Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (2021-on) Review

Highlights

  • 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: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £140
Power: 20 bhp
Seat height: Low (30.1 in / 765 mm)
Weight: Medium (421 lbs / 191 kg)

Prices

New £3,749
Used £3,700

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

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.

Royal Enfield Meteor 350 national speed limit

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Royal Enfield Meteor 350 front

Engine

Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.

Royal Enfield Meteor 350 right side

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Royal Enfield Meteor 350 rear

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
5 out of 5 (5/5)

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.

Royal Enfield Meteor 350 on the road

Equipment

3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.

Royal Enfield Meteor 350 side on

Specs

Engine size 349cc
Engine type Four-stroke, air/oil-cooled SOHC single
Frame type Pressed steel spine
Fuel capacity 15 litres
Seat height 765mm
Bike weight 191kg
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
New price £3,749
Used price £3,700
Insurance group -
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 -
Tank range -

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2021 - Model introduced.

Other versions

None.

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.

Review your ENFIELD METEOR 350 (2021 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Equipment: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £140
5 out of 5 So much more than a bike for novices…
30 August 2021 by Tony Duran

Version: Supernova

Year: 2021

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.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

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.

Engine 5 out of 5

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.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

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.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

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.

5 out of 5 Just a brilliant bike!!
11 August 2021 by Andy M

Version: Stellar Blue

Year: 2021

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.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

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.

Engine 5 out of 5

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.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

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.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

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.

Equipment 5 out of 5

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.

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