The Meteor was the first new motorcycle from Royal Enfield to feature the all-new 350cc engine. Launched just at the end of 2020, it was the replacement of the Thunderbird retro cruiser. As soon as we rode the new Meteor, we immediately realised the huge improvements in terms of the overall quality of the motorcycle. While the design of the Meteor was almost the same as that of the Thunderbird, the use of new components such as the frame, switchgear, and wheels set new standards for mass-market Royal Enfield bikes. What stood out the most, however, was the incredibly comfortable riding ergonomics of the Meteor. We have had the bike in our long-term fleet for almost a year now, and we still believe that it’s the most comfortable Royal Enfield on the market.
As a retro cruiser, the Meteor offers the most pleasant highway riding experience, and its value for money is incredible. The Meteor also comes with ABS as standard. It was also the first Royal Enfield to feature the all-new Tripper Navigation dial. The only problem, though, is that the suspension is a bit too stiff for Indian road conditions.
The Meteor’s engine is also one of its biggest highlights, which is the same unit that powers the Classic 350. In simple terms, it’s a brilliant engine. The low-end torque is fantastic, and it pulls the bike forward in a linear fashion. The Meteor also handles surprisingly well, thanks to the new chassis. However, the cruiser ergonomics mean that the footpegs usually get in the way around corners. Unfortunately, cruiser style ergonomics are not for everyone.
While the Meteor does appeal to many as a modern retro, it still doesn’t look as good as the Classic 350. That’s why the Meteor loses some points in the X-factor category. Because of its cruiser characteristics, it doesn’t score so well in terms of practicality either. Even though it was the winner of IMOTY last year, it fell short by a few points this time because the Classic 350 seems to be a more well-rounded bike. Even the Honda CB350 scored higher, which means that the Meteor, unfortunately, couldn’t win our ‘Best of 2021’ award. Still, there are some members of the jury who think it’s one of the best bikes to own and ride.
- Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (Lap Time – 01:29.8)
|COMFORT & PRACTICALITY||10||8.0|
|RIDE & HANDLING||10||7.0|
|VALUE FOR MONEY||20||15.0|