer and wider than the TBX. The bike also weighs a few kilos less than its predecessor – 6kg to be precise – at 191kg.
The Meteor continues to run a 19-inch front wheel, while the rear has reduced from 18 inches to 17 inches. There are wider tyres at both ends and the bike will be supplied with either MRF or Ceat units. The brakes are bigger at both ends too, with a 300mm front disc and a 270mm rotor at the rear.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 engine
The engine on the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is all-new. The old pushrod-valve system is replaced by a SOHC two-valve head and while the engine remains air-cooled, there is an additional internal oil circuit within the cylinder head to aid cooling. Royal Enfield has also increased the bore by 2mm and reduced the stroke by 4.2mm, while also adding in a primary balancer shaft.
The gearbox continues to be a 5-speed unit, but this is new as well. This new engine and gearbox combo propel the bike to 100kph quicker than the UCE unit. You can head to our full review to take a look at those numbers.
As for fuel efficiency, it returned 34.7kpl in the city and 37.1kpl on the highway. These figures are almost on par with the BS6 Classic 350.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 features and variants
The Meteor 350 is available in three variants – Fireball, Stellar and Supernova. The top-of-the-line Supernova variant offers a dual-tone paint scheme, large windscreen, tan seats and pillion backrest.
Coming to the features, the Meteor uses an analogue speedo on the outer circumference and a digital display below. The unit tells you important things like how much fuel is left, what time it is and what gear you’re in, and it has two tripmeters. A small dial on the right is a colour display for Royal Enfield’s new Tripper navigation system. Using Google Maps data, this system works when connected to the Royal Enfield app, and we found it to be quite intuitive and helpful. On the downside, it doesn’t give you any telephony related notifications because Royal Enfield says it wants this to be a distraction-free experience. If you decide not to use the Tripper Navigation, this display will simply show you the time.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 competition and price
Prices for the Meteor 350 start at Rs 1.76 lakh for the Fireball variant and go up to Rs 1.81 lakh for the Stellar and Rs 1.90 lakh for the Supernova (ex-showroom, Chennai). That's a few thousand more than the base model of the BS6 Classic 350 and a whole Rs 10,000 less than the surprise rival from Japan – the Honda H’Ness CB350. The Meteor is priced about par with the dual-channel ABS Jawas, while being a fair amount cheaper than our previous pick of the sub-500cc retro segment, the Benelli Imperiale 400 (Rs 1.99 lakh).
To see how it stacks up against its rivals on paper, take a look at our spec comparison here.
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