The upcoming Thunderbird replacement is expected to feature a lot of premium equipment, along with a new 350cc engine and 6-speed gearbox
The Royal Enfield Meteor has been spied multiple times during road tests in India, and is expected to launch soon. The Meteor will be a replacement for the Thunderbird cruiser, which was first introduced in the Indian market in 2002. The new model is expected to feature better engine, better chassis, and even better equipment.
Recently, a spy picture of the new semi-digital instrument console of the upcoming RE Meteor has surfaced in the internet. As also seen in a few older spy images, the Meteor will have a lop-sided two-pod instrument cluster. The larger pod on the left will be the analogue speedometer and tell-tale lights, while the smaller pod on right side will house the digital navigation system.
We expect this navigation system to be Bluetooth enabled, just like the ones on the TVS Apache series and the Hero Xpulse 200. That said, the system on the Royal Enfield seems a little more advanced, and has a multicolour display, as opposed to the monochrome display on the others. There doesn’t seem to a tachometer on offer though, and fuel gauge isn’t visible here either.
Apart from that, there will be plenty of improvements on the Meteor as compared to the Thunderbird. The engine will be a new 350cc SOHC unit, and not a push-rod type motor like the older models. This motor will be paired to a 6-speed transmission, and will get slipper clutch as well. The chassis will be a new dual-cradle frame, although the overall styling and ergonomics will be similar to the Thunderbird.
The motorcycle will continue to feature a round headlamp and a huge fuel-tank, along with raised handlebars and forward set footpegs. The new Meteor will also have plenty of official accessories, like a tall windscreen, flatter footpegs, saddle stays, and engine guards. The bike will offer disc brakes on both wheels, along with dual-channel ABS.
The price of the upcoming RE Meteor is expected to begin around the Rs. 1.7 lakh mark (ex-showroom). Upon launch, it will indirectly compete against the likes of Bajaj Dominar 400 and Jawa, and even its own sibling, the Classic 350. We expect the vehicle to launch before the Diwali festive season.