The upcoming Royal Enfield Meteor will be powered by the brand’s new-generation 350cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, OHC engine
Regular readers would be aware that Royal Enfield is planning to update its entire range of single-cylinder motorcycles with their next-generation models. However, due to the market slowdown, there have been several delays surrounding the launch of these motorcycles. The first of the new-gen Royal Enfields will be the Meteor, which is the replacement for the Thunderbird cruiser.
The Royal Enfield Meteor will be powered by a brand-new 350cc engine, which will generate more power and torque than the UCE motor (19.3 PS and 28 Nm) on the Thunderbird 350. The new powerplant will have a modern OHC layout, rather than the traditional pushrod architecture of the older bullets, which should help improve the motorcycle’s performance as well as reliability.
The gearbox is expected to be a new 6-speed unit, and there will be a slipper clutch on offer as well. Other than that, the Meteor will also have a completely new dual-cradle frame, as opposed to the Thunderbird’s single-cradle frame. The braking duties will be handled by disc brakes on both wheels, with dual-channel ABS available as standard.
In terms of design though, there isn’t much to differentiate the two bikes. The Meteor will sport the same styling and ergonomics as the Thunderbird – a large fuel tank, forward-set footpegs, raised handlebars, and a comfy split-seat with adequate cushioning. There will be a few subtle changes though, like a new instrument cluster, new switchgear, round LED-taillight, and a split-grabrail for the pillion.
The front headlamp is a halogen unit though and not an LED unit, which is a slight disappointment. A while back, a test mule was spotted wearing plenty of accessories, including a large windscreen, wraparound front crash-guards, flatter footpegs, and saddle-stays. These accessories are mostly tailored towards long-distance riders, which will help the Meteor establish itself as a great touring motorcycle.
Previously, Royal Enfield had confirmed the launch of the Meteor for June/July 2020, but due to delays, that launch window was missed. The motorcycle is expected to launch soon though, probably within the coming few weeks. The prices are expected to begin from Rs. 1.7 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi).