The Royal Enfield Meteor (next-generation Thunderbird) will have aesthetic as well as mechanical changes over the current Thunderbird 350 and 350X
Royal Enfield is in the midst of renewing its entire motorcycle line-up. Last year, the brand had introduced two new motorcycles – Interceptor 650 and GT 650. Both these bikes were powered by a brand new 650cc engine. The company will also be introducing the next-generation Classic 350 to India soon. Other than that, the company will also be launching a replacement for the Thunderbird, called the Meteor.
Here, we have some new spy pictures of the upcoming Royal Enfield Meteor. The motorcycle wasn’t wearing any camouflage, which makes us believe that this is the near-production spec model. The biggest noticeable difference on the test bike compared to the current Thunderbird is the single pod instrument cluster with part-analogue and part-digital display.
The other significant difference is the new engine. The new 350cc engine will be a more powerful unit than before and will be paired to a 6-speed gearbox. The chassis is also new; the Meteor will feature a double-downtube frame instead of the single-downtube one on the Thunderbird.
There are a few subtle changes as well. The fuel-filler cap is now in the centre at the top of the tank, instead of being placed off-centre. The alloy wheels are ten-spoke units with disc-brakes at both ends. It doesn’t seem likely that Royal Enfield will provide a drum-brake version of the Meteor. The taillight will be LED, although the headlamp will be a regular halogen unit.
The seats seem as comfy as on the Thunderbird, with a decent sitting area and adequate cushioning. The riding position also seems the same as before. The raised handlebar and forward-set footpegs will ensure maximum comfort during long rides. The tail-end features a split grabrail for the pillion, which is another welcome change.
The company had previously hoped to launch the Meteor in June 2020, but the launch had to be delayed. We expect the bike to debut soon though, probably before the Diwali season. The Royal Enfield Meteor will be priced slightly higher than the model it will replace, the Thunderbird 350. We expect it to cost between 1.7 lakh to 1.9 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi).
Image credit: imwshashank