Royal Enfield has launched the all-new Meteor 350 today, replacing the venerable Thunderbird that was discontinued early this year, as it failed to comply with stringent BS-VI emission norms. Prices for the Meteor start from Rs 1.75 lakh for the base Fireball variant and goes up to Rs 1.90 lakh for the Supernova variant. The Meteor 350 gets an all-new engine and platform, revised styling and a first in the segment TFT screen with inbuilt navigation features. In this short video, we look at the main differences between the Royal Enfield Classic 350 and the new Meteor 350.
You immediately notice that engine looks different than the Classic 350, and it is because the Meteor 350 gets a newly developed SOHC motor, which replaces the old push-rod operated unit. The new engine also produces more power and torque and the figures now stand at 20.2 PS and 27 Nm, respectively. Channelling these numbers to the rear wheel is a 5-speed gearbox. Engine vibration, the Achilles’ heel of the engine that managed to become a ‘character’ for loyal owners is now a thing of the past as a counter-balancer shaft is added to the new engine. The Chassis also gets updated with a double-cradle frame instead of a single downtube and gets new suspension at the front and the rear.
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The price of the Meteor 350 is dearer by an average of Rs 10000 across the range in comparison to the Classic 350. It justifies this hike in pricing by bringing in new features like an all-new semi-digital instrument console, turn-by-turn navigation, USB charging port, new switchgear with rotary switches for lights and ignition, and bigger disc brakes front and rear with dual-channel ABS, which is standard on all variants. The riding posture is more-laid back than the upright position of the Classic 350, which should make it better for covering long distances at a stretch more comfortable. It also gets a different tank and softer seat design, increasing the comfort of the vehicle even more.
But the important question for all Royal Enfield loyalists and new customers will be, how’s the thump? Watching both of them side by side in the video, we can see the Classic 350 still thumping away merrily, while the noise has been shackled by the new emission norms. The new Meteor still thumps very well. Royal Enfield said that getting the thump right was important, but it now sounds much more refined and vibrations are drastically reduced, thanks to the counter-balancer shaft.
Looking at the video, it seems like numb hands and legs after a long day’s ride are going to be a thing of the past for Royal Enfield owners with the Meteor 350.
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Words By - Chandrutpal Kashyap