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

Power: 20 bhp
Seat height: Low (30.1 in / 765 mm)
Weight: Medium (421 lbs / 191 kg)

Prices

New £3,749
Used £3,800

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 -
New price £3,749
Used price £3,800
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.

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