Royal Enfield will launch the Meteor 350, it’s next big retro motorcycle for the Indian market, tomorrow. The motorcycle is expected to replace the Thunderbird in Royal Enfield’s line-up, and is likely to be priced between Rs. 1.6 and 1.8 lakh, making it relatively affordable for those looking for a relaxed ride with good looks and a torquey air cooled long stroke engine. While leaked images of the Meteor 350 surfaced last week, here’s a video that reveals the thump of the motorcycle. Check it out.
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is based on a brand platform called J, which is expected to be used for a range of 350cc Royal Enfield motorcycles in future. The Meteor features a 349cc, long stroke, air cooled single cylinder engine that makes 20.5 Bhp of peak power and 27 Nm of peak torque. The engine will be paired to a five speed manual gearbox, and will run a single overhead camshaft.
What this also means is that the hydraulic pushrods that the Classic 350/Thunderbird 350 feature will be dumped for a overhead camshaft layout. In fact, newer Royal Enfields such as the Himalayan and the 650 twins have SOHC set-ups, and this is a dramatic change for a company like Royal Enfield, which has persisted with a pushrod operated overhead valve engine design for over 100 years. The new engine is likely to be a lot more refined than the unit construction engine that powers the Bullet, Classic and Thunderbird range.
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 also brings in a range of advancements such as Bluetooth connectivity integrated in the console, navigation support, LED DRLs and a TFT screen. There will be three variants to choose from: Fireball, Stellar and Supernova. The motorcycle gets disc brakes on both wheels, and dual channel ABS. Telescopic front forks and a gas charged twin shock absorbers at the rear make for the suspension set-up, and kicked up footpegs with wide, pulled back handlebars give the motorcycle a cruiser-esque stance.
With the Meteor 350, Royal Enfield will be looking to take a big leap forward, just as it did over a decade ago when it launched the unit construction engined Thunderbird 350. If the retro motorcycle brand can get reliability and refinement levels right with the Meteor, and supplement this with a cracking price tag, another super hit is all but guaranteed. The Meteor 350 will take on the likes of the recently launched Honda CB350 H’ness, Jawa Perak and the Benelli Imperiale 400. Over to the launch now.