The Chennai-based bike maker has just launched the Meteor 350 in the market, which in a sense is a replacement for the Thunderbird 350 cruiser and promises new levels of refinement.

A new motorcycle from Royal Enfield is always looked forward to by the fans of the brand, but when the product is all-new with a new engine, platform and never-before-seen features, the anticipation is even more. The Chennai-based bike maker has just launched the Meteor 350 in the market, which in a sense is a replacement for the Thunderbird 350 cruiser and promises new levels of refinement. The name Meteor comes from another iconic Royal Enfield motorcycle which was launched at the end of 1952.


The Meteor 350 gets round Halogen headlamps but gets a nice looking LED DRL surround. The tail lamps have an unusual design when compared to the Thunderbird. The handlebar controls and switchgear are premium quality, with rotary power and lighting switches reminding you of some iconic machines from the past. A highlight is the new instrument cluster which is a combination of analogue meters and an LCD display which provides information like gear indicator, fuel gauge, clock and tripmeter. To enable charging on the go, a USB port is there too, but its position is not ideal. Making its debut on the bike is the new TBT (Turn-By-Turn) navigation pod, known as the Royal Enfield Tripper, a navigation display device for real time directions, built with Google Maps platform. It displays the best route to reach a destination using Google Maps’ two-wheeler navigation and is paired via the Royal Enfield App to the rider’s smartphone.


The brand new 349cc air-oil cooled single-cylinder engine generates 20.2 bhp and 27 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm, which means there is enough low-down grunt that always helps a cruiser. Designed with a balancer shaft, the new platform gives a smooth and well-mannered ride experience, and the characteristic ‘thump’ is still somewhat there, though not very loud. The acceleration is linear and a 5-speed gearbox along with a 7-plate clutch ensures gear changes are quite smooth on the motorcycle. The claim that the quality of refinement—mechanical, fittings and finish—is much better on the Meteor, proves to be true when you get astride the bike.


The Meteor 350’s twin downtube spline frame has been designed to inspire confidence in the twisties, and it feels at ease both on the highway and city traffic. The seat height is low and which makes it comfortable for most riders. The handling is quite impressive on the bike and the stability on offer is amongst the best we’ve seen on Royal Enfield bikes. Suspension too does a decent job of taking on all kinds of surfaces. The bike gets 41mm forks with 130mm of travel and twin tube emulsion shock absorbers with 6-step adjustable preload at the rear. The footpegs are forward-mounted and there’s a heel and toe gearshift on the bike. Alloy wheels and tubeless tyres come as standard. While a 100/90-19 tyre is used on the front and a 140/70-17 has been put at the rear. There’s dual channel ABS, with 300mm front and 270mm rear discs.


The Meteor 350 has been launched by a whole lot of accessories, which can be added when ordering the motorcycle. The range includes functional accessories, such as the passenger backrest, touring screens, luggage options, engine and sump guards, as well as classic styling embellishments, including a variety of brushed stainless steel and black powder-coated slip-on silencer options and touring seats, all of which come with a 3-year warranty. Then there’s company’s Make It Yours—MiY—motorcycle personalisation tool where new Meteor owners can tap into thousands of possible personalisation combinations when they order their motorcycle via the Royal Enfield App, on the website or at a dealership. In addition to the 7 standard colour options, under 3 editions, MiY allows an additional 8 colour options for customers.


The Bike is available in 3 variants, Fireball, Stellar and Supernova. The Fireball is available in vibrant red or yellow single colour fuel tanks and matching wheel rim lining. It features blacked-out cycle parts and engine, which is finished with machined fins. The Stellar gets red, blue or matt black tanks and matching body components, comes with chrome handlebars and exhaust plus a backrest for the pillion. The top-of-the-line Supernova is finished in dual-tone blue or brown with matching body parts, and comes with a choice of premium seats and a windscreen. It is available at a starting price of Rs 1.75 lakh for the Fireball, Rs 1.81 lakh for the Stellar, and at Rs 1.90 lakh for the Supernova editions (all ex-showroom Chennai prices).