The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 will be an all-new motorcycle, with a new engine, new chassis, and new features. Here's what we know so far.

CarAndBike, By Preetam Bora

© CarAndBike | Royal Enfield Meteor 350: What We Know So Far 

The next new Royal Enfield motorcycle will be called the Royal Enfield Meteor 350. Billed as a replacement for the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X, the Meteor 350 though will be a completely all-new motorcycle, with a new engine, new chassis, and new features. The new RE Meteor 350 will also come with customization options, including a long list of original accessories and new features and minor cosmetic changes. But the new Meteor 350 will be more than just a replacement for the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming Royal Enfield Meteor 350.

All-New SOHC Engine

The most significant change on the new Royal Enfield Meteor 350 will be the all-new 350 cc engine. The actual displacement could be slightly less, or around that size, but the Meteor 350's engine will have a completely different architecture than the 350 cc single-cylinder engine of the Royal Enfield Bullet 350, or the Royal Enfield Classic 350. Instead of a push-rod design, which actuates the valves, the new engine is expected to employ a single overhead cam (SOHC), and will likely be more free-revving and refined than the old 350 cc UCE mill.
The engine could be future-ready, and a single-cylinder version derived from the 649 ccs, parallel-twin motor that powers the Royal Enfield 650 Twins. Also expected is a slick-shifting six-speed gearbox, again derived, or even possibly shared with the 650 Twins, but with different gear ratios to suit the personality and performance of the smaller engine. The left side crankcase cover certainly resembles that of the 650 cc parallel-twin, and the final drive has been moved to the left side of the motorcycle.

New Chassis

The new Royal Enfield Meteor 350 will also feature a brand new frame. Ditching the single downtube frame of the Thunderbird 350, Royal Enfield has introduced a new double-cradle chassis. Although details aren't available right now, we won't be surprised if Royal Enfield-owned, UK-based chassis specialist Harris Performance is behind the design and development of the new double-cradle frame. The double-cradle frame offers significant advantages in terms of strength and rigidity and should offer better dynamics as well, compared to the single downtube frame.

Design & Features

The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 may look like a refreshed and rebranded Thunderbird 350X, with similar dimensions, a similar silhouette, and dimensions. But the Meteor 350 will have some differences, in the ergonomics, with the footpegs spread out towards the front, a new split-seat design, as well as new headlight, taillight, and rear fender design. The Meteor 350 also sports new blacked-out alloy wheels, along with a blacked-out engine.

New Instrument Console & Switches

Along with the minor cosmetic differences, the new Meteor 350 will also sport a new instrument console, which seems to sport an asymmetrical twin-pod design, with a full digital read-out. The instrument console is expected to offer a lot more information, including a digital fuel gauge, and other details. The switches of the Meteor 350 will also be new and will be retro-type rotary switches, giving the bike a classic look and feel.

Price & Availability

The new Royal Enfield Meteor 350 will be priced at Rs. 1.68 lakh (Ex-showroom), and Royal Enfield is expected to launch the bike very soon, in all likelihood, by May or June 2020, as soon as restrictions due to the coronavirus lockdown are eased, and the country moves towards some semblance of normalcy. The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 will be positioned as a global product but will be pitted head-on against the likes of the Jawa and Benelli Imperiale 400 in India.

This article was originally published by CarAndBike.
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