2022 Royal Enfield Meteor 350

2513 Imported from a malfunctioning feed
edited July 26 in Cars Motorcycles
The Meteor 350 is a charming small-displacement cruiser from the India-based brand.
The Meteor 350 is a charming small-displacement cruiser from the India-based brand. (Royal Enfield/)

Ups

  • Friendly manners
  • All-day comfort from a well-padded seat
  • Tripper Navigation comes standard
  • Comforting three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty

Downs

  • Poor engine and braking performance
  • Soft suspension settings soak up bumps well enough, but the bike is not capable of being pushed as hard as its competition
  • Untidy fit and finish

Verdict

The Meteor 350 is a simple, humble cruiser that helps build confidence in new riders with its approachable single-cylinder engine. Its performance figures may not be the most inspiring, and overall build quality could use refining, but the little Meteor isn’t meant to be a power cruiser. This bike is designed to take you where you need to go comfortably and simply with its built-in navigation system leading the way.

Overview

The Meteor 350, introduced to the American market in 2021, is the most recent addition to the small-displacement cruiser market. A mild-mannered 349cc air/oil-cooled single-cylinder engine sits below a large, bulbous tank that’s a throwback to bikes of yesteryear, but the bike does have modern touches, with its Tripper Navigation system and front/rear ABS.

Comfortable ergonomics and relaxed handling make this bike appealing to riders who want a comfortable machine for putting around town. The Meteor may not have the performance or refinement offered by other bikes in the segment, but it invites riders to relax and enjoy the ride.

Comfort is king. Relaxed ergonomics and a flat seat make the Meteor 350 a great choice for all-day cruising.
Comfort is king. Relaxed ergonomics and a flat seat make the Meteor 350 a great choice for all-day cruising. (Royal Enfield/)

Updates for 2022

There are no updates for the 2022 model.

Pricing and Variants

The 2022 model MSRP ranges from $4,649 to $4,799, depending on which of the seven colors is chosen. Stellar and Supernova colors come with a passenger backrest.

Competition

The Honda Rebel 300 and Yamaha V Star 250 are also small-displacement cruisers featuring user-friendly performance at low cost. Riders will find that the Rebel 300 and V Star 250 will offer more performance than the Meteor 350.

Outright horsepower may be lacking, but a flat torque curve and quick run to peak torque make up for it.
Outright horsepower may be lacking, but a flat torque curve and quick run to peak torque make up for it. (Royal Enfield/)

Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The mellow air-/oil-cooled single in the Meteor is exceptionally easy to come to grips with. Its 17.9 peak power and 18.2 lb.-ft. of torque are not staggering by any means, but peak torque is delivered at 2,800 rpm, and 90 percent of the engine’s torque is delivered at just 1,800 rpm. That immediate torque and flat torque curve make the Meteor 350 an easy bike to ride from stoplight to stoplight, with plenty of grunt to get off the line and have a little fun.

During freeway rides we noted a max speed of 70 to 75 mph, so the bike may struggle to keep up with faster traffic. Although it has a modest top speed, at least it doesn’t feel like it’s struggling; the balance shaft does a fantastic job eliminating most engine vibrations.

The meaty clutch lever is relatively easy to pull. However, finding the engagement point is not as simple. A heel-toe shifter gives the rider different shifting options for clicking through the five-speed gearbox.

Handling

The Meteor’s handling and relaxed rider triangle are what make it an easygoing cruiser. A rigid chassis offers stability and a confidence-inspiring ride at city and moderate highway speeds. A 41mm fork keeps the bike on the intended line while twin tube emulsion shocks with soft settings soaking up imperfections. Although there is some wallowing at the rear end, and that softness limits how hard the bike can be pushed in turns, overall ride comfort is there. The Rebel’s power-to-weight ratio of 25 hp to 372 pounds make it capable of being pushed harder than the Meteor’s 17.9 hp to 421 pounds. Tip-in feel on the 350 is great, but you rarely find yourself wanting to go fast enough to need any real lean angle.

The Meteor is available in seven different colors including Stellar Blue, shown here.
The Meteor is available in seven different colors including Stellar Blue, shown here. (Royal Enfield/)

Brakes

A ByBre two-piston caliper and 300mm disc serve as the front end’s braking system while a ByBre one-piston caliper and 270mm disc are used out back. Mushy feel at the lever and a noncommunicative rear brake pedal don’t help the Meteor’s poor brake performance. When the Meteor went through our performance testing, 60–0 test results gave us a 158.8-foot stopping distance, a whole 17.5 feet longer than the Rebel.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The Meteor 350 has an impressive CW-measured fuel economy of 60.1 mpg. A large-for-its-class 4.0-gallon tank means many miles before a fill-up is needed.

The bulbous tank is big, but does not intrude on the rider’s personal space.
The bulbous tank is big, but does not intrude on the rider’s personal space. (Royal Enfield/)

Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility

One area where the Meteor 350 stands out is comfort; the Royal Enfield feels more plush than Honda’s Rebel 300. The seat is wide and cushy and the riding triangle is more neutral. Reach to the bars is relaxed and the foot-forward peg position is casual. Seat height is also short-rider-friendly at 29.7 inches.

Electronics

Tech on the modest Meteor includes ABS, electronic fuel injection, halogen headlight with LED light guide, and an LED taillight.

To have a navigation system standard in an under-$5K motorcycle is impressive. This little screen connects to the Royal Enfield app to provide directions from point A to point B. The screen is clear and easy to read. An analog speedometer has an LCD screen within, for added info.

The Meteor’s under-$5K MSRP and mild manners are characteristics that beginners can love.
The Meteor’s under-$5K MSRP and mild manners are characteristics that beginners can love. (Royal Enfield/)

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

The Meteor comes with an impressive three-year unlimited-mileage warranty.

Quality

The Meteor does not have the most tidy fit and finish. Sloppy wiring is evident, and overall quality control is clearly lacking, with hardware loosening up during rides. This Royal Enfield does nail a classic retro look, but that shouldn’t have to come with obvious sacrifice.

2022 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 Claimed Specifications

MSRP: $4,649–$4,799
Engine: 349cc, SOHC, air-/oil-cooled single
Bore x Stroke: 72.0 x 85.8mm
Transmission/Final Drive: 5-speed/chain
Cycle World Measured Horsepower: 17.86 hp @ 6,070 rpm
Cycle World Measured Torque: 18.21 hp @ 2,800 rpm
Fuel Delivery: Electronic fuel injection
Clutch: Wet, multiplate
Engine Management/Ignition: N/A
Frame: Twin downtube spine
Front Suspension: 41mm telescopic fork; 5.1 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Twin tube emulsion shocks, preload adjustable; 3.5 in. travel
Front Brake: 2-piston floating caliper, 300mm discs w/ ABS
Rear Brake: 1-piston floating caliper, 270mm disc w/ ABS
Wheels, Front/Rear: Alloy; 19 in. / 17 in.
Tires, Front/Rear: 100/90-19 / 140/70-17
Rake/Trail: 26.7º/4.3 in.
Wheelbase: 55.1 in.
Ground Clearance: 6.7 in.
Cycle World Measured Seat Height: 30.1 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.0 gal.
Cycle World Measured Wet Weight: 421 lb.
Contact: royalenfield.com
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