After a punishing year due to the global pandemic, the Indian auto industry is now seeing a sustainable recovery in terms of volume sales. Adding to the same recipe of 2020 was also BS-VI emission norms that refreshed every vehicle in the Indian market. Apart from that, keeping the positive sentiments high, there were also a host of new products introduced in the Indian market that were game-changing in a lot of ways.
Last year’s launch that buoyed Royal Enfield to the headlines was the Meteor 350. The motorcycle essentially comes as a successor for the long-running Thunderbird 350 badge but carries all things new underneath. In addition to the new platform and the new engine, Royal Enfield has arrived all-guns-blazing to finally add an era-appropriate offering in its lineup.
The Meteor 350 is essentially RE’s efforts in addressing the refinement issues that was a deal-breaker for the Classic 350 and the Bullet 350. Hence, the engine that powers the Meteor 350 will also find its way into the Classic 350 soon. While the Classic 350 still stands as the best-selling motorcycle for Royal Enfield, the fact that the Meteor provides everything same (or even slightly better) at a marginal premium might suggest that the tides are shifting.
So till the sales number suggest a tug of war between the two siblings, let’s have a look at how they fare against each other on paper. Here's our Royal Enfield Meteor 350 vs Classic 350 spec comparison.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 Design
The Thunderbird 350 served the Indian market for long as an affordable cruiser and discontinuation of the Thunderbird had left a void in Royal Enfield's lineup. The iconic bike maker has bridged that gap with the Meteor 350 which gets a similar cruiser styled high set handlebars. The slating fuel tank sinks in the low rung seat giving a cruiser type seating feel. A seat backrest, long tail pipe and windscreen all adds to the touch. Royal Enfield is known to offer multiple colour options for its motorcycles so the Meteor 350 is no different. The Meteor 350 is offered in a total of seven colours - Fireball Red and Fireball Yellow, Red Metallic, Blue Metallic and Black Matte along with two, dual-tone colours- Blue and Brown.
Royal Enfield Classic 350 Design
The Classic 350 has been in the Indian market for long now and is known for its no-nonsense, heavy built design language that is hard to ignore. Unlike Meteor 350, it has low slung handlebar, a rather traditional and wide seating, and a long exhaust pipe. What makes the Classic 350 even more attractive is multiple colour options. It is available in a total of 13 colours that include - Stealth Black, Chrome Black, Metallo Silver, Orange Ember, Gunmetal Grey, Classic Black, Stormrider Sand and Airborne Blue. The standard variant gets Chestnut, Ash and Redditch Red while the single-channel ABS version is offered in Pure Black and Mercury Silver colours.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 Features
The Meteor 350 finds its higher price than the Classic 350 due to the features it offers. To begin with, it gets Royal Enfield’s ‘Tripper’ navigation system (a first for the company) across all variants. The Meteor also offers a semi-digital instrument cluster as compared to the retro-styled, all analogue unit on the Classic. Moreover, the Meteor also comes with accessories like a large windscreen and backrest on the Stellar and Supernova variants- something which even the top-spec Classic 350 misses out on. Royal Enfield has built the Meteor 350 on a brand new platform. The motorcycle is based on a double downtube frame. It is suspended with the help of 41 mm telescopic forks at the front and six-step adjustable shock absorbers at the rear. The 19-inch front wheel comes with a 300 mm disc while the 270 mm disc brake at the rear is fitted with a 17-inch wheel.
Royal Enfield Classic 350 Features
The Classic 350 rides on 19-inch front and 18-inch rear spoke wheels which are shod with tube-type tyres. The braking system is aided by a dual-channel ABS. Both motorcycles (except the base version of the Classic 350) are equipped with dual-channel ABS. Everything else is analogue and it doesn't even get a tripmeter or any other equipment. Suspension duties are taken care of 35 mm forks up front which also offers 130 mm of travel like the Meteor and a pair of five-step adjustable shocks for the rear.
Engine & Performance
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 Engine
The Meteor 350 uses an all-new 349cc single-cylinder engine which features a balancer shaft as well as a SOHC to keep the vibrations as low as possible. It is capable of delivering 20.2 bhp of maximum power and 27 Nm of peak torque. The engine is mated to a newly developed 5-speed transmission.
Royal Enfield Classic 350 Engine
The Classic 350, on the other hand, is powered by a 346cc single-cylinder BS6-compliant engine which produces 19.1 bhp of maximum power at 5,250 rpm and generates 28 Nm of peak torque at 4,000 rpm. The transmission here is a 5-speed gearbox.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 Pricing
Royal Enfield has positioned the Meteor 350 above the Classic 350 with a starting price of INR 1.78 lakh* for the Fireball variant. Meanwhile, the Stellar and Supernova versions of the Meteor cost INR 1.84* and INR 1.93* lakh each.
Royal Enfield Classic 350 Pricing
On the other hand, prices for the Royal Enfield Classic 350 start at INR 1.63 lakh* for the single-channel ABS variant and go up to INR 1.88 lakh* for the Chrome version.