Easy, stylish and economical. These are three perfect adjectives to describe the new Royal Enfield Meteor 350, a motorcycle that in this two-wheeled world increasingly exasperated in style and performance – as well as in prices – makes a sort of virtual reverse and tries to bring the motorcycle back to its essence. With a price list starting at just over 4,000 euros and its single-cylinder 350 cc with 20.2 HP, the Meteor is comparable to a 150 cc scooter, compared to which it is certainly less practical in commuting but also much more pleasant to drive and above all distinctive in terms of style. The dimensions, in fact, are comparable to those of a double displacement motorbike but the weight is contained in 191 kg in running order. The roominess is perfect for a wide range of builds: the saddle at 765 mm from the ground helps the shorter riders but without forcing the tall ones to uncomfortable angles of the knees. The narrow tank completes the picture of excellent ergonomics.
The Meteor name is inspired by a famous Royal Enfield model from the 1950s and, moreover, it must not be forgotten that the Indian manufacturer is the one that can boast the longest activity ever in the field of two wheels. Royal Enfield, in fact, was founded in Redditch (England) in 1893 and during its long history it has experienced various corporate vicissitudes, the most important of which was the move to India in the 1960s. Today Royal Enfield produces about one million motorcycles a year, of which only 20,000 leave the Asian market to reach Europe, but this is a share destined to grow, thanks to the new product strategy. The Meteor 350 was designed and developed in the two technical centers Royal Enfiled Chennai (Tamil Nadu) and in Bruntingthorpe (United Kingdom), with the aim of making a product that can be appreciated in markets all over the world. It is aimed at a broad spectrum of motorcyclists, from commuters to weekend cruisers, from those who want to try bikes that are accessible to returning riders or students.
In short, it is a versatile bike, ideal for absolute beginners but also enjoyable by expert motorcyclists, as long as you are not in a hurry and adopt a “slow” approach to motorcycling. Even at full throttle, the Meteor 350 gains speed with some phlegm but hits the three digits on the speedometer fairly quickly. To reach the maximum peak speed of 120 km / h (indicated), however, you need to be patient, also because there are only five gears – the gearbox is of the rocker type – and the fifth is quite long. Ring roads and motorways are certainly not his favorite scenario, but you can keep 90-100 km / h without problems. However, these limited performances also result in very low fuel consumption, in the order of 35 km with an abundant liter. Even the semi-synthetic oil prescribed for the engine certifies its quiet nature. On a dynamic level, however, this Royal Enfield has no particular limits.
Stability is excellent and agility good, even if the 19 “front wheel determines a certain inertia. The brake compartment is more than adequate to the possibilities of the bike, with the single 300 mm front disc (270 mm rear) and dual-channel ABS. The passenger also travels comfortably and the two hydraulic shock absorbers at the rear have spring preload adjustment to 6 positions. In short, the Meteor 350 has nothing to envy to motorcycles that cost almost twice as much and could easily withstand power From a technological point of view, on the other hand, it can show off a gem that will make commuters as well as travelers happy. It is called the Royal Enfield Tripper and is a step-by-step navigation system that connects to the proprietary app, integrated with Google Maps. On a small but well-readable circular instrument, placed next to the main one, the centaur is provided with all the necessary road information, in a clear way. There is also an integrated USB port under the handlebar for the personal device.
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is available in three versions: Fireball, Stellar and Supernova, which differ in the colors and some details of the equipment.