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Royal Enfield Meteor 350: An owner's perspective

The seats on the Meteor are spot on both for the rider and the pillion, I really like the relaxed seating ergonomics on the bike with the footpegs slightly perched forward.

BHPian VRod_24 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello all this is my story of the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 which I purchased just recently in 2022. But first let me talk about my brief Biking Past.

My Biking Past

Two wheelers were a taboo in my house during my growing years and it was only during my college that I could somehow convince my folks to get our first set of 2 wheels the humble Honda Aviator which still serves us perfectly till date. I have a lot of fond memories on this scooter namely the Alibaug ride which I did alongwith my college buddies. Later when I started earning I bought my first bike with my own money, the Honda Dream Neo 110. It served on for a while mostly doing local runs for errands and then I sold it off before it could complete a year. Then post a gap of few years I again had the itch of owning a two wheeler this time I went ahead and purchased myself a Honda Hornet CB 160R. It was an upgrade over my previous ride and had me satisfied for a decent amount of time but it had a major flaw which made me sell it eventually and those were its seats. Every time I used it for a long ride it would end up with me being not even able to sit down on a sofa, it was that bad. So after parting ways with it I itched on to buying another bike but then due to certain personal commitments on hand I could not. Finally in the year 2022 I decided on to buy one for myself and the bikes that I shortlisted were :

My Shortlisted bikes

1) BMW G310gs

2) RE Meteor 350

3) RE Classic 350 reborn

4) Honda CB 350

5) RE Super Meteor 650

The last one didn't work out as at the time of my purchase RE hadn't launched the Super Meteor it still hasn't.

Going by my list, it ought to be pretty clear that my priority was seat comfort. The performance isn't all that important as I am a sedate rider. I started out by consulting a few riders on Insta namely Bulu Patnaik aka Bulu Biker and Mr Pradeep aka Motoccino. Both of whom were kind enough to reply saying that the BMW and RE Meteor were high on seat comfort.

I then went on to visit a couple of showrooms for a test ride starting out with the Enfield's. I was really impressed with the 350 twins I.e Meteor and the Classic. The only pain point being the 3 months of waiting period on these bikes.

Next up I visited the Honda for the CB 350, post a brief test ride my thoughts were that the bike felt a little ordinary and one without a soul unlike the RE ( No offense to Honda cb350 owners) I was also not a fan of the artificial thump emanating from the exhaust. Add to that the stock seats felt a bit hard for both me and my wife.

Finally we visited the BMW Tusker showroom where the sales executive mentioned both the GS and 310r had a 4 month waiting which in turn ruled it out of the race.

So in the end we had the Royal enfield versus the Honda with the scales tipping towards the Honda as they promised a 3 days delivery time for the bike post full payment.

But I guess God had other plans. Later that day I contacted each and every Royal Enfield dealer in Bangalore to check whether they had any stock of either the Meteor 350 or the Classic 350 and to my luck the folks at CVS motors in Sadashivnagar a place approximately 30kms from my house had stock of two Meteor Supernova, one in brown and the other one in blue. The very next day I went to the showroom along with my wife and test rode both the Meteor and the Classic 350 again. My better half liked both of them and I went on to shamelessly ask them the availability of the Classic 350 and got the same reply that the dual channel Abs variants had a waiting of 3 months on them  whereas the single channel ones where in stock( I feel in today's day and age no one should opt for single channel variants with drum brakes at the rear ). So I went ahead and booked the Brown Meteor Supernova variant. As promised the showroom delivered it to me within a week on TC number and in the following weekend I received my number plate as well. The experience at the dealership was nothing great they just did their job of delivering the bike without any fuss personally I would have preferred a little more premium experience especially from a brand like Royal Enfield but nevertheless I had no complaints as such with the dealer.

At the time of writing this post I have covered almost 500 kms on her including a Sunday ride to Ramanagara the famous place where Sholay was shot and the experience so far has been great. The seats on the Meteor are spot on both for the rider and the pillion, I really like the relaxed seating ergos on the bike with the footpegs slightly perched forward. The engine has enough grunt for the city with well spaced out gear ratios and for the highway is does a decent job. RE has managed to get a good sound out of the stock exhaust setup its not like those original bullets but it does have some of that thump in it.

My initial impressions on the bike can be split into my likes and dislikes.

Likes

a) Seat Comfort

The seats are pretty comfy on this bike and mind you I am using the stock seat and not the optional touring seat, having said that the seats in its stock setting has good padding overall and rider seats are quite wide. I do feel the pillion seats could have been a little wider but this stock seat is comfortable for my wife so I have no complaints but for people travelling with pillions on the healthier side I suggest to opt for a wider sear or go in for the Classic 350 instead.

b) Bottom End performance

RE has managed to tap in a lot of Bottom end punch from the new J platform engine. Performance is brisk and the gears are well spaced out. For the city the engine performs quite well. I'll reserve my views on the highway performance as I have yet to finish my running period of the bike but from the very little experience I've had on the highway with it I feel the performance is decent.

c) Looks

The bike has a lot of street presence in my opinion and RE have nailed it in terms of the design. Paint quality is good and overall fit finish is also good although I would have preferred a better cable management at the front. The USB charging point placement is spot on as it's easy to connect a cable from the socket to your phone as compared to the USB socket placement on the Honda Cb350. The horn also is loud enough to warn the ones on the road to know of your presence.

d) Instrument console

I like what RE has done with the console. It has a retro charm albeit with modern touches like a gear position indicator and 2 trip meters. The tripper is slightly eccentric to the main console and doesn't really gel with the design I feel a tachometer in its place would have been better.

e) Heal and Toe shifter

Now I know most people prefer the toe shifter design seen on most modern bike but trust me it's always easier to shift gears using a heal and toe shifter. The gearbox is nice and smooth and goes about doing its job without any complaints or false neutrals I guess RE has implemented a lot of learnings from the Interceptor 650 to this bike.

Dislikes

a) Stock Mirrors

The stock mirrors on the RE are those typical circular ones that you see on most of the Classic motorcycles which although look good but do very little in offering rear view visibility. I particularly hate the huge blind spots that it has for vehicles creeping in close to your bike. I have plans to replace them with either the stock mirrors from the Benelli Imperiale or the Bajaj Avenger.

b) Stock Headlight

The headlight beam is decent but nothing extraordinary. I am not sure how the LED ones on the Honda Cb350 performs but I will definitely upgrade to a better setup of Aux lights in the future if and when I decide to ride during the night.

c) Suspension

The Suspension is a bit of a mismatch I feel, the front being soft and the rear one a little bit on the stiffer side. The front does give a feeling of being disconnected from the road, now this could be because I have moved in from a street fighter kind of a motorcycle to a cruiser and something that I could get accustomed to in the long run. The rear shocks on the other hand absorbs most of the bumps that we have on our roads but it does have a tendency to send in a jolt to your back over the sharper joints or bumps.

d) Rear brake noise

This issue is kinda common to most of the meteors as far as I know. The rear brakes on application give out a screeching noise which I hope the technicians would be able to resolve during the first service.

Besides these points I don't have really much to complain about the bike. The Engine performance and clutch feel is good enough atleast that's what I feel. The clutch isn't that much heavy as some owners have reported.

Coming to the fuel efficiency the max FE that I have observed so far is 32Kmph which includes 60% of city riding and 40% of highway riding. I am hoping this figure would improve post the first service. The weight on the bike is nicely distributed and given the low saddle height you can get a good leverage to move the bike at standstill so in that sense it's pretty easy to manage in bumper to bumper traffic.

With more miles on the saddle I'll discover more points to mention about the bike in future posts.

Moving onto the accessories, I have installed the leg guards from RE and the wider footpegs for both the rider and the pillion. The bike with all the additional accessories costed me 2.83 lakhs on road in Bangalore. ( I know it's on the higher side but this is down to the fact that Bangalore has the highest road tax in India )

Besides the accessories from RE I have recently added a top rack and a Shad Sh42 top box which adds to my Guardian Gears Jaws mini tank bag for all my luggage requirements during touring. All of the above was purchased from Adeshwar Ryders arena store in Lalbagh, Bangalore.

First service update

I have completed her first service just a couple of days back and the experience at the SVC was decent nothing extraordinary. The rear brake issue has been resolved and now there is no screeching noise on its application.

The first service costed me 1071 INR which I found to be reasonable. The major cost component being that of the Engine oil and the filter.

I hope this post helps someone who like me is on the lookout for a comfortable two wheeler. Thank you all for spending the time to read out my rather lengthy post also this is my first post on Team Bhp so any corrections or suggestions on the same would be welcome. Wishing you all fellow riders many safe kilometers ahead. Cheers

Riding Gears used

1) Riding jacket from Xtreme dynamics Inc

2) Raida Airwave gloves with Knox knuckle protectors of semi gauntlet type.

3) Rynox Air gt gloves for the pillion.

4) SMK twister helmet.

5) RE Military Vibe boots.

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