Royal Enfield is now among the biggest news maker in the Indian biking scene. Thunderbird defined what Cruiser is for many Indians. And now, Royal Enfield has launched Meteor 350.
The newest offering will be replacing T-bird, primarily because the name Thunderbird cannot be used in many markets. That is the reason you don’t see the beloved T-bird being sold in other countries like the Classic, 650 Twins, and the Himalayan.
What’s new on the Meteor?
Well, the Meteor is not just a rebadge but a thoroughly ground up development with new chassis and engine. Powering the Meteor is a newly developed single-cylinder engine that produces 20.2hp at 6,100rpm and 27Nm at 4,000rpm.
The new Meteor is built on a brand-new twin downtube spine chassis that is said to be stiffer than outgoing TB models. RE continues to use an engine that is air-cooled, they have incorporated an oil circuit in the 2-valve head to aid cooling.
Typically, Royal Enfield bikes are known for vibrations, the new 349 CC engine has a balancer shaft with an SOHC, two-valve head which helps in containing vibrations. The bike is available in three variants – Fireball, Stellar and Supernova priced at Rs. 1.76 lakh, Rs. 1.81 lakh and Rs. 1.90 lakh (ex-showroom) respectively.
Colors and Variants
The Royal Enfield Meteor picks up where Thunderbird X left off, with bright Yellow and Red making it to the list of colors offered as standard. Offered in multiple trims with features and pain schemes differentiation, Meteor 350 is available with a wide variety of combinations.
Plus, Meteor will the first bike from the RE stable to offer such an option to customize the bike before it is being delivered to the showrooms. I personally prefer the Fireball Red color.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 – the bike, the tourer
Thunderbird was designed as a cruiser with primary purpose of touring. Meteor follows the footsteps of Thunderbird very closely. The engine is powerful enough, like previous generations, for touring rider in India.
RE’s are among the most affordable and reliable machines with a super wide service network. This bodes well for a rider and RE seems to have hit the sweet spot with Meteor.
What remains to be seen is how a potential new customer is considering the latest machine from Royal Enfield against options like Honda’s H’ness CB350, Benelli Imperiale 400 and Java Forty-Two.
Of the three, it’s the Honda looks most promising and does have what it takes to challenge the RE’s bastion in the segment. However, Honda’s decision to sell the CB350 with the cheeky H’ness tag exclusively via Big Wings show rooms instead of using its wide Honda 2 Wheelers network could be its Achilles heel.