On Friday, Royal Enfield launched a new cruiser motorcycle, the Meteor, which replaces the Thunderbird X. The Meteor is available in three variants—the Fireball for Rs 1,75,817, the Stellar for Rs 1,81,326, and the Supernova for Rs 1,90,536 (ex-showroom, Chennai). Powered by a new 349cc air-oil cooled engine (20.2bhp power and 27Nm of torque) mated to a five-speed gearbox, the Meteor is the latest in the line of cruiser motorcycles made by the company in India since the 1990s. These include the Lightning, followed-up in 2002 with the first generation of the Thunderbird, the 2008 UCE twin-spark Thunderbird, and 2018 Thunderbird X. The motorcycle is new, but the name isn’t—the Meteor 350 inherits its name from another Royal Enfield motorcycle of the 1950s. Launched in 1952, the Meteor was a touring motorcycle made by Royal Enfield in England for export to the US.
“We wanted to build a motorcycle that could ensure a great cruising experience for new as well as experienced riders,” said Siddhartha Lal, MD, Eicher Motors Ltd, during the launch. “The Meteor 350 is a supremely refined, easy and accessible cruiser. It is a combination of classic cruiser styling with modern capability.” The Meteor 350 is the company’s first product to get a turn-by-turn navigation pod, called the Tripper. It connects to the rider’s smartphone via Bluetooth, and real-time directions, using Google Maps’ two-wheeler navigation, are displayed on a small screen next to the tripmeter. Also, a USB port is mounted below the handlebars to enable charging on-the-go.
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