Royal Enfield’s upcoming Meteor 350 BS6 replaces the BS4-compliant Thunderbird 350 (and 350X)
In an interesting development, the pricing of Royal Enfield’s upcoming Meteor 350 cruiser has been leaked, as Rs 1,68,550, ex-sh. The leaked data is evidently from a configuration tool and the pricing mentioned here might include extra accessories (such as flyscreen). However, the actual figure would most likely be just over Rs 1.65 lakh ex-showroom since the outgoing Royal Enfield Thunderbird retailed for Rs 1.57 lakh.
One of the leaked images also reveals a new ‘Fireball’ moniker. The Chennai-based motorcycle had trademarked ‘Meteor’ earlier last year and as well as a few new names in the months from then. This is the first time that ‘Meteor 350 Fireball’ is coming into the picture. Our best guess is that this could be the name of the colour rather than being a different variant under the motorcycle.
Over the past few months, we have shared multiple spy shots of the Royal Enfield Meteor 350. One example was even spotted undisguised during an ad shoot in Gujarat’s Rann of Kutch. The motorcycle was in the same yellow shade as the one you see here in the configurator. To an untrained eye, both the Meteor 350 and Thunderbird 350X look remarkably similar to each other.
For the BS6 era, Royal Enfield’s ‘350’ range will be the brand’s only single-cylinder air-cooled line-up. The company has already discontinued the BS4-compliant ‘500’ range due to falling demand and the internal competition offered by the significantly better twin-cylinder 650 Twins that are available from a reasonable price jump. As a tribute to its decade-old ‘500’ UCE models, Royal Enfield had introduced the limited edition Classic 500 Tribute Black (BS4).
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 would be the first of the new-gen ‘UCE 350’ products. Meanwhile, the current ‘350’ products (except the Thunderbird and Thunderbird X) have been updated to BS6 emission norms. Power figures of the air-cooled 346cc FI single-cylinder engine are nearly the same as its carburetted BS4 counterparts, at almost 20bhp and 28Nm. The engine is mated to a 5-speed transmission. The BS4 ‘500’ models had a 499cc air-cooled FI motor that made 27.2bhp and 41.3Nm of torque (also mated to a 5-speed).
Being based on a completely new platform, the Meteor 350 is expected to lighter, responsive, faster and most importantly, lower on NVH. The engine would most likely sport an OHC (Over Head Cam) setup and ditch the archaic OHV (Over Head Valve) arrangement. Royal Enfield is expected to share a launch timeline once the ongoing COVID-19 situation settles down.