The Royal Enfield Meteor is the virtual successor to the Thunderbird 350
It is not news that Royal Enfield is working on the next-generation ‘350’ line-up which includes the Bullet, Classic and Meteor (the replacement to the Thunderbird and ThunderbirdX). On the other hand, the Chennai-based motorcycle manufacturer has updated its current ‘350’ line-up to BS6 specifications, starting with the 2020 Classic 350.
Royal Enfield initially planned to introduce the next-gen ‘350’ range ahead of the deadline to meet the stringent BS6 emission norms. However, it seems the products still need some ironing out. The company is actively carrying out road tests and we have shared multiple spy shots of the new-gen ‘350’ models over the months. Automotive enthusiast, Ahad Hamza shares with us now, a few good shots of the upcoming Royal Enfield Meteor from ECR (East Coast Road), Chennai.
A closer look of the motorcycle gives us an idea of its rider triangle and ergonomics. The riding position is pretty relaxed thanks to the wide seat, raised handlebars and forward-set footpegs. As you can see, the prototype wears no forms of camouflage and looks more production-ready than ever before. This could mean only one thing: the motorcycle will hit the market soon.
It is too early to comment on the engine specifications. Still, we have good reason to believe that the power plant sports an OHC (Over Head Camshaft) setup in place of the archaic tappet-valve arrangement. Even though hardcore Royal Enfield fans would disagree, the current (and previous) breed of products showcase poor output figures for its displacement and, to an extent, pricing.
The latest BS6 powertrain employs an FI version of the old 346cc air-cooled single-cylinder UCE (Unit Construction Engine) motor. The output stands at 19.1bhp and 28Nm of torque and the engine is mated to a 5-speed gearbox.
On the one side, dealerships are struggling to clear off leftover BS4 stock while on the other, the coronavirus pandemic is creating a lot of hurdles (know more details). Royal Enfield is apparently working on a range of products for the coming years including a product codenamed J1D which is believed to a lighter, more approachable offering for lady riders and first-timers.
Indian motorcycle enthusiasts are eagerly looking forward to seeing the next-gen Royal Enfield products in their market-fresh avatar. The company has already proved that it can make well-rounded products at an attractive price point in the form of the ‘650 Twins’. Owing to this, the parallel-twin motorcycles have become a worthy alternative to many premium choices that cost at least double their price.