Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is the newest entrant in the growing 350cc motorcycle segment in India
To keep its portfolio relevant to evolving market trends and consumer expectations, Royal Enfield has launched the first of its next-gen products, the Meteor 350 cruiser. The motorcycle gets a range of upgrades including trendier design, a new chassis and engine, and connectivity tech.
While products like Classic 350 and Bullet 350 are already bestsellers, Meteor 350 could be an even more attractive option for customers, especially the young brigade. To understand its potential, here’s a quick comparison between Royal Enfield Meteor 350 vs. Classic 350 vs. Honda H’ness CB350 vs. Jawa Classic.
Design and styling
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 comes across as a thoroughbred cruiser with features such as round headlamps, round rear view mirrors, tear drop shaped fuel tank, turn indicators and rear tail light, broad rear fenders and liberal use of chrome accents.
The motorcycle offers a comfortable, upright riding stance, made possible with the low seat height, forward set foot pegs and high set handle bars. Meteor 350’s design is such that it can easily support the needs of both highway cruising and daily urban commute.
Talking about rivals, they too follow the retro theme and are designed for comfortable cruising. However, each one comes with its distinctive design aesthetics that give these motorcycles their unique character. For example, if you are looking for raw power and a dominating road presence, the option would be Classic 350.
Similarly, if you are looking for subtle elegance, the choice would be Honda CB350. If you want your ride to be splashier and youthful, the choice would be Meteor 350 or Jawa Classic. All these motorcycles are available in attractive colour options, allowing you to personalize as per your needs.
Engine & transmission
Powering Meteor 350 is a new J series 349 cc, air-oil cooled, SOHC engine that makes 20.2 hp of max power and 27 Nm of max torque. It is mated to a 5-speed gearbox. With its electronic fuel injection (EFI), Meteor delivers power on demand, which remains consistent across the rev range. The engine also delivers ample level of bottom-end torque.
In comparison, Classic 350 is powered by a 346 cc, single cylinder engine that churns out 19.1 hp and 28 Nm. It is mated to a 5-speed gearbox. Honda CB350 comes with a 348 cc engine that generates 21 hp / 30 Nm. It is mated to a 5-speed gearbox. Jawa Classic is powered by a 293 cc engine that makes 26 hp / 27.05 Nm. It is mated to a 6-speed gearbox.
Other than the halogen headlamp, Meteor has an all-LED setup including LED DRL and LED tail lamp. Classic 350 and Jawa Classic also come with halogen headlamp. In comparison, Honda CB350 has an all-LED setup including the headlamp.
A major upgrade for Meteor is its ‘Tripper Navigation’, which is a first for a Royal Enfield motorcycle. It’s quite unique because as compared to accessing navigation on a mobile screen, Meteor has a dedicated turn-by-turn navigation display unit placed next to the instrument pod. Tripper Navigation is powered by Google Maps and it works by connecting the user’s smartphone to the Tripper unit via Bluetooth.
CB350 does not have a dedicated display for turn-by-turn navigation, but it does offer Bluetooth connectivity. Users can access turn-by-turn navigation via their mobile devices. Both Meteor and CB350 come with USB charging ports. In comparison, features like Bluetooth, navigation and USB charging are not available with Classic 350 and Jawa Classic.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 has been launched at a price range of Rs 1.75 lakh to Rs 1.9 lakh. In comparison, Classic 350 is priced from Rs 1.61 lakh to Rs 1.86 lakh. Honda CB350 is available from Rs 1.85 lakh to Rs 1.9 lakh whereas Jawa Classic has a starting price of Rs 1.64 lakh.
Which Motorcycle To Buy
If you want a thoroughly upgraded Thunderbird, then Meteor 350 would be the obvious choice. There is no other motorcycle in the segment which offers the cruiser package like the new Meteor 350. However, being new, there can be issues even though it comes from the house of Royal Enfield. It can take several months and may be even years to measure the real value, benefits and advantages offered by a new motorcycle. Manufacturers do carry out extensive tests before launching new products, but on-road conditions and driver skills can easily impact a motorcycle’s performance.
Classic 350 has a proven track record and it is the top selling cruiser in the country. There’s hardly anything to complain about Classic 350, except for the usual niggles. In a few months from now, RE will also launch upgraded new gen Classic 350, which will use the same chassis and engine as the new Meteor 350.
Talking about Honda CB350, it’s also a new motorcycle and is yet to be tested extensively by users over longer durations. However, coming from a leading global automaker, CB350 is unlikely to have any major issues. If you want smooth performance without being too loud or showy, CB350 could be appropriate for you.
Coming to Jawa Classic, the brand has had its share of bouquets and brickbats in the past. However, things are looking good for Jawa now as deliveries have been streamlined and reported bugs and issues have been mostly fixed in the BS6 variant. Jawa is one of the good looking motorcycles in this segment and it also has the highest power delivery.