We took the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 out for a spin and here's our verdict
Royal Enfield has taken huge forward strides in the engineering department, over the last few years. The global success of the Interceptor powered by the 650cc twin transformed the perception and fortunes for the brand. Royal Enfield developed and acquired engineering talent and invested in modern manufacturing facilities with the vision to become a force to be reckoned with on the global playing field. The outcome of all this investment is tangible in the Interceptor 650 — but even more so in the Meteor 350. The motorcycle is a new platform from the ground up.
The Meteor 350 boasts of a modern retro design that is reminiscent of British bikes from a bygone era. The bike has that cruiser appeal, and has been designed to be easy going, in town or on the highway. The layout of the controls, switches and dials is appealing. The fact that the bike is so easy to get on and off of is a boon for shorter riders too! The brand has paid a lot of attention to the details, and it shows in how well this bike has been put together.
The 349cc engine in the Meteor delivers 20.2 hp and 27 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm. It is the basis of the auto manufacturer’s plan for this decade, and it is a very solid platform. The engine revs freely for such a long stroke and heavy crank motorcycle, and the SOHC valve actuation helps with this. Also, gone are the vibrations from previous Royal Enfield engines thanks to the primary balancer shaft. You can cruise at 80-100 with ease, and it runs out of steam at 115-120 kmph. It is a frugal engine, and you should get decent range on a tank of gas. Paired with a slick 5-speed gearbox, the Meteor 350 offers a ride experience that delights.
The suspension is best on smooth roads. It is very firmly sprung and a bit too aggressively damped on compression and under-damped on the rebound. The result can be jarring on extremely rough roads, but overall there isn’t much to complain about as far as the ride experience is concerned. On good roads, the suspension enables some aggressive cornering and provides great stability under braking as well.
The Meteor 350 definitely deserves a lot of praise, as it is the sign of change within Royal Enfield. It is a forerunner of what we can expect from future offerings in terms of refinement, reliability and the overall ownership experience. The Meteor 350 stands at the cusp of this timeline and delivers on just about every parameter. The fact that you also get a connected ride experience with the App is an added bonus!
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 starts at Rs 1.75 lakh