New cruiser motorcycle under Rs 3 lakh: Meteor 350 or H'ness CB350

I've owned a few motorcycles in the past, with the last one being the Bajaj Avenger 220.

BHPian ramgkulkarni recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Fellow BHPians, I intend to take this opportunity to let you know a small story along with What bike? question to you all. So, let’s get started.


I started riding 2 wheelers when I was in class 6. My tuition teacher would allow us to use his Kinetic Luna which was barely faster than my cycle at the time. But it kindled a fire that is hard to put out. Soon my brother (Seday Guy) and I were riding anything with 2 wheels on them. Closer to class 10, we had already started riding our dad's Bajaj Chetak secretly and sometimes not so secretly too.

First 2-wheeler - Kinetic Honda (Old rusty)

Finally, when I was 16, my dad gave in and allowed us to use a Kinetic Honda which a kind cousin had handed over to us before he left the country. It was CH registered moped in Bangalore used by 2 very curious 16-year-olds. A recipe for disaster! I have cried, begged, and escaped numerous cops in Bangalore with whom this Kinetic had become a regular. Any cops who served during 2005-06 in the Vijayanagar/Rajajinagar area will know us. Being twins, we even entertained some cops before we were set free to take the bike out of the police's hands. After costing a bomb in fuel and Fine money, my father was set on getting us something more economical. Btw the engine seized as well while we owned it, but hey! we were 2 teenagers eager to ride that bike out to the moon.

First new bike: Bajaj CT-100 Deluxe

My father told us that he would get us a new bike depending on how well we do in our mid-terms in 12th. So obviously my brother and I forged a few copies of marks card and did so amazingly well. Nobody was hurt and we were getting a new bike! After a lot of negotiations with my father, we ended up with CT 100. The options that were considered are still engrained in my memory like I had this chat the other night. First up we asked for the last gen 5-speed RXZ or RX-135. It was straight-up rejected because of fuel consumption. Disappointed and hurt, asked for a Pulsar 150. Also rejected. In a wain effort, we were bargaining for Bajaj Discover 135, hoping my dad will see some sense. Alas, it was he who was paying for it, and we were getting the CT-100. As much as I hated the old man for buying us the absolute lowest spec of a 2-wheeler, the bike would bring in a lot of memories and would eventually find me the future mother of my son. And it did give 90-95 km/l in the initial days we had it. The bike became an integral part of our growing up and helped us roam corners of this city because of the generous mileage. That bike has seen so much abuse and never once died on us. We put in some local headers to make it sound cool, and ridiculous! The bike never rode with less than 2 pillion riders, worst case even 3 pillions. It gave us a lot of good memories. It was a conversation starter with my future wife as well whom I met when I was 17 years old!

The first bike I bought on my own: 1999 Yamaha RX 135

Cut to the chase, I was now earning and wanted to realise a lifelong dream of owning an RX. I bought one from a dear friend of ours and it was everything I wanted. It stayed with me from 2010 till 2012 when I had to move abroad for work for a year. My brother took it to Bombay where he was working at the time. He had his time with it too. he decided to come back home after his few years in Bombay. We decided to do a nut and bolt restoration and it turned out great. Used that bike till 2017 and finally decided to part ways with it as it had become a bit of an oil burner and also needed too much upkeep. I still regret selling it though.

Final Bike: Bajaj Avenger 220

This bike was being sold in electronics city by a friend of a friend. He was moving abroad and had barely used this bike for 2k km in the full 1.5 years he had. I blindly wrote a cheque and brought it back home. The red avenger was an absolute treat with zero issues/niggles. I used it for over 6 months and clocked just over 5k km before I had to leave for another stint abroad.

What I realized with Avenger was that even though it is an amazing-looking cruiser, it lacked the weight to be driven on the highway. It didn’t have high-speed confidence compared to a bullet. At the same time, my brother bought an Enfield as his daily commuter. So, there was a real-time comparison being driven by us. After my final stint abroad, I had given up riding bikes to the office. Relied on office transport or the car thereafter. Since the avenger wasn’t being used, I sold it for around 14K km.

Some pics of that bike:

Next up - A series of un-entertaining scooters.

  • Bought Suzuki Access 125 for my father as a retirement gift and he barely used it. Kept it around for 2 years and eventually sold it
  • Bought Yamaha Ray-z which currently does the duty at home.

So why a new bike?

My wife recently went through an old album of our days in college and reminisced about some of the odd bike trips we did. She always wanted to go on a small ride on the avenger but time never allowed us to do it. As I am turning 35 years old early next year, she said I should get a new bike and we should make new memories while we still have some pepper left in the hair. As a petrolhead, you take your cues when they present themselves even if they appear half heatedly. When it is so direct, you just grab the opportunity. The icing on the cake, she wants to buy it as a birthday present. So, I am going to get my old leather jacket dry-cleaned (hopefully I still fit into it) and prepare myself for my mid-life crisis bike.


  1. Needs to be a cruiser. The avenger spoiled me with its seat and posture
  2. Want to have that Royal Enfield-esque heft to the bike. Gives amazing stability out on the open road
  3. Hopefully below 3 lakhs
  4. And should be usable in the city traffic

What I have seen so far:

  1. RE Interceptor: What a beast! It was fun driving this around on a test drive. What I noticed is that it is a bit handful in city traffic. My brother who riding a pillion was jumping back and forth to stay put in the seat. I feel it's just not going to work in Bangalore Traffic. It doesn't come under 3 lakhs but I would have brought it if it matched my requirements.
  2. RE Himalayan: Doesn't perform the same as the 350. Found the low-end torque down compared to 350. Not sure if it was the test ride vehicle issue or not
  3. RE Meteor: Superb sitting comfort for the rider but not that great for the pillion. I am ok with this as my wife fits perfectly well. I found the 350 suits the city and highway need very well. The fit and finish along with the new engine are unlike the old RE. I found the paint to be absolutely gorgeous, maybe better than my old swift as well.

RE Meteor 350 has clearly won my heart but I want to make sure I review other options as well.

Other options:

  • Honda H'ness CB350: need to test drive
  • Nothing else has come close to my imagination. I haven't been up to date with the bike mark.

Request some of our biker Bhpians to chip in their valued inputs.

Thanks again, folks!

Update: I also want a good city commuter as well. This will include short school pickup drops and maybe even the occasional office visits.

Interceptor is a beast! It's not for me though. I can manage very well with a 350 and it's adequate for me. The top speed runnings will always be in the 4-wheeler for me. This is as I said a mid-life crisis bike till the enthusiasm wanes off or I discover a newfound love for motorbikes.

The new RE is quite the looker. The seats are quite comfortable, especially the touring seats, so I will check that out.

Here's what BHPian AtheK had to say on the matter:

Try the Hunter 350, it is a great bike to ride as well, how comfortable pillion is, you will need to figure that out with your wife, take her along and see if she is fine. It is light and nimble and should work great in the city.

I ride the interceptor in the city all the time now, it is easily manageable, does get heated up a bit but it is fine. The only big downside is the mileage of around 20-21 Km/l in the city. That said I still have it as me and my wife can easily head out to highways and it is just such a pleasure to ride it on highways with a pillion.

If you are ok with the 20-21 km/l mileage in the city I will recommend the interceptor for sure, as memories eventually would be made on the highway rides and not in the city!

Here's what BHPian shancz had to say on the matter:

Since you mentioned the cruiser as a requirement:

The Super Meteor can bring you the Interceptor powertrain in an even more premium and expensive cruiser package but for what you want to achieve with this motorcycle, the Meteor is the optimal choice.

But do definitely ride Honda CB350, maybe you like that stance better for two-up riding and if you do check out the Classic 350 as well.

Here's what BHPian iamahunter had to say on the matter:

At this age, my suggestion would be to get something which will keep you both happy for years to come. I am the same age and I can understand the "pepper" reference. That's how I justified my big bike purchase to my mom and close relatives.

Do not think below the Super Meteor if you plan to hit the highway, I know it will be over your budget, but consider it as an investment for happiness. Yes, the 350s are good (Honda and RE both), but I would not consider it an upgrade over your Avenger. I think you should take your time to think about it before you take the plunge.

Here's what BHPian ajay0612 had to say on the matter:

Your choice is between RE Meteor and Honda CB350. Try Honda CB350 and maybe you will be able to decide more quickly. If your height is 5'6" plus and the BigWing showroom is not far away, I would suggest CB350. It is almost flawless and simple.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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