Small displacement cruisers are the perfect motorcycles for beginners. Buyers looking to start their two-wheeled adventures with entry-level cruisers have many options, including the all-new Royal Enfield Meteor 350 that first arrived on U.S. shores in 2021. For the uninitiated, Royal Enfield is an India-based British motorcycle brand that is already very popular for its retro cruisers in its home market. The arrival of the Meteor 350 Stateside shows that the brand wants to replicate the same success in North America.
Rivaling established names such as the Honda Rebel 300 and more, the Meteor 350 has its work cut out. However, while the Japanese offer lighter and more powerful cruisers, the Meteor has a more relaxed and classier vibe, thanks to its British roots. With its old-school design, a thumping powertrain, fuss-free engineering, and a tempting price tag, the Meteor has a lot going for it, at least on paper.
2022 Royal Enfield Meteor 350: Engine, Gearbox, And Suspension
Built completely from the ground up, the Meteor marks a new chapter for Royal Enfield’s 350cc range. Be it the engine, gearbox, frame, suspension, brakes, or electricals, everything is all-new here. At its heart, the Meteor features a 349cc air-oil cooled single-cylinder engine. With a rated power output of 20 hp @ 6,100rpm along with a peak torque of 27Nm gushing in at just 4,000rpm, it’s quite evident that the Meteor’s powertrain is all about low-end grunt. For power transmission duties, there’s a six-speed gearbox.
Tipping the scales at 421 pounds (curb weight), the Meteor is not a lightweight motorcycle. Since the engine isn’t a firebreather either, expect the acceleration to be breezy rather than road-ripping. Even though the engine is modern (it gets a balancer shaft) and meets current European and Indian emissions norms (Euro 5/BS 6), the company claims that the ‘all-important Royal Enfield DNA’ is not lost with the Meteor. Put simply, that means the exhaust note will have the classic ‘thump’. That said, it no longer gets the good old kick-starter – there’s only an electric starter.
A brand-new twin downtube spline frame forms the skeleton of the Meteor. The front wheel gets a 41mm conventional fork (non-adjustable), whereas the rear wheel incorporates a six-step pre-load adjustable twin-tube emulsion shock. At 30.12-inches, the seat height is quite low, making it approachable for riders of all heights. At the same time, the ground clearance is a decent 6.7-inch. Sure, that doesn’t mean you can take it up the rocky trails, but it’s always good to have more clearance, isn’t it?
The footpegs are forward-mounted, which according to Royal Enfield will allow the riders to have a bonafide cruiser experience on the Meteor. Its 3.96 gallons fuel tank should offer a decent range for your leisure highway jaunts. Alloy wheels come standard and they come with shod with 100/90-19 (front) and 140/70-17 (rear) size tires. The stopping force comes courtesy of a 300mm front disc with a twin-piston floating caliper and a 270mm disc with a single-piston floating caliper at the rear wheel. Dual-channel ABS is standard.
2022 Royal Enfield Meteor 350: Features
Given the fact that the Meteor is an entry-level motorcycle, don’t expect class-leading electronics or cutting-edge gadgets on this cruiser. There are no riding modes, ride-by-wire, hydraulic clutch, traction control, or even LED headlamps.
That said, it’s not bare-bones either. That’s because the Meteor comes equipped with a clever ‘Tripper’ turn-by-turn navigation system. It’s a dedicated pod that sits right next to the main speedo-rev counter, albeit the Tripper’s sole function is to help the rider with navigation. Powered by Google Maps, paired via Royal Enfield App on a smartphone, the Tripper shows turn-by-turn navigation to the rider. Color options include Fireball Red, Fireball Yellow, Stellar Red, Stellar Blue, Stellar Black, Supernova Blue, and Supernova Brown. In case you’re wondering, the names Fireball, Stellar, and Supernova are the three different variants of the Meteor. The Fireball is the base variant and gets an all-black treatment, whereas the Stellar has more sheen, thanks to the chrome detailing at various places. It also gets a passenger backrest. The Supernova sits at the top of the range and adds a front windscreen over the chrome and passenger backrest offered with Stellar.
2022 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 Costs, And Warranty
The 2022 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 range starts at $4,549 (Fireball). The Stellar and Supernova variants cost $4,649 and $4,699, respectively. A three-year unlimited-mileage warranty is standard. As always, there are a lot of customization options as well as accessories on offer with the Meteor range. Some cool ones include bar-end mirrors ($250), tinted flyscreen ($112), aluminum forget foot-pegs ($92), and more.
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About The Author
Shivank Bhatt (43 Articles Published)
Shivank’s love for cars & bikes has made him switch his career from engineering to writing stuff about automobiles. So far, he’s been doing alright as an auto-journo with more than 6 years of experience under his belt. That said, he does like to show his nerdy self more often than not…