Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (2021-on) Review
- Charming retro style with genuine heritage
- Economical to buy and run
- Great handling for its class and price point
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£140|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is a soft, 20bhp, 350cc single cylinder cruiser that suits novices. As such, it's a little underwhelming after the firm's recent advances with its Himalayan adventure bike and Interceptor and Continental GT 650 twins, but is still a significant machine.
- Latest news: 2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 unveiled
It’s more than able, has plenty of charm, appeal and neat design touches, is easy and fun to ride, should be very tempting around town and, crucially, is under four grand.
Its friendly performance, topping out at 70mph, may be nothing to write home about, but it’s pleasingly unintimidating. It has sweet detail touches and spec including the novel ‘Tripper’ standard directional device, and is so well put together its quality and credibility is truly nudging that of, say, Triumph.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The Meteor’s all-new chassis impresses as well. Although cruiser style, it’s only very mildly ‘laid back’ and the riding position is again completely unintimidating with an upright gait and almost toy-like proportions.
Meanwhile the handling from the new steel spine chassis, as you might expect coming from a combination of ex-Triumph types and Harris Performance (product leads Simon Warburton and Mark Wells are both ex-Triumph - Enfield bought UK chassis legends Harris in 2016), is light, easy and glitch-free.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The Meteor’s all-new, air/oil-cooled, balance shaft-equipped single may only put out 20bhp but is ridiculously easy and willing.
It’s decently refined with no glitches or quirks, completely unintimidating, thrummingly characterful and, because of all that, entertaining to thrash around country lanes. However, with a top speed of 65-70mph it’s not recommended for motorways/dual carriageways). For added peace of mind, it comes with a three year warranty, too.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The Meteor might ‘only’ be a cruiser 350, with retro styling and 20bhp performance, but for the first time an Enfield’s quality and credibility is truly nudging that of more established modern brands.
With tactile badging, sweet, bespoke retro switchgear, classy ‘Coke bottle’ grips, stylish bar ends, specially-design filler cap and more the Meteor feels like a serious offering. The company also say this is just the start which suggests exciting implications for bikes to come. We can’t wait.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The Meteor might not be big, fast or your ‘thing’ but it’s more than able, has plenty of charm, appeal and neat design touches, is easy and fun to ride, should be very tempting around town and, crucially, is under four grand.
That price, for a quality retro with a great name, plenty of credibility and an ever growing, reputable dealer network, puts machines like the £8K+ Moto Guzzi V7 or the £8500 Kawasaki W800 into stark relief.
The retro-styled Fantic Caballero 500 is more powerful than the Enfield but also £2k more expensive and can't match the Royal Enfield's authenticity and heritage.
One of the few criticisms of Enfield's previous bikes was their sometimes basic, tacky ancillaries – clocks, switchgear, fuel filler etc. Not so here, as the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 features decent kit.
The revived company has made a concerted effort to raise quality and individuality and the results are striking on the new Meteor, whether it’s in the bar grips area, tank badges and filler, seat construction and finish, new LED ‘ring’ head and taillights and so on.
Then there’s the debut of Royal Enfield’s ‘Tripper’ – an ultra-simplified directional display which simply (but ultra-cleverly) takes the Google Maps directions from you phone and, through Royal Enfield’s smartphone app, crunches it into a more basic, clear and friendly read-out. And, yes, it’ll be available as an accessory on Enfield’s 650s soon.
|Engine type||Four-stroke, air/oil-cooled SOHC single|
|Frame type||Pressed steel spine|
|Fuel capacity||15 litres|
|Front suspension||41mm telescopic forks, non-adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Twin shocks, 6-way preload adjustable|
|Front brake||300mm disc, Bybre twin-piston caliper, ABS|
|Rear brake||270mm disc, single-piston caliper. ABS|
|Front tyre size||100/90x19|
|Rear tyre size||140/70x17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£45|
|Annual service cost||£140|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Three years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||20 bhp|
|Max torque||20 ft-lb|
|Top speed||71 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
- 2021 - Model introduced.
Owners' reviews for the ENFIELD METEOR 350 (2021 - on)
2 owners have reviewed their ENFIELD METEOR 350 (2021 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£140|
Reviewers consistently talk about this bike is ideally suited to novices (which indeed it is) but always fail to mention its suitability to more experienced riders who want something relaxed and refined for cruising the ‘B’ roads up and down the country. It really is astoundingly good at doing that as well as just getting you from a to b around town and what’s not to live at 100mpg plus.
Great for gentle cruising with a relaxed and comfortable suspension. I’ve turned up the rear suspension two notches and it suits me fine. Brakes do the job comfortably and thus far I’ve not found them wanting.
Simply sublime and no vibration felt throughout the rev range. Not sure why MCN only gave it 3 stars - perhaps because of the lack of top end speed? But that simply is not what this bike is about.
Too early to say regarding reliability but the quality of the finish is top notch. The switchgear particularly feels refined and the engine is sublime.
For the price you can’t fault the equipment. Tripper navigation system works a treat with the addition of a USB port as standard.
Buying experience: Bought from a local dealer but the importers (MotoGB) are truly useless IMO when it comes to ordering and bike allocation.
Version: Stellar Blue
Annual servicing cost: £139
It’s very hard to find fault with this bike…. the only negatives would be it’s low power of 20hp but which is adequate for my riding needs and getting used to the heel toe gear shifter.
The bike loves A & B roads, around 45-55 mph is it’s sweet spot!! it’s a great handling and very comfy bike, I can ride for hours with no fatigue. It will happily cruise at 65-70ish on dual carriageways but you are almost flat out. I’ve read and watched reviews stating the brakes aren’t great, I do disagree mine are very good with great feedback very confident inspiring and the back brake is excellent.
This is the star of the bike, very very smooth practically no vibrations at any speeds with that lovely single long stroke thump. The fuelling is excellent no snatchiness just smooth power delivery. The gear box is super smooth 1st and 2nd are short, 3rd and 4th are perfect for most riding and 5th is a overdrive gear. Not had any false neutrals but I did sometimes have a issue with the heel toe gear change, but as I’ve gotten used to it it’s not a issue anymore.
Build quality and finish is superb, easily on par with other main stream manufacturers. I’ve had no mechanical or corrosion issues at all. There was a small but deep scratch on the front fender when I collected the bike which is being replaced under warranty next week.
Cheap to run and get serviced, I’m getting over 100mpg with 500 miles on the clock will only get better as the bike runs in.
The clock is a beautiful retro/modern design with a gear and fuel gauge, the tripper unit is really easy to use just needs some more functionality added to the app, and there’s a USB port under the clutch lever everything you need. The bikes tool kit is a blast from the past, you can basically do every mechanical job on the bike just using the kit if you chose too. I was sceptical about the CEAT tyres but they very good, I rode over 40 miles in torrential rain for the initial service and not a single issue even with lots of standing water.
Buying experience: I purchased and serviced my Meteor from CMS Exeter. I can’t recommend them enough, excellent independent dealer I would happily recommend them to anyone after a RE.