Chennai-based motorcycle manufacturer Royal Enfield has been working on the next-gen ‘UCE 350’ power plant for quite some time. It plans to introduce a range of interesting products (reportedly named Sherpa, Hunter, Roadster, etc.) in the new decade, starting with the Meteor 350.
Replacing its Thunderbird 350 range, Royal Enfield’s upcoming Meteor 350 was spied on multiple occasions in recent times. In fact, a rough idea of its pricing was also leaked from an online configurator platform.
Compared to the current BS6 and discontinued BS4 single-cylinder models, the next-gen UCE products are expected to offer substantial improvements in terms of performance, fuel economy, reliability and NVH controls. Royal Enfield will finally ditch the archaic OHV or tappet-valve arrangement for a better and efficient OHC setup. However, the ‘350’ models would remain air-cooled while certain others come with air/oil-cooling.
At the moment, no Royal Enfield products feature liquid-cooling simply because the engines do not demand it (or as Royal Enfield states). Even the higher Himayalan and 650 Twins employ air/oil-cooling unlike most of their liquid-cooled rivals.
A new report states that future Royal Enfield models would receive modern equipment to stay strong amidst the tight competition. This includes Bluetooth connectivity, digital instrument consoles and even turn-by-turn navigation in “at least two or three products in the future”.
The move came as a result of collecting continuous feedback from both existing and potential customers. This will also help the British-origin brand attract buyers who would otherwise pick up either one of the Jawa siblings or Benelli’s Imperiale 400 (BS6 model coming soon).
Royal Enfield has updated most of its products to BS6 emission norms. Due to falling demand, the company discontinued its ‘UCE 500’ models ahead of April. As a tribute to the decade-old model line, Royal Enfield introduced a limited-run BS4-compliant Classic 500 Tribute Black variant. Both ‘350’ and ‘500’ variants of the Royal Enfield Bullet Trials were also discontinued since buyers could not see a point in opting them over a Himalayan or any other competitor.
In BS6 format, the Royal Enfield ‘350’ models generate roughly the same output as their BS4 counterparts. However, they now come with an FI system like in the previous ‘500’ models. The 346cc single makes roughly 20bhp and 28Nm of torque while mated to a 5-speed transmission. The old ‘500’ models (also air-cooled and 5-speed) were good for around 27.2bhp and 41.3Nm.