Royal Enfield Meteor 350 was recently launched in India and to much of our delight, it is in fact a much-improved cruiser than the Thunderbird ever was. It is based on a new platform and it gets a new engine as well. Besides these very prominent changes, the Meteor 350 also boasts more features than the TB series, one of which is real-rime navigation. The Meteor promises a more refined ride than the Thunderbird and also improved handling, one of the reasons for which is that it is comparatively lighter.
The Meteor 350 is powered by a new G-Series 349cc single-cylinder, 4-stroke, air-oil-cooled engine that makes 20.2 bhp at 6,100 rpm and 27 Nm at 4,000 rpm, and is paired with a five-speed transmission system.
The Thunderbird 350 was powered by a 346cc UCE air-cooled, single-cylinder engine that makes 19.8 bhp at 5,250 rpm and 28 Nm at 4,000 rpm. While the bore and stroke on the TB engine are 70 mm x 90 mm, Royal Enfield has tweaked it to 72 mm x 85.8 mm for the Meteor 350.
The Meteor 350 is based on Royal Enfield’s new J platform. It gets 41 mm conventional telescopic forks upfront and six-step adjustable dual shocks at the rear. The headlamp has a halogen bulb with an LED light guide, however, the tail lamp is LED. The Meteor features a ‘Tripper’ for real-time turn-by-turn navigation for which it gets an additional screen.
The Meteor 350 weighs in at 6 kg lighter than the Thunderbird 350 and gets new handlebars that ensure improved control. The footpegs are comparatively more forward-set than the TB as well. The seat height has been reduced from 775 mm on the TB to 765 mm on the Meteor. The single-piece seat set up has been replaced with a split seat on the Meteor.
The Meteor 350 comes with a 300 mm disc up front and a 270 mm disc at the rear. The Thunderbird 350 had a 280 mm disc at the front and a 240 over at the back. The Meteor also gets dual-channel ABS as standard. The rear wheel size has been reduced from TB’s 18-inch to 17-inch.
The Meteor 350 Fireball is priced at Rs 1,75,825, Stellar at Rs 1,81,342, and Supernova at Rs 1,90,536 (all prices are ex-showroom, Chennai).
The Thunderbird 350X retailed at Rs 1.63 lakh and Rs 1.64 lakh (dual-channel ABS). This means the Meteor 350 is about Rs 11,000 more expensive than the TB, however, it gets improved equipment, features, and refinement.
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