2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350

by | Feb 16, 2021 | MotoSocial

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (Fireball trim) (Royal Enfield/)

Ups

  • The beginner cruiser market gains one more competitor
  • Impressive, well-balanced handling
  • Engine power may not be jaw-dropping, but its mild-mannered delivery and lack of vibration provides a very relaxed ride
  • Well-cushioned seat provides all-day comfort
  • Oozes timeless charm
  • Three-year warranty

Downs

  • Brake dive is noticeable
  • Brakes have mushy communication and poor performance
  • Sloppily-wrapped wiring

Verdict

Timeless good looks, impressively neutral handling, and all-day riding comfort is enough to sell many on the Meteor 350, and the sub-$5K price makes it even harder to resist.

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (Fireball trim)

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (Fireball trim) (Jeff Allen/)

Overview

Small-displacement cruisers are wonderful bikes that appeal to newer riders because of characteristically low seat heights, approachable power, and cool cruiser aura. The 2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is one such bike, and it has a distinct cruiser charm and pleasingly smooth single-cylinder engine to attract any rider or skill level. Its air/oil-cooled single brings the currently reigning liquid-cooled singles some competition.

Updates for 2021

The Meteor 350 is a new model for 2021.

Pricing and Variants

The blacked-out base Meteor, known as the Fireball trim level, is available for $4,399 with the upper trims increasing by $100. Stellar trim, which has chrome details and includes a passenger backrest, has an MSRP of $4,499, and the Supernova (also chrome details and passenger backrest, but adds front windshield) is priced at $4,599.

Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance

This small-displacement cruiser is powered by a 349cc air/oil-cooled electronically-fuel-injected single-cylinder engine that produces very smooth, approachable power for easygoing cruising. And we mean easygoing as the Cycle World-measured peak horsepower is 17.4 and peak torque is 18.2 pound-feet, but don’t let that discredit the mild-mannered engine since getting up to freeway speeds is doable, but tops out around 75 mph. The engine is notably vibration free thanks to a balance shaft.

Shifting presents some mild issues since the toe-heel shift lever was difficult for test rider Serena McKnight to wedge a toe under, but the heel shifter was a suitable alternative to clicking through the five-speed gearbox. The clutch lever is meaty, but the pull is easy, McKnight reports.

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (Fireball trim)

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (Fireball trim) (Jeff Allen/)

Handling

The Meteor’s handling is impressive. The 41mm telescopic fork and twin downtube chassis remains incredibly steady through turns and that boosts confidence. The suspension provides excellent small-bump compliance for tackling the rough roads, and the center of gravity of the measured 418 pounds is low and stable. A criticism that McKnight points out is the soft rear twin tube emulsion shocks wallow in wavy pavement troughs. Taking leisurely cruises down urban roads and scenic byways is the Meteor’s happy place, but it is also a comfortable ride on the freeway with its straight-line stability.

Brakes

Braking is done by ByBre, specifically, a two-piston floating caliper and single-piston floating caliper grip on the 300mm and 270mm discs (front and rear respectively). McKnight reported mushy brake feel, but overall stopping power is adequate. Standard-issue ABS is there to help in panic-braking scenarios.

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (Supernova trim)

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (Supernova trim) (Royal Enfield/)

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

Average mpg recorded during testing was 60.13. Fuel capacity is 4.0 gallons.

Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility

Who can say no to all-day comfort? McKnight wrote that due to its fanned out, well-cushioned seat, the Meteor is superbly comfortable for all-day riding. The low 29.7-inch seat height is complemented by a relaxed reach to the bars, and pegs are slightly forward for a laid-back riding position.

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (Fireball trim)

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (Fireball trim) (Jeff Allen/)

Electronics

While its main competitors have full LED lighting systems, the Royal Enfield features a halogen headlight, with an LED running light and LED taillight. Where the Meteor outshines its competitors lies with the standard Tripper Navigation unit which displays turn-by-turn directions on a color gauge beside the larger analog speedometer gauge. ABS is also standard with the braking package.

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

The three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty gives the owner one less thing to worry about. Three years is a substantial time frame especially considering competition often has one or two years’ worth of coverage.

Quality

Sloppily wrapped wiring is a bit of an eyesore, but overall the timeless, classic motorcycle look is executed nicely.

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (Stellar trim)

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (Stellar trim) (Royal Enfield/)

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 Claimed Specifications

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MSRP: $4,399–$4,599
Engine: 349cc, SOHC, air/oil-cooled single
Bore x Stroke: 72.0 x 85.8 mm
Transmission/Final Drive: 5-speed/chain
Fuel Delivery: Electronic fuel injection
Clutch: Wet, multiplate
Engine Management/Ignition: N/A
Frame: Twin downtube spine
Front Suspension: 41mm telescopic fork; 5.1 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Twin tube emulsion shocks, preload adjustable; 3.5 in. travel
Front Brake: 2-piston floating caliper, 300mm disc w/ ABS
Rear Brake: 1-piston floating caliper, 270mm disc w/ ABS
Wheels, Front/Rear: Alloy
Tires, Front/Rear: 100/90-19 / 140/70-17
Rake/Trail: N/A
Wheelbase: 55.1 in.
Ground Clearance: 6.7 in.
Seat Height: 30.1 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.0 gal.
Wet Weight: 421 lb.
Contact: royalenfield.com

Cycle World Tested Specifications

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Seat Height: 29.7 in.
Wet Weight: 418 lb.
Rear-Wheel Horsepower: 17.4 hp @ 6,090 rpm
Rear-Wheel Torque: 18.2 lb.-ft. @ 2,860 rpm

Read more here

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