After a considerable build up of teasers, Chennai-based motorcycle OEM Royal Enfield launched its new Meteor 350 cruiser today. The Meteor replaces the existing Thunderbird brand (Thunderbird and Thunderbird X) and will be available in three new variants – Fireball, Stellar, and Supernova.
Pricing for the Meteor starts at Rs 175,000 lakh for the Fireball variant, increases to Rs 181,000 for the Stellar and culminates at the top-end Supernova, which costs Rs 190,000. The top-spec Supernova variant includes dual-tone colours, windscreen, tan seats and a pillion backrest.
New engine develops 20.2hp, 27 Nm torque
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is powered by a newly developed, 349cc, fuel-injected, single-cylinder engine that develops 20.2hp at 6100rpm and 27 Nm torque at 4000rpm. The engine is air-cooled and Royal Enfield has incorporated an oil circuit in the 2-valve head to aid cooling. The engine has a balancer shaft to quell vibrations to a large extent, says Royal Enfield.
Some key design elements that stand out include the round headlight (with a circular LED DRL around it), chunky fuel tank and the curved fenders. The pod-shaped tail-light is another neat touch and overall, it is a well-proportioned design.
Royal Enfield has incorporated a new semi-digital instrument cluster along with a separate pod for a colour TFT display. Royal Enfield calls it the 'Tripper screen ' and it displays turn-by-turn navigation, via Google maps data. This is done via the Royal Enfield app after pairing the phone to the system, using Bluetooth. The screen, however, does not display incoming messages or calls, as Royal Enfield believes it doesn't want to distract the rider.
Royal Enfield has made it clear from the outset that the Meteor 350 is built to cover long distances and the ergonomics reflect that. In typical cruiser fashion, the footpegs are forward-set, the handlebar is pulled back slightly while the seat is wide and well-cushioned. At 765mm, the seat height is quite accessible too.
Siddhartha Lal, MD, Eicher Motors, puts the Meteor through its paces.
Commenting on the launch of the Royal Enfield Meteor 350, Siddhartha Lal, MD, Eicher Motors said, “The Meteor 350 is a supremely refined, easy and accessible cruiser. It is a charming combination of classic cruiser styling with modern capability. We wanted to build a motorcycle that could ensure a great cruising experience for new, as well as experienced riders. The Meteor 350 is just perfect for that. It is easy, very comfortable with excellent ergonomics, and absolutely enjoyable for long-distance riding and highway cruising, while being great within the city as well. The motorcycle’s poise, its agile handling and up-rated braking, result in an unmatched ride experience.
"The Meteor also comes with Royal Enfield Tripper, a convenient turn-by-turn navigation pod that connects to the Royal Enfield App. We have invested a lot of time and effort in making the navigation simple and sharply intuitive with native Google Maps integration. In a clear manner it gives the rider all the information needed to make the right decision on the road. It is un-intrusive and does not clutter the rider with too many distractions. It is by far the best two-wheeler navigation support. All-in-all, the Meteor 350 is a well-rounded, super-refined motorcycle and we are confident that it will bring the golden age of cruising on Indian roads," added Lal.
High on customisation
All three Meteors have the same specs and performance, but will differ on personalisation.
Vinod Dasari, CEO, Royal Enfield.
Speaking at the launch, Vinod K Dasari, CEO of Royal Enfield, said, "There will be around 500 different configurations to make the vehicle unique in the Make It Yours app. This time, we even give an option to put your name on the fuel tank. Also, to make it easy for the consumers we have expanded our dealerships and mechanics network."
The Royal Enfield Make it Yours programme allows customers to choose from a plethora customisation options. The list includes different road-legal exhausts, 8 engine-guard designs, 6 seats, multiple seat covers, 2 different windscreens, bar end mirrors, bigger forged footpegs and many colour options.
Royal Enfield has opened bookings for the new Meteor at all its showrooms across India.
(With inputs from Autocar India)
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