New entry-level retro-cruiser from resurgent Indian firm
2020 has been a massive hit for Royal Enfield, with its excellent 650 twins topping sales charts all year. So there’s a lot of interest in this, the latest all-new bike from the firm, the 2021 Meteor 350.
The new bike is a lightweight, budget retro-styled cruiser, with an all-new single cylinder engine, super-low seat height, neat styling and a range of different accessory packs. The motor is a simple air/oil-cooled unit, with fuel injection, single overhead camshaft, two-valve head, five-speed gearbox and a gear-driven balancer shaft to cut vibes. It puts out a decent 20.2bhp, and 27Nm of torque – nothing earth-shattering, but more than enough for good urban performance, and it should be able to cope with motorway cruising too.
The chassis is a classic roadster design, with steel tube frame, cast aluminium wheels and twin shock rear suspension. The disc brakes front and rear use ‘ByBre’ calipers, from Brembo’s Indian operation, with 300mm front and 270mm rear discs, while front forks are conventional 41mm units.
Tyre sizes are pretty beefy for a small 350 single, with a 140/70 17 rear and standard 100/90 19 front. Kerb weight is a reasonable 191kg with 90% fuel, the seat height is a super-low 765mm and the fuel tank holds 15 litres, which should give an excellent range.
Useful add-ons like the new ‘Tripper’ turn-by-turn satellite navigation system and USB charging port complement the decent chassis, and the Meteor comes in three different variations – the Fireball, the Stellar and the Supernova, with seven different colourways.
The Fireball is the entry level machine, with blacked-out engine parts, while the Stellar adds chrome exhaust and handlebars, and a pillion backrest. The Supernova is the highest spec machine, adding a small touring windscreen, machined wheels and a premium seat with 3D supportive padding inside.
The new Meteor was conceived jointly between the firm’s Indian HQ in Chennai and its British-based R&D centre at Bruntingthorpe in Leicestershire. So it should be more than up to British roads, where much of its development has taken place.
Best of all though is the price – starting from just £3,749. Like the 650 twins, that budget price should put the Meteor on the radar for loads of riders.
We’ll be riding the new Meteor next April – check back for more as we get it.