You look at the Meteor 350 and the first thing you will remember could be the Lightning 535. (I have taken the liberty of assuming this even if you haven’t seen or ridden the Lightning 535. Maybe you are a new enthusiast, maybe a GenZ biker, who is interested in faster bikes. In that case, Thunderbird would work too) Why the Lightning you might ask? The split seat with the backrest could be the reason I guess. The variant I was got was the Supernova one, which comes with the backrest for pillion.
Meteor 350 is Royal Enfield’s latest effort in reclaiming the cruiser space, which had Thunderbird once and price-wise positioned right above the Classic 350. To consolidate its position in the segment, which recently saw an entry from Honda Motorcycles called H’ness CB350.
I test rode the bike before the prices for Meteor 350 were announced, so the video-review didn’t have the prices (it started with the exhaust notes). That is why I am starting the article with the prices only.
2020 Royal Enfield Meteor 350: Price (ex-showroom)
- Fireball: ₹1,75,825
- Stellar: ₹1,81,342
- Supernova: ₹1,90,536
2020 Royal Enfield Meteor 350: Engine, specifications, and fuel efficiency
This chart might not give a clear picture of how different is the Meteor’s engine. To understand that we have to ride it. But, that part comes later. First, let us take a look at the specifications and output numbers, which appear to be in familiar territory. 349 cc single-cylinder producing 20.2 bhp of power and 27Nm of peak torque. The gearshift is 5 speed. The world motorcycle test cycle suggests a fuel efficiency of 36.2 km/l.
Performance of this engine can be expressed in one word, that is refined. The power delivery is very smooth and gradual. I would have loved some extra initial torque though. The grunt RE lovers always enjoy. The laidback take-off.
Meteor is smoother, consistent and powerful in the mid-range. It took some time for me to touch three digits but the engine sounded relaxed and the bike felt planted. Overall I felt the zone around 90 KMPH felt like an ideal cruising speed for this bike.
|Engine||Single-cylinder, four-stroke, air-oil cooled|
|Fuel system||Electronic fuel-injection air cleaner paper element|
|Power||20 bhp at 6,100 rpm|
|Torque||27 Nm at 4,000 rpm|
|Transmission||5-speed constant mesh|
|Fuel efficiency||36.2 km/l (WMTC standard)|
2020 Royal Enfield Meteor 350: Size and dimensions
I mentioned the Lightning 535 earlier, which could be one inspiration but the overall silhouette of Meteor 350 looks more compact and balanced. Compared to the Classic 350, Meteor 350 is a bit shorter and lighter but the wheelbase is a bit longer.
|Width||845 mm (without mirrors)|
|Height||1,140 mm (without mirrors)|
1,310 mm (with windscreen)
|Ground clearance||170 mm|
|Weight||191 kg (90% fuel and oil)|
|Seat height||765 mm|
|Fuel tank capacity||15-litres|
2020 Royal Enfield Meteor 350: Colours
I was riding the new Meteor in the Supernova Brown colour, which is very similar to what we have seen in many cars. Somehow, the colour I liked on the Duster or Ciaz didn’t appeal to me on the RE. Having said that, the blue looks nice and the red and the yellow.
- Fireball Yellow
- Fireball Red
- Stellar Black
- Stellar Red
- Stellar Blue
- Supernova Brown
- Supernova Blue
2020 Royal Enfield Meteor 350: Ride, braking, and suspension
The suspension and braking setup in the latest Meteor gives it a plush and refined ride. The bike was planted during the regular corners we encounter on the common roads or highways. It took uneven surfaces with ease and maintained its composure. Now, this also had to do with a firmer suspension setup, which will not be too comfortable if the ratio of broken roads in your route is higher than the tarmac. The braking is precise, however, I could use some more bite in the rear brake.
|Front||Telescopic, 41 mm forks, 130 mm travel|
|Rear||Twin-tube Emulsion shock absorbers with 6-step adjustable preload|
|Front||Alloy wheel; 100/90 – 19 inch – 57P (Tubeless type)|
|Rear||Alloy wheel; 140/70 – 17 inch – 66P (Tubeless type)|
|Front||300 mm disc with twin-piston floating caliper brakes|
|Rear||270 mm disc, single-piston floating caliper with dual channel ABS|
2020 Royal Enfield Meteor 350: Instrumentation
The handlebar in Meteor feels familiar. The reach, the angle and the material. It feels solid and old school, including the clutch and front brake levers. The engine kill or lights switch come in this old school rotary types. It might take some time to get used to this setting, but I like it nevertheless.
The instrumentation is the place where you find the real difference between Meteor 350 and other Royal Enfield bikes. I am not talking about the combination of digital and analogue display on the bigger dial. Which has most of the regular information like the fuel gauge, speed marked in both miles and kilometres. It is the smaller dial which makes this bike so different from its predecessors. Built with Google, the tripper, which gives you turn by turn indication after you have connected your smartphone with this. A very useful feature, which is standard with all three variants.
|Things I liked||Things I didn’t like|
The latest Meteor 350 is one of the most refined product Royal Enfield has built. Fit, finish, ride quality and equipment-wise this would compete with most of the modern products, and you don’t have to remind anyone that – “Enfield hai”. The price and performance of Meteor 350 don’t fall in the mind-blown emoji category but anyone looking for a cruiser bike now has a modern, refined and solid option